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A half-smoke from D.C. institution Ben’s Chili Bowl.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

These Classic D.C. Restaurants and Bars Are Still Worth a Visit

New isn't necessarily better

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A half-smoke from D.C. institution Ben’s Chili Bowl.
| Photo by R. Lopez/Eater DC

D.C. is a city brimming with history, and its restaurants are no exception. Many restaurants still standing today have stood the test of time for decades. All of the institutions featured on this map opened before 1970 and are still going strong.

Find even more longtime restaurants in D.C.’s suburbs, including Quarry House, Tastee Diner, the Original Ledo Pizza, Woodside Delicatessen, Old Angler’s Inn, and Crisfield’s in Maryland, or Vienna Inn, 29 Diner, Bob & Edith’s Diner and L’Auberge Chez Francois in Virginia.

Have another favorite classic restaurant? Share in the comments below.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wagshal's Deli

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4855 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 363-5698
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With a sandwich and meat selection that's hard to match, Wagshal's has been open in upper Northwest since 1925. Known for their pastrami, meatloaf sandwiches, and the iconic presence of Pam “The Butcher” Ginsberg, there is now a second location near American University.

A sandwich from Wagshall’s
Wagshall’s [Official photo]

2. Osman & Joe's Steak 'n Egg Kitchen

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4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 686-1201
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Usually just called "Steak 'n Egg", the Tenleytown restaurant has been pumping out steak and eggs (of course) since 1931. Heard about the drunk guy and a zumba teacher who came to the diner?

Steak and Eggs from Osman & Joe’s
Jennifer F./Yelp

3. Old Europe

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2434 Wisconsin Ave
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-7600
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Old Europe is one of the city’s few options for Bavarian fare, and it’s been dishing out schnitzel, sauerbraten, and more since 1948. Meanwhile, another longtime German restaurant in D.C., Cafe Mozart, opened in 1964.

Old Europe doesn’t skimp on the gravy
Old Europe/Facebook

4. 1789 Restaurant

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1226 36th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 965-1789
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Since 1962, this fine dining Georgetown mainstay has hosted Washington notables and plenty of politicians. Its stellar service includes the thoughtful attention of longtime waiters like Stelios Alexandris. The kitchen is currently overseen by chef Tracy O’Grady. Downstairs is The Tombs, which caters to the nearby Georgetown University crowd and is historic in its own right; it opened in 1962 as well and figures in the film "St. Elmo's Fire."

Scallops from 1789.
1789/Facebook

5. Clyde's of Georgetown

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3236 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 333-9180
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No one probably thought in 1963 that Clyde's would grow from one location in Georgetown to ten locations around the region. But the original is still in Georgetown, serving up burgers, crabcakes, and more.

Eggs benedict from Clyde’s
Clyde’s/Facebook

6. Billy Martin's Tavern

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1264 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 333-7370
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Established in the midst of the Great Depression, classic watering hole Martin's Tavern in Georgetown has hosted every president from Harry Truman (booth 6), through George W. Bush and his family (table 12). John F. Kennedy even proposed to Jackie at the restaurant in 1953. The tavern is currently owned by fourth-generation Billy Martin, Jr., and celebrates its 85th anniversary this year.

A burger from Martin’s Tavern
Martin’s Tavern/Facebook

7. Mama Ayesha's

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1967 Calvert St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 232-5431
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Mama Ayesha's, originally called Calvert Cafe, opened in 1960. The founder was Mama Ayesha Abraham who operated 24 farms in the Middle East and then moved to D.C. and cooked in the Syrian Embassy in the 1940s. Mama Ayesha's nephews and great-nephews run the restaurant today. The restaurant is also known for the mural of presidents on its wall.

A spread from Mama Ayesha’s
Mama Ayesha’s/Facebook

8. Loeb's NY Deli

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1712 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 965-5632

Since 1959, Loeb’s has been one of the few destinations in downtown D.C. to find pastrami, knishes, and more. It moved to a new location in 2010.

A catering platter from Loeb’s
Loeb’s / Facebook

9. Raven Grill

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3125 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 387-8411

One of D.C.’s quintessential dive bars, The Raven has been tucked away in Mt. Pleasant since 1935. While it may have "grill" in the name, diners won’t find much more than Utz potato chips to go with the beer and rail drinks.

The Raven Grill
Dive Bar S./Foursquare

10. Old Ebbitt Grill

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675 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-4800
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This is one of those quintessentially classic restaurants — and it's the oldest on the list. Old Ebbitt Grill in 1856 when Franklin Pierce occupied the White House (which is right around the corner). When Old Ebbitt Grill opened, it was an election year with Millard Fillmore, John Fremont and James Buchanan were battling it out for supremacy. Now, the restaurant is home to a famed raw bar happy hour and is known for events like its annual Oyster Riot.

