If your stomach is grumbling after the show is over, the dancing has ended, or the bar has closed, you can always get a meal at one of these veteran late-night or all-night eateries.
In Georgetown, the Bistro Francais, 3128 M St. NW (tel. 202/338-3830), has been feeding night owls for years; it even draws some of the area's top chefs after their own establishments close. Open until 4am Friday and Saturday, until 3am every other night, the Bistro is thoroughly French, serving steak frites, omelets, and pâtés.
On U Street, Ben's Chili Bowl, 1213 U St. NW (tel. 202/667-0909), serves up chili dogs, turkey subs, and cheese fries until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.
In Adams Morgan one all-night dining option is the Diner, 2453 18th St. NW (tel. 202/232-8800), which serves some typical (eggs and coffee, grilled cheese) and not-so-typical (a grilled fresh salmon club sandwich) diner grub.
Finally, in Dupont Circle, stop in at Kramerbooks and Afterwords Café, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW (tel. 202/387-1400), for big servings of everything from quesadillas to french fries to French toast. The bookstore stays open all night on weekends, and so does its kitchen.
Cheap Eats: Happy Hours to Write Home About
Good-value promotions are often available at area bars and nightclubs, like Lucky Bar’s half-price burgers every Wednesday night and 50[ce] tacos on Mondays. A step above these are certain restaurants around town that set out tasty bites during happy hour, either free or for an astonishingly low price. Here are several you might like:
In the bar and lounge of Ceiba, 701 14th St. NW, at the corner of G Street NW (www.ceibarestaurant.com; tel 202/393-3983), not far from the White House, signature cocktails like margaritas and mojitos are $5 each, Monday to Saturday from 3 to 6pm and again from 9:30pm (Fri–Sat from 10pm) to close. Bar-food items that range from a $9 pork pupusa to a $12 fish taco are offered at $6 each.
In Georgetown, Morton’s Steakhouse, 3251 Prospect St. NW, just off Wisconsin Ave. NW (www.mortons.com/georgetown; tel 202/342-6258), serves up “Power Hours” bar bites in its bar, Sunday to Thursday 5pm to closing. Drinks are specially priced—$5.50 for beer, $7 for wine, and $8 for certain cocktails—and the bar-bites menu features a variety: cheeseburger trio, four petite filet mignon sandwiches, blue cheese french fries, and so on, each priced at $6 or $7 per plate.
On Capitol Hill, Johnny’s Half Shell, 400 N. Capitol St. NW (www.johnnyshalfshell.net; tel 202/737-0400), pulls in young Hill staffers Monday through Friday 4:30 to 7:30pm, not for its deals on drinks—$5.50 drafts, $7 to $9 cocktails—but for its delicious bites of miniburgers, shrimp and grits, and the like, priced from $3 to $14.
Finally, in the Penn Quarter’s Oyamel, at 401 7th St. NW (www.oyamel.com; tel 202/628-1005), has happy-hour specials 4 to 6pm Sunday through Friday featuring $5 margaritas, Dos Equis, or the Mexican ponche (tequila, white wine, Cointreau, agave nectar, and fresh fruit), and, for another $4, two of Oyamel’s superb tacos.