Spending and Splurging Around DC

It’s the middle of the summer and that exclusive paid internship — the one that serves as the source of all your friends’ envy — has just paid you following two 40-hour weeks and a few overtime hours. It’s time to blow off some steam and treat yourself, and maybe a friend.

ILLUSTRATION BY SHANNON HOU/THE HOYA

ILLUSTRATION BY SHANNON HOU/THE HOYA

 

Daytime Adventures

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start off at El Centro D.F.? While Georgetown’s favorite Mexican eatery has great deals during the week including $5 nacho Mondays and $2 taco Tuesdays, brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, however, runs $25 per person for an all-you-can-eat buffet. If you are of age, the Wisconsin Avenue restaurant offers all you can drink for just $10 more. Start your day off right with some of the best Mexican food in D.C.

For an a la carte option, Kafe Leopold (1) in Cady’s Alley requires a reservation for those hoping to avoid a two-hour wait. Once seated, an array of breakfast options await — from smoked salmon hash to lemon souffle pancakes to delicious omelets. Stay for dessert or order some of D.C.’s best coffee. Ranging from $35 to $55 for two, this is one place where you can choose whether or not to splurge.

NEWSEUM

NEWSEUM

Following a delightful brunch, head to one of D.C.’s gems, the Newseum (2). Normally, museums in D.C. are free, but for $25, one of the best museums in the area is yours to explore. Six floors and a day’s worth of adventures await, but it can also be worth the trip if you only have a couple of hours. If you are splurging all day, there is no better way to spend the few hours between brunch and dinner than to take a look at the history of news.

For those hoping to stay closer to campus, participate in a treasure hunt at the Mansion (3) on O Street. Also serving as a functional hotel and restaurant located farther down on its eponymous street, the Mansion offers plenty of other extravagant tours. For $25, you get a treasure hunt filled with secret doors and prizes related to the mansion’s rich history. It doesn’t take more than an hour but if you’re splurging, why not?

Centrally located between the White House and the Capitol, The Spy Museum (4) offers an exhibit perfect for those looking to show off their inner James Bond. The museum has plenty to explore in itself, but what good is the exhibit without Operation Spy’s “be a spy for a day?” For a cool $29 you can explore D.C. as a wannabe spy after learning what it was like to be a real one.

Dining

Beside the waterfront’s ornate fountain, Sequoia (5) combines classic American food and seafood tasty enough to justify its price tag. With a great range of appetizers and entrees, expect to spend at least $75 on dinner for two. With a great selection of wines and desserts, the sky is the limit. Tip: if it is someone’s birthday, tell the waiter and get ready for a show.

THE HAMILTON

THE HAMILTON

Fiola Mare (6), the pre-eminent Italian seafood restaurant in D.C., is aptly located near the waterfront and offers a range of Italian pasta and seafood dishes. Among the more expensive restaurants along the waterfront, expect to spend somewhere along the lines of $90 for dinner — excluding appetizers, drinks or desserts.

If you can get a reservation, — which you need to book at least a week in advance — Farmers, Fishers, Bakers (7) is one of the definitive Georgetown dining experiences. Right next to Sequoia, this mix of seafood and traditional American cuisine runs a little cheaper than Sequoia. However, with their diverse and tasty selection of appetizers — the pretzel sticks are especially good — expect to spend somewhere around $60 for two.

Perhaps the most expensive traditional Italian food in D.C., Filomena (8) also happens to be one of the best places to find authentic offerings. While an appetizer and two entrees will run you nearly $100, the portions are plenty, and you will almost certainly have leftovers. Everything on the menu is excellent, and the atmosphere, reminiscent of a traditional family setting, makes you feel right at home dropping three figures on a dinner.

W HOTELS

W HOTELS

The Daily Grill (9) at the base of the Georgetown Inn on Wisconsin Avenue, offers a great happy hour if you are over 21 alongside a solid selection of American dinner foods ranging from steaks to seafood to chicken. Expect to spend somewhere in the range of $60 for two entrees and an appetizer, and possibly more if you decide to tackle one of the steaks.

Home of the famous Hamilton burger, The Hamilton (10) on 14th Street boasts a diverse menu, ranging from burgers to sushi. If you’re looking to splurge with a few appetizers or sushi platters, look to spend upwards of $100. If you’re sticking to the basics of an appetizer and two entrees, expect to spend $60 to $70 for two people.

The Old Ebbitt Grill (11) on 15th Street is a fantastic place for classic comfort food. While the steaks are excellent, the burgers are among some of the best in the District. With an appetizer and any two entrees, $80 is probably the maximum for two people. However, you can definitely do it for less with some of the delicious soup and nonsteak or nonseafood entree options.

Nightlife

What better way to conclude your day than with live music at the Verizon Center (12), D.C.’s arena venue of choice? Normally tickets run around $40, but those are for the nosebleeds. To get closer to the action and sit in what would be the student section for Georgetown basketball games, sections 105 and 106, look to spend at least $70 per ticket.

DANIEL SMITH/THE HOYA

DANIEL SMITH/THE HOYA

There is little that could be more American than spending a summer afternoon at Nationals Park (13). Washington Nationals games are known for being extremely affordable, with tickets dipping down to as low as $10 during the summer, but to get the real experience and even interact with the players, you’re going to have to drop upward of $75 per person to sit behind the dugout.

Normally known for its restaurant atmosphere, Clyde’s (14) late at night offers a relaxed atmosphere at its bar full of young, urban professionals. The kitchen is open until 1 a.m. on weekends, and Danny at the bar makes a killer Grey Goose martini. It will cost you $18 alone, but hey, you are splurging, after all.

Despite an older, noncollege crowd, the POV bar at the W Hotel (15) has, as expected, a beautiful view of D.C. and an excellent atmosphere. With the option to reserve a table for a cool $120, the minimum spending goes up per person. A reasonable estimate of six people runs a $400 minimum tab total, and that’s just for the lounge tables; anything with a half-decent view is going to set your party back at least $1,000.

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