Iron Gate is known for fancy dinners, but you can use it for a casual night if you know how to hack it - and that's how we like to use this place. Ditch the $90 prix-fixe menu in the separate dining room and take advantage of the romantic vibes at the fire-pitted outdoor patio or bar area. Both are good settings for a second date, especially if you’re still doing the whole “just drinks and appetizers” thing because you’re not ready to shell out all of your hard-earned super PAC dollars on internet strangers.
More spots in DupontSee more
Surfside Taco Stand
Surfside Taco is a 24-hour, hole-in-the-wall with tacos, burritos, and quesadillas in Dupont. You'll probably find yourself here at 2pm and 2am.
Lauriol Plaza Restaurant
Lauriol doesn't serve the best Mexican food in Dupont, but as long as you know that, it's a fun spot to start a night out.
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District Commons won’t blow you away, but it’s a reliable American spot in Foggy to take your parents or for a group dinner.
Beefsteak has things like beet burgers on the menu, but also rice bowls for the less health-crazed. Use it for a quick lunch in Foggy Bottom.
Suggested by our writers
Sushi Taro in DC can be as casual or as fancy as you need it to be. Have a low-key dinner at the bar, or do the omakase for a special occasion.
Duke’s Grocery is a low-key gastropub in a Dupont row house. The burger is rightly famous, but you won't be disappointed with anything on the menu.
Tabard Inn in Dupont has a reliable brunch, but the patio is a nice spot for dinner (and live jazz), too.
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