Old Ebbitt Grill

Historic Bar / Historic Restaurant
Old Ebbitt Grill Old Ebbitt Grill Downtown is Washington, DC's oldest bar/restaurant, with killer oysters & a swanky but casual air. Check out this DC fave with Party Earth. Washington, DC United States 38.898037 -77.033421
3.6 8
Old Ebbitt Grill - Historic Bar | Historic Restaurant in Washington, DC.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Established in 1856, Old Ebbitt Grill has long been popular with everyone from presidents and political insiders to wandering tourists, all attracted by the upscale American menu, the raw bar, and the fun of guessing which... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Blue, Orange Red Lines: Metro Center

  • Phone:

    202-347-4800

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F 7:30am–2am, Sa 8:30am–3am, Su 8:30am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Old Ebbitt Grill Review

The Scene

Old Ebbitt Grill Downtown is Washington, DC's oldest bar/restaurant, with killer oysters & a swanky but casual air. Check out this DC fave with Party Earth.

Established in 1856, Old Ebbitt Grill has long been popular with everyone from presidents and political insiders to wandering tourists, all attracted by the upscale American menu, the raw bar, and the fun of guessing which table was Theodore Roosevelt’s.

A stone’s throw from The White House, the venue sports neoclassical architecture that blends in well with its surroundings, while the vast interior hosts multiple Victorian-style rooms that remain busy at practically all hours.

Antique mahogany booths in the main dining areas foster a swanky atmosphere, buoyed by gas lamps and sprawling paintings of patriotic Americana. But despite the crisp white tablecloths and thick wine list, the place features comparatively low prices that will please even budget-conscious patrons.

Four marble and brass bars with saloon-style touches like beer steins and impressive taxidermy attract those in the mood to kick back with a cold one, while seafood lovers gravitate to the oyster station to watch the daily catch being prepared.

And to enjoy a good shuck.

Two daily Happy Hours at the raw bar (Fridays and Saturdays excluded, and one on Sundays) often attract the biggest crowds, especially after 11pm when shy tourists must learn to push past confident politicos if they want any half-price oysters.

Weekend nights tend to draw an older crowd, while weekend brunch tempts all types to overindulge in crêpes, French toast, and Bloody Marys.

Old Ebbitt Grill has certainly stood the test of time, and manages to combine elegance and history without being touristy, and to be swanky without feeling stuffy.

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Tip from Emma:

In a rush? Head to the casual but beautifully bright and open atrium room, which is home to Ebbitt Express, the venue’s dedicated carry-out service available from 7:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday. The menu isn’t nearly as large, but it’s a great option if you are pressed for time.

  • Crowd

    Suited-up young professionals, serious businessmen, politicos, staffers, families, and scads of tourists. All ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Handful of flat-screens tuned to sports or news.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    A wide range of traditional upscale American fare with full breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and kids’ menus. Emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients from local farms and meats, fish, poultry, and seafood from their native regions.

    Carry-out service available during the week. Reservations suggested. Happy Hour at the oyster bar M–Th 3–6pm and 11pm–1am, Su 11pm–1am.

    Valet available M–Sa after 6pm and all day Sunday.

  • Prices

    Brunch menu $5–$26, breakfast menu $11–$17, lunch menu $12–$26, dinner menu $16–$26, oyster menu $14–$100.

    Beer $5–$7, wine $7–$10+/glass or $24–$251+/bottle, cocktails $6.50–$9. Valet $10.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual to business: everything from suits and blazers to cargo pants and loud t-shirts.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any night but Friday and Saturday to get in on the Happy Hour at the oyster bar, Friday and Saturday nights to hang with an older crowd for a change, or Sundays for brunch.

  • Close By

    The same folks who currently operate Old Ebbitt also own The Hamilton (600 14th Street NW), a massive restaurant, bar, and nightclub located just around the corner with lots of seafood and artisan cocktails, and a concert hall in the basement.

Old Ebbitt Grill User Reviews

Average rating:
The best oysters in D.C, period.
Amanda K. May 21, 2013
If you love oysters, head to Old Ebbitt!! A variety of oysters is offered, mainly from the Northern East Coast. Happy hour is 50% off the entire raw bar. Slide into one of the 4 bars and you will be welcomed by a pleasant bartender sporting suspenders and a bow tie who will present you with the raw bar menu, drink menu and regular food menu, all of which offer endless delicious options. The staff and clientele alike are genuinely nice people. You may find yourself sitting next to regulars of the bar, visitors from all over the world, or a governmental big-wig! While this is a member of the Clyde's chain, this is no ordinary Clyde's! One of the oldest establishments in D.C., the restaurant is like a museum, filled with historical wonders including a walrus shot by Teddy Roosevelt and a letter from Buffalo Bill written on Old Ebbitt Grill stationary. A must-visit place for locals and visitors alike!
Where the Lawyers Lunch
Lauren M. Dec 10, 2012
A classy atmosphere, delicious (albeit pricey) food, and lots of suits. The scene is mostly made up of lawyers, politicians, and everyone in-between in a tie. A great place to take visiting family for a nice dinner and a decidedly DC view (provided they're paying) if you're a young professional.
Definitely a MUST when in D.C.
Sarah P. Oct 4, 2012
Old Ebbitt Grill is one of my favorites in DC. It's like the Sardi's of New York City. Happy hour is like the who's who of young politicians. It's also the perfect place to take your parents for dinner or Sunday brunch. The building itself is fantastic and is very old DC - you can just imagine the deals and decisions that went down in there. It can get crowded, but then you know you're in the right place.
As Close to Having a Drink at the White House as Ordinary People can get
Jimmy D. Aug 10, 2012
Basically right across the street from the White House and an institution itself, Old Ebbitt is a great spot to grab a casual bite to eat or a drink. A great long bar in the main room but it often is a couple rows deep during busy hours. So head deeper into the restaurant and go to one of the bars in the back if its too crowded upfront.
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