Cheap Eats 2008: Zorba’s Cafe

Why go: For the kind of homespun cooking you’d find in a neighborhood taverna along the Aegean, in a cafe setting brimming with local color: bouzouki music, evil-eye amulets.

What to get: Grilled Greek sausages scented with orange; fasólia, white beans braised with olive oil, parsley, and tomato; salty taramasalata; keftéthes, spiced torpedo-shaped meatballs; crusty feta-cheese rolls; one of the area’s best gyros; galaktoboureko, made with phyllo and a creamy milk-based filling.

Best for: A quick but soul-satisfying lunch or dinner solo or with friends.

Insider tip: Look for specials that go beyond the familiar, such as nutty bulgur pilaf; tas kebab, a homey beef stew; and kreatopita, a ground-beef-and-onion pie.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.