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Dining review - Swahili Village
Heavily spiced, grilled nyama choma is one of the highlights at Swahili Village.
Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

12 Outstanding D.C. Restaurants That Open on Mondays

Where to find Afghan dumplings, Spanish tapas, and pizza by the slice on a day when many restaurants stay closed

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Heavily spiced, grilled nyama choma is one of the highlights at Swahili Village.
| Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Restaurant industry hours don’t follow a typical 9-to-5 schedule. The busiest days are weekends, when white collar workers take off, so many eating and drinking establishments shut down on Mondays to allow employees to recover from Saturday and Sunday shifts. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course. These 12 places welcome Monday diners in for a taste of Kenyan grilled beef, tapas, modern diner fare, and more.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lapis

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1847 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 299-9630
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This modern Afghan bistro located in the heart of Adams Morgan opens for lunch and dinner on Mondays. Lapis offers plenty of grilled meat, but it’s also a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly spot, offering dishes like baked eggplant and gulpee, a cauliflower dish cooked in a spiced tomato sauce and finished with fresh cilantro.

Tim’s review of Lapis for Dining column for Feb. 21
Lamb chops from Lapis
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

2. Le Diplomate

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1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-3333
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This bustling 14th Street brasserie is known as a power dining destination for Washington’s political set. But it’s also an everyday stop where vistors can walk in and grab a baguette to go. Le Diplomate’s doors open promptly at noon and stay open until 11 p.m. for French onion soup, foie gras, cheeseburgers, and steak frites.

WASHINGTON, DC-MAY29: The cheeseburger at Le Diplomate in Washi Getty Images

3. Commissary

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1443 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 299-0018
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This casual, all-day spot feels a little like Logan Circle’s living room with seating that includes indoor and outdoor tables, comfortable couches, and workstation-style desks. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are a reflection of this anytime approach. From breakfast sandwiches to wedge salads, hearty pizzas, and pasta dishes, there’s something for everyone (including a kids’ menu).

4. Chiko (Multiple locations)

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2029 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-3040
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Chinese and Korean cuisine fill up the menu at one of D.C.’s favorite counter-service spots, with locations in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, and Bethesda. Each one opens from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays. One must-order dish is the soy-glazed brisket with a poached egg. It’s been on the menu since day one.

Chiko brisket high res
Chiko’s soy-glazed brisket is a must-order.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

5. Unconventional Diner

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1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 847-0122
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For brunch on a Monday, Unconventional Diner offers slightly upscale takes on classic American dishes like buttermilk pancakes and French toast. Dining room hours extend from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. And breakfast is available to until 4 p.m. Dishes like avocado toast and everything lox stick around for dinner, too.

Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

6. Swahili Village - The Consulate DC

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1990 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 758-3384
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This basement restaurant focusing on Kenyan food and other African staples is one of the newest additions downtown. It’s nicknamed “the Consulate” because it attracts embassy staffers from Kenya and West African nations. It’s also open late, making for a reliable Monday night option when many other options are closed. Platters come filled with marinated, grilled beef and chicken, plus sides of collard greens, spinach cooked in coconut milk, and corn-based fufu.

Swahili Village chef-owner Kevin Onyona Swahili Village [official]

7. Taberna del Alabardero

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1776 I Street Northwest Entrance on 18th between H and, I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 429-2200
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This opulent Spanish dining room downtown makes visitors fell as if they’ve been whisked away to Madrid. From tapas to paella, this dining room stays open on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for snacking at the bar, plus lunch or dinner.

Taberna del Alabardero

8. Maketto

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1351 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 838-9972
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Over on H Steet NE, Erik Bruner-Yang’s well-known Taiwanese and Cambodian cafe opens at 7 a.m. on Mondays. It’ss. It’s a reliable place to meet for coffee and pastries, breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a Monday. The multi-tiered space caters to many different environments, including a cafe, outdoor courtyard, and dining room and bar. Try steamed bao, fried dough sticks with soy milk for dipping, a large plate of wok-fried noodles with pork barbecue, or fried chicken served in a five-spice sauce.

Best American Food Cities: DC Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

9. Zaytinya

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701 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 638-0800
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When workers return to the office, Chinatown can once again be expected to fill up. Zaytina, the Mediterranean restaurant from chef José Andrés, is a local favorite for a workplace lunch or a dinner to cap the day. There are family-style options for dinner, including whole fish, lamb shoulder, and meze spreads.

Photo: Zaytinya

10. Ambar Capitol Hill

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523 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 813-3039
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Balkan cuisine is available at lunch and dinner on Mondays at Ambar on Capitol Hill’s Barracks Row. Lunch runs from noon to 3:30 p.m. and the dinner service starts at 4 p.m. Happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. That menu includes small bites, like kebabs ($7) and Balkan wines ($6 per glass).

Photo: Ambar

11. The Roost

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1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003

This Capitol Hill food hall managed by Neighborhood Restaurant Group is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — all accessible via QR code ordering —on Mondays. Morning options include coffee and pastries from Cameo, exceptional New York-style pizza from Slice Joint, and healthy, Euro-themed salads, toasts, and bowls from Leni. Later on, there are Red Apron burgers, sushi from Ako, noodles and dumplings from Yoko & Kota, and a beer garden at Shelter. Some vendors open as early as 8 a.m.

Plain cheese slices from Slice Joint at the Roost food hall
Plain cheese slices from Slice Joint at the Roost food hall
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

12. GATSBY

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1201 Half St SE Suite #205
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 817-3005
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This updated diner serves blue-plate specials throughout the work week, including fried chicken on Mondays. The dining room is open for lunch and dinner service, and the bar serves a $6 whiskey highball at happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m). Other options include a vegan Caesar, Greekl omelets, fried monte cristo sandwiches, and sides of brisket poutine.

