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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

Outstanding D.C. Restaurants That Open on Mondays

Where to find Afghan dumplings, Spanish tapas, and all-day happy hours 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 17 places welcome Monday diners in for a taste of Kenyan grilled beef, martini flights, tapas, modern diner fare, and more.

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Brookland Pint

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Brookland’s casual American eatery, known for its terrific burgers and domestic brews, has Monday hours from 5 p.m. to midnight, with food until 10 p.m.

This modern Afghan bistro located in the heart of Adams Morgan opens for lunch and dinner on Mondays. Lapis’s menu 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 spiced tomato sauce and finished with fresh cilantro. Lapis opens weekdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and at 5 p.m. for dinner every night. Brunch is available on weekends at 10 a.m.

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

Le Diplomate

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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

Commissary

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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). Commissary is open daily from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Chiko (Multiple locations)

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Chinese and Korean cuisine fill up the menu at one of D.C.’s favorite counter-service spots, with Chiko locations in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, and Bethesda. Each one is open on Mondays, but opening times vary by location. 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.

Chaplin's Restaurant

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Shaw’s beloved ramen house and cocktail bar is open on Mondays. The bar is a top pick for industry regulars, and its kitchen closes at 11 p.m. A daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. shaves half off draft cocktails, beer, and wine. Up the street, sister spot Zeppelin Restaurant & Bar is a prime pick for sushi and yakitori. Daily happy hour runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Lutèce.

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At this hip reboot of Georgetown classic Cafe Bonaparte, chef Matt Conroy adopts a French appreciation for market produce to ensure that every ingredient shines on the plate. Parisian gnocchi and grilled octopus are among the seasonally rotating, “neo-bistro” dishes available in its casual and cozy dining room. Reservations for a chef’s table tasting menu ($90 per person) include four courses and a view of the kitchen; the tasting menu is also now available restaurant-wide ($85 per person).

Parisian gnocchi from Lutèce
Parisian gnocchi from Lutèce.
Gabe Hiatt/Eater D.C.

Unconventional Diner

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For brunch on a Mondays, 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., with brunch available until 4 p.m. Dishes like avocado toast and everything lox stick around for dinner, too.

Swahili Village - The Consulate DC

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This basement restaurant focusing on Kenyan food and other African staples is nicknamed “the Consulate” because it attracts embassy staffers from Kenya and West African nations. It’s also open late (until 2 a.m.), 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. Opens daily at 11 a.m. Swahili Village plans to open restaurants in Tyson’s Corner later this year.

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

Le DeSales

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French-themed LeDeSales, which recently revived greatest raw fish hits by Sei’s Japanese sushi master “Noriaki” Yasutake, rebooted Monday service this month for the first time in years with an all-night happy hour.

Soy sheet-wrapped shrimp beignet rolls at Le DeSales feature orange curry tartar and asparagus.
Le DeSales

Taberna del Alabardero

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This opulent Spanish dining room downtown makes visitors feel 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

Maketto

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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. The multi-tiered space caters to many needs with different environments, including a cafe, outdoor courtyard, and dining room and bar, making it a reliable place to meet for coffee and pastries, breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a Monday. 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

Zaytinya

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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 working lunch or after-work dinner to cap the day. There are family-style options for dinner, including whole fish, lamb shoulder, and meze spreads. Open on Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo: Zaytinya

Café Riggs

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Penn Quarter’s opulent hotel brasserie manned by Eater Young Gun Patrick Curran (‘16) offers full dinner service on Mondays. A new Martini Monday offering includes dirty (olive-infused Ketel One), espresso, and Tanqueray varieties for $14 each, or opt for a tiny trio for $26.

Three martini glasses lined up
Café Riggs offers a new Martini Monday flight for $24.
Cafe Riggs/official photo

Ambar Capitol Hill

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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), an Ambar old fashioned with plum rakia ($7) and Balkan wines ($6 per glass). There are also locations in Clarendon (and Belgrade, Serbia).

Photo: Ambar

The Roost

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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. Early-in-the-day 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, tacos from Hi/Fi, 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.

