If you’ve been to Washington, DC, you likely either dined or passed by the iconic and historic Old Ebbitt Grill. I have a friend from my college years who always ate there whenever her family would visit Washington, DC from North Carolina. That all being said, ever since I knew about how iconic Old Ebbitt Grill is, I have been dying to eat there myself. So, when my best friend Hannah and I happened to walk by it as we were needing lunch and freezing cold via a Washington, DC day, we happened to pop in and enjoy both of our’s first ever meals at this iconic Washington, DC restaurant.
SO, what makes Old Ebbitt Grill just so historic?! Old Ebbitt Grill was established in 1856 and is the nation’s capital’s oldest saloon. It is located just steps away from the White House, the Smithsonian museums, the National Mall, and the Washington Monument AND right across the street from the Treasury Building. President McKinley is noted to have lived there during his tenure in Congress. At the same time, Presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Harding, Andrew Johnson, and Grover Cleveland have all dined and enjoyed the gorgeous bar (which Hannah and I dined at!) for refreshments. When talking with our waiter, we learned that the animal heads lining the walls of the bar could potentially be from President Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting collection and donated from him and his family back in the day. Another fun fact about Old Ebbitt Grill is that it used to be the highest grossing restaurant in the United States (no fret – they have a license to keep them all on display to this day due to the growing concerns over hunting specific animals). Currently, Old Ebbitt Grill is apart of the notable Washington, DC area restaurant group – Clyde’s – which also owns The Hamilton, Clybes, and 1789 Restaurant. Such fascinating significance surrounding the Old Ebbitt Grill!! Read more about it here: https://www.ebbitt.com/
Old Ebbitt Grill’s dress code is casual (as many tourists are stopping in to experience all the magic that it has to offer) yet no tank tops are allowed. Personally, I am ALWAYS one to dress up a little more than the average person (better to be overdressed than underdressed!!). But, at the same time, I would suggest wearing what you would normally wear to dine out in when going to the Old Ebbitt Grill – it is an Instagrammable place, given its Washington, DC historical significance and fine American cuisine.
As for the food, Old Ebbitt Grill serves up some American fare in the most fine dining way you could ever imagine. Everything from burgers to sandwiches to seafood and their most notable oysters are to be found on the menu. They serve Brunch Saturday’s and Sunday’s until 4pm (Hannah and I enjoyed some brunch!), Breakfast weekdays from 8am-11am, an All Day menu all day on weekdays and after 4pm on weekends, a Late Night menu every day after 11pm, and an extensive wine, beer, and cocktails list. Old Ebbitt Grill even has an Oyster Fest that’s a HUGE event each year, which we heard about as it was the day before we dined there. I am more than pleased to say that the cost of dining at Old Ebbitt Grill is not as expensive as other Washington, DC area restaurants and is rather pretty fair in terms of fare. Read more about the menus here: https://www.ebbitt.com/menus/
Hannah and I sat at the bar for brunch, due to us wanting to avoid the waitlist. We had a GREAT time and chatted with others visiting from Texas who had North Carolina connections (like me and Hannah do!). I ordered the brunch trout with potatoes, green beans, and hollandaise sauce and it was THE BEST!!! Hannah ordered the chicken & waffles and LOVED her dish, too. I always order Cabarnet – it is my go-to wine and I ordered it when I went to The Hamilton (its sister restaurant) with my best friend Amanda over the summer and knew it wouldn’t disappoint! Everything on the menu was tempting and the atmosphere was gorgeous – the restaurant is usually bustling with tourists and locals alike – making it a great dining destination for all. Afterwards, Hannah and I took photos in front of the notable Christmas Nutcrackers that deck the halls outside of Old Ebbitt Grill.
Before I wrap up this blog post, I want to share a big appreciation to my best friend Hannah for coming with me to dine at Old Ebbitt Grill. She listened to my major enthusiasm of this dream Washington, DC bucket list item of mine coming true, and I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful to her for coming along with me! Love you Hannah!!
XOXO – Katie <3