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.
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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.
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Mussel Bar & Grille
Mussel Bar is a go-to when your parents are in town. Grab a seat on the patio if it’s nice out.
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.
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.
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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