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Here Are 25 of the D.C. Area's Iconic Greasy Spoons

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D.C. may not have the kind of diner culture that one finds in New Jersey or on Long Island. But look deeper, and the city and its surrounding areas still have plenty of greasy spoon standouts, some of which have stood the test of time for years. Here's a roundup of 25 important ones to note, whether for their historical status, late night hours, no-frills food or interesting quirks. Have another favorite greasy spoon? Share it in the comments.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Metro 29 Diner

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4711 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 528-2464
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Metro 29, located in Arlington, is one of D.C.'s few New York-style diners. It opened in 1995 and has an on-site bakery.
What to order: Corned beef hash, pancakes, Spanish omelet.

2. The Diner

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2453 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-8800
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The Diner is open 24/7 and is from the same family of restaurants as Tryst, The Coupe and Open City. It's particularly packed during weekend brunch.
What to order: eggs bendict, sausage stuffed pancakes, meatloaf, Croque and Dagger

3. Florida Avenue Grill

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1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-1586
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The Florida Ave. grill markets itself as the "oldest soul food restaurant in the world." It's been around since 1944, and owner Lacey C. Wilson, Jr. is a D.C. fixture.
What to order: Grits, virginia ham, scrapple.

4. Silver Diner

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12276 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 770-2828
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Silver Diner has grown from a Rockville stand-alone restaurant to a chain of successful diners reaching as far as New Jersey. Several years ago, the owners switched the menu to have more of a healthy and farm-focused bent, and the results have increased sales dramatically (while improving the food in the process).
What to order: Farm fresh eggs and salads, fruit shakes, anything with bison.

5. Bob & Edith's Diner

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2310 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 920-6103
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Bob and Edith's has been around since the late 60s, and has been a destination for late night, heart-attack-on-a-plate food since.
What to order: 2-2-2 special, homemade biscuits, steak and eggs.

6. Ben's Chili Bowl

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1213 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 667-0909
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It doesn't get more iconic — or greasy — than Ben's Chili Bowl. The historic destination has been a fixture on U street since 1958, and has seen D.C. evolve and change over the decades.
What to order: Half smoke with chili

7. La Caraquena

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300 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 533-0076
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More of a dive than a diner (and yes, it has been featured on Guy Fieri's show), La Caraquena is an unassuming restaurant located within a motel in Falls Church. It only has a few seats, but it's a destination for its Latin American food.
What to order: Arepas such as J.P.'s favorite, sopa de frijoles.

8. Osman & Joe's Steak 'n Egg Kitchen

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4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 686-1201
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The unassuming Steak 'n' Egg kitchen serves up homestyle fare late at night.
What to order: Steak and eggs with mushrooms, milkshakes, scrapple

9. Tastee Diner

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7731 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-3970
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There are three locations of Tastee Diner throughout Maryland, and they all serve breakfast 24/7 in a classic diner car atmosphere.
What to order: Pie, daily specials like chicken and dumplings.

10. Mark's Kitchen

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7006 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 270-1884
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Mark's Kitchen has been a fixture of Takoma Park since 1990. It's been known for its vegetarian and vegan options since the beginning.
What to order: Vegetarian fare, Korean dishes, blueberry pancakes

11. Bentley's

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6654 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 532-4100
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This restaurant, adjacent to a hotel along Route 50, feels like something out of another time and place. It used to be a Three Chef's Pancake House.
What to order: Generic breakfast fare, pancakes

12. Jimmy T's Place

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501 E Capitol St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 546-3646
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Jimmy T's is about as divey as it gets - a no-frills, tiny neighborhood favorite that's actually cheap.
What to order: good coffee, breakfast combos, eggs with a half smoke.

13. Oohh’s & Aahh’s

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1005 U St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 667-7142
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This U Street staple is known for its soul food dishes.
What to order: mac and cheese, fried chicken.

14. Amphora Restaurant

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377 Maple Ave W
Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 938-7877
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Amphora is been a Vienna option for late night fare and Greek-inspired dishes since the 1970s. It also has an on-site bakery.
What to order: pastries, peanut butter pancakes.

