Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington DC

The Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington DC is something of a landmark. It has historical links and claims to be the oldest saloon in town. If you are looking for a friendly place to eat that is both atmospheric enough for groups and families, but intimate enough for couples, this is well worth checking out.

The restaurant has a large bar suitable for a pre-dinner drink with mates whether you are eating there or not. The atmosphere is pretty loud, darkly lit and buzzing.

When Hubby and I have time together we’ve been binging on series of Madame Secretary and Scandal. So when he suggested a trip to Washington DC, I’m packing my power suits and passport.

We arrived late afternoon. I was feeling rather exhausted and battered as I often do on long flights, but the thought of spending a few hours eating at the famous 1856 Old Ebbitt Grill soon got me jumping into the shower.

When we arrived outside the Old Ebbitt Grill there were groups of school children outside being taught it’s history. The most excited person at that point however, was my fella. Eating at the oldest Saloon in Washington DC does something to a man.


The Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington DC

The Old Ebbitt Grill exterior.

Inside was richly panelled, with brass and bevelled glass. All very Victorian.

There was a buzz of noise, which we loved. The atmosphere was friendly and fantastic!

We head to the (very popular) bar as we were early for our table. There was no problem getting served and very soon we were sitting on stools gazing around like guppies and supping on tall cold drinks.


The Old Ebbitt Grill Cocktail.

Tall refreshing cocktail.


The Old Ebbitt Grill Restaurant.

The view of the restaurant from the bar.

The Old Ebbitt Grill has gathered many artefacts over the years. This (rather disturbingly) includes some animal heads that Teddy Roosevelt reputedly bagged in the Main Bar. Bit of a grim thought!


The Old Ebbitt Grill Bar.

The bar.

Time flew. We met a local couple who loved their city and chatted enthusiastically about things to see and do. They ate at the Old Ebbitt Grill every week. The place was packed and tables turned over quickly.

At our table a waiter with a broad smile was quick to pour perfectly chilled water and answer any questions on the menu. He recommended the meatloaf, but we had already got our taste buds reserved for other dishes. They are famous for their oysters and we felt a little sheepish that we well just didn’t fancy any.


The Old Ebbitt Grill Place Setting.

Table setting.

Mahogany and velvet booths are great for family groups.

The menu is pretty large!

The Old Ebbitt Grill. Large Menu.

Large menu.

Behind me was a rather grand painting of The White House. We haven’t seen it yet, though it’s literally around the corner from here. Something to look forward to!


The Old Ebbitt Grill Painting.

Painting in the restaurant – and me!

Hubby chose this cup of chilli. He was delighted. He kept jabbing his fork at it whenever I looked at him. That’s sign language men use when something tastes really good.

It came with little dry crackers, an American twist. I forced Andy to try it. He stopped jabbing. Not an idea to take home then.


The Old Ebbitt Grill Chilli.

Cup of chilli.

This is my crab and avocado salad. I laughed delightedly when it arrived. You’ve got to love the way Americans can pile a tonne of crisps onto a plate, with a small handful of leaves and still call it a salad.

It tastes fabulous. The crab was incredibly tasty – and those crisps were moreish. They went perfectly with the soft crab and avocado. Yuuuuum.


The Old Ebbitt Grill. Crab Salad.

Crab and avocado salad.

Now, hubby was in a rush to dive into this burger. His photo wasn’t focused. It could be his hands were trembling with excitement (or perhaps he snapped before the automatic focus worked).

Hubby was ‘in heaven’ eating this burger. He had kept back a little chilli to make his own chilli burger.


The Old Ebbitt Grill. Burger And Chips.

Burger and chips.

My braised beef with parmesan polenta was seriously good. At least one in your group should order this meal.

The Old Ebbitt Grill. Braised Beef.

Braised beef with parmesan polenta.

The softest meat ever!


The Old Ebbitt Grill. Soft Braised Beef.


All the dishes are hugely generous in size and flavour. The food is hearty to say the least. With all this Victorian splendour, atmosphere and great service to bout, well, put it on your list of things to do in Washington DC!

We dismissed the French sounding desserts and opted for proper American puds.

OMGgggggg. You kinda had to be there to really appreciate their true splendour. Like 80s kids getting their first 99, our eyes nearly popped out of our heads.


The Old Ebbitt Grill Desserts.


The texture and flavour of this peanut butter pie was fantastic.


The Old Ebbitt Grill. Peanut Pie.

Peanut butter pie.

Now, I’m getting serious now and looking into your eyes. Order this blondie. You will be talking about it for years to come.


The Old Ebbitt Grill. Blondie.

Blondie, with ice-cream, custard and cream!

Do yourself a flavour and book a table at the Old Ebbitt Grill if you get the chance to visit Washington DC. Just turn up hungry, they feed you well!


Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th Street, NW
DC 20005

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Historic Washington DC

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  1. Cass
    March 24, 2016 / 10:58 pm

    So glad your enjoying Washington,
    Just got together ingredients for your scrummy choc Easter delight for when three girls come on Sunday. X

    • Maria Kelly
      March 25, 2016 / 9:25 am

      Oh that’s brilliant! Hope you all enjoy it. Happy Easter X

  2. Andy
    March 25, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    2 days later and I’m still not hungry!! Huge gorgeous portions! A proper old school bar/restaurant! Love it!!!! Xx

    • Maria Kelly
      March 25, 2016 / 8:21 pm

      That blondie tho… I should make them more at home. I didn’t mind that being like a doorstep – YUM!