Try Amsterdam Falafelshop (2425 18th St., NW; 202-234-1969; falafelshop.com) for pitas heaped with toppings from the self-serve bar till 4 AM weekends. Retreat from the hubbub at the more upscale Cashion’s Eat Place (1819 Columbia Rd., NW; 202-797-1819; cashionseatplace.com), where the small “after dark” menu boasts a stellar rib-eye cheesesteak till 2 AM; or the 24-hour Diner (2453 18th St., NW; 202-232-8800; dinerdc.com), which offers comfort staples such as eggs Benedict, bounteous grilled cheese options, and, thankfully, more booze.
At the Hamilton (600 14th St., NW; 202-787-1000; thehamiltondc.com), the kitchen never closes, so you can literally dine on chili verde, grass-fed-beef burgers, and St. Louis chocolate gooey cake until your eyes start drooping. A block over, Old Ebbitt Grill (675 15th St., NW; 202-347-4800; ebbitt.com) serves food until 1 AM, which is handy for those late-night crabcake cravings.
Grab savory stuffed pastries from the takeout-only counter at Julia’s Empanadas (1221 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-861-8828; juliasempanadas.com) till 4 AM. For something more leisurely, head to Kramerbooks & Afterwords (1517 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-387-
1400; kramers.com), where the bookstore/cafe is always open late or 24 hours. Night owls can browse the shelves or the eclectic menu, and sip espresso or something stiffer.
Choose from opposite extremes for late-night grub: Bistro Français (3124 M St., NW; 202-338-3830; bistrofrancaisdc.com), which serves classic bistro fare such as coq au vin and escargots until 3 or 4 AM all week; or the Washington-bred burger chain Five Guys (1335 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-337-0400; fiveguys.com), open till 4 AM weekends. It isn’t fancy, but the bacon cheeseburger with 15 free topping choices hits the spot on a late night.
Fight for one of the 27 seats at the funky Toki Underground (1234 H St., NE; 202-388-3086; tokiunderground.com), where you can feast on dumplings and five varieties of steaming Taiwanese ramen till 2 AM, or 3 on weekends. Fries, creative bowls of mussels—think accompaniments of pork belly and braised leeks—and Belgian beers make up the late-night menu (till 3 AM weekends) at Granville Moore’s (1238 H St., NE; 202-399-2546; granvillemoores.com) two doors down.
Unfold the large menu till 2 AM at one of the few authentic Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, Full Kee (509 H St., NW; 202-371-2233; fullkeedc.com), a Cantonese spot that serves tasty shrimp dumpling soup and clams with black bean sauce. The kitchen closes at midnight on weekends at Top Chef star Mike Isabella’s Graffiato (707 Sixth St., NW; 202-289-3600; graffiatodc.com), but pizzas are fired in the wood oven well after.
Consider the eclectic options for dining on U Street, most of which serve food all week until midnight or later. Sample tibs and doro wat from “Little Ethiopia” staple Dukem (1114 U St., NW; 202-667-8735; dukemrestaurant.com), or try another culture’s comfort food at Oohhs & Aahhs (1005 U St., NW; 202-667-7142; oohhsnaahhs.com), which dishes up Southern-soul duos such as shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles. Scenesters prefer the Latin-Asian fusion small plates and cocktails at the ever-trendy Masa 14 (1825 14th St., NW; 202-328-1414; masa14.com).