Scientifica’s top restaurants in Washington DC for SfN 2017

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Scientifica’s top restaurants in Washington DC for SfN 2017


As the capital of the USA, Washington DC is a bustling city full of arts, culture and numerous restaurants, with lots of great neighbourhood-style restaurants around the convention centre.

This restaurant guide is designed to help you find the restaurant best suited to you, whether it be fast food, fine dining or food on a budget. We highly recommend booking in advance, especially if you are in a large group, due to the high number of visitors who will be in Washington DC attending the annual SfN conference. 

We’ve collated these recommendations from a range of sources. Thank you to Dr Veronica Alvarez and Dr Jeffrey Diamond for their suggestions. 

Breakfast

Ted’s Bulletin

1818 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 - 202 265 8337 - Monday – Thursday 7:00 - 22:30, Friday – Saturday 7:00 - 23:30, Sunday 7:00 - 22:30

Ted’s Bulletin offers a large selection of American breakfast options including pancakes, omelette, steak and eggs and homemade pop-tarts. The portions are generous, service is fast and they also serve delicious milkshakes. 

Café Dupont

1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 - 205 322 1282 - Monday – Thursday 6:30 – 11:00, 17:30 – 22:00, Friday 6:30 – 11:00, 17:30 – 23:00, Saturday 7:00 – 14:30, 17:30 – 23:00, Sunday 7:00 – 14:30, 17:30 – 22:00

For a 5-star breakfast, look no further than Café Dupont! Located within the Dupont Circle Hotel, this sophisticated French brasserie offers excellent service and high-quality food.  

Slipstream

1333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 - 202 450 2216 - Monday - Thursday 7:00 -22:00, Friday 7:00 - 23:30, Saturday 8:00 - 23:30, Sunday 8:00 - 20:00

Just around the corner from the convention centre, Slipstream is perfect for a pre-conference breakfast. Ingredients are sourced locally when possible, meaning the menu can vary from week to week. With a stylish interior and excellent coffee, this is definitely not a place to miss. 

Firefly

1310 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC 20036 - 202 861 1310 - Monday - Thursday 7:00 - 10:00, 11:30 - 14:00, 17:30 - 22:00, Friday 7:00 - 10:00, 11:30 - 14:00, Saturday 9:00 - 14:00, 17:30 - 22:30, Sunday 9:00 - 14:30, 17:30 - 22:00

Firefly serves traditional American comfort food using seasonal local ingredients. This restaurant caters for all dietary needs by offering vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Firefly is open from 7 am, so is perfect for a pre-conference breakfast, or after the conference for dinner and their highly-rated craft cocktails.

Dinner on a Budget

Shake Shack

1216 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 - Sunday – Thursday 11:00 – 23:00, Friday and Saturday 11:00 – midnight

Shake Shack serves a variety of cheese, chicken and hamburgers as well as a veggie option – the ‘shroom burger. There are also lots of shakes to choose from, including peanut butter, salted caramel and coffee. 

Daikaya

705 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 - Monday - Thursday 11:30 – 14:00, 17:00 - 22:00, Friday 11:30 - 14:00, 17:00 - midnight, Saturday 17:00 - midnight, Sunday 17:00 - 22:00 

Ramen only Sunday - Thursday 11:00 -22:00, Friday - Saturday 11:00 - midnight

Daikaya has two floors; Daikaya ramen on the first floor and Izakaya on the second floor. Daikaya ramen serves Sapporo-style ramen which contains Chintan stock made from chicken, pork and beef. Izakaya serves a variety of Japanese meat, fish, noodle and vegetable dishes. The plates are quite small, so perfect for sharing with friends or colleagues and trying lots of different dishes.

&pizza

705 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001 - 202 558 7569 - Sunday - Wednesday 11:00 – 23:00, Thursday 11:00 – midnight, Friday and Saturday 11:00 – 16:00 

For a quick dinner on a budget, &pizza is ideal. You can create the pizza of your choice and have it freshly prepared and cooked in front of you. &pizza caters for vegan and gluten-free dietary requirements; Washington DC City Paper awarded them the ‘best gluten-free menu’ this year as well as the ‘best pizza in DC’.

Dinner

Le Diplomate

1601 14th St. NW, Washington DC 20009 - 202 332 3333 - Monday - Thursday 17:00 - 23:00, Friday 17:00 - midnight, Saturday 9:30 - midnight, Sunday 9:30 - 23:00

Located less than a mile from the conference centre, this restaurant, inspired by French café culture, is perfect to satisfy your hunger after a long day at the conference. Le Diplomate serves seafood, meat and cheese dishes along with fantastic cocktails and a selection of wines. 

Jaleo

480 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004 - 202 628 7949 - Monday 11:00 – 22:00, Tuesday - Thursday 11:00 – 23:00, Friday 11:00 – midnight, Saturday 10:00 – midnight, Sunday 10:00 – 22:00

Dr Jeffrey Diamond from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Jaleo recommends Jaleo for it’s terrific tapas and sangria. Its authentic Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of tapas dishes including classics such as Tortilla de Patatas, perfect for sharing, as well as paellas, fish and meat dishes and Spanish cheeses.

