The great thing about nachos is that they are so versatile. This classic dish can serve as a starter to a fabulous Mexican meal, a crunchy snack while watching the game or a late night treat after the bars have closed. In their simplest form, nachos are just tortilla chips topped with cheese, but as you will soon realize, D.C. area spots can serve up nachos with toppings to transform this dish into something much more exciting than that.
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
A popular DC restaurant with four locations in Cleveland Park, U Street, Dupont Circle and Columbia Heights, Alero features a delicious plate of nachos for $6.50. This dish comes with a heaping scoop of creamy refried beans covered with crunchy tortilla chips and smothered in cheese and sprinkled with jalapenos. You can dip the cheesy chips in guacamole or sour cream which accompany the dish for no extra charge. Come at happy hour every Monday through Saturday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the dish is only $5.50 per plate.
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Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387- 7638
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Fri – 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sun – 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.
This is a warm and cozy venue that serves eclectic menu offerings such as pizza, sandwiches and a variety of appetizers, including as nachos. Busboys and Poets has four locations in the Washington DC area and offers two different kinds of nachos. The first is made with blue corn tortilla chips, topped with melted cheese, black beans, creamy guacamole, sour cream, sweet roasted corn and a fresh tomato salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions and chilies. This hearty dish can be yours for only $7.95. The second nacho option is specially made to accommodate vegans. Instead of blue corn tortilla chips, this dish is made with yellow corn chips. The guacamole is the same, but that’s the only similarity. The vegan nachos have vegan cheese and sour cream, and a flavorful black bean and red pepper salsa.
1343 Connecticut Ave. Northwest
Washington, DC 20036
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Fri to Sat – 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.
For a classic plate of nachos, head to Citron in Dupont Circle. Corn chips are mounted with loads of gooey melted cheese, black beans and pico de gallo that is made in house. The dish comes with salsa and sour cream on the side for dipping. Enjoy this dish for $9, unless you come during happy hour (4:30-7:00 p.m.) when the nachos are served for a mere $7.
4515 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
Hours: Mon to Thurs -11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri -11:30 a.m. to Midnight, Sat -11 a.m. to Midnight, Sun -11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
With five restaurants in the D.C. area, Guapo’s serves up some of the freshest salsa and best Tex-Mex food around. The nacho platters come in your choice of steak, chicken or cheese and are topped with refried beans and jalepenos. Sour cream, guacamole and house made pico de gallo are served on the side for dipping. For a creamier spin on the classic nacho dish, try Guapo’s chile con carne, a queso dip filled with beef, beans, onions and sour cream with and tortilla chips for dipping.
Los Cuates Restaurant
1564 Wisconsin Ave. Northwest
Washington, DC 2007
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
At this Georgetown Mexican restaurant, the nachos come clean and simple with just chips, cheese, beans and jalapenos. Don’t be fooled by the plate’s humble base; alongside the nachos come a series of dipping sauces such as guacamole, sour cream and salsa, so you can make your nachos just the way you like them. The platter is served for $7.95, and don’t forget to order a margarita to quench your thirst.
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Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.