15. Duplex Diner

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2004 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-7828
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This diner, a particular favorite of the gay community, just got a design makeover.
What to order: Tater tots, meatloaf.

16. Nick's Diner

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11199 Veirs Mill Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20902
(301) 933-5459
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Open for breakfast and lunch only, this Greek-style is run by an entire family, and diners can catch up with owner Nick near the grill.
What to order: Greek omelet, gyros, ham off-the-bone sandwiches, home fries

17. Ollie's Trolley

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425 12th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-6119
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The D.C. location of Ollie's Trolley is a remnant of what used to be a robust national chain. The restaurant is a particular favorite among tourists.
What to order: Cheeseburgers, fries.

18. Lincoln's Waffle Shop

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504 10th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 638-4009
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Lincoln's Waffle Shop has been a breakfast option across from Ford's Theater for more than 20 years.
What to order: Waffles, club sandwich.

19. American City Diner

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5532 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015
(202) 244-1949
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With blue plate specials, movie nights and a long history, American City Diner has a special place in the hearts of D.C. and Maryland residents.
What to order: Milkshakes, pizza

20. Barnside Diner

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6308 Little River Turnpike
Alexandria, VA 22312-1601
(703) 256-3318
This divey destination is open 24 hours and known for its quick service.
What to order: Corned beef hash

21. C.F. Folks

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1225 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 293-0162
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C.F. Folks just received a James Beard award for its iconic status in the D.C. lunch scene. The restaurant is beloved for its daily specials.
What to order: Deli sandwiches, specials, fried chicken

22. Plato's Diner

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7150 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
(301) 779-7070
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University of Maryland students are no strangers to the charms of Plato's, a Greek diner in College Park. It's been around since 1994.
What to order: Gyros, Greek food.

23. Pete's Diner

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212 2nd St SE
Washington, DC 20543
(202) 544-7335
Pete's serves up traditional breakfast food for low prices, as well as some Asian specials.
What to order: vegetarian combo, milkshakes.

24. The Market Lunch

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Eastern Market
Washington, DC
No stop in D.C. is complete without a trip to Market Lunch, located within Eastern Market. There's usually a line, but people wolf down their food quickly at the few tables.
What to order: crab cakes, blueberry buckwheat pancakes.

25. Fast Gourmet

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1400 W St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 448-9217
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Sandwiches out of a converted gas station? It doesn't get more greasy spoon than that. Fast Gourmet is also open late night.
What to order: The Chivito, the Cuban

26. Honorable Mention: Chick & Ruth's

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165 Main St
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 269-6737
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Sure it's a bit of a drive from D.C. But the iconic Chick & Ruth's draws lines out the door no matter what time of day.
What to order: Deli sandwiches, milkshakes, crab cakes, "colossal challenges".

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1. Metro 29 Diner

4711 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207
Metro 29, located in Arlington, is one of D.C.'s few New York-style diners. It opened in 1995 and has an on-site bakery.
What to order: Corned beef hash, pancakes, Spanish omelet.
4711 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207

2. The Diner

2453 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The Diner is open 24/7 and is from the same family of restaurants as Tryst, The Coupe and Open City. It's particularly packed during weekend brunch.
What to order: eggs bendict, sausage stuffed pancakes, meatloaf, Croque and Dagger
2453 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

3. Florida Avenue Grill

1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
The Florida Ave. grill markets itself as the "oldest soul food restaurant in the world." It's been around since 1944, and owner Lacey C. Wilson, Jr. is a D.C. fixture.
What to order: Grits, virginia ham, scrapple.
1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Silver Diner

12276 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
Silver Diner has grown from a Rockville stand-alone restaurant to a chain of successful diners reaching as far as New Jersey. Several years ago, the owners switched the menu to have more of a healthy and farm-focused bent, and the results have increased sales dramatically (while improving the food in the process).
What to order: Farm fresh eggs and salads, fruit shakes, anything with bison.
12276 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

5. Bob & Edith's Diner

2310 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Bob and Edith's has been around since the late 60s, and has been a destination for late night, heart-attack-on-a-plate food since.
What to order: 2-2-2 special, homemade biscuits, steak and eggs.
2310 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

6. Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
It doesn't get more iconic — or greasy — than Ben's Chili Bowl. The historic destination has been a fixture on U street since 1958, and has seen D.C. evolve and change over the decades.
What to order: Half smoke with chili
1213 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

7. La Caraquena

300 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046
More of a dive than a diner (and yes, it has been featured on Guy Fieri's show), La Caraquena is an unassuming restaurant located within a motel in Falls Church. It only has a few seats, but it's a destination for its Latin American food.
What to order: Arepas such as J.P.'s favorite, sopa de frijoles.
300 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046

8. Osman & Joe's Steak 'n Egg Kitchen

4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016
The unassuming Steak 'n' Egg kitchen serves up homestyle fare late at night.
What to order: Steak and eggs with mushrooms, milkshakes, scrapple
4700 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

9. Tastee Diner

7731 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
There are three locations of Tastee Diner throughout Maryland, and they all serve breakfast 24/7 in a classic diner car atmosphere.
What to order: Pie, daily specials like chicken and dumplings.
7731 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

10. Mark's Kitchen

7006 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Mark's Kitchen has been a fixture of Takoma Park since 1990. It's been known for its vegetarian and vegan options since the beginning.
What to order: Vegetarian fare, Korean dishes, blueberry pancakes
7006 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

11. Bentley's

6654 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042
This restaurant, adjacent to a hotel along Route 50, feels like something out of another time and place. It used to be a Three Chef's Pancake House.
What to order: Generic breakfast fare, pancakes
6654 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22042

12. Jimmy T's Place

501 E Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Jimmy T's is about as divey as it gets - a no-frills, tiny neighborhood favorite that's actually cheap.
What to order: good coffee, breakfast combos, eggs with a half smoke.
501 E Capitol St SE
Washington, DC 20003

13. Oohh’s & Aahh’s

1005 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001
This U Street staple is known for its soul food dishes.
What to order: mac and cheese, fried chicken.
1005 U St NW
Washington, DC 20001

14. Amphora Restaurant

377 Maple Ave W, Vienna, VA 22180
Amphora is been a Vienna option for late night fare and Greek-inspired dishes since the 1970s. It also has an on-site bakery.
What to order: pastries, peanut butter pancakes.
377 Maple Ave W
Vienna, VA 22180

15. Duplex Diner

2004 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
This diner, a particular favorite of the gay community, just got a design makeover.
What to order: Tater tots, meatloaf.
2004 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

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16. Nick's Diner

11199 Veirs Mill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Open for breakfast and lunch only, this Greek-style is run by an entire family, and diners can catch up with owner Nick near the grill.
What to order: Greek omelet, gyros, ham off-the-bone sandwiches, home fries
11199 Veirs Mill Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20902

17. Ollie's Trolley

425 12th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
The D.C. location of Ollie's Trolley is a remnant of what used to be a robust national chain. The restaurant is a particular favorite among tourists.
What to order: Cheeseburgers, fries.
425 12th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

18. Lincoln's Waffle Shop

504 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Lincoln's Waffle Shop has been a breakfast option across from Ford's Theater for more than 20 years.
What to order: Waffles, club sandwich.
504 10th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

19. American City Diner

5532 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015
With blue plate specials, movie nights and a long history, American City Diner has a special place in the hearts of D.C. and Maryland residents.
What to order: Milkshakes, pizza
5532 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015

20. Barnside Diner

6308 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312-1601
This divey destination is open 24 hours and known for its quick service.
What to order: Corned beef hash
6308 Little River Turnpike
Alexandria, VA 22312-1601

21. C.F. Folks

1225 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
C.F. Folks just received a James Beard award for its iconic status in the D.C. lunch scene. The restaurant is beloved for its daily specials.
What to order: Deli sandwiches, specials, fried chicken
1225 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

22. Plato's Diner

7150 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD 20740
University of Maryland students are no strangers to the charms of Plato's, a Greek diner in College Park. It's been around since 1994.
What to order: Gyros, Greek food.
7150 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740

23. Pete's Diner

212 2nd St SE, Washington, DC 20543