On nightlife strips across the area, weekend crowds stumble onto the street looking for late-night eats. Seasoned drinkers know that a greasy burger — say, from Lucky Buns in Adams Morgan — or a jumbo slice of pizza will go a long way toward combating the following day’s potential hangover. In recent months, the definition of “late night” has shrunk a bit, as staffing shortages have influenced restaurants to close down earlier (24-hour joints have dwindled, too). But the places on this map are still a reliable bet for eating after 11 p.m.Read More
D.C.’s Essential Late-Night Food
From pizza to sushi, it's all out there after hours
Those seeking a true greasy spoon experience won’t find it at this polished modern diner in Adams Morgan, but they will find a solid spot that serves dishes like bread pudding French toast sticks and Cajun omelets. Don’t expect late hours Sunday to Wednesday, but from Thursday to Saturday, this restaurant operates 24/7.
Hulking burgers and fried chicken sandwiches are classic late-night food, and Lucky Buns has versions that incorporate a number of Australian and Southeast Asian ingredients to satisfy adventurous eaters. There are also spice bags full of fried chicken tossed with peppers, onions, chiles, and Sichuan peppercorns. Dinner runs until 11 p.m. most nights, but extends until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Adams Morgan workhorse El Tamarindo serves classic Salvadoran fare such as pupusas and chicken tamales until midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends, and the margaritas here are always flowing.
Ben's Chili Bowl
Ben's Chili Bowl serves iconic half-smoke sausages smothered in chili until 2 a.m. on weekends at the U Street locations; things close up earlier during the week, and its other outposts keep more standard hours.
The undisputed champ of Eater's very scientific late-night jumbo slice crawl, Ducinni's serves up oversized slices of pizza until 4 a.m.; its Falls Church outpost is open until 5 a.m. on weekends.
The booths at this sibling cocktail bar to Copycat Co. make it feel less chaotic than its predecessor. This Dupont hangout serves Sichuan dishes like chile wontons, mapo tofu, and water-boiled beef until 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. weekends (closed Monday and Tuesday).
A favorite for ramen, Shaw residents know this place stays open until 1:45 a.m. on weekdays and 2:45 a.m. weekends.
Surfside Taco Stand
The downtown crowd can order shrimp tacos and quesadillas to-go at Surfside Taco Stand, open 24/7 and located just south of Dupont Circle.
The bar replaced Smoked & Stacked in Shaw with a goal to cater to late-night appetites with a simple menu of smoked wings and grilled cheese sandwiches. In the latter category, there’s an OG with just cheddar and a Reuben option with pastrami, Swiss, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing. Food is served until last call every night of the week, open as late as anywhere between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. depending on the day.
Julia's Empanadas (Multiple Locations)
Open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in Dupont and Adams Morgan, Julia’s slings $5 empanadas. A couple standbys are a Chilean style — filled with beef, raisins, and olives — and a Bolivian saltena packed with chicken, potatoes, and green peas.
Find booze and fried chicken (also, shuffleboard) until 1 a.m. on the weekends at this downtown newcomer.
This newcomer for French-leaning cocktails and dishes like garlic noodles and salt and pepper shrimp stays open till 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on the weekends (closes early on Sunday and closed Monday).
New Big Wong
New Big Wong dishes out late-night Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine every day of the week until 3 a.m. it’s known as a favorite hangout for chefs looking for a bite after work.
Wiseguy NY Pizza
It’s not jumbo slice, but it is about as good as New York style pizza gets in D.C. (though Andy’s has been giving it some competition lately). Wiseguy serves up pizza, garlic knots, and chicken rolls until 3 a.m. on weekends. and midnight on Thursdays at its D.C. locations (Arlington closes earlier).
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Old Ebbitt Grill
D.C.’s oldest restaurant can be relied upon for raw bar staples, Manhattans, and burgers until 2 a.m. every day of the week — they’re also known for their late night happy hour.
Guy Fieri's DC Kitchen + Bar
D.C. residents can take a trip to Flavortown for trash can nachos at this sports bar until 1 a.m. on the weekends, and until midnight most weeknights.
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This sprawling restaurant in the Clyde's family boasts a late-night menu featuring everything from boozy milkshakes to sushi ($5 off rolls after 10 p.m. weeknights and 11 p.m. weekends) to carnitas, with the bar and restaurant open until 2 a.m.
A lot of things close down early in the ‘burbs, but Spacebar, home of every grilled cheese variety imaginable and epic totchos, stays open till midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends.
Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar
For an assortment of bar snacks, breakfast platters, and half-pound burgers, head to Capitol Hill's iconic Tune Inn, which serves food until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (about an hour before closing), and till 1 a.m. every other night.
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Ravi Kabob House
The bone-in chicken karahi — a soulful Pakistani curry brimming with fresh ginger and hot peppers — provides a late-night jolt at a trusty trio of kebab houses within a couple square blocks of each other in Arlington. But hours here have shifted earlier recently; the original location, though, reliably stays open until midnight.
Honey Pig BBQ
Though not the 24/7 joint it used to be, this Korean barbecue favorite in Annandale is open until 11:30 p.m. most weeknights and 2 a.m. on the weekends.