It’s midnight and you’re starving. Where you gonna go? Or maybe it’s 8am and you want to get a good jump on the day ahead. Who serves a full breakfast at this hour not too far from the National Mall? Or maybe you want a taste of the capital’s regional dishes and a dash of insider culture. Who brings that to the table? It’s the Ebbitt.

It’s comforting to have a conveniently located place that’s nearly always open, with four capacious bars and a menu that’s known for its untrendy dishes, like burgers, trout parmesan, and the hearty house pasta, which is stuffed with spinach, mortadella ham, and three cheeses and baked in a cream sauce. Oysters are the standout, among the best and freshest in town. (All raw-bar items are half off daily 3–6pm and after 11pm.)

Old Ebbitt has been around since 1856, first in another nearby location, and here since 1983. Some furnishings date from the early days, giving the place an old-fashioned air. Popular as the restaurant is among tourists, Ebbitt also draws attorneys from neighboring law firms, politicos visiting the White House a block away, and other downtown regulars, especially in the morning for power breakfasts, at lunchtime, and late in the evening. If you’re looking for more of an inside-D.C. experience, stop by.