Prefrosh preview: A guide to off-campus dining
A Note to Readers: Unfortunately, Vox can’t cover every great eatery in Georgetown, so scroll down to the comments and let us and incoming freshmen know your own favorite dishes, dives, and hidden culinary gems.
There comes a time in every Hoya’s life when another trip to Leo’s proves daunting and he or she begins looking for some more varied options. Some good places to start include:
The Basics –
Wisey’s: Officially “Wisemiller’s Deli,” Wisey’s is the closest walk from the front gates and offers up a delicious, artery-clogging set of sandwiches that serve as an accessible alternative to the Leo’s buffet.
Be sure to grab a Chicken Madness at least once during your freshman year (it would be quicker to list the toppings it doesn’t have). If you’re trying to avoid the Freshman 50, you can also check out Wisey’s healthy cousin on Wisconsin (look for the green sign), which serves up some lighter sandwich fare.
Sweetgreen: Opened in 2007 by Georgetown alumni, you can now find Sweetgreen all over D.C. Walk over to the M street branch to enjoy an expansive salad selection along with the best frozen yogurt this side of the Potomac.
Qdoba and Chipotle: Dueling Tex-Mex stops on M street serving up a fairly generic and identical menu of taco and burrito selections. Aside from Chipotle’s tendency to douse their meat in pepper, these joints are mainly popular for their cheapness. Qdoba offers a half-off burrito special Monday nights that will sometimes see a line stretching down the block.
The Tombs: Classy and a bit overpriced, the Tombs is pretty much the Georgetown tavern, located just a block off campus and known equally for its bar and burgers.
Fridays and Saturdays -
Martin’s Tavern – A favorite of Georgetown’s Philodemic Society, and of every U.S. president since Truman. Martin’s is the Tombs for those who like to have an audible conversation when they eat.
Farmers and Fishers – Located on the Georgetown Waterfront, Farmers and Fishers focuses on local and sustainable agriculture and is normally a place to enjoy some ultra-fresh produce in your meal. Unfortunately, 2011′s Waterfront flood means that this restaurant, along with a few other favorites like Tony and Joe’s, is going to be out of commission for a while.
Crepe Wars – What’s in a little thin pancake? Crepe Amour sits the closest to campus and offers half-price weekday deals to GoCard holders. Cafe Bonaparte is the place to go for a Saturday lunch, while Snap offers a large selection of crepes and an even larger selection of everything else. Finally, for a funkier vibe, check out newcomer creperie Muncheez Mania south of M street on Wisconsin.
Pizza Paradiso – If Leo’s pizza makes you regret America’s affection for italian pies, Pizza Paradiso will help you rediscover it with a variety of hand-tossed, wood fired dishes and a massive selection of fresh topping.
Caffeine and Confections
Saxby’s – The closest off-campus coffee joint and a good change-up from a daily diet of Corp espresso.
Georgetown Cupcake – Famous, popular, and to be avoided at all costs: the cupcakes are overpriced, the flavor is underwhelming, and the line typically stretches at least half a block throughout the day. Plus, everyone at Georgetown knows at least one of the many student employees who are allowed to bring back plenty of (free) boxes of unsold leftovers.
Baked and Wired – The golden (and affordable) standard for specialty coffees and genuinely delicious cupcakes in Georgetown. Just ask Obama.
Kafe Leopold – Georgetown’s response to the European cafe, located in Cady’s Alley near 33rd and M Streets. It may be a bit overpriced, but the atmosphere can’t b beat.
Late Night Munchies
Tuscany Cafe (1:30AM Sun-Thurs; 3:30 AM Fri-Sat) – Since the fascists in city government have closed down Philly’s, Tuscany has become the default venue for late night pizza cravings. Tuscany’s single slices are cheap, massive, and adequate for a post-party food binge.
Five Guys (11:30PM Sun-Thurs; 4AM Fri-Sat) – Carries a scent that is detectable anywhere within a block radius, and the standard by which late-night burgers are judged. One order of fries (“small”) suffices to feed a small battalion.
Avocado Cafe (2:45 AM) – Okay, there’s really nothing to recommend Avocado Cafe’s mediocre selection of sandwiches, but they do deliver after Domino’s closes at 2.
On a Parent’s Credit Card –
Filomena/Cafe Milano – Both offer some of the best and closest Italian in D.C., but your wallet will be lighter for it: Filomeno’s will set you back a fixed $35 per person for a three course meal, and you’ll find nary a single digit item in Cafe Milano’s pasta and meat selections.
1789 – The Tombs’ richer cousin, with daily menus focusing on savory meat offerings. Wins the award for most pretentious menu styling in Georgetown.
Photo by John Haslam