Cheap Eats 2010: Zorba’s Cafe

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: You don’t stick around for 26 years without having mastered a few things, and this low-key Greek cafe has mastered many. The cooking is consistent, and you can roam the multi-part menu without worry—there are few clunkers. And no restaurant this cheap is this versatile: It’s a prime pick for pre- or post-show eats, a come-as-you-are destination for catching up with friends over big plates of food and pitchers of beer, and in warm weather an ideal spot for sipping, grazing, and people-watching from a table on the patio.

What to get: Stuffed grape leaves; lemony, garlicky chickpea salad; tasty dips, such as taramasalata, hummus, and skordalia; excellent gyros; flaky, greaseless spanakopita; tender, gently spiced keftedes, a.k.a. Greek meatballs.

Best for: A good, affordable meal in the heart of the city.

Insider tip: The breads are baked in-house daily and the pizza dough is made from scratch.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here.

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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.