The Oyster Riot at Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill/Facebook

11. Stoney's Restaurant

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1433 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 234-1818
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The "boss of the sauce" has been open since Johnson was in the White House (1968) though they've moved locatoins. Currently, there's the L Street location and the Stoney's on Logan Circle's P Street. The bar is perhaps most famous for its super grilled cheese sandwich.

The famous super grilled cheese from Stoney’s.
Angela N./Yelp

12. The Occidental

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1475 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 783-1475
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Built by Henry Willard (same guy as the Willard Hotel) in 1906, the Occidental has seen its fair share of famous faces – Amelia Earhart, Robert Frost and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to name a few. More than a century old, the restaurant even played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Occidental
R. Lopez

13. Ben's Chili Bowl

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1213 U St NW, Washington
D.C., 20009
(202) 667-0909
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For more than 50 years, this U Street restaurant has been feeding locals and tourists (well, mostly tourists.) But just because it's a required stop for any tour bus doesn't mean Washingtonians can't stop in for a half-smoke or three. These are the guys that made the half-smoke the iconic food of DC.

A halfsmoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl
R. Lopez/Eater

14. Florida Avenue Grill

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1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-1586
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Soul food pioneer Florida Avenue Grill has been visited by local politicians and other African-American luminaries since opening in 1944. The restaurant didn't start taking up the whole building. When it opened, founders Lacey and wife Bertha only had enough space for two bar stools and had to cook the meals in the basement. Current owner Imar Hutchins has updated some of the current menu to remain relevant to contemporary diners.

A scene from breakfast at Florida Ave. Grill
R. Lopez/Eater

15. The Monocle

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107 D St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 546-4488
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A Capitol Hill institution since 1960, the Monocle is a known political hangout — because it's a stone's throw from the Hart and Dirksen Senate buildings, don't be surprised to see a politician or three in there eating and drinking.

A steak from The Monocle
The Monocle/Facebook

16. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

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331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 543-2725

Tune Inn reopened in November 2011 after a fire shut it down for a few months. But before that fire, Tune Inn was a dive hangout since 1947. Now, it’s less of a dive but still a beloved Capitol Hill hangout, serving up burgers, French dip sandwiches, and more.

A burger at Tune Inn
Maria G/Yelp

17. A. Litteri

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517 Morse St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 544-0183
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This authentic Italian deli has been around since 1926, and in its current location near Union Market since 1932. A favorite of nearby workers, the deli keeps limited daytime hours and is closed Sundays and Mondays.

A sandwich from A Litteri
Carolyn D./Yelp

18. Mangialardo & Sons

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1317 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 543-6212
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Since 1953, this Italian deli has been feeding Capitol Hill residents. And what do many of them order? The G Man — a sub that's packed with deli meats (the Big G is even more epic in size).

A sub from Mangialardo’s
Mangialardo’s/Facebook

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1. Wagshal's Deli

4855 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20016
A sandwich from Wagshall’s
Wagshall’s [Official photo]

With a sandwich and meat selection that's hard to match, Wagshal's has been open in upper Northwest since 1925. Known for their pastrami, meatloaf sandwiches, and the iconic presence of Pam “The Butcher” Ginsberg, there is now a second location near American University.

4855 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

2. Osman & Joe's Steak 'n Egg Kitchen

4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016
Steak and Eggs from Osman & Joe’s
Jennifer F./Yelp

Usually just called "Steak 'n Egg", the Tenleytown restaurant has been pumping out steak and eggs (of course) since 1931. Heard about the drunk guy and a zumba teacher who came to the diner?

4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

3. Old Europe

2434 Wisconsin Ave, Washington, DC 20007
Old Europe doesn’t skimp on the gravy
Old Europe/Facebook

Old Europe is one of the city’s few options for Bavarian fare, and it’s been dishing out schnitzel, sauerbraten, and more since 1948. Meanwhile, another longtime German restaurant in D.C., Cafe Mozart, opened in 1964.

2434 Wisconsin Ave
Washington, DC 20007

4. 1789 Restaurant

1226 36th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Scallops from 1789.
1789/Facebook

Since 1962, this fine dining Georgetown mainstay has hosted Washington notables and plenty of politicians. Its stellar service includes the thoughtful attention of longtime waiters like Stelios Alexandris. The kitchen is currently overseen by chef Tracy O’Grady. Downstairs is The Tombs, which caters to the nearby Georgetown University crowd and is historic in its own right; it opened in 1962 as well and figures in the film "St. Elmo's Fire."

1226 36th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

5. Clyde's of Georgetown

3236 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
Eggs benedict from Clyde’s
Clyde’s/Facebook

No one probably thought in 1963 that Clyde's would grow from one location in Georgetown to ten locations around the region. But the original is still in Georgetown, serving up burgers, crabcakes, and more.

