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The Most Historic Restaurants in Washington DC

Diners love finding unique places to eat and some of the most historic restaurants in Washington D.C., provide the best eats in town. Whether you're a history buff or you just want to enjoy a superb meal, here's a quick list of some of the most historic restaurants in DC.


Located at 1226 36th Street NW, in Georgetown, 1789 provides seasonal American fare in an elegant Federal town home.  1789 isn't as old as the building, but it's been open since 1960 and provides a classic ambiance (men are required to wear jackets) combined with stellar food and service.

Old Ebbitt Grill

Located near the White House, Old Ebbitt Grill was founded in 1856 as Washington's oldest saloon, and changed locations several times before settling on its current venue in 1983.  Offering American meals, including popular oyster specials, the restaurant boasts a Victorian motif with a priceless array of antiques, including the mahogany bar, watercolors, sculptures and period chandeliers and glass fixtures.  The Old Ebbitt Grill continues to be the favorite stomping ground for journalists, celebrities and politicians.

Ben's Chili Bowl

Located on U Street NW, this restaurant dates back to 1958 and offers a casual dining experience where celebrities and locals rub elbows as they enjoy the signature chili dish on the menu.  Redd Foxx, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, President Barack Obama as well as other luminaries have all hung out at Ben's.

Historic Cedar Knoll Restaurant

Built in the early 1800s, this historic restaurant is located in Alexandria just one mile from George Washington's Mt. Vernon estate.  Today, this cozy house offers fireplaces and views of the Potomac with an upscale Mediterranean menu and Sunday brunch fare.

Gadsby's Tavern

Dating back to the days of John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, Gadsby's Tavern in Old Town Alexandria serves traditional American fare while Colonial actors and musicians perform. The restaurant also houses exhibits of early American life in Virginia, including a number of 18th century artifacts.

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