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Best places to fuel up near the Convention Center photo
(Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Best places to fuel up near the Convention Center

Lavanya Ramanathan  |  Updated 07/24/2012

In town for the International Aids Conference? A hotel continental breakfast won't cut it for a long day at the Convention Center. Here are some cool places to find coffee and a hearty breakfast, or get in a working lunch during the day.


Azi's Cafe

Washington, DC

This cozy Ninth Street cafe opts for Illy coffee and simple, sandwiches -- and it's a stone's throw from the Convention Center.



Washington, DC

One of the city's most innovative sandwich shops, Sundevich serves such offerings as the Zurich, with arugula, gruyere, apple compote, eggs; or the Shiraz, with beef tongue and a hearty serving of the restaurant's tart pickled vegetables. Note: The restaurant opens at noon.


Busboys and Poets

Washington, DC

This location of the homegrown chainlet serves all the faves -- from espresso drinks to eggs and waffles and sandwiches such as the amazing vegan tempeh sandwich -- all a short walk from the center. The restaurant should be a good option for breakfast and lunch.



Washington, DC

This attractive and sprawling Korean restaurant just a few blocks from the center offers the classics, from bibimbap to bulgogi, with offerings for vegetarians, too, and opens at 11 a.m. for lunch. Don't miss the crispy veggie mandu. If you can't make it for lunch, Mandu also boasts one of our fave happy hours, with specials on appetizers and sojutinis for a steal.


Nando's Peri-Peri

Washington, DC

This chain serves something for every appetite and can happily accommodate big groups without the usual splitting-the-check headache -- everyone just pays when they order. Stick with the spicy flame-grilled chicken, or vegetarians can nosh on a portobello sandwich with halloumi, and a slew of unconventional sides.



Washington, DC

Just a few blocks from the Convention Center is one of Washington's dining gems, the Greek-inspired small plates temple Zaytinya. At lunch, the restaurant offers a variety of sandwiches (inlcuding a falafel burger) or, if you have time and the inclination, a price-fixed four-course meal. Reservations at the popular restaurant are a good idea.


Chatman's D'Vine Bakery & Cafe

Washington, DC

Looking for a quick mid-day pick-me-up? Skip Starbucks and head to Chatman's D'Vine, which serves up one of the best slices of sweet potato pie in town (or cheesecake, or cupcakes...). Be sure to wash it down with coffee. The bakery is closed Mondays, but open from 3 p.m.-8 p.m. most days.


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