3236 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

6. Billy Martin's Tavern

1264 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
A burger from Martin’s Tavern
Martin’s Tavern/Facebook

Established in the midst of the Great Depression, classic watering hole Martin's Tavern in Georgetown has hosted every president from Harry Truman (booth 6), through George W. Bush and his family (table 12). John F. Kennedy even proposed to Jackie at the restaurant in 1953. The tavern is currently owned by fourth-generation Billy Martin, Jr., and celebrates its 85th anniversary this year.

1264 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

7. Mama Ayesha's

1967 Calvert St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
A spread from Mama Ayesha’s
Mama Ayesha’s/Facebook

Mama Ayesha's, originally called Calvert Cafe, opened in 1960. The founder was Mama Ayesha Abraham who operated 24 farms in the Middle East and then moved to D.C. and cooked in the Syrian Embassy in the 1940s. Mama Ayesha's nephews and great-nephews run the restaurant today. The restaurant is also known for the mural of presidents on its wall.

1967 Calvert St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

8. Loeb's NY Deli

1712 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006
A catering platter from Loeb’s
Loeb’s / Facebook

Since 1959, Loeb’s has been one of the few destinations in downtown D.C. to find pastrami, knishes, and more. It moved to a new location in 2010.

1712 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006

9. Raven Grill

3125 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010
The Raven Grill
Dive Bar S./Foursquare

One of D.C.’s quintessential dive bars, The Raven has been tucked away in Mt. Pleasant since 1935. While it may have "grill" in the name, diners won’t find much more than Utz potato chips to go with the beer and rail drinks.

3125 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

10. Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
The Oyster Riot at Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill/Facebook

This is one of those quintessentially classic restaurants — and it's the oldest on the list. Old Ebbitt Grill in 1856 when Franklin Pierce occupied the White House (which is right around the corner). When Old Ebbitt Grill opened, it was an election year with Millard Fillmore, John Fremont and James Buchanan were battling it out for supremacy. Now, the restaurant is home to a famed raw bar happy hour and is known for events like its annual Oyster Riot.

675 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

11. Stoney's Restaurant

1433 P St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
The famous super grilled cheese from Stoney’s.
Angela N./Yelp

The "boss of the sauce" has been open since Johnson was in the White House (1968) though they've moved locatoins. Currently, there's the L Street location and the Stoney's on Logan Circle's P Street. The bar is perhaps most famous for its super grilled cheese sandwich.

1433 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

12. The Occidental

1475 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
The Occidental
R. Lopez

Built by Henry Willard (same guy as the Willard Hotel) in 1906, the Occidental has seen its fair share of famous faces – Amelia Earhart, Robert Frost and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to name a few. More than a century old, the restaurant even played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1475 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

13. Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW, Washington, D.C., 20009
A halfsmoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl
R. Lopez/Eater

For more than 50 years, this U Street restaurant has been feeding locals and tourists (well, mostly tourists.) But just because it's a required stop for any tour bus doesn't mean Washingtonians can't stop in for a half-smoke or three. These are the guys that made the half-smoke the iconic food of DC.

1213 U St NW, Washington
D.C., 20009

14. Florida Avenue Grill

1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
A scene from breakfast at Florida Ave. Grill
R. Lopez/Eater

Soul food pioneer Florida Avenue Grill has been visited by local politicians and other African-American luminaries since opening in 1944. The restaurant didn't start taking up the whole building. When it opened, founders Lacey and wife Bertha only had enough space for two bar stools and had to cook the meals in the basement. Current owner Imar Hutchins has updated some of the current menu to remain relevant to contemporary diners.

1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

15. The Monocle

107 D St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
A steak from The Monocle
The Monocle/Facebook

A Capitol Hill institution since 1960, the Monocle is a known political hangout — because it's a stone's throw from the Hart and Dirksen Senate buildings, don't be surprised to see a politician or three in there eating and drinking.

107 D St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

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16. Tune Inn Restaurant & Bar

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
A burger at Tune Inn
Maria G/Yelp

Tune Inn reopened in November 2011 after a fire shut it down for a few months. But before that fire, Tune Inn was a dive hangout since 1947. Now, it’s less of a dive but still a beloved Capitol Hill hangout, serving up burgers, French dip sandwiches, and more.

331 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

17. A. Litteri

517 Morse St NE, Washington, DC 20002
A sandwich from A Litteri
Carolyn D./Yelp

This authentic Italian deli has been around since 1926, and in its current location near Union Market since 1932. A favorite of nearby workers, the deli keeps limited daytime hours and is closed Sundays and Mondays.

517 Morse St NE
Washington, DC 20002

18. Mangialardo & Sons

1317 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
A sub from Mangialardo’s
Mangialardo’s/Facebook

Since 1953, this Italian deli has been feeding Capitol Hill residents. And what do many of them order? The G Man — a sub that's packed with deli meats (the Big G is even more epic in size).

1317 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

Related Maps