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

15 Comments on “Prefrosh preview: A guide to off-campus dining

  1. Kitchen #1 (Chinese), on O St, just off Wisconsin, and Quick Pita (Mediterranean), on Potomac St, just off Wisconsin, offer a nice change up from the more typical sandwich, pizza, and burger fare, and aren’t that expensive.

  2. dont hate. We must face the reality that georgetown cupcakes are incredibly delicious. I want to hate them to. But after eating both cupcakes from georgetown cupcake and b and w 3-4 times a week (yes, thats between 6 and 8 cupcakes a week) i must concede that georgetown cupcake makes a more consistent, richer tastier product.

    That said, my heart is with baked and wired. but dont delude yourself. Go get a chocolate peanutbutter from georgetown cupcake and report back.

    also, bandw is my favorite study spot in DC, but affordable? An iced coffee is more than 3 dollars.

    also morso is the best food in georgetown. But i think the restaurant went out of business. Try morso express if its still running. Affordable wonderful Mediterranean food.

  3. although I hate it, I’m surprised there is no mention of Wingos

  4. There’s no excuse (especially with all the freshman dropping ARAB-011) to neglect to mention Quick Pita in “Late Night Munchies.” They’re open until some ungodly hour of the night.

  5. Dear Prefrosh,

    Under no circumstances should you walk into Wisey’s and say the phrase, “Hold on a sec, I am still looking.” If you do this and hold up the line, scorn will be heaped upon your pathetic soul and you will graduate friendless and unloved.


  6. Also, learn to venture outside of Georgetown. Your tastebuds and wallet will both thank you for it.

    P.S. Take advantage of Restaurant Week (or Sugar Daddies/Sugar Mommies/rich friends’ parents) to go everywhere you wouldn’t go otherwise.

  7. And, ugh, Pizza Paradiso sucks. You’re better off even at some place like Paolo’s or something.

    (And thanks for that “appeals” on the Capthcha. Great reminder to tell me to get off VoxPop and get back to studying for law school exams.)

  8. Best decision I ever made at Georgetown: taking a seminar with a budget. Often these will allow you to go directly from class to dinner at snazzy restaurants/theater on GU’s dime.

    For Thai, don’t bother with Mai Thai (née Bangkok Bistro), head straight to Bangkok Joe’s. You’ll be glad you did.

  9. Go up to Jetties…worth the walk.

    The best Chinese is Mr. Chen’s Organic, and they deliver.

    I have found the best (non drunk) delivery pizza to be from Cappuccino. Paradiso is good, especially at Happy Hour.

    If you want a fun place to go that’s a bit up Wisconsin, check out Surfside.

    And where is Booey’s? A Georgetown list of establishments is not credible without Booeymonger.

  10. Ignore the individual that said Kitchen No. 1 unless you want terrible Chinese that will subsequently make you sick. Harmony Cafe, on M Street between 33rd and Potomac is a much better option.

    And yeah, Booey’s on Potomac fairly essential.

  11. No Wingo’s? No Booey’s?

    The ghost of my drunk college past is disappointed.

  12. Paradiso is good, but grab a Capital Bikeshare bike (or a 30 bus) and head up Wisconsin to Macomb, and check out 2 Amys for the best neapolitan pizza in DC.

    Morso is gone, but the rumor is that Spike Mendelsohnn will be opening a Good Stuff Eatery there soon. (He’ll definitely be somewhere in Georgetown).

    Best delivery pizza, IMO, is Pizza Movers (and it’s not even close).

    I’ll second the good words for Jetties and Surfside, and throw in a plug for Turkish food at Cafe Divan, across from the Social Safeway, which is fairly expensive for eat-in but more reasonable for take-out/delivery.

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