1) The handwritten sign above the register in Ben’s Chili Bowl lists Bill Cosby and Barack Obama as the only customers who can eat for free. But you can sup inexpensively at this city signature, where the famous chili half-smoke is $5.45.
2) Head over to Julia's Empanadas for a taste of South America. A variety of handmade, generously stuffed, freshly baked hand-pies are $3.49 each.
3) Explore the richness of DC’s Little Ethiopia starting at 9th and U Street NW. Pick a restaurant and explore mildly spiced stews served communally on circles of spongy bread. On Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons, Dukem offers a free cultural show: traditional dancing, music and coffee great for groups and families.
4) Snag a seat at the bar at Ella's Wood Fired Pizza and score specially priced happy-hour drinks and $5 pizzas.
5) Draft beers, even the fancy Belgian ones, are half-price at Brasserie Beck weekdays between 5 and 7 p.m.
6) Eat organic at Johnny's Half Shell, where James Beard award-winning Chef Ann Cashion's mini burgers and mini Asian tuna sandwiches are just $2.50, and her fried oysters and gumbo are $7.50 each during happy hour.
7) Watch the chef make ropes of skinny noodles in the window of Chinatown Express before ordering a big bowl for under $5.
8) Ten bucks will get you falafel, twice-fried fries and change until 4 a.m. on weekends at Amsterdam Falafelshop. Make sure to snag a napkin; in an effort to reduce waste, they don’t use spoons, forks or plates.
9) Catch the newest trend in dining with food trucks, a fleet of independent kitchens on wheels that serve global cuisine all day. Try a bulgogi steak taco from TaKorean for $3.50 or a smoked corned beef sandwich at Sixth & Rye from $9.
10) Even sushi has a happy hour in DC. Try Café Asia, where Nigiri is $1 a piece and maki rolls are discounted.