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 its all-day happy hour (11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Other options include a vegan Caesar, Greek 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

Brookland Pint

Brookland’s casual American eatery, known for its terrific burgers and domestic brews, has Monday hours from 5 p.m. to midnight, with food until 10 p.m.

Lapis

This modern Afghan bistro located in the heart of Adams Morgan opens for lunch and dinner on Mondays. Lapis’s menu 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 spiced tomato sauce and finished with fresh cilantro. Lapis opens weekdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and at 5 p.m. for dinner every night. Brunch is available on weekends at 10 a.m.

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

Le Diplomate

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

Commissary

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). Commissary is open daily from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Chiko (Multiple locations)

Chinese and Korean cuisine fill up the menu at one of D.C.’s favorite counter-service spots, with Chiko locations in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, and Bethesda. Each one is open on Mondays, but opening times vary by location. 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.

Chaplin's Restaurant

Shaw’s beloved ramen house and cocktail bar is open on Mondays. The bar is a top pick for industry regulars, and its kitchen closes at 11 p.m. A daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. shaves half off draft cocktails, beer, and wine. Up the street, sister spot Zeppelin Restaurant & Bar is a prime pick for sushi and yakitori. Daily happy hour runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Lutèce.

At this hip reboot of Georgetown classic Cafe Bonaparte, chef Matt Conroy adopts a French appreciation for market produce to ensure that every ingredient shines on the plate. Parisian gnocchi and grilled octopus are among the seasonally rotating, “neo-bistro” dishes available in its casual and cozy dining room. Reservations for a chef’s table tasting menu ($90 per person) include four courses and a view of the kitchen; the tasting menu is also now available restaurant-wide ($85 per person).

Parisian gnocchi from Lutèce
Parisian gnocchi from Lutèce.
Gabe Hiatt/Eater D.C.

Unconventional Diner

For brunch on a Mondays, 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., with brunch available until 4 p.m. Dishes like avocado toast and everything lox stick around for dinner, too.

Swahili Village - The Consulate DC

This basement restaurant focusing on Kenyan food and other African staples is nicknamed “the Consulate” because it attracts embassy staffers from Kenya and West African nations. It’s also open late (until 2 a.m.), 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. Opens daily at 11 a.m. Swahili Village plans to open restaurants in Tyson’s Corner later this year.

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

Le DeSales

French-themed LeDeSales, which recently revived greatest raw fish hits by Sei’s Japanese sushi master “Noriaki” Yasutake, rebooted Monday service this month for the first time in years with an all-night happy hour.

Soy sheet-wrapped shrimp beignet rolls at Le DeSales feature orange curry tartar and asparagus.
Le DeSales

Taberna del Alabardero

This opulent Spanish dining room downtown makes visitors feel 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

Maketto

Over on H Steet NE, Erik Bruner-Yang’s well-known Taiwanese and Cambodian cafe opens at 7 a.m. on Mondays. The multi-tiered space caters to many needs with different environments, including a cafe, outdoor courtyard, and dining room and bar, making it a reliable place to meet for coffee and pastries, breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a Monday. 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

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 working lunch or after-work dinner to cap the day. There are family-style options for dinner, including whole fish, lamb shoulder, and meze spreads. Open on Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo: Zaytinya

Café Riggs

Penn Quarter’s opulent hotel brasserie manned by Eater Young Gun Patrick Curran (‘16) offers full dinner service on Mondays. A new Martini Monday offering includes dirty (olive-infused Ketel One), espresso, and Tanqueray varieties for $14 each, or opt for a tiny trio for $26.

Three martini glasses lined up
Café Riggs offers a new Martini Monday flight for $24.
Cafe Riggs/official photo

Ambar Capitol Hill

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), an Ambar old fashioned with plum rakia ($7) and Balkan wines ($6 per glass). There are also locations in Clarendon (and Belgrade, Serbia).

Photo: Ambar

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The Roost

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. Early-in-the-day 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, tacos from Hi/Fi, 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.

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 its all-day happy hour (11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Other options include a vegan Caesar, Greek 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

Related Maps