One of the trickiest parts of planning a group trip is finding dining options large enough to accomodate your group, flexible enough to be able to pop in without reservations, and with enough variety to appease even your pickiest eaters. Sound about right? In this article Christian Mirasol, a licensed Washington, D.C. tour guide, reviews the Ronald Reagan Building Food Court - which might just be the answer to your dining problems!
With seating available for nearly 1,000 people, this downtown DC food court is a popular and quick dining spot for NationsClassroom school groups. It is a convenient place to stop if you have spent the morning walking the monuments and memorials of the National Mall, or visiting the Smithsonian museums, White House, or the U.S. Capitol Building.
The underground food court currently contains 17 fast-casual eateries ranging from deli sandwiches to tacos, from sushi to pizza, and from Chinese to Greek. Nationwide and local area chains such as Sbarro, Subway, Au Bon Pain, California Tortilla, Great Wraps, Saxby’s Coffee, R&B Steak and Grill, Smoothie King, Larry’s Cookies & Ice Cream, and Flamer’s Charbroiled Hamburgers & Chicken are among those included.
The space is open Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (breakfast served 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with limited vendors), Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (March 1 thru August 31 only). Keep in mind, should you plan on visiting during peak tour season (March through June), high volume times are typically from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. marked by long lines, herds of student and government employees, and limited seating. Please plan accordingly.
Since it is located inside DC’s largest federal building which serves as a headquarters to a number of government and private agencies, you have to go through security to enter. All bags, backpacks, purses, cell phones, cameras, and keys will be scanned. Better yet, just bring yourself and your wallet to minimize the hassle. After clearing security, proceed to go one level down the staircase or escalators to get you to the corridors leading to the food court.