Beau Thai

1550 7th Street, NW, Unit A, DC 20001 - 202 536 5636 - Monday - Thursday 11:00 - 15:00, 17:00 - 22:30, Friday and Saturday 11:00 - 23:00, Sunday 11:00 - 22:30

After being named the best Thai restaurant in Washington DC every year since 2013, Beau Thai is well worth a visit. Open for lunch and dinner, Beau Thai serves authentic Thai cuisine, craft cocktails, wine and local beer. There are lots of vegan and gluten-free options, as well as a delivery service. 

The Fainting Goat

1330 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 - 202 735 0344 - Monday - Saturday 17:00 - 2:00, Sunday 17:00 - midnight, Saturday and Sunday brunch 11:00 - 15:00

The Fainting Goat is a recommendation from Dr Jeffrey Diamond at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Located on U Street, where there are lots of great restaurants and bars, The Fainting Goat is a favourite among locals. It serves great, locally-sourced food, hand-crafted cocktails and plenty of beers, wine and spirits. 

Ambar

523 8th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C 20003-2835 - 202 813 3039 - Monday - Thursday 11:00 - 14:00, 16:00 - 22:00, Friday 11:00 - 14:00, 16:00 – 23:00, Saturday 10:00 - 15:30, 16:30 – 23:00, Sunday 10:00 - 15:30, 16:30 – 22:00

For a taste of Balkan cuisine, look no further than Ambar on Capitol Hill, which serves rich food along with Balkan wines and spirits. One of Ambar’s values is creativity, making their food original and their rakias (traditional spirits) some of the best. The interior was created by Balkan designers, so a true Balkan experience will be had!

Hill Country Barbecue Market

410 Seventh Street, NW, Washington DC - 202-556 2050 - Monday - Thursday 11:00 - 23:00, Friday 11:00 - midnight, Saturday 11:30 - midnight, Sunday 11:30 - 22:30

Dr Veronica Alvarez from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommended the Barbecue Market for its high-quality meat. Named as ‘The Best Barbecue Joint in DC’ by the Washington Post, the authentic food and live music makes the Hill Country Barbecue Market popular among locals. 

City Tap House

901 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 - 202 733 5333 - Monday - Wednesday 11:30 – midnight, Thursday 11:30 - 1:30, Friday 11:30 - 2:30, Saturday and Sunday and Sunday 11:00 - 2:30

Endorsed as a great place to visit for a lab dinner by Dr Jeffrey Diamond, City Tap House is only a 5 minute walk from the convention centre. A variety of craft beers are served along with a large choice of mains including pork chop, crab cakes, mussels, pizzas and salads. 


The Red Hen

1822 First Street NW DC, 20001 - 202 525 3021 - Monday - Thursday 17:30 - 22:00, Friday 17:30 - 23:00, Saturday 17:00 - 23:00 Sunday 17:00 - 21:30

The Red Hen serves Italian dishes; pasta, fish, seafood and meat. Recommended by Dr Jeffrey Diamond, this trendy restaurant has great quality food and cocktails which are worth the higher price. 


Oyamel

401 7th Street NW, Washington, DC - 202 628 1005 - Sunday - Wednesday 11:00 - midnight, Thursday - Saturday 11:00 - 2:00

Recommended by Dr Veronica Alvarez and Dr Jeffrey Diamond, this authentic Mexican restaurant serves an array of creative dishes. For a lighter meal there are plenty of cervices and salads, or for something more filling the menu is full of vegetable, meat and seafood dishes bursting with flavour. If you want to try something different, go for the grasshopper tacos!


Rasika

633 D St, NW, Washington, DC 20004 - 202 637 1222 - Monday - Thursday 17:30 - 22:30, Friday - Saturday 17:00 – 23:00

Rasika is an award-winning Indian restaurant. You can choose to dine in the showcase open kitchen where you can see the chefs cooking, relaxing bar and lounge area or sample the lively vibe of the main dining room. Rasika is a more expensive restaurant but the service and fine food at the best Indian restaurant in Washington make it worth the price. 

Vegan

Chaia

3207 Grace Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20007 - 202 333 522 -  Monday – Friday 11:00 - 21:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 - 21:00

Looking for a healthy Mexican meal? Chaia is ideal! Serving plant-based tacos and sides along with drinks made from natural ingredients, Chaia’s menu is both healthy and sustainable to the environment. Tacos vary from creamy kale and potato to eggplant, with sides such as black beans, green rice or carrot salad. Order a taco trio for $11 to sample multiple flavours or a single taco for $3.75.


Fare Well

406 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002, Tuesday - Friday 8:00 - 22:30, Saturday 9:00 - 22:30, Sunday 11:00 - 22:30 

Fare Well offers an imaginative, vegan menu with a variety of dishes to choose from. The food is full of flavour and portions are generous. All day breakfasts are available and there’s a large selection of baked goods at the front to take away. Favourites from the menu include the polenta fries, mushroom burger and Mexicali (mushroom and chickpea patty). 


Shouk

655 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 - 202 652 1464 - Open daily 11:00 – 22:00

Just a minute’s walk from the convention centre, Shouk offers a 100% plant-based menu which utilises middle-eastern spices and flavours to produce delicious vegan food. Choose from 7 different pitta combinations including cauliflower, black bean and the breakfast pitta, alternatively opt for a rice and lentil bowl or salad. Reviewers rave about the food being filling, flavoursome and good value. 

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