Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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D.C. eats and treats on a budget


After working a grueling day at your summer Hillternship and getting stuck in the sweltering heat, it’s natural to seek a little treat to get yourself through the rest of the week.

But living in the fourth-most expensive city in the nation can easily strain even the most financially responsible student’s budget, making treat yo’ self days a rarity. Here’s a roundup of restaurants with reasonably priced dishes and deals to reward your efforts without breaking the bank:

Farmers Fishers Bakers: First Bake

“Affordable” is typically not the first word that comes to mind when someone mentions iconic D.C. brunch staple Farmers Fishers Bakers, located a 15-minute walk from campus on the Georgetown Waterfront. Though this restaurant is often reserved by students for special occasions like parents’ weekend, its charming First Bake Cafe is one of the District’s hidden cheap eats.

Serving up a range of house-made pastries, like their massive, gooey cinnamon rolls ($2.50), First Bake is ideal for beginning the day with a sugar rush. Not to mention their filling egg and cheese breakfast burritos ($2.99), which are a bargain for people who need a little extra protein to power their brain for early meetings.

Transform your morning routine by taking a short mental health walk along the waterfront before picking up a satisfying breakfast from First Bake. Who knows — a little treat might just make you the most productive you’ve ever been.

Farmers Fishers Bakers. 3000 K St. NW. Available Monday through Friday from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

Keren Cafe & Restaurant

Nestled between two jumbo-slice pizza joints in Adams Morgan a 20-minute Metro ride from campus, Keren Cafe & Restaurant is a member of the capital’s vibrant Eritrean food scene. Vegetarians pay close attention to this hole in the wall that boasts an array of traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes made from high-protein bases like fava beans, chickpeas and lentils.

The veggie combo ($10.99) with enjera, a spongy flatbread that doubles as a utensil, is ideal for sharing with a friend, so be sure to sop up all of the sea of spiced lentils and chickpea, potato, cabbage and spinach salad while enjoying light dinner conversation inside the cozy, softly lit space. 

Keren Cafe & Restaurant. 1780 Florida Ave. NW. Open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Bandit Taco: Taco Tuesday Special

Sick of shelling out big bucks for tiny tacos? Take advantage of Bandit Taco’s Taco Tuesday special ($2.50 per taco) and mix and match from a variety of veggie and surf and turf options.

The offerings at this U Street gem are always a total steal, but this deal is especially worth the 20-minute Metro ride there. All tacos are served in house made crispy tortillas and garnished with diced onions, providing a satisfying, crunchy bite.

My personal favorites include the crispy shrimp and baja fish tacos, which come slathered in a blend of smoky spices, sweet pickled cabbage and chipotle mayo. Recover from your Monday mistakes and Tuesday traumas with these handcrafted comfort eats — maybe they’ll give you enough energy to pull off the ultimate D.C. heist: stealing the Declaration of Independence.

Bandit Taco. 1946 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Available Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bagels ETC

In the heart of Dupont Circle, the slept-on Bagels ETC is a true New York-style bagel shop even a New Jersey bagel snob will love. As its royal-blue storefront adorned with a classic white serif font promises, they offer “Bagels … ETC,” including many deli staples from hearty Reuben sandwiches ($7.99) to 8 ounce containers of cream cheese in a wide assortment of sweet and savory flavors from honey walnut to lox spread ($4.29-$5.99).

Providing quality breakfast sandwiches at a fraction of its competitors’ prices, a line tends to form inside and loop around on itself, so head over as early as you can for this local favorite spot only 15 minutes from campus. Keep in mind they also have a strict cash-only policy, so stop by an ATM before your visit.

Bagels ETC. 2122 P St. NW #100. Open Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.


The stomping grounds of many a student looking to sober up after a long night of club-hopping, Z-Burger’s classic fast food offerings can just as easily erase a bad day at the office. Fuel up at the DMV’s version of In-N-Out with a made-to-order burger ($5.59-$7.69) doused in their special tangy, tartar-like Z-Sauce.

This dive also has a whopping 75 different flavors of handspun shakes ($5.99) for you to feed your sweet tooth with, from staples like cookie dough to the unexpected combo of mango kiwi. Make a March Madness-style bracket of the shakes to determine your personal top brain-drain cure and let the sugar high lift you through the rest of the week. 

Z-Burger. 2157 P St. NW. Open Monday through Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Thursday 10:30 to 2 a.m., Friday through Saturday from 10:30 to 4 a.m. and Sunday 11 to 2 a.m.

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About the Contributor
Jenna Baer, Contributing Culture Editor
Jenna, a senior majoring in creative writing, is the the 2023-24 contributing culture editor. She previously worked as a staff writer and cartoonist. She is a Houston, Texas girl through and through.
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