All this browsing, naturally, can stir up an appetite. Whether it's a beer, a light lunch or a full meal that you crave, there are dozens of places to choose from. If you like a view, the Washington Hotel (15th and Pennsylvania NW) features an open rooftop cafe. Of course, there's always Reeves (1209 F Street NW), an institution that has been sating sweet tooths since 1886 with pies and pastries. One of the few bars in town to carry Guiness Stout on tap is the Old Ebbitt Grill (1427 F Street NW), which - if the current development plans are approved - will once again transplant its innards when its present home, a stately late-19th-century house, makes way for yet another sterile office building. It moved to its present location in 1926, after the old Ebbitt House, at 1427 F Street NW, was leveled.

On the ethnic side is a branch of the original uptown scorcher, the Thai Room II (527 13th Street NW), serving the cuisine of Thailand.

Open only for weekday lunches, Antonio's Spanish-Italian carry-out (633 D Street NW) stands out because, Antonio the owner says, "Our food is freshly made each day without the assistance of a microwave oven." In addition to the standard sandwich fare are black beans and rice, tacos, enchiladas, Italian sausage and picadillo (seasoned ground beef).

Whitlow's (11th and E Streets NW), with its Deco exterior and dark, wood-paneled interior, is a bar more for prime people-watching than for food and drink, although the french fries, made from fresh potatoes, are just dandy. This is a spot for the locals: people living in the hotel across the street or some of the artists who inhabit the lofts nearby.