Inauguration Day Survival Food

Inauguration Day Survival Food

January 20th is less than two weeks away, and DC food bloggers are thinking about Inauguration Day food. Chowhound readers want breakfast and lunch, Metromix and Express Night Out anticipate ceremonial starvation, and many restaurants are offering specials on the four-day-long weekend holiday.

Nobody knows how many people will pack Washington or how easy it will be to move around by Metro. No reputable forecasters are predicting the weather yet, but assume it will be cold. DC temperatures are normally between 25 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 and 7 Celsius) on Inauguration Day but it can get colder. Bear in mind that it snowed 10 inches during Taft’s inauguration and that was in March.

Our advice: Plan for cold and lots of walking; dress and eat accordingly. Wear hiking boots. Eat congee.


DC’s Chinatown (or “China Block”) is close to the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route and the Mall, and Full Kee (509 H Street, NW) , while short on elegance, is expeditious and economical. As veterans of two decades of Washington’s outdoor MLK  Holiday events, we strongly recommend a traditional Chinese breakfast or brunch of  Full Kee’s congee. to ward off January’s chill.

Congee or jook is hot rice porridge with savory goodies added. Seen those videos of Chinese construction workers climbing swaying scaffolds of bamboo, carrying cinderblocks hundreds of  high-rising feet in the air? This is what they had for breakfast. You’ll need enegry to get through Inauguration Day, too.

Full Kee is a DC institution, and is likely to be busy on the 20th. We hear that Jackey Cafe (611 H Street NW) serves congee, but haven’t been there ourselves. Noodle house Chinatown Express (746 6th St NW) and fave eatery Eat First (609 H Street, NW) are said to serve congee but we usually nosh other goodies there. We’ll list other Chinatown or downtown congee outlets here as our neighbors supply the information — check back for updates. If you want to fortify yourself earlier, cook up congee or jook at home along these lines:





Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.


3 Responses to “Inauguration Day Survival Food”

  1. cbertel Says:


    A great article I would like to see on NotionsCapital would be a list of good restaurants around Rhode Island Avenue and environs.

    I know I won’t be eating as well as the presidents I’ve been writing about, mostly their inaugural menus!



  2. Inauguration Day 2-Wheel Deal — Free Bike Valet Parking « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] and eat for […]

  3. The Big One « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] always, we have a simple prescription for Washington’s cold weather: the Breakfast of Champions, […]

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