Best Late Night Restaurants in Washington

D.C. Late Night Restaurant Menus Appeal To Every Craving And Budget

It's late. You have walked around to several different venues. Maybe had a little too much to drink and laughed hard at friends' jokes. While you may want to continue, your stomach doesn't. Thankfully many Washington, D.C. restaurants stay open into the wee hours of the morning so you can keep the party going.

Since the party won't wait for you, there are several options for quick grab and go restaurants that still provide your mouth with amazing taste sensations. U Street institution Ben's Chili Bowl offers craveable specialties like the all meat chili dog, jumbo beef dog and half pound gourmet burger. If you have a hankering for baked foods, Julia's Empanadas and Wiseguy NY Pizza may be your best bets for quick bites fresh from the oven.   

If you are looking to take your time with a good meal, try Old Ebbitt Grill which offers fresh ingredients and classic recipes like grilled oysters, watermelon salad and Maine lobster pot pie. For upscale yet casual dining, try Oyamel from world renowned chef Jose Andres. Make sure to check out the sinfully delicious specialty cocktails too.

Whatever you decide, the nation's capital has many late night restaurants to choose from that will leave your stomach happy and ready for more fun.   


With affordable prices and mouth watering dishes, this U Street favorite has been serving celebrities, politicians and every day folks since 1958. Ben's famous all meat chili dog, chili con carne and jumbo beef dog are menu specialties. Healthier, yet still tasty, options include a tuna sandwich, veggie burger and rice bowl. While your trainer might get mad, you won't want to miss side orders of chili-cheese fries and homemade cole saw. Make sure to wash it all down with one of Ben's famous thick creamy 16 oz. milkshakes. METRO: U Street.

Recommended for Late Night because: In business for more than 50 years, folks still line up for this district favorite.

Gina's expert tip: The counter, booth and stools are all original to the 1958 opening.

Read more about Ben's Chili Bowl →

Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Photo courtesy of Jack Rose saloon

When you think saloon, you automatically start think about the drinks at the bar but this entry has a tasty late night menu. Want something small? Chose between bites like BBQ almonds or friend chicken skins. Need just a tad more food? Try appetizers such as smoked whiskey wings and Pacific shrimp cocktail. Supper plate options include deviled eggs, friend green tomatoes and marinated olives. Whiskey fans rejoice because the saloon boasts an impressive selection to choose from and cigars to boot. If whiskey is not your choice drink, the bar has a wide variety of beer, wine spirits and cocktails to sample. METRO: Dupont Circle

Recommended for Late Night because: The saloon combines an impressive drink collection with delicious food.

Gina's expert tip: The establishment has several rooms to enjoy including a tiki bar, whiskey cellar and open-air terrace.

Read more about Jack Rose Dining Saloon →

Julia's Empanadas
Photo courtesy of Empanada

After a night of fun, you just want to get something quick and tasty. Julia's Empanadas has been serving up the hand made, mildly spiced, fresh from scratch baked calzone like meals for more than 20 years. Chose from eight different empanadas including turkey, chicken curry and vegetarian. Soups and salads can be added on to your meal as well. If you aren't near the Dupont Circle location, don't fret. There are two more locations in Adams Morgan and Brightwood. The store front is small but the taste is big. METRO: Dupont Circle

Recommended for Late Night because: This eatery offers up big taste for a low cost.

Gina's expert tip: Save room for the dessert fruit empanadas including strawberry with cream cheese.

Read more about Julia's Empanadas →

Wiseguy NY Pizza
Photo courtesy of Wiseguy NY Pizza

Originating in the Empire State, the New York-style pizza features hand tossed, crisp thin crust selections and this eatery makes them to perfection. Pizzas are offered mainly by the slice but also as a whole too. Slices are taken from a 20' inch pie cut to serve eight. Whole pizzas are 18' and are also sliced to serve eight. Sink your teeth into The Godfather featuring pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon, The Wiseguy showcasing homemade meatballs or the Buffalo Pizza offering chicken breast and spicy buffalo sauce. Go somewhere else to find a better New York-style pizza? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Recommended for Late Night because: After a night of fun, there's no better way to cure a grumbling stomach than with a delicious N.Y. style pizza slice.

