Guides Washington, DC

BTR’s Guide to $5 Meals In Foggy Bottom

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom

The end of the semester at GWU means you’ve depleted your GWorld of Colonial Ca$h and Dining Dollars. Now you have to fend for yourself. Let’s be real, checking your bank balance can be pretty scary unless you have a trust fund, in which case you have no reason to keep reading. If however you are looking for ways to save on meal$$$, you’ve come to the perfect place.

You should not have to spend $15 on lunch. I have compiled a list of meals you can find in Foggy Bottom that will set you back no more than $5 plus tax, because it is possible! These meals aren’t as large as your favorite burrito bowl, but they will get the job done.

*GWorld-friendly restaurants have been marked with an asterisk.

BTR’s Guide to $5 Meals In Foggy Bottom


Although they aren’t advertised on the menu, Chipotle’s Kids Meals are a filling bargain. I’m 21 and I’ve ordered them many times without a problem. $4 gets you one of the following options served with a small bag of tortilla chips and juice or milk:

  • 2 tacos with three ingredients
  • 1 small quesadilla with a side of rice and beans or
  • 1 taco with a side of rice
Located at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. and 1837 M ST.* – the latter takes GWorld

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


Stay away from the pay-by-weight bar, and you’ll be able to get some cheap meals at the store lovingly known as “Whole Paycheck.”

  • Slice of pizza – $3.49
    • DC’s pizza is pretty terrible, but Whole Foods’ is pretty good! The slices are huge and they have yummy slices like mushroom-shallot and sundried-tomato-chicken-pesto.
  • Junior hamburger – $4 or a Junior cheeseburger – $5
    • If you weren’t aware, Whole Foods makes amazing burgers. Junior burgers come with a single patty, whereas the regular burgers come with two. A single patty is just enough though, especially when you top it with mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and chipotle mayo. *Drool*
Located at 2201 I (eye) St.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


  • Mini-bowl – $3.95-$4.95
    • Mini portions of grilled tofu, chicken teriyaki and spicy pork cost will cost you less than a fiver and are served with mixed vegetables and a choice of steamed or fried rice.
  • Waffles – $3.25-$4.95
    • Poppabox serves sweet waffles and waffle sandwiches for breakfast, but they stop serving the most important meal of the day at 10:30 a.m.
  • Cheeseburger – $3
    • Poppabox serves $3 cheeseburgers after 8 p.m. as part of their late-night menu. The burgers are topped with cheese and caramelized onions and they are amazing. Every time I’ve ordered just one burger, they have accidentally given me a full meal, which consists of two burgers and fries…
Located at 1928 I (eye) St.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


As home of the $5 foot-long, Subway is the king of cheap meals. Eat here every day and you’ll save enough to offset the pain from your tuition and you’ll lose weight like Jared.

  • 6″ Cold Cuts or Meatball sandwich – $2 for a limited time
  • Flatizza – $3.5
  • 6″ breakfast sandwich – $4
  • Various 6″ subs – $4-5
Located at 1959 E St. (*Gworld-friendly), 1800 I (Eye) St. and 2033 K St.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


  • Kids Meal – $5
    • Chipotle and adult-sized portions are too main stream. Order a kids meal and choose between a taco or quesadilla and get a side of beans and rice or chips, and a kids drink.
Located at 1919 M St.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


You can find this dumpling truck parked on H Street with the rest of the food trucks pretty much every week. Follow their Twitter @yumplingdc for real-time location updates

  • 6 Dumplings – $5 (tax included!)
    • Mix and match and choose between chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and veggie dumplings and a variety of dipping sauces.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


  • The following sandwiches cost $4.70 for the Original size and $4.90 as Flats: A Wreck, Roast Beef, Chicken Salad, Italian, Turkey Breast, Smoked Ham, MeatballVegetarian, Tuna Salad and PB&J
  • All “Skinnys” Sandwiches – $4.20
  • Large Soup – $4.50
  • Large Chili – $4.95
Located in Shenkman Hall (formerly Ivory Tower) at 616 23rd St. (*Gworld-Friendly). Other nearby locations include 900 19th St. and 1900 L St.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom

Hot Dog Carts

You’ve seen them outside of Gelman and Phillips but have strayed away for fear of food poisoning. And with sexual abuse allegations and stealing from the bookstore, these carts do not have a good record. However, they made this list because they are cheap. Eat at your own risk!

(Note: I’ve had hot dogs from stands elsewhere in the city and I was fine)

Located in front of Gelbucks and across the street in front of Phillips, as well as on I St between 21st and 22nd, and right in front of the metro.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


Breakfast is good anytime of day in my opinion.

  • Kosher Hot Dog or Half Smoke – $3.45
  • Small Soup – $3.75, Medium Soup – $4.75
  • 16 oz.  Macaroni Salad, Cole Slaw or Potato Salad – $4.95 
    • The rest of their salads cost less than $5 for 8 oz.
  • Fried Egg Sandwich – $2.40
  • Double Fried Egg Sandwich – $2.95
  • Fried Egg and Cheese – $2.85
  • Bacon/Sausage/Ham and Egg – $4.25
  • Sausage Sandwich – $3.95
Located at 2133 G St.
guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom

Source: Reddit user abrews


You can get pretty much any sandwich (and anything else) off the menu for less than $5! Yay!

Located in Ivory Tower/Shenkman Hall at 616 23rd St (*GWorld-friendly) and at 2025 E St.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


All of the breakfast sandwiches cost between $2.95-$4.45. My favorite is the Spinach & Feta Wrap ($3.45).

Remember that if the line at Gelbucks is crazy, there are like 10 other Starbucks within a 5-block radius of campus.

The following locations accept GWorld: Gelbucks (2130 H St.), GW Hospital Starbucks (900 23rd St.) and E Street Starbucks (1957 E St.)

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


  • Medium soup with a breadstick – less than $5
  • Most breakfast sandwiches also cost less than $5
Located at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave.

guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom


  • Pretzel dog – about $3
    • While I wouldn’t count a pretzel as a meal, this thing has protein in it, so it’s a balanced meal, right?
Located inside J Street (800 21st St).
guide to $5 meals in foggy bottom

pretzel + dog

Pine me for later!

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