A vegan Caesar salad from Gatsby
A vegan Caesar salad is packed with romaine, brussels, kale, corn, avocado, and tortilla strips. 
Rey Lopez/Gatsby

1. Lapis

1847 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Tim’s review of Lapis for Dining column for Feb. 21
Lamb chops from Lapis
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

This modern Afghan bistro located in the heart of Adams Morgan opens for lunch and dinner on Mondays. Lapis offers plenty of grilled meat, but it’s also a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly spot, offering dishes like baked eggplant and gulpee, a cauliflower dish cooked in a spiced tomato sauce and finished with fresh cilantro.

1847 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

2. Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
WASHINGTON, DC-MAY29: The cheeseburger at Le Diplomate in Washi Getty Images

This bustling 14th Street brasserie is known as a power dining destination for Washington’s political set. But it’s also an everyday stop where vistors can walk in and grab a baguette to go. Le Diplomate’s doors open promptly at noon and stay open until 11 p.m. for French onion soup, foie gras, cheeseburgers, and steak frites.

1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

3. Commissary

1443 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005

This casual, all-day spot feels a little like Logan Circle’s living room with seating that includes indoor and outdoor tables, comfortable couches, and workstation-style desks. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are a reflection of this anytime approach. From breakfast sandwiches to wedge salads, hearty pizzas, and pasta dishes, there’s something for everyone (including a kids’ menu).

1443 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005

4. Chiko (Multiple locations)

2029 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Chiko brisket high res
Chiko’s soy-glazed brisket is a must-order.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Chinese and Korean cuisine fill up the menu at one of D.C.’s favorite counter-service spots, with locations in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, and Bethesda. Each one opens from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays. One must-order dish is the soy-glazed brisket with a poached egg. It’s been on the menu since day one.

2029 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036

5. Unconventional Diner

1207 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

For brunch on a Monday, Unconventional Diner offers slightly upscale takes on classic American dishes like buttermilk pancakes and French toast. Dining room hours extend from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. And breakfast is available to until 4 p.m. Dishes like avocado toast and everything lox stick around for dinner, too.

1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

6. Swahili Village - The Consulate DC

1990 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Swahili Village chef-owner Kevin Onyona Swahili Village [official]

This basement restaurant focusing on Kenyan food and other African staples is one of the newest additions downtown. It’s nicknamed “the Consulate” because it attracts embassy staffers from Kenya and West African nations. It’s also open late, making for a reliable Monday night option when many other options are closed. Platters come filled with marinated, grilled beef and chicken, plus sides of collard greens, spinach cooked in coconut milk, and corn-based fufu.

1990 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. Taberna del Alabardero

1776 I Street Northwest Entrance on 18th between H and, I St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Taberna del Alabardero

This opulent Spanish dining room downtown makes visitors fell as if they’ve been whisked away to Madrid. From tapas to paella, this dining room stays open on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for snacking at the bar, plus lunch or dinner.

1776 I Street Northwest Entrance on 18th between H and, I St NW
Washington, DC 20006

8. Maketto

1351 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Best American Food Cities: DC Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Over on H Steet NE, Erik Bruner-Yang’s well-known Taiwanese and Cambodian cafe opens at 7 a.m. on Mondays. It’ss. It’s a reliable place to meet for coffee and pastries, breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a Monday. The multi-tiered space caters to many different environments, including a cafe, outdoor courtyard, and dining room and bar. Try steamed bao, fried dough sticks with soy milk for dipping, a large plate of wok-fried noodles with pork barbecue, or fried chicken served in a five-spice sauce.

1351 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

9. Zaytinya

701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Photo: Zaytinya

When workers return to the office, Chinatown can once again be expected to fill up. Zaytina, the Mediterranean restaurant from chef José Andrés, is a local favorite for a workplace lunch or a dinner to cap the day. There are family-style options for dinner, including whole fish, lamb shoulder, and meze spreads.

701 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

10. Ambar Capitol Hill

523 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Photo: Ambar

Balkan cuisine is available at lunch and dinner on Mondays at Ambar on Capitol Hill’s Barracks Row. Lunch runs from noon to 3:30 p.m. and the dinner service starts at 4 p.m. Happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. That menu includes small bites, like kebabs ($7) and Balkan wines ($6 per glass).

523 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

11. The Roost

1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003
Plain cheese slices from Slice Joint at the Roost food hall
Plain cheese slices from Slice Joint at the Roost food hall
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This Capitol Hill food hall managed by Neighborhood Restaurant Group is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — all accessible via QR code ordering —on Mondays. Morning options include coffee and pastries from Cameo, exceptional New York-style pizza from Slice Joint, and healthy, Euro-themed salads, toasts, and bowls from Leni. Later on, there are Red Apron burgers, sushi from Ako, noodles and dumplings from Yoko & Kota, and a beer garden at Shelter. Some vendors open as early as 8 a.m.

1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003

12. GATSBY

1201 Half St SE Suite #205, Washington, DC 20003
A vegan Caesar salad from Gatsby
A vegan Caesar salad is packed with romaine, brussels, kale, corn, avocado, and tortilla strips. 
Rey Lopez/Gatsby

This updated diner serves blue-plate specials throughout the work week, including fried chicken on Mondays. The dining room is open for lunch and dinner service, and the bar serves a $6 whiskey highball at happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m). Other options include a vegan Caesar, Greekl omelets, fried monte cristo sandwiches, and sides of brisket poutine.

1201 Half St SE Suite #205
Washington, DC 20003

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