‘Round the Clock: DC’s 24-Hour Joints

by Rebecca Cooper

Bob & Edith’s in Arlington. (Credit: Waymark)

This month’s opening of The Coupe in Columbia Heights, Constantine Stavropoulos’ second 24-hour spot in DC, brought up a valid question. How many other places around the city stay open non-stop?

The answer: Not many. It has proven tough to get people to work the overnight shifts, some say, and in many instances it’s just not worth the money. Massive restaurant and music venue The Hamilton opened in December 2011 with widely-hyped plans to be open 24 hours, but it was just too much, they said; they nixed the non-stop schedule by April.

Tables at The Coupe. (Credit: Elizabeth Parker)

But Stavropoulos still thinks DC is becoming more of a city for night owls. When he opened The Diner in Adams Morgan 11 years ago, it was tough to even find grocery stores and pharmacies that were open all night, he says.

“I made it kind of a mission to get DC to be at least sort of a 24-hour living city,” says Stavropoulos, who admits he hasn’t been sleeping too many hours since opening The Coupe on October 4. The new diner/lounge/coffeehouse was always intended to be a 24-hour place available at all times for “the self-employed, the students, the artists, the musicians, the people looking for a job,” he says.

“To me, the city should never sleep,” Stavropoulos said, acknowledging that New York already has claim to that tagline.

The Coupe hasn’t been as busy as The Diner in its first week and a half, but that’s to be expected for a place that isn’t in the center of a major nightlife district, says the sleepy restaurateur. He’s still hoping it fills a niche for a lot of neighborhood residents who have late nights or early mornings.

As for where else up-all-nighters in the DC area can go, UrbanTurf has compiled what’s probably a non-exhaustive list. Let us know in the comments any places we’ve left out.


  • The Diner2453 18th Street NW, Adams Morgan. A favorite of Adams Morgan partiers with a late night menu that goes beyond breakfast to include a veggie banh mi, grilled wings with cilantro mint dipping sauce and a “jar of pickles.”
  • Kramerbooks1517 Connecticut Avenue NW, Dupont Circle, Friday and Saturday only. This full-service coffeeshop, cafe and restaurant has been “serving latte to the literati since 1976” and has Dupont covered for weekend late nights and early mornings. Need a quick bite? Check out the “sharezies and appetizers” menu.
  • Annie’s Steakhouse1609 17th Street NW, Dupont Circle, Friday and Saturday only. “D.C.’s gayest neighborhood steakhouse” serves up greasy cravings food like chicken wings and jalapeño poppers but also has items fit for your more eclectic overnight cravings, including a pear chicken salad, a California turkey club and a seafood remoulade salad.
Waffle Shop (Credit: Bhavish Mangal)

In the ‘Burbs

  • Bob and Edith’s2310 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Small, standalone diner in between two gas stations that’s been a neighborhood institution since 1969. They’ve got classic diner fare, a house full of military guys spilling out of the L.A. Bar and Grill karaoke joint next door on Saturday nights and a line out the door most weekend mornings.
  • Kabob Palace2315 S. Eads Street, Arlington. Late night favorite of shisha-philes, especially those with cravings for kabob, falafel and other Middle Eastern favorites.
  • Waffle Shop3864 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, *Friday and Saturday nights only. Hole-in-the wall diner in the Arlandria neighborhood with a greasy spoon menu and a slew of counter seats.
  • Yechon4121 Hummer Road, Annandale. Another Korean barbecue joint that keeps the grills piping hot all night long.
  • Plato’s Diner7150 Baltimore Avenue, College Park. Favorite of University of Maryland students and others in the neighborhood, the diner has a Greek-influenced menu including chicken souvlaki salad, blackened salmon souvlaki and stuffed grape leaves.

Rebecca Cooper is a freelance journalist and avid eater who has contributed to TBD, DCist, and Washingtonian.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/round_the_clock_dcs_24_hour_joints/6178


  1. Josh said at 12:55 pm on Thursday October 18, 2012:

    Great list. I hope The Coupe develops a late-night, early morning following to justify the 24-hour schedule. I won’t be there frequently, but live around the corner and love that there is now a 3am option.

  1. Sam said at 2:27 pm on Thursday October 18, 2012:

    I hate to say this because it’s no good, but the Columbia Heights ihop on Irving between 14th and 15th is open 24/7.

  1. jm said at 8:29 pm on Thursday October 18, 2012:

    You forgot the numerous 24 house grocery stores: a host of culinary options and if you hop the chains after hours you can sneak free beers until you are escorted from the premises.

  1. Downtown Dave said at 5:13 am on Friday October 19, 2012:

    IN DC you also forgot to mention the two Denny’s—Bladensburg Rd near H St NE and Benning Rd east of the river (admittedly far from the NW crowd) AND god forbid…  the 25 or so McDonalds around town that happen to be 24 hrs

  1. DC_Loves You said at 9:41 am on Monday October 22, 2012:

    Yeah, Rebecca, nice attempt here but your list is woefully incomplete. Please rinse and repeat!

  1. Gastro extroidinaire said at 1:22 am on Tuesday October 30, 2012:

    You forgot the Ihop in DC. Always cheap & reliable. And you get more food for your buck than at the Coupe, which has small portions and high prices.

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