What to Eat in Penn Quarter, D.C.

Updated June 27, 2020.

D.C.’s neighborhood pride is real! Each neighborhood has its cool places to go, cool things to do, and cool food. Here are some of my favorites from Penn Quarter, which is the area around Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Archives, and adjacent to Chinatown. Take a look and bring your appetite!

BLT Prime

If you’re looking for something swanky for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, head over to BLT Prime inside the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office. I am admittedly not a fancy kind of girl most of the time, but I like to go somewhere nice once in a while.

Brunch: Avocado Toast with Poached Egg
Best Appetizer: Candied Clothesline Bacon
Salad: Lobster Cobb
Dessert: Chocolate Fondant Souffle Cake with Salted Caramel and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Elephant & Castle

I get a kick out of going to a British pub in the U.S. capital. I think it’s ironic! And this is one of the best pubs in town. It really is like walking into a pub in Britain, but larger (pubs in Britain are typically quite cramped to me!). This pub offers plenty of authentic British fare from their Shepherd’s Pie to their Highland Bread Pudding! I recently went there with friends, and there couldn’t have been a better place to talk and catch up in all of D.C.

Shepherd’s Pie with Side Salad
Stuffed Yorkshire Pudding with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
Big Ben Brownie
Highland Bread Pudding

The Protein Bar

This is a treat I wish I’d known about sooner! I struggle to get enough protein every day, so when I find a high-protein solution, I’m all in. They serve breakfast, lunch, and supper here, and it’s all fast-casual. You can even order and pay with their app! I had breakfast here after a 4-mile run around the National Mall, and it kept me full for hours after! They have amazing smoothies, salads, and more, so bring an appetite and expect to eat hearty!

Fall Protein Bowl

Benjamin Bar and Lounge

Want something classy but casual? Stop over at the Benjamin Bar and Lounge, named for Benjamin Franklin, father of the post office, inside the Old Post Office, now the Trump International Hotel D.C. Their lounge menu includes indulgences like lobster mac and cheese, candied bacon, steak tartare, and Maryland crab cakes, and they host special culinary experiences almost every night of the week!

Want something ultra special? Get a reservation at least a week in advance for afternoon tea every Thursday-Sunday from 1:00-4:00pm!

Afternoon Tea, Complete with Gold Trim


Last but not least, Chop’t is a favorite! There are multiple locations all over the District, but the one in Penn Quarter is convenient to everything you’ll want to do in the neighborhood. You can order in advance and pay on their app, or pick out your “choppings” in real time. They’re known for their huge salads and delicious salad wraps, but don’t be fooled; they also offer warm bowls featuring seasonal and international flavors!

Chop’t Salad Wrap

Hungry for more? Check out all my D.C. foodie posts on my Washington, D.C. Page!

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