Everyone should partake in the quintessential Washington D.C. tourist experience at least once during their lifetime. Wander through the buildings of the Smithsonian, take your picture on the mall, and navigate the alphabetical streets in a Nick Cage-esque quest for governmental secrets. But when you’re finished, head to the nearest Metro station, hop on the Orange Line, and spend some time in Clarendon, Arlington, Virginia’s “Downtown Center.” Here are the things to order if you’re ready to eat like a local:
Don’t let the menu’s simple description of “tomato sauce and cheese” fool you; this pizza is the real deal. During the warmer months, small sample slices are offered outside. Sure, you can order a personal size, but let’s be honest, we both know you’re craving the 16-inch.
Don’t gloss over this one just because of its simple name. This is a no-fuss all-American classic that’s sure to W.O.W. you. Half-priced on Mondays and when the weather gets warmer, you can enjoy a rooftop view of Clarendon from the Tiki Bar.
Prepare for the Holy Trinity of tex-mex dip: salsa, queso, and guacamole, all served with more tortilla chips than you should eat (but will). Consider indulging in an extra helping of queso—my personal favorite—presented in a singe-serving fondue pot.
Tangy with just the right amount of sweetness, this classic sandwich might leave you nostalgic for childhood lunches in Grandma’s kitchen. This messy meal is only offered as a daily special, but we think it’s elusiveness just makes it that much tastier.
Stop into this “Rustic Gelato and Espresso Lounge” for a refreshing scoop of gelato (or two). After sampling a handful of the flavors, order the mango—light, sweet, and fruity.
Add (just a bit) of spice to your day with this savory Indian chicken baked in a traditional tandoor oven. Soak up the creamy tomato sauce with white rice or toasted naan and wash it down with a chilled sweet lassi.
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