Southwest & Southeast Washington, D.C. Dining

Southwest D.C., especially around the newly revitalized Navy Yard area, has begun to get hot. There are a few relatively new table-service restaurants there, but our super-secret dining critic hasn't yet completed their review. In the meantime, here are some Fast Casual spots to hold you over.

Fast Casual Dining

Nando's Peri-Peri

This is a relatively large local chain with 25 restaurants around D.C. (and 6 in the Chicago area). At it’s heart, this is a restaurant that serves chicken (and salads and other things) for about $8-$14, but this is some pretty darn good chicken. The founder of the restaurant was blown away by a Portuguese restaurant in South Africa, and decided to bring that style (and its Peri-Peri sauce) to D.C. The restaurant itself is an odd combination of fast food and sit-down dining; you are seated at a table with a number, but order at a counter, and your food is delivered to your table.

Order something with Peri-Peri chicken–it's juicy, tender, and not overcooked–and comes with two sides for $12.65 (sides optional). Nando’s also has an alcohol license, so you can grab a beer if you like.

Our Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Address: 300 Tingey St SE Suite 150
Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-10:30pm
Metro: Navy Yard - Green, Yellow (0.3 miles)
Nearby Attractions: Nationals Park (0.4 miles), U.S. Navy Museum (0.4 miles)


Korean-style tacos made with all fresh ingredients. If you aren't hungry already than there's nothing else we can say to convince you. At TaKorean you build your own tacos, rice bowl, slaw bowl, or the excellent half-and-half rice/slaw combo. There aren't a lot of other options: proteins, a few toppings, and that's it. The simplicity and quality of the ingredients and their preparation are all that matters here, and that's how it should be with tacos.

Our Rating: 4 stars
Address: 1212 4th St SE
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11am-9pm
Metro: Navy Yard - Green, Yellow (0.3 miles)
Nearby Attractions: Nationals Park (0.4 miles), U.S. Navy Museum (0.4 miles)

Amsterdam Falafelshop

Let's not kid ourselves, this is where you go when the bar is closed and you've spent the better part of the evening in there. The hours are crazy late, the falafel is crispy, the pita bread is warm, and the toppings are flavorful and plentiful. It's good Middle Eastern-inspired food at any time of day, but it's best late at night.

Our Rating: 2 1/2 stars
Address: L'Enfant Plaza, 429 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Hours: Sun-Mon 11am-12am; Tue-Wed 11am-2:30am; Thu 11am-3am; Fri-Sat 11am-4am
Metro: L'Enfant Plaza - Green, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Silver (0.1 miles)
Nearby Attractions: Smithsonian Castle, Freer, Sackler, African Art (0.3 miles), Hirshhorn Museum (0.4 miles),


This is where to go if you feel like something healthy or if you or a member of your party lean vegetarian. Sweetgreen specializes in salads including delicious warm bowls and many organic, locally grown veggies. They have a wonderful, rotating seasonal menu and the freshest ingredients. The lunch line can get pretty long, but the line moves quickly.

Our Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Address: 1212 4th St SE
Hours: Sun-Thu 10:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat 10:30am-9pm
Metro: Navy Yard - Green, Yellow (0.3 miles)
Nearby Attractions: Nationals Park (0.4 miles), U.S. Navy Museum (0.4 miles)