In the middle of Clarendon, Cava Mezze is a solid spot for a light dinner and a few drinks before heading to the bar. Go with a group and fill up the table with a mix of their Mediterranean small plates - get the spanakopita. Check it out on the weekends for a $35 all you can eat brunch.
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Super Pollo is a reliable cheap eats option in Arlington with excellent Peruvian chicken.
Texas Jack’s Barbecue
Texas Jack’s in Arlington is a bit fancier and more buttoned up than your typical BBQ joint, but the food is very good.
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Tail Up Goat
Wear elastic-waisted pants when you go to Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan, and make sure to get involved with the pastas and lamb ribs.
Agora is often overlooked for trendier spots in Dupont, but the Mediterranean food here is pretty good. Use it for a last-minute meal.
Another Jose Andres spot with solid tapas. Head to Zaytinya for a power lunch that doesn’t feel like a power lunch.
Suggested by our writers
Green Pig Bistro
A meal at Green Pig Bistro will be meat heavy and very good. Bring a big group and sit at the communal table.
Screwtop Wine Bar
Screwtop is a wine bar that doesn’t suck in Clarendon. Use it for an early date, or to convince your parents your taste has matured.
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