Let's stroll through the lovely and FREE Botanical Gardens! Across the street, the second museum has a unique cafe which serves food inspired by Native American cuisine. It's one of my favorite places in the city and a fabulous deal.
The best part is that admission to both places is FREE! Plus the Botanical Gardens offers a free 45 minute tour to guests.
The food in the Mitsitam Cafe is well prepared and well priced. Last time I was there I got a Bison Ribeye steak roasted in a fire pit for $15. That's right, I ate the last known Bison! Just kidding! And dont worry, there are plenty of food options for vegetarians. Lots of main courses are around $7-$8 (like the buffalo burger), and side dishes and desserts are $3-4.
Botanic Gardens info:
Museum of the American Indian Info:
Mitsitam Cafe sample menu: (changes seasonally and daily)
Menu highlights have included Braised Rabbit, a Buffalo and Duck burger, Purple Potato soup, white corn dumplings with tree custard honey, heirloom bean salad, Pine nut and rosemary tart, lots of things I can't pronounce, etc. And there always seems to be some version of buffalo steak on the menu.
By metro, take the Orange or Blue line to the Federal Center SW station. The museum is only 2 blocks away and very easy to find since it stands out as the only large glass domed building.