Sometimes you have to embrace the fact that every awesome night out has to come to an end eventually. Or does it? When you're desperately in need of late-night sustenance, these late-night joints are here for you.
Where to go late-night in DC
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Shoveling Half Smokes here after a night on U Street is a right of passage -- to call BCB an institution might be an understatement. But before you go, know two things: 1) cash only, and 2) be prepared to see creatures of the night under harsh high school-science-lab light. Though once you get your hands on some encased meats you won't so much notice anymore.
Dangerously Delicious Pies
Beer Brat, BBQ Pork, Pancake Batter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and of course, the Baltimore Bomb, a Berger cookie-filled pile of wonderment. All these pies are available for your consumption on H Street, with or without utensils, until 330a on weekends.
Running on empty? Fill up on food at the gas station, errr gourmet station? Only a late-night fool fails to order The Chevito: tenderloin, mozzarella, Black Forest ham, bacon, green olives, hard boiled eggs, escabeche, LTO, and mayo on a soft roll. This is no Quik Stop.
Everyone’s a vegetarian after 2a at this Adams Morgan mainstay (open 'til 4a on weekends), but the flavorful falafel wraps have the power to soak up even the most epic of evenings. Pick up a free map of Amsterdam (’s red light district?) after you power through the last of your fries.
Living up to its name, this boatload of pizza can exceed 20in from bow to stern, able to set your mind and body right even if the evening has left you incapable of appreciating even the most straightforward of pizza-based nautical metaphors.
GBD (Golden Brown Delicious)
Fried chicken. Doughnuts. Fried chicken. Doughnuts. This is the only decision you should be making after the bars close in Dupont. And it really isn't a decision, because you're getting both (until 3a on weekends). Oh, and choose "Saucetown," it frees you up from a single sauce commitment. More everything!
Taylor Gourmet 14th Street
Usually at a Philly shop the answer is simple: w/whiz. But at TG your answer better be w/balls. Don’t disappoint sando mogul Casey Patten who says if you’re not grabbing handfuls of risotto balls between bites of hoagie (until 330a on weekends), you’re not doing it late-night right. If you're near H Street, there's another location there that's open late.
Oohh’s & Aahh’s Soul Food
Go big before going home (as late as 4a on weekends) with a platter of BBQ beef ribs, collard greens, and the "Best Mac and Cheese" in DC. Guy Fieri digs it, and so do Allen Iverson and Beyonce’s husband. That's a trio you can trust.
1. Amsterdam Falafelshop2425 18th St NW, Washington
2. Ben's Chili Bowl1213 U St NW, Washington
3. Dangerously Delicious Pies1339 H St NE, Washington
4. Fast Gourmet1400 W St NW, Washington
5. Jumbo Slice2341 18th St NW, Washington
6. GBD1323 Connecticut Ave NW , Washington, DC
7. Taylor Gourmet 14th Street1908 14th St NW, Washington
8. Oohh's & Aahh's1005 U St NW, Washington
Amsterdam Falafelshop slings everyones favorite deep-fried chickpea mash across Adams Morgan, and it's some of the best in the DC area. It comes with a big pile of fresh veggies wrapped up in a flatbread or in a bowl, and there's never even a slight ponderance over whether or not you should pair them with fries. They're Dutch-style, meaning they're thick cut, freshly fried for crunchy outside and light and fluffy insides.
Ben's Chili Bowl has been an iconic part of the DC food landscape since first opening its doors in 1958. Its hot dogs, burgers, and subs are time-tested, Obama-approved classics. Of course, you're really there for the signature smoky chili, which tastes great in a bowl but even better atop a cheesy, onion-y hot dog. Ben's might be cramped, but the sizzling smell is too enticing to pass up.
Serving up a crazy variety of sweet and savory pies (and quiches too!) is H Street's Dangerously Delicious Pies. Check out their Broke Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays for a $10 quiche, salad, and giant mimosa.
Sometimes lunchtime glory can be found in the most unexpected of places; in Fast Gourmet's case, alongside a grungy gas station. But instead of the expected cigarettes and chewing gum for sale as this roadside stop, visitors go past the conventional gas counter to find an eatery with green and black walls where the son of a former Uruguayan diplomat fuels the people with elevated sandwiches. The fare is described as "urban street food," and the chef's Latin background is a tastable influence in milanesa made with pounded and breaded NY strip and tilapia tacos drizzled with pico de gallo. Notable is the Chivito: beef tenderloin, black forest ham, bacon, green olives, melty mozzarella, hard-boiled egg, lettuce, tomato and a pepper-onion-garlic oil called escabeche on a doughy roll baked on location (yeast rises even when gas prices fall). It's better than the usual rotisserie hot dog, no? All the sandwiches come with a side of fries. Pump-your-own ketchup.
Jumbo Slice is open late in Adams Morgan and serves up slices so big they could be used as a blanket, leaving it up to you whether your sleep or eat through the aftermath of your boozier evenings.
GBD, or "Golden Brown Delicious", is really a misnomer, as their food is actually way sweeter than even Betty White and Rue McClanahan combined. That's thanks to the crew from Birch & Barley, who're frying birds & doughnuts in this skinny Dupont spot split into three sections: counter-service in the front, bar in the middle, and pin-cushion booth seating (lit by fryer baskets!) in the back.
Bringing you the tastes of home (in their case, Philadelphia), the owners of Taylor Gourmet serve up quality ingredients on quality bread for delicious Philly-street-named sandwiches that you're going to want to try. This 14th Street location is open late, so feel free to come by for your fix anytime before 9p on weekdays, and 330a on Friday and Saturday.
Conveniently located on U Street and open until 4a on weekends for your late-night soul food satiation, Oohh's and Aahh's (cash-only) delivers on delicious fried chicken, wings, and mac n' cheese.