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Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt Grill

The Best Places to Eat On & Around the National Mall

Your guide to the best restaurants near DC's most famous landmarks

Your guide to the best restaurants near DC's most famous landmarks

The National Mall is home to the nation’s most iconic monuments and memorials. A visit to Washington, DC is truly not complete without time spent along this most important swathe of land. For sightseers who also want some fabulous food, the National Mall has a host of options for memorable meals.

Restaurant Dining Nearby

One of DC’s most iconic restaurants is just steps from the White House: Old Ebbitt Grill, which opens early and closes late. Head there with a group and ask for the Orca Platter. The dish stretches two tiers and comes with lobster, Jonah crab claws, clams, oysters and shrimp. Presidential, indeed.

A 10-minute walk will bring you to Art and Soul, which features famous spicy collards, buttermilk mash and fried chicken – available for one or for two. 

The world-famous cuisine of José Andrés is also readily available near the Mall in the Penn Quarter and Chinatown neighborhood. Try the Mexican stylings of Oyamel and the Peruvian-Asian mash-up China Chilcano. Rounding out the trifecta is Jaleo, which has been churning out delicious and shareable small plates since opening in 1993.

Teaism, the long-time Penn Quarter institution, is a solid choice for breakfast, lunch or (as you can imagine), tea. We’re fans of the chicken curry and the salmon bento. Teaism also serves brunch early on the weekends (9:30 a.m.) for those looking to start their sightseeing sooner rather than later.

Situated in an historic bank from the early 1900s, Succotash Prime is a stunning, multilevel restaurant featuring an array of design accents that maintain a sophisticated look and feel. And we haven’t event talked about the food yet, which blends Southern cooking and Asian flavors. Classics like fried catfish are enhanced with mint-jalapeño aioli, while the dirty fried chicken is topped off with a honey gochujang sauce nori flakes.

Museum Dining

Buffet table set with a variety of dishes including a roasted turkey, salads, and sides, set against a red wall decorated with large photographs of people. Calla lilies in tall vases add a touch of elegance to the setting.

Mitsitam Native Foods Café / Museum of the American Indian

Museum hopping near the National Mall can also include sampling authentic foods at some of the city’s most popular museums. At the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe inside the National Museum of the American Indian, diners are treated to a menu of indigenous foods representing a variety of tribes from the Western hemisphere. The cafe also boasts an espresso coffee bar that serves pastries and Tribal Ground Coffee.

At the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Sweet Home Cafe serves up food representing four distinct regions, including the Agricultural South, Creole Coast, North States and Western Range. Celeb chef and DC native Carla Hall serves as the culinary ambassador at this new gourmet destination on the National Mall.

Kogod Courtyard - Unique Meeting Venue in Washington, DC

The expansive National Gallery of Art also offers several options within its East and West Buildings, and near its famous Sculpture Garden. The West Building features the Garden Café, which provides table service and recently revamped food and wine menus. The Cascade Café, situated between the two buildings, features a food court-style set-up with themed dining stations.

The Terrace Café in the East Building sports great views, pastries and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. If you’re enjoying the Sculpture Garden (and its ice rink in the winter), the Pavilion Café offers light bites that can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors.

Now that you have your food options, learn more about the Mall's world-renowned museums to continue your adventure.