The blooming of the cherry blossoms is imminent. The weather is improving (knock on wood). The school bus trips are pouring in. Tourist season in D.C. has officially begun.
That means visitors and residents alike may find themselves looking for dining options near the National Mall. This guide isn't meant to be exhaustive — it skips over run-of-the-mill cafeterias, hot dog carts and options without fixed locations, such as food trucks (though odds are, a cluster will be gathered near L'Enfant plaza or in Penn Quarter). But it does aim to reflect a range of price ranges, dining styles and cuisines.
National Mall visitors should note that many restaurants will be offering cherry-themed or Asian-inspired specials around this time of year, due to the Cherry Blossom Festival. Visitors should also note that the National Mall stretches across two miles, meaning that the walk time estimates provided only get you to the closest part of the Mall to each restaurant. Diners may be in for a much longer walk depending on whether they're seeing the blossoms, visiting the monuments or touring a museum.