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Spot Check: Tracking Restaurant Wait Times on 14th Street

Arrive early to get into Logan Circle restaurants

Courtesy Etto
Courtesy Etto

September is the time of year when restaurants start to recover from a summer slump. That means longer waits at the bar—or out the door—while a table becomes available. (Keep in mind popular restaurants with buzzed-about fare tend to command wait times year round, as evidenced by a recent spot check of restaurant wait times in notoriously-slow August.)

For this latest September spot check edition, Eater strolled down 14th Street to find out how long a walk-in party of two would have to wait on a temperate Friday evening.

Starting just before 7 p.m., many restaurants appeared to still have tables available for walk-ins, while perennial favorites and newcomers had long waits. Walking back up 14th Street later that evening, it seemed that many diners were waiting around until 8 p.m. to start their dinners.

Plan accordingly, as restaurant season could heat up this fall; one hostess indicated September continues to be a slow month and restaurants become busier in October.

6:48 Kapnos - No wait.

6:54 Tico - No wait.

6:58 Compass Rose - No wait, but typically around that time can be up to 40 minutes.

7:00 Masa 14 - No wait.

7:01 El Centro D.F. - No wait.

7:03 Garden District - First-come, first-served seating was completely full, but the bold and super hungry could possibly squeeze in at one of the communal tables.

7:05 Doi Moi - According to the hostess, it was "not a really long wait" and there seemed to be seating available both indoors and outdoors.

7:06 Ted's Bulletin - No wait.

7:20 Cork Wine Bar - No wait with a few tables available outside.

7:26 Barcelona Wine Bar - An hour and a half with very little room to wait near the bar.

7:28 Pearl Dive Oyster Palace - It's first-come, first-served seating, but there were plenty of open couches and a two-top open.

7:31 Le Diplomate - 45 minutes to an hour.

7:33 Etto - 45 minutes.

7:37 Estadio - Immediate seating at a communal table, 30 minutes for a non-communal table.

7:42 Birch & Barley - No wait.

7:45 District Distilling Company - The new 14th and U Street hot spot had a one hour and 15 minutes wait, but there was room at the bar.