Penn Commons

Penn Commons

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.penncommonsdc.com/
  • Phone: 2029052999x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm


    Dinner: Monday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm


    Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 111:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Alfredo Solis
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: Please call our sales department for options for catering and the available menus.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: H Street, NW
  • Public Transit: METRO: Gallery Place
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is available on the street and in the large private lot located to the north of our entrance.
A word from Penn Commons
Amidst the emerging culinary epicenter of diverse restaurants in the historic Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, DC, Penn Commons is a rough-hewn yet chic American tavern on 6th & H Streets.

To craft its menu of food and drinks united by one common philosophy - American sensibility joined with American seasonality - Chef Jeff Tunks drew on his first name partnerships with the best local farmers and artisanal purveyors...or he just makes it himself.

Burnished copper lighting, leather sling chairs and salvaged woods provide a warm footing for this showcase of American tavern food at its best.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Penn Commons reviews from OpenTable diners
67 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.9
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
71% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (33)vibrant bar scene (25)fit for foodies (21)great for lunch (18)neighborhood gem (18)hot spot (11)notable wine list (9)special occasion (8)romantic (4)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (3)great for outdoor dining (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • American menu with Restoration vibe
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Penn Commons has a good look to the restaurant. The food is a bit bland. I had the fish of the day, and asked for their cajun spice on the fish, and it was still quite boring. The salad that came with it was delicious and I was impressed by the greens and the red leaf lettuce. I ordered their sides of broccolini with pine nuts and a side of greens. Very oily. My colleagues ordered the burgers and I was not impressed. DC has a spectacular burger scene and these were mediocre. The fries did not look great either. Still, I would give Penn Commons another try. They have a diverse menu, polite staff, and a friendly host.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Eh.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This spot has promise; hopefully it will be able to work out its kinks. The service was less than stellar. At one point our server messed up all three drink orders; he also brought a wine that nobody ordered and took away a drink that hadn't yet been finished. And no one was particularly thrilled with our meals. We've been to District Commons before and really loved it, so we know the concept and cuisine can work--but this place isn't doing a great job of it yet.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • decent appetizers, blah mains
    Dtolani
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Chicken wings and pretzel stick absolutely amazing. Wish had ordered those for main as well !! The meatloaf, trout , shrimp And grits - failed to impress. Very plain tasting, nothing special on the mains.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • bb63
    bb63
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Too loud for me and my family. Would not go back; although the food was good.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great food
    RonMarVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    the food was deliicious..wait staff was very attentive but. the noise level made it difficult to hear dining guest sitting at the same table!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good but noisey!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Our meals (trout and meatloaf) were quite good, but the noise level from the bar was incredible. We got that booth the farthest away from the bar, sat next to each other, and still had to raise our voices to hear each other. We had to ask our nice server to repeat herself several times. But we were there at 6 pm on a Friday.....
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great new restaurant
    Italiangirl
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    I have been here several times with a number of business colleagues since the restaurant opened. The food and service are great. Jay the concierge at The Fairfield Inn & Suites on 5th and H Streets recommended it to us. We love it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • meatloaf
    Buddha
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Great place for lunch. The pretzel (and the meatloaf) are terrific.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Burger before game spot
    FStreetFoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Our first visit. Big, open, loud space. Younger crowd; large busy bar. Good energy. But conversation difficult so not a place for a romantic or business dinner. Bacon and blue cheese burger was better than average. Surprisingly, broccoli rabe with pinenuts sidedish was excellent. Blackened salmon was also better than you would expect for the vibe that the place gives off. If you headed to Caps or Wizards game, or in town with the kids and need a place that's good but they won't bother anybody -- this should be on your shortlist.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid option before Caps games...
    Gino
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Impressive array of beer, wine and spirits all of US origin, which is fine unless you hoped for a Tangueray with that tonic. Appetizers and entrees were very good, too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Bad. But too loud
    CoachB
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The only gripe I can have is the restaurant itself was terrible in regards to conversation. You find yourself having to yell to communicate. The food was really good. but not ideal for "romantic date night".
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great for watching sports
    FoodJunkieVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I am usually very generous in my ratings. The menu was well rounded with a lot of choices and the food was actually very good - some dishes GREAT!! We dined 6PM on a Saturday and the restaurant was more of a 'bar' because the college football games were on and everyone was loud and cheering - it was too loud. It is okay if that is what you were aiming for. We could barely (not really) hear our server tell us about the specials. It has a kind of a rustic, industrial feel no touches of luxury. The service could have been improved - and I think we were really laid back and not needy in the least - we were talking a lot. Overall I would go back but I would try to schdule it when a sporting event is not on. The Shrimp and Grits were awesome!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad kitchen service
    Phoebe
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The waiter was great. The food was ok. It took 40 minutes for our food to be served and then it was wrong!! Burgers had condiments that weren't wanted, cooked med rare vs well done as requested. The salmon came with the wrong side requested. The meatloaf was bland. My friends and I would def not go back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Two spaces
    AbeL
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Penn Commons is the kind of place where you don't have to dress up to dine well. Spent a leisurely dinner catching up with friends. The only downside was that there is no noise separation from the bar, and while we dined, there was all sorts of yelling coming from the bar area in response to sporting events on tv monitors. Very distracting & diminished the enjoyment of the evening. A bar can be lively without becoming a sports arena. Here's hoping Penn Commons figures out a way to make that happen because it will loose it's charm as a dining experience if they don't.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Lunch Spot
    NeighborhoodKid
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Recommend as a great spot to meet for business lunch.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great lunch place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    The food and service were superb! I will definitely come again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice New Place
    nancVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    All around good experience, too bad it wasn't more crowded but the staff and food was good. Not my neighborhood but if it was, I would return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it!
    Alex
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    My roommate and I went here for dinner & it was great! AMAZING beer list (50+ beers on TAP?!)! I recommend starting off with the Daily "Pick 3". I had a Manhattan and the steak. My roommate had the quinoa. Both of us loved what we got and our waitress was very attentive. She even gave us macaroons with the bill (even though we had opted not to get dessert). Great new place in Penn Quarter!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Least enjoyable date night!
    smedleyVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Ambiance like a dungeon! There was barely enough light to read the menu. Those bulbs are cute but useless. Noise Level Energetic? More like an airport runway. And on top of the deafening conversation noise, someone turned on some awful techno, followed by some Wild Cherry, and some George Clinton. Who's play list was that anyway, that crowd was half that age. And Last but Most Important. Burger and a beer is usually a safe bet anywhere. Except at Penn Commons. I have never seen a hamburger PATTY fall apart like that before. I had to eat it with a fork. and it was all I could do to keep my bits of hamburger on the tiny cutting board and tissue they serve it on. I was in imminent danger of eating off the table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Expectations
    Jenn25
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Last week, my coworkers and I dined here for lunch. The food and service was great. Apparently, the restaurant just opened two weeks ago. After lunch, we all were plotting our next return to Penn Commons.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fine but loud music
    Foodies1VIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Food was good but the music was so loud could not carry on conversation none the less business discussion at lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    A delightful, delicious spot that is great for casual and business lunch. The salmon, the shrimp and grits and the burgers are fantastic! And don't forget desert. Service was top-notch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great new spot
    Ariana13xyVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Was very pleased to try the new Penn Commons over a team business lunch. Menu came highly recommended by colleague who had come the previous week, and sure enough, everyone found something they liked. Food was quality and portions were reasonable. Several additional tempting dishes will ensure that I return again. Server was fantastic and very friendly. Whole staff seemed genuinely happy to see us, rather than standoffish (which I find to be par for course in a lot of new joints).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very nice
    chilly
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The hostess paid attention to our request for a (warm) table out of the AC/ draft. Our waitress, Lauren, was very helpful and friendly. She confirmed for us that Penn Commons had just opened a little over a week ago. I'm glad we got there when we did because I'm sure it will soon be packed with everyone from the Verizon Center. My 3 pet peeves are usually: 1) that temps are too cold in restaurants and I freeze. We requested a warm spot and were given a comfortable booth. 2) food is over salted-- but mine (the trout) was not. If food is fresh the flavors of the foods should speak for themselves. 3) No veggies on the plate to balance the protein portion and help keep it warm. no complaints this time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • New restaurant just needs diners
    freqtrVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I live in the neighborhood, so I'm always happy when when something new opens up. Plus, the space has been empty for a long time and it seemed like nothing was ever going to open. We ate there on a lark and were pleasantly surprised. I had the shrimp and grits and they were outstanding. The pretzel bread was delicious. We had the pulled pork hand pies to start and they were very mustardy, which I like. A definite keeper. My husband had the falafel burger and again, was very good. Only negative food comment comes for the side of scalloped potatoes which were lukewarm, bland and not worth repeating. Good beer selection as well. So overall, I think this place is a keeper and really hope it sticks around.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Deafening!
    proustroost
