Kitfo photo by Laura Hayes

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We all know that dining costs are pricier in the city than in the suburbs, where rents and cost of living generally are cheaper. But which crave-worthy ethnic dishes are worth traveling for and which are considered a draw based on price alone? Know when to take the trip and when to skip it. 

Infographic by Stephanie Rudig

Xiao Long Bao

What it is: Chinese soup dumplings that leak broth onto a spoon when pierced properly

City: $36 for six at Ten Tigers Parlour (3815 Georgia Ave. NW)

Suburbs: $7.35 for six at Bob’s Shanghai 66 (305 N Washington St., Rockville)

Verdict: Worth the trip

Kitfo

What it is: an Ethiopian dish of raw (or cooked) minced beef, clarified butter, and a spice blend called mitmita

City: $13.25 at Dukem (1114-1118 U St. NW)

Suburbs: $13.95 at Enat Restaurant (4709 N Chambliss St., Alexandria)

Verdict: Draw

Banh Mi

What it is: a Vietnamese sandwich consisting of meat, pickled vegetables, pâté, chilies, and other ingredients on a French baguette

City: $8.50 for a lemongrass pork banh mi with pâté at Simply Banh Mi (1624 Wisconsin Ave. NW)

Suburbs: $3.95 for a grilled pork banh mi at Banh Mi DC Sandwich (3103 Graham Road, Falls Church)

Verdict: Worth the trip

Sapporo-style Miso Ramen

What it is: ramen from Northern Japan characterized by the addition of miso, which enhances the umami flavor

City: $13.75 at Haikan (805 V St. NW)

Suburbs: $11 at Ren’s Ramen (11403 Amherst Ave., Silver Spring)

Verdict: Draw

Chicken Tikka Masala

What it is: a vibrant red, creamy Indian curry adopted by the British as a national dish in 2001 containing chunks of chicken punched up with garam masala and other spices

City: $14 at Indigo (243 K St. NE)  or $18 at Rasika (633 D St. NW)

Suburbs: $17 at Jewel of India (10151 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring) or $16 at Spice Xing (100-B Gibbs St., Rockville)

Verdict: Draw

Dolsot Bibimbap

What it is: a Korean rice bowl dish served in a sizzling hot stone pot with beef and vegetable toppings

City: $16 at Mandu (1805 18th St. NW)

Suburbs: $9 at Kogiya (4220-A Annandale Road, Annandale)

Verdict: Worth the trip