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Famous 5: Recess Lunch

Next week marks Veterans’ Day recess on Capitol Hill, and with a 4-day work week and members back in their districts/states, restaurants will be full of hungry staffers. But where will they all go? Here are my top five choices for best recess lunch breaks on Capitol Hill.

Tune Inn – following a June fire that caused it to close its doors, this Hill staple – the second oldest bar in DC! – is set to reopen November 4th. Sporting new lighting, exposed brick, skylights, dark wood paneling and retro-styled chrome-and-black vinyl barstools, the bar still has taxidermy faves – deer heads and a black bear holding a beer – on display. Bonus: eight draft beers, including New Belgium Fat Tire, Flying Dog In Heat Wheat and Abita Turbodog.

Acqua al 2 – this semi-newbie restaurant and the 2010 Hilly Awards Restaurant of the Year winner is the second branch of a restaurant that originated in Florence, Italy. Serving up homey yet delicious Italian, it is sure to tickle your taste buds during lunch. Bonus: glass cases and walls displaying plates signed by DC celebrities like Rahm Emmanuel and Nancy Pelosi.

Cava Mezze – oh how I always sing the praises of Cava – the dark, cozy atmosphere; the superb mojitos and wine; flaming cheese and other tasty delights – how can one go wrong? Bonus: Famous DC and Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill are hosting a pre-Thanksgiving recess happy hour on the Cava rooftop on Wednesday, November 9th, 6-8:30pm.

Belga Café – if you’re in the mood for mussels and frites, head to this Belgian restaurant on Barracks Row.  The chef, Bart Vandaele, who I first met during his chef days at the Dutch Embassy, does a great job with both taste and presentation. Bonus: 2 specials during recess: a lobster menu from November 2-8 and Waffle Week from November 9-15.

Ted’s Bulletin – when I want a long lunch, I often think of this place. Homemade pop tarts, breakfast served all day, buttermilk fried steak – need I say more?! Don’t walk, run to Ted’s for a long lunch of fun. Bonus: malted AND adult milkshakes.

Affordable Honorables: We, the Pizza, Good Stuff Eatery, Tortilla Coast, Bullfeathers, Union Pub, La Lomita, Dubliner Irish Pub, Matchbox

Expensive Honorables: Charlie Palmer’s, Montmarte, Bistro Bis, Monocle, Sonoma, Art & Soul.

FamousDC thanks Nightlife Correspondent @BlairDC for sharing her favorite Recess Lunch spots.