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Rey Lopez / Occidental Grill & Seafood

Dining room at Occidental Grill and Seafood - Restaurant near the National Mall in Washington, DC

The Best Places to Eat On & Around the National Mall

Your guide to the best restaurants near DC's most famous landmarks

The National Mall is home to the nation’s most iconic monuments and memorials. A visit to Washington, DC is truly not complete without time spent along this most important swathe of land. For sightseers who also want some fabulous food, the National Mall has a host of options for memorable meals.

Restaurant Dining Nearby

Awesome food options abound within walking distance of the National Mall. In the mood for fast-casual? Take a stroll to Shake Shack 

One of DC’s most iconic restaurants, Old Ebbitt Grill, is just steps from the White House, while the similarly historic The Occidental serves up high-end American cuisine. A 10-minute walk will bring you to Art and Soul, which features famous fried chicken.

The world-famous cuisine of José Andrés is also readily available near the Mall. Try the Mexican stylings of Oyamel and the Peruvian-Asian mash-up that is China Chilcano. Jaleo has been churning out delicious and shareable small plates since opening in 1993.

Museum Dining

Museum hopping near the National Mall can also include sampling authentic foods at some of the city’s most popular museums. At the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe inside the National Museum of the American Indian, diners are treated to a menu of indigenous foods representing various tribes from the Western hemisphere. The cafe also boasts an espresso coffee bar that serves pastries and Tribal Ground Coffee.

At the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Sweet Home Cafe serves up food representing four distinct regions, including the Agricultural South, Creole Coast, North States and Western Range. Celeb chef and DC native Carla Hall serves as the culinary ambassador at this new gourmet destination on the National Mall.

The expansive National Gallery of Art also offers several options within its East and West Buildings, and near its famous Sculpture Garden. The West Building features the Garden Cafe, which provides table service and recently revamped food and wine menus. The Cascade Cafe, situated between the two buildings, features a food court-style set-up with themed dining stations.

The Terrace Cafe in the East Building sports great views, pastries and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads (note: the East Building remains closed for now). If you’re enjoying the Sculpture Garden (and its ice rink in the winter), the Pavilion Cafe offers light bites that can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors.