Late Night Eats on the Cheap

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Late on a weekend night, a terrible case of the "drunchies" (drunken munchies) inevitably hits. While those ubiquitous giant slices always seem like a great idea, there are other options. We've listed a selection of eateries open late and serving food at low prices, along with the pros and cons of each, to make your late-night dining a little more diverse. You can always hit up the Jumbo Slice if all else fails.

    Julia's Empanadas:
    Julia's currently operates two locations, serving up meat and veggies stuffed pastries, as well as some sweet dessert-style fruit empanadas. Open Friday and Saturday until 4 a.m.
    Pros: The empanadas are delicious, even when sober, which is largely due to the fact that they're hand made and baked fresh. They also always have a a vegetarian/vegan option, unless it runs out. Even though it is a pastry, you can stuff your face without feeling completely guilty. The empanadas also double as mini hand warmers for your walk home
    Cons: The place is cash only (ATM inside store) and carry out only. Coupled with long lines, the whole experience boils down to get in, order, and get out. Also, you may need more than one to fill up.
    2452 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-328-6232
    1221 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-861-8828
    http://www.juliasempanadas.com

    Five Guy's Famous Burgers and Fries:
    This burger and fries joint is sometimes described as the East Coast's In-N-Out. Open until 4 a.m. on weekends.
    Pros: You can top your burger with whatever you want and however much you want, which leads to a tasty and very filling meals. There's also seating available. 
    Cons: The food isn't terribly healthy (it's a greasy burger joint, people), and the prices are rather high for a place with limited menu options. Remember that seating we mentioned as a pro? On busy nights it tends to be messy and crowded.
    1335 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-337-0400
    http://www.fiveguys.com

    Ben's Chili Bowl:
    A veritable D.C. institution, Ben's has been visited by countless of famous stars and figures, including our current President. Open until 2 a.m. Mon-Thurs, 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
    Pros: A visit means you've experienced a historic "landmark" of D.C., and you're usually greeted with friendly service once you finally get up to the counter. They offer veggie options of their classics, like veggie burgers and veggie chili, as well as other "healthy" options.
    Cons: Following Obama and Fenty's visit, lines have been down the block, even late into the morning hours. The food, while famous, isn't mind-blowing, so it may not be worth the wait.
    1213 U St. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-667-0909
    http://www.benschilibowl.com/

    Amsterdam Falafel:
    This place keeps it simple by offering only falafel filled pitas and twice fried french fries, in true Dutch fashion. Open until 4 a.m. on weekends, and until 2 or 3 a.m. on weekdays.
    Pros: The food is all vegetarian, and relatively healthy (minus the fries). The slew of toppings available for garnishing your pita offer countless combination options.
    Cons: The cramped space leaves little breathing room, especially during the long wait-time for your fries to double fry. Also, the lack of meat options may leave your carnivorous friends craving something more. 
    2425 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-234-1969
    http://www.falafelshop.com/

    Kramer's Books and Afterwords Cafe:
    This bookstore cafe combination strives to be the hip, "be seen" place, and reaches that goal with mixed success. But it is open all night Friday and Saturday, until 1 a.m. on weeknights, and frequently has live music you can enjoy while eating at the back cafe. Or you can just stumble around perusing the books, and wonder why the words won't stop moving. 
    Pros: The atmosphere is definitely different from other places, with the drunken stumbling notably absent for the most part. They have more diverse food options than other late night joints, as well as a sit down area with service. It's also probably one of the best places open 24 hrs on the weekends.
    Cons: The cafe gets crowded, especially on weekends. The food is often overpriced, and service can be hit or miss, with more misses coming later into the night. 
    1517 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-387-1400
    http://www.kramers.com/

    George's King of Falafel:
    Contrary to what the name implies, the place serves a variety of food, including cheese steak and other not so Mediterranean options. Located In Georgetown, George's is one of the few places in the area offering late-night eats. Open late on weekends.
    Pros: The menu is infinitely more diverse than Amsterdam Falafel's offerings, with an especially good schwarma. The staff is also friendly, even when the late night crowds drag their tired bodies in.
    Cons: The pitas they serve are pretty thin, and some of their options are not very filling. Come when you want a small bite to eat, not when you're famished. 
    1205 28th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-342-2278

    Manouch Hot Dog Stand:
    Manouch is named after the owner of the hot dog stand popular with GW students, especially for its "GW sauce," a mysterious topper of dubious origins. But fans swear by it.
    Pros: The hot dogs are both cheap and delicious, but then again, what doesn't taste good at 2 a.m.?
    Cons: The long lines aren't exactly helped by Manouch's talkative nature, if friendly service is a con. And then there's always the mystery of what exactly is in the "GW" sauce.
    850 20th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

    Philadelphia Pizza:
    Georgetown's answer to the Jumbo Slice. $3 gets you a slice of pizza you can smother in ranch, or you can opt for a whole pie for under $20. Open until 4 a.m. on weekends.
    Pros: The basic gist is that the slices are cheap and there's plenty of ranch. Another plus is that the line moves fast.
    Cons: Philly P is full of drunk people impatiently waiting (like most late night places). Also, the quality of the slice depends how long it's been sitting there. If you get one fresh from the oven, no problem. But if it's been sitting there for a while, your toppings may have decided to migrate.
    1201 34th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-333-0100

    24 Seven Plus:
    A no frills Mediterranean restaurant, 24 Seven Plus serves up a good variety of cheap food in U Street Corridor.
    Pros: For some reason, this place doesn't draw the lines typical of other late-night eateries. Also, you get to eat on real plates with silverware, which makes you feel downright classy.
    Cons: This place is supposed to be open 24 hrs, but it sporadically closes based on how much business it gets
    1408 U St. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-232-7108

    The Diner:
    A traditional diner with old-fashioned style decor. Open 24hrs/7 days a week.
    Pros:  It's open late, you can sit down, and service won't rush you out. It serves as a reliable haunt for people looking to rest their feet and order something (or anything).
    Cons: They are perfectly content with being average, and neither the food nor the service strives for anything that much better.
    2453 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
    202-232-8800
    http://www.trystdc.com

    Pizza Mart, Jumbo Slice & Pizza Bolis:
    They're here just for the sake of listing them. It's hardly worth arguing over which of these jumbo slice servers is better. Most of their patrons are too drunk to know the difference. They're filled with people solely invested in consuming slices bigger than their head, ignorant to the grease pooling on their clothing. For only $5, you can join the drunkards in an Adams Morgan tradition.
    2445 18th St. NW
    18th St. & Kalorama
    2455 18th St. NW

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