Gina's expert tip: You can't order pizzas via their phone. Just their website.

Read more about Wiseguy NY Pizza →

Their motto "Serving early birds, night owls and everyone in between" is a good fit for the eatery which stays open 24/7. Just because it's late at night, doesn't mean you can't chose some breakfast favorites like buttermilk pancakes or sample one of several omelet and egg dishes. Lunch and dinner options include salads, burgers, sandwiches and entrees like grilled salmon, Greek pasta and bacon wrapped meatloaf. Whatever your stomach is craving, The Diner is sure to have it. Be sure to check out their happy hour events which run Sunday through Thursday. METRO: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams-Morgan

Recommended for Late Night because: Hunger pangs can come at any time. Thankfully The Diner is open 24/7.

Gina's expert tip: They do not take reservations and seat on a first come, first serve basis.

Read more about The Diner →

When Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Harding and Teddy Roosevelt were in need of libations, they came to here. Established in 1856 and boasts of being Washington, D.C.'s oldest saloon, the restaurant today offers a large late night menu that is sure to appease. Choose meals to share like the meatball sliders or pork belly tacos. Take your choice of salads or try entrees such as the Maine lobster pot pie or jumbo lump crab cakes. Sandwiches are not to be missed including the Reuben and riot burger. METRO: Metro Center.

Recommended for Late Night because: Many of history's most famous faces have dined at this restaurant and the tradition continues today.

Gina's expert tip: Check out the decor as many items are reproductions that could not be salvaged from previous locations.

Read more about Old Ebbitt Grill →

Photo courtesy of Muncheez

Opening in 2010, this venue aims to share the food, culture and hospitality of Lebanon with the masses. You'll find a menu that is a perfect cure for the munchies. If your sweet tooth is craving a hit, go straight to the crepes section featuring choices like sugar, butter and cinnamon and Nutella. Looking for meat? Try one of the wraps including turkey and cheese, brisket cheesesteak, and chicken and cheese. Other notable menu sections include shawarmas, manakeesh and salads. Be sure to check out the murals painted on the wall before you leave! Take out is available.

Recommended for Late Night because: The name says it all! If you get a case of the munchies, head to their restaurant or food truck for delicious dishes.

Gina's expert tip: If you are out and about, be sure to check out their food truck locator on their website.

Read more about Muncheez →


Named after the sacred fir tree native to central Mexico where monarch butterflies take refuge after migration, Oyamel is emerging as one of the district's top upscale casual dining options. The menu features creative interpretations of modern, urban Mexican food – snacks or small dishes, tacos, ceviches and desserts. The guacamole is even made fresh at your table! You may want to take the Metro here because the drink menu is so enticing. Several different interpretations of the margarita are offered as well as house cocktails, wines and beers. Resident experts will also guide you through tastings of tequilas and mezcals. Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown

Recommended for Late Night because: World renowned chef Jose Andres has created yet another outstanding restaurant for Washington, D.C.

Gina's expert tip: The late night menu's Mexican tacos are not to be missed.

Read more about Oyamel →

Amsterdam Falafelshop
Photo courtesy of Amsterdam Falafel

With a believe that food can be both quick and delicious, founders Scott and Arianne Bennett set out to bring European and Middle Eastern flavors to the states. Their franchise of stores were first inspired by seeing falafel shops throughout Amsterdam – hence the name. You can order a falafel sandwich with either five or three balls and then load up the pita with your choice of 22 toppings and sauces. Be sure to add on some Frieten (fries) as well. There are three locations in the district: Adams Morgan, 14th Street Corridor and L'Enfant Plaza food court and one in Virginia at the Clarendon Metro station.

Recommended for Late Night because: Fried falafels with 22 toppings and sauces to chose from make for a great late night snack.

Gina's expert tip: For those needing gluten-free options, try their Falafel Bowl. You pay after you fill the bowl with toppings.

Read more about Amsterdam Falafelshop →


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina