Hot Restaurants in

The District of Columbia

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Circle Bistro - One Washington Circle Hotel — (202) 293-5390; One Washington Circle, NW, Washington, DC

Amenities: "Solo diner, welcome!" is writ large over Circle Bistro. The look is contemporary and streamlined, yet the warm, saturated colors create an elegantly comfortable feel.

The lounge area has become a hub for solos — residents, Kennedy Center patrons, destination diners, and out-of-towners. Richly upholstered red-striped sofas and oversized chairs allow guests to gather around the fireplace or catch a game on the wide-screen television. (The magazine rack, specially for solo diners, is stocked better than Barnes & Noble!)

Dividing the lounge from the bar, a waist-level, 12-seater communal table for sipping, draws a convivial crowd. (During warmer months, guests flock to Circle Bistro’s outdoor patio, secluded from the city sidewalks by ivy-covered walls and pleasantly lit for evening relaxation.)

Cuisine: Bistro fare rooted in tradition with a light Mediterranean flair

(Notable: alternative to the bread basket is a paper cone filled with frito misto — cleanly fried potatoes, squid, chicken and zucchini, etc. accompanied by enticing dips.)

Neighborhood: Located in DC’s West End, just blocks from the Kennedy Center, fashionable Georgetown, and hip Dupont Circle — at the intersection of K Street, 23rd Street, and New Hampshire Avenue, NW

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Cashion's Eat Place — (202) 797-1819; 1819 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC

Amenities: At lunch, solos pack the 45 seat bar (full menu available), even though they have the option of table seating in the dining room. Dinner seems to attract local solos, especially on Tuesday and Sunday evenings.

Cuisine: American (changes daily)

Neighborhood: Adams-Morgan

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Dish — (202) 338-8707; 924 25th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Amenities: The "intimate" Dish (Make that, "select seating for 50.") is delightfully welcoming to solo diners. (Offering to share your table with another solo, especially when it's busy, will give you points with management!)

Five tables that flank the windows (You can't miss the 8' diptych of William Wegman's reclining weimaraner dog.) offer prime seating for solo diners. Walk-ins — professionals, 30 years and up — from the surrounding residential area are fast discovering them.

Cuisine: Traditional American with a touch of Southern comfort and a lot of style. (Try the "pour your own" root beer ice cream float!)

Neighborhood: Nestled in the freshly renovated River Inn — two blocks from the Kennedy Center — Foggy Bottom neighborhood

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Kramerbooks & Afterwards Cafe — (202) 387-1462; 1517 Connecticut Ave., NW; Washington, District of Columbia.

Amenities: Only part of this bookstore-eatery's notoriety is due to its fracas with independent counsel Kenneth Starr's subpoena over records of former White House intern Monica Lewkinsky's book purchases. The lion's share involves its solo-friendly restaurant reputation.

Opened in 1976, it's THE place in town to meet on a blind date. If he or she fails to show, you can count on the support of a familiar staff as you fortify yourself with a meal and a book. (Perhaps that's why it has been mentioned in numerous novels!)

When it gets busy (often!) and the small, food bar is filled, solos are asked if they mind shared seating.

Cuisine: American Eclectic

Neighborhood: Near Dupont Circle

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Firefly — (202) 861-1310; 65-1227 1310 New Hampshire Avenue, NW; Washington, District of Columbia


Since opening in fall 2002, Firefly has been a haven for locals, many of whom frequent Firefly as often as three times a week. To reward its loyal patrons, Firefly has introduced the Firefly VIP Lunch Club. Request a VIP lunch card from your hostess or server. After eight lunches, Firefly will buy your ninth lunch with their compliments! Best of all, guests are encouraged to start over after they have enjoyed their ninth lunch on the house.

Seating options for solo diners: Many two-tops, plus a cozy lounge with big chairs and low tables. There is also a bar area that features high top tables and stools.

Your fellow solo diners: Because Firefly is attached to Hotel Madera, the mix is very much 50/50. (also 50/50 for female and male) Firefly attracts a great hotel crowd AND a huge local clientele. Lunch is more business, dinner is more neighbors.

Cuisine: American

Neighborhood: Dupont Circle

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New Heights — (202) 234-4110; 2317 Calvert Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia.

Amenities: Home of custom-crafted tables for two (sublime for solos!) and half-bottles of wine & half-entrees.

This solo-diner nirvana also features growing devotees of solo dining at the ground-floor bar, seating 15.

Cuisine: New American with International Influences

Neighborhood: Woodley Park

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Poste Moderne Brasserie — (202) 783-6060; 555 8th Street NW, Washington, DC

Amenities: Poste ought to top any solo diner's list of restaurants to cultivate. Definitely — for the care and concern and seating options (more on that later) provided solo diners and decidedly — for the activities that are part of this restaurant's mode of doing business.

Solo diner seating special: Try to reserve one of four tall tables seating two, near floor-to-ceiling cabinets filled with china, which over look a large exhibition kitchen. Seating elsewhere: booths sport protective 5'-6' high backs; the bar in the lounge area includes belly-bar facilities; outside, the comfort of a Parisian-style landscaped court yard features a bevy of umbrellas.

P.S. The main entrance of Poste is reached through the historic porte cochere on 8th Street that 157 years ago lead horse and carriage to the 1855 General Post Office's mail sorting room. The original 16-foot-high cast-iron ceiling and original skylights of this National Historic Landmark remain.

Cuisine: Modern American (12-14 wines by the glass; 9-10 half bottles)

Neighborhood: Between E & F streets, adjacent to the Hotel Monaco and one block from the MCI Center and the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro.

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