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    was the first reaction I had when walking into Penn Commons. Although we had a table far from the bar, conversation in our group was next to impossible. Very uncomfortable to keep shouting at each other -- and we couldn't even hear the waiter when he described specials or asked us something. The food was fine, adequate and hip, but we won't return until something is done about the acoustics. I don't recall the noise level being this extreme at District Commons, which I like a lot, and was the reason we tried this for our party.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great food and service
    LynneD
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Went with a coworker and loved the food! Had fried oysters, shrimp cocktail, Thai steak salad, and seafood Cobb salad. Although it was a bit pricey, it was worth it. The salads were chockful of flavor (steak had great char on it and the seafood had loads of shrimp, crabmeat. Salmon, and bacon). The fried oysters were also perfectly cooked and not overly breaded.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First and Last
    Brighteyes1311
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    We decided to have lunch at the new restaurant close to work. The menu looked promising and the location was excellent. That is the best I can say after dining here. Our waitress was a bit bizarre and the food was not good. The best thing we had was the pretzel baguette. I started my meal with the seafood chowder. No where on the menu does it indicate that it is spicy, but it is very spicy. My dining companion and I both chose the North Carolina Mountain Trout entree. It was the weirdest tasting dish I have ever tasted. Neither one of us finished the fish nor did we ask for a to-go container. Maybe we picked the wrong entree. In any event, I was not impressed with my first and probably my last experience at Penn Commons.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ok but much work ahead
    ChinaPennResidentVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Food was not bad but the "world class" meatloaf was dry unfortunately. The Korean pork chop was great altho hardly like anything truly Korean (except the pile of kimchi it comes with). We had fun but the loudness of the place - hard to hear ourselves talk. The server was very kind and energetic, but verged on imposing by checking in ok us every 2 min. It was comical and we had fun with it, but I was also weary of his constant presence. I'm sure things will improve as this place finds it's groove. I'll come back - it's a great space and the food isn't terribly expensive, and close enough to walk in a great area.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noise level is ridiculous
    LonnieCVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    First if all the food was awesome!!! But the dining experience was pretty bad simply because I couldn't hear the person sitting right next to me. The noise left is just ridiculous. We have some pretty noisy restaurants in the city, but this has to be the loudest. It will definitely make me think twice about visiting again. That's pretty sad because the food was yummy. The combo of high ceilings I. The bar area, concrete floors, concrete table tops, wood furniture doesn't really allow for any of the noise to be absorbed or blocked out. :-/ I would recommend for a visit but I'm going to have to find a very quiet time to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WAY TOO LOUD!
    20008VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Could not hear the person seated across from me (due to noise from the bar area) although the dining area was almost empty and we asked to be seated as far from the bar as possible. Service was not good (wrong entrée brought for one guest, server did not tell one of us that the entrée came plated with a large portion of salad so ordering a salad as appetizer might not be the best choice). Entrance had stairs (no other apparent option) which were a problem for one guest. Food generally good. Good location for Shakespeare Harman Hall pre-theater.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Go now
    IeatoutdcVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We ate here the first week they opened. Fantastic, interesting, menu. Loved the chicken mouse, homemade ricotta, and steak tartare appetizer. Soft shell crab was perfectly done and papaya salad amazing. My friend loved the shrimp and grits. The mac cheese was way too addictive. We split a sundae for dessert--delicious. We loved the food. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious Food, mediocre service
    SaraVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I realize the restaurant is new, so maybe they are still working out the kinks. The food was delicious-I had the gazpacho and the rockfish special. However, our waiter seemed to disappear after we ordered the main course. Strange because the place was pretty empty on a monday night. That pretzel bread is the best.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Amazing food! Service is great, everyone is friendly and paid attention to the little details that make a place memorable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reeview
    Scragg
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The food and service were fantastic. I had the meatloaf which was superb, but the restaurant was noisy. We could barely here ourselves talk. The open ceiling is fine architecturally but horrible acoustically.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic food
    jdd21218VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Needs some work on acoustics - servers were absolutely inaudible over the din at 900pm - and overall service (table busing, food timing, etc) has a few kinks to work out. But the beer list is stellar and the food was fantastic, from the dips & spreads (pimento cheese in particular) to the perfectly cooked & seasoned beef & chicken burgers. Definitely planning to check this place out again in a few weeks when it's had time to settle in.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Welcome
    shino
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    To the neighborhood. Food and service were terrrific, though the noise from the bar was off-putting; likewise the large screen tvs pointing into the restaurant side seating area.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ahmazing
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We came on the second day of the restaurant's open. The service was great to start and the food was also delicious. The happy hour pricing on signature drinks is pretty nice as well, but I would not recommend ordering food for someone on a budget. ;)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 29 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.9
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 0 reviews are from the Penn Commons reviews archive.