15 indulgent Washington, D.C. foods to cure even the worst day


There is not a problem food can't cure, especially when said food is cheesy, chocolatey or bacon-y. I've rounded up (and tasted) the 15 best foods in D.C. that are good for the soul and not so great for the waistline.

I'm not going to bore you with calorie counts or reasons why you shouldn't eat these delicious bites. Instead, each rich decadent treat is provided with a good reason to indulge.

"Cinnamon roll as big as ya head" #tedsbulletin #brunch #brunchspecial #cinnamonrolls

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1. When your metro gets stuck, cheer up with Cinnamon Rolls at Ted's Bulletin
It's called "Cinnamon Roll Big as Your Face" for a reason. This giant sticky bun is the perfect solution for when you emerge after being stuck on the metro for 90 minutes with no cell service. It is only served on the weekends, when the metro is notoriously finicky, so you'll definitely have a good reason to eat it.

2. Spend hours in bumper to bumper D.C. traffic? Park yourself at Logan Tavern for a DIY Bloody Mary
Obviously do not drive and drink. But I recommend not driving and having a drink, and after any time in D.C. traffic, you'll agree. Logan Tavern boasts of build your own Bloody Mary bar, where you can add meats, peppers, spices, fried foods and more — because drinking doesn't need to be empty calories.

3. A D.C. sports team loses in typical heartbreaking fashion? Recover from your loss with a Sticky Rice's Tot Bucket
Did the Redskins fall short again? Did the Wizards lose on a buzzer beater? The best way to drown your sadness about watching a D.C. sports team lose is in a tot bucket, with a special tot sauce. They're perfectly crispy and it's amazingly decadent and probably meant to be shared, but that's a personal decision that I won't judge. And they're served in a tin bucket, which is fun.


4. Hit your 10,000 steps? Replenish at Ray's Hell Burger Too
D.C. is a walking city and in no time of touring, you'll hit your 10,000 daily steps and be famished and deserve a delicious, juicy burger. Fired perfectly over an open flame and boasting over a third pound of steak cuts, these burgers will keep you going from monuments to museums and back. If walking really wore you out, add a boozy milkshake to your order. I recommend the Ricky Bobby "Shake and Bake, Baby', which is a vanilla shake mixed with chocolate, caramel, and bourbon with bacon on top. It will put a pep in your step.

5. Visiting your aunt that calls being single a "life choice?" Nosh on Firefly's truffle fries
Visiting relatives can be tough. If your family has been too overbearing, head to Firefly's Happy Hour for the truffle fries sprinkled with parmesan cheese and a glass of wine. The fries are phenomenal and will give you a junk food buzz strong enough to handle even the most annoying barrage of questions from your fam. Eat, drink, repeat.

6. Panda crowds too big and you didn't see Bei Bei? Stuff your face with stuffed crepes at Crepeaway
The zoo can be, well...a zoo. The entire time you're just herded into lines and getting run into by strollers. And most of the time, the pandas just sleep, which is a bit of a disappointment. Treat yourself to a stuffed Angel crepe, filled to the brim with strawberries, Nutella and bananas. It's sweeter than even a baby panda.

7. D.C. humidity have you down? Bolster electrolytes with Garden District's Fried Pickles
It's said D.C. was built on a swamp, and if you're visiting in the summer, you'll see why. Boasting over 100 degrees' temperature with near 90 percent humidity, you will need to stop by Garden District for a mug of authentic German beer and a plate of half-sour fried pickle slices. They're deliciously salty and crispy and perfectly compliment a beer or five.

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8. Impromptu Tinder date was a disaster? Eat your feelings at Georgetown Cupcake
Come to D.C., they said. Go on a date, they said. Terrible idea—D.C. date conversation starts and ends with "where do you work?" Stop by TV famous Georgetown Cupcake for a sugary pick-me-up (recommending the red velvet). You can have your cake and eat it too.

9. After a day of fighting museum crowds ... have some fun with Fried Oreos at Bier Baron
The National Mall can feel like a bit of a carnival with the large crowds and screaming kids. After a day of elbowing past people into museums, eat some actual carnival foods at Bier Baron in the form of Fried Oreos. This small pub has an amazing international beer selection and is the perfect way to wind down.

10. Uber is surging? Wait it out at Astros Doughnuts and Fried Chicken
You can pay the 70 percent surge to go a mile to your Airbnb, or you can spend that money at Astros on an amazing honey butter fried chicken breakfast sandwich. Wash that down with a blood orange mimosa doughnut and by the time you're done licking your fingers and loosening your belt, uber should be done surging.

11. Can't shake your hangover? Recover with The Diner's Biscuits and Gravy
Honestly, it's dealer's choice at this restaurant that boasts of daylong breakfast foods. But for an unshakeable hangover, sop it up with a plate of biscuits coated in delightfully greasy sausage gravy. For the worst hangover, do hair of the dog trick with an Irish Coffee.

slice to meet you @onehungryjew #buffalochicken #pizza #tgif

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12. The Washington Monument Elevator is broken, again ... Instagram your Wiseguys Buffalo Pizza instead
You dreamt of the perfect Instagram from the highest point in D.C., only to find the elevator is still out of order from the 2011 earthquake. Comfort yourself by snapping a picture of the perfectly spiraled Buffalo pizza at Wise Guys before chowing down. It has Chicken Breast, Spicy Buffalo Sauce, Grande Mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano, so if that doesn't get you lots of likes, I don't know what will.

13. Your friends only want to talk politics and not the Bachelor? Comfort yourself with a grilled cheese at GCDC
Visiting friends in D.C. can be a blast — and then you realize they just want to talk about politics and not about the best dating show on the airs. But they can't talk around a mouth full of cheesy goodness at GCDC, a grilled cheese bar. Head over and order the Bacon Jalapeno Popper sandwich from the evening menu, which has a four cheese cheddar blend and goat cheese with bacon on buttered jalapeño cheddar bread. It's a spicy mix on a childhood staple.

14. When your Segway tour gets canceled because of rain, race to the Greek Deli on 19th Street
This popular lunch spot has the best gyro, aptly called "Our Famous Gyro." It's guaranteed to give you a fresh outlook on even the rainiest day. And I feel like it's a bit healthy, so that's a plus too.

Brunch scenes. 📸 by @amycavanaugh

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15. The museum shop was out of replica constitutions? Spend that money on Poutine at DGS Delicatessen
Ugh, nothing worse than trying to get the best souvenir and not being able to find it. This poutine is served on potato latkes with gravy, farmer's cheese and green onions. It is sure to cure even the worst shopping blues.




Kirsten Ballard has lived in D.C. for the past two years, she works at a newspaper association and spends her weekends running and eating her way through the city.