Dirt Cheap Eats 2009: Big Bear Cafe
Comments () | Published December 14, 2009
Dirt Cheap Eats (2009)
Big Bear Cafe
Address: 1700 First Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-470-5543
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw
Cuisines: Deli/Quick Bites, American, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 6 PM, Saturday 7:30 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday 8 AM to 6 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Shaw-Howard University
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: N/A
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Chicken/mozzarella/pesto sandwich; fromage blanc/fig sandwich; turkey/apple/brie sandwich; Jessie's salad; coffee.
Simple, fresh sandwiches and salads made with care are the reason to order more than a cappuccino at this corner cafe with a lived-in, European feel. Music swings from jazz to soul to alternative, and a seat by the tall windows yields a view of herb, flower, and vegetable gardens and a cobblestone patio.

Grilled sandwiches arrive with a salad of lightly dressed mixed greens and, perhaps, a marigold from the garden. The chicken-mozzarella-and-pesto sandwich ($7.50) gives off a lovely aroma of fresh basil, while a less substantial but tasty sandwich of spicy fig marmalade, fromage blanc, and arugula ($6.50) is a reminder of the cafe’s close ties with the neighborhood farmers market.

A turkey-apple-and-Brie sandwich ($5) and Jessie’s Salad ($7.50)—topped with grilled chicken, feta, and cucumbers—also make nice meals. Coffee is taken seriously, and your latte’s foamed milk will sport a palm-frond design.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; closes at 6 on weekends.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 12/14/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews