Where to Eat Near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Where to Eat Near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
The Stacked, with pastrami, dijon, and slaw, at Smoked & Stacked. Photograph by Evy Mages.
Washingtonian Recommends

Our Washingtonian Recommends lists bring you the best places to eat, drink, and be entertained—all selected by Washingtonian editors.

Our picks for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner–all within a ten minute walk (or less) from the Convention Center.



1250 Ninth St., NW (between M and N streets)

Good for: Lunch, dinner

Chef Michael Friedman of the Red Hen taps into his Italian-American roots for this upscale-casual Shaw restaurant which centers creative pizzas for lunch and dinner; we love the “buona” with pepperoni and chili-honey. In addition to the pies look for house-made charcuterie and riffs on red sauce classics, like a crave-inducing eggplant parm.

Buttercream Bakeshop

Good for: Breakfast, dessert

1250 Ninth St., NW (between M and N streets)

Pastry talent Tiffany MacIsaac is behind this pretty Shaw bakery. The shop opens for early-risers with delicious quick-grab options like the egg-and-sausage “breakfast bomb.” Later, try an array of sweets like Nutella ho-hos and tasty slices of cake and pie.

Chercher Ethiopian

1334 Ninth St., NW (between M and O streets)

Good for: Lunch and dinner

This recent addition to Michelin’s Bib Gourmand (i.e. cheap eats) list is only a ten-minute walk from the Convention Center, and is a wonderful way to explore DC’s vibrant Ethiopian dining scene. Adventurous diners should try kitfo—like Ethiopian steak tartare—while shareable platters of stew-like meats and vegetables are good for groups.

Del Campo

777 I St NW (between Seventh and Eighth streets)

Good for: Lunch, happy hour, dinner

Bring an appetite to chef Victor Albisu’s South American steakhouse, where smoky grilled meats and seafood star. Lunch is more casual (try the killer chivito sandwich), while the dining room has an upscale vibe come dinner. A buzzy bar scene is great for happy hour and smoked cocktails.

Espita Mezcaleria

1250 Ninth Street, NW (between M and N streets)

Good for: Lunch, dinner, happy hour, brunch

Explore moles and mezcal at this Oaxacan-style eatery, which offers an ambitious menu and fantastic cocktails (try the cucumber-ginger highball). Lunch brings a large selection of tacos and torta sandwiches, while you can settle in over shareable platters at dinner like roasted suckling pig with mole pipian.

Smoked & Stacked

1239 Ninth St., NW (between M and N streets)

Good for: Breakfast, lunch

Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley of recent Top Chef fame is all about pastrami at her new shop—piles of juicy, smoked n’ spiced brisket piled high atop homemade milk bread (that being said, the smoked chicken is also stellar). Early risers can hit the Convention Center eatery for breakfast sandwiches and coffee, while the lunch lineup includes house combos (try “the Messy”), DIY sandwiches, and draft beer/wine.


1314 Ninth St., NW (between N and O streets)

Good for: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Skip the chain sandwich shops and try a DC original, less than a ten minute walk from the Convention Center. A globally-inspired menu of baguette sandwiches includes all-day breakfast items. The menu offers plenty of crowd-pleasers (i.e. mozzarella-tomato-pesto) as well as more exotic finds, like the bulgogi and kimchi-stuffed Seoul.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.