Big Bear Cafe

1700 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001


Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw

Cuisines: American, Breakfast, Deli/Quick Bites

Opening Hours:
Open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 11 PM, Saturday 7:30 AM to 11:30 PM, and Sunday 7:30 AM to 11:30 PM.

Nearby Metro Stops: Shaw-Howard University

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Reservations: Not Needed


Best Dishes:
Chicken/mozzarella/pesto sandwich; fromage blanc/fig sandwich; turkey/apple/brie sandwich; Jessie's salad; coffee.

Special Features: Kid Friendly, Outdoor Seating, Breakfast

Scene: Outdoor Seating

Dirt Cheap Eats 2008: Big Bear Cafe

Fine-dining chefs aren’t the only ones eager to share the provenance of their ingredients: This cafe’s bread is from the local Lyon Bakery, the milk from Pennsylvania’s Trickling Springs Creamery. One bite of the simple, flavorful caprese panino—stuffed with late-season, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and aromatic basil—made us glad they’ve taken the care.

Simplicity is also celebrated with the turkey-apple-Brie panino ($6.50) and the molten grilled cheese on pumpernickel. Jessie’s Salad ($7)—with juicy grilled chicken, feta crumbles, and cucumbers dressed with balsamic vinaigrette—is a substantial meal. And the latte is lovely not only for its flavor but also for the Seattle-coffeehouse swirl on top. Open Monday through Friday 7 am to 8 pm, Saturday 7:30 to 6, Sunday 8:30 to 6.

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