Icons of Washington D.C., the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument commemorate some of the finest statesmen in the history of the US. You’ll be doing a lot of walking on your visit, so we’ve made this list of our favorite local spots in case you get hungry during your visit!
While you’re in DC, you’ll definitely want to read about the best restaurants near the White House here!
The Top 10 Places to Eat near The Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument
Lincoln’s Waffle Shop
$ | Cafe | Open Early
Open early and serving up affordable breakfast in the heart of DC, Lincoln’s Waffle Shop is the ideal wakeup spot before any capitol tour. Located inside a converted DC brownstone, this tiny café offers diners a number of cozy booths and window-side tables. We recommend, however, grabbing a spot at the communal table, which wraps around the kitchen. It’s a great spot to strike up a conversation with a stranger and watch the food get made.
You likely won’t be surprised by what’s on offer here, but when it comes to breakfast the classics are always best. As the name suggests, the waffles here are fluffy, sweet and enough to keep hunger at bay for a few hours. We’d recommend the breakfast special: for about $11, you can get two eggs, sausage and a waffle. It’s a great deal!
Address: 504 10th St NW
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6AM–4:30PM, Saturday-Sunday: 6AM–3PM
$$ | Italian | Modern
Italian food is best served by those who take the cuisine very seriously, while still providing an ambience that is intimate and welcoming. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, North Italia is one of our favorite Italian restaurants near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument for precisely this reason. Its modern interior updates the Italian-eatery look with sleek mirror-lined walls and exposed ductwork. Yet the food keeps the emphasis on traditional technique and quality ingredient that make this cuisine special. It’s a lovely spot for lunch.
To set your meal off right, start with the White Truffle Garlic Bread. It’s covered in ricotta, mozzarella and herbs and is a fantastic appetizer. If you’re looking for something delicious and uncomplicated, you can’t go wrong with the Spaghetti and Meatballs, or a Meatball sub. Those looking for something a bit more refined should try the Strozzapreti, made with chicken, roasted mushroom, spinach, toasted pine nut, parmesan cream. For only $20, it hits the spot without hitting your wallet.
Address: 2112 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Ste 102
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11AM–9PM, Friday-Saturday: 11AM-10PM
The Capital Grille
$$$$ | American | Elegant Dining Room
When it comes to ambience and fine dining, The Capital Grille on Pennsylvania avenue is one of the best restaurants near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. The elegant dining room, outfitted with mounted moose heads and red velvet seating will make you feel like the upper crust of DC society.
We really love the Lobster Bisque here. It’s an excellent way to start your meal without being too filling. You’ll definitely want to make sure you leave room, because the entrée portions here are generous and absolutely divine. The specialty being meat, we recommend the house Filet Mignon served with Cipollini Onions, Wild Mushrooms and Fig Essence. This is some of the best steak in the city. Served medium rare, every piece of this cut is a melt-in-your-mouth experience. The roasted Chicken Breast with Shiitake Mushrooms and Sherry Jus is fantastic as well!
Address: 601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11:30AM–10PM, Sunday: 5-10PM
$$$ | Eclectic Menu | Live Music
Don’t let the name fool you. This 14th street establishment isn’t just another one of your old-timey, upscale restaurants near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. The Hamilton offers the perfect mix of fine-dining cuisine with a trendy flair for experimentation. Combined with its late hours and live music, it’s one of the trendiest spots in town!
The menu here is as unique and eclectic as the city itself, and you’ll want to sample as much as you can. Spanning everything from sushi rolls to crab cakes to gnocchi, there’s a lot to try. We had the Linguine Bolognese and loved it, but we couldn’t help but spy a mouthwatering Halibut two tables over. Definitely bring friends, because there’s just so much!
Address: 600 14th St NW,
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11AM–1AM, Friday-Saturday: 11AM–2AM
$$$$ | Seafood | Fine Dining
There are a lot of great seafood restaurants near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, but this one is definitely our favorite. We love the neon, art-deco style sign in the front. We love the intimate, yet spacious dining room, decorated with a tasteful mix of art new and old. And we love the food. We especially love the food.
The sushi options here are very good, but some of us are of the opinion that a spicy tuna roll shouldn’t cost $21. Instead, we recommend something from the main entrées like the Sea Scallops, which are as buttery and tender as any we’ve tasted. The Lamb Chops are fantastic too, roasted with garlic thyme jus, you can really tell how seriously this place takes the quality of its ingredients.
Address: 1341 G St. NW
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30AM–9PM, Friday: 11:30AM–10PM, Saturday: 4–10PM, Sunday: 4-9PM
$$$ | Mediterranean | Small Dishes
A place where you really feel taken care of, Zaytinia has been serving up Mediterranean-inspired dishes at its 9th street location since 2002. The covered patio is great for lunch on a warm day, though you can’t go wrong with a seat in Zaytinia’s modern, airy interior.
Curated by award-winning Chef José Andrés, the menu here emphasizes small mezze-style plates that are simply wonderful to share. Drawing from Greek, Lebanese and Turkish roots, the options here mix the classic with the adventurous. The Hummus and Baba Ghanoush are predictably great, but the Htipiti dip is a standout and includes marinated roast peppers and feta. There are a lot of great options to choose from like the braised Chicken Youvetsi, Lamb Kebabs, and beef meatballs called Soutzoukakia. If you really want a taste of everything, definitely get the chef’s tasting menu.
Address: 701 9th St NW
Hours: Monday-Tuesday: 4–9:30PM, Wednesday-Thursday: 11:30AM–9:30PM, Friday: 11:30AM–11PM, Saturday: 11AM–11PM, Sunday: 11AM–9:30PM
$$$ | Fusion | Spanish and Japanese
Combining the finest cuisines in the Spanish Tapas and Japanese Sushi traditions, Cranes is certainly one of the most unique restaurants near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. The interior is dark wood, diffused light and tastefully modern seating that is both comfortable and refined. This is definitely where you should go for a romantic dinner for two.
Like many Japanese restaurants, the six-course Omakase menu is always a great choice. Yet it’s not a terrible idea to explore the menu on your own, because there is definitely a lot to pick from. For a good mix of things, we recommend the Shrimp and Squid Tempura off of the Tapas menu, and Braised Pork Shank ordered à la carte. The mix of cultures and flavors is a potent one, and definitely one not to miss!
Address: 724 9th St NW
Hours: Monday-Friday: 12–9:30PM, Saturday: 12–10PM, Sunday: 12–10PM
$$$ | Fusion | Peruvian and Asian
Another spot with a flair for fusion and experimentation, China Chilcano takes its Peruvian menu to new places with Asian and Spanish influences. The décor here is bursting with color and light, combining light wooden tables and chairs with vibrant wall-to-wall mural. Especially at night, it’s a great spot to spend a few hours with the ones you love.
Start with the Dancing Yukka. This appetizer includes golden-brown Yucca fries with ají amarillo mayo, and kabayaki sauce. In a dish, it really incapsulates the spirit of China Chilcano’s eclectic menu. Diners looking for a killer combination should try the Ceviche Nikkei with a side of chicken siu mai dumplings. The raw big eye tuna and soy-cured egg yolks pair with the steamed dumplings perfectly. And for desert, the Peruvian classic dish of sweetened condensed milk custard called Suspiro Limeña just hits the spot.
Address: 418 7th St NW
Hours: Thursday: 4–9PM, Friday-Saturday: 4–10PM, Sunday: 4–9PM
$$ | Indian | Modern
You might think you know Indian food, but the D Street spot known as Rasika is here to challenge your assumptions. Featuring both indoor and outdoor dining, and elegant décor that includes lush floor-to-ceiling curtains and aged wood paneling, it’s certainly high-end. Yet the approach to service and cuisine is nothing but homemade!
What makes Rasika great is the chefs’ willingness to take advantage of the local ingredients that DC has to offer. Options like the Dover Sole Chutneywala has its roots in Eastern India, but reaches towards just as many American sources for its flavor. In that vein, we recommend the Red Snapper Polichattu, served with Curry leaves, green chili and lemon cashew rice. It was so good, we ordered extra to bring back to the hotel!
Address: 633 D St NW
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–10PM, Saturday: 5–10:30PM, Sunday: 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–9PM
Elephant & Castle
$$ | British | Pub Atmosphere
A place that’s open late seven days a week, Elephant & Castle’s beer-battered British fare and lively atmosphere is sometimes exactly what you need after a long day in the nation’s capital. Despite the pub food on offer here, both the interior and outdoor seating spaces keep up a refined sensibility. Think polished oak tables and comfy leather seats, but also widescreen TVs and ketchup bottles at every table.
It’s comfort food, so you probably have a better idea of what you like than we do. Yet we definitely recommend the Fish & Chips, which is some of the best we’ve had outside of London. A classic burger is a reliable choice, but consider the Buttered Chicken. Served withcurried tomato cream sauce and basmati rice, it’s enough food to feed two.
Address: 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11:30AM–10PM
That’s our list of the best restaurants near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. We hope it comes in handy on your visit!