Sign of the Whale
Sign of the Whale

Sign of the Whale

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thewhaledc.com/
  • Phone: 2027851110
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 12:00am, Friday: 4:00pm - 7:00pm, Saturday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Burgers, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Donnie Frasier
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Entertainment: Sign of the Whale is equipped with state of the art technology including digital surround sound, nine 50", six 42" and one 72" inch plasma screen TV"s and live satellite broadcasts featuring east and west coast (college and professional) sports and events. We have a DJ every Wednesday through Saturday from 7pm to close as well as Karaoke every Wednesday starting at 8pm.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 19th St NW
  • Public Transit: We are in between the Farragut North and Dupont Circle Metro stop.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Metered Street parking is available on both sides of M Street and is free after 10pm. There are parking lots located across the street as well as around the corner as well.
A word from Sign of the Whale
Washington, DC's Sign of the Whale, an M Street landmark for nearly one-half century offers the best Burgers and Brunch in Mid-Town. Chef Donny Frazier has been setting the standard for over 20 years on M Street, from his home made Cajun Ranch dressing to his house roasted Turkey and Roast Beef. From our Basic Whale burger to one of our 20 signature burgers, to our World Famous Buffalo Wings, Sign of the Whale provides all your business lunch and dinner needs. Every Saturday and Sunday we have out bottomless Bloody Mary Bar and Mimosas along with our delicious Brunch plates ranging from Captain Crunch crusted French Toast to Eggs Florentine and Chef Donny's Diabolical Scramble. The Many facets of Sign of the Whale will never disappoint you or let you leave without a smile!
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Sign of the Whale reviews from OpenTable diners
14 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.4
  • Food3.5
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance2.9
    Noise LevelModerate
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for brunch (8)vibrant bar scene (6)good for groups (4)neighborhood gem (4)hot spot (2)late-night find (1)fit for foodies (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Good food, but we went in between dinner and the start of the bar crowd showing up. There were some problems with our service. First everything was really slow. We had to go to the bar to get refills a couple of times. One order was incorrect, but was fixed when we pointed it out. After talking to the bar manager we learned that they did not have any true wait staff there at the time and our waitress was actually one of 2 bartenders. The manager was very nice, understood our frustration, readily admitted that they should have done better and said that we should have been told they were short-staffed. I would recommend The sign of the Whale to others and would go there again, with the caveat that after 6 don't bring the family.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Waffles
    Jackiej777
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The food and service were good, it was a little too dark for me.(It was a.m) It is a sports bar and has a p.m look I used a coupon and it was as represented a great deal on Living-social
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I was turned away
    FormerFedVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Despite having a reservation, I was told that since it was Happy Hour (I arrived about 8 PM on a Wednesday) I would have to find my own seat at the bar or an unoccupied table. When I mentioned my OpenTable reservation, the hostess got a "deer in the headlights" look and kept repeating that it was Happy Hour. I left, very unhappy, and will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not that great
    Nicky24
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    All I can say is don't take your date here. The place has a bad Oder. Auuuugh not going there again
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ehh, just ok
    DinArlington
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Service was good. Food was ok. Not very busy during lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good brunch!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Food was delicious and service was wonderful! Good for a cheap but relaxing brunch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great brunch
    SusanVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Delicious brunch options, great service, a friendly neighborhood gathering spot! I would highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Brunch
    BrunchBunch03
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    My girlfriends and I attended brunch at Sign of the Whale. The overall experience was great. We were put off by the initial odor of stale beer when we walked in, but once we were seated things improved dramatically. Our waiter Turn Up Tony was the best. He was very attentive and wanted all of us to have a good time. He made recommendations about the food selections and was knowledgeable of the menu. The food was GREAT! Everyone in my party enjoyed their food as well. Will return for brunch again and I plan to check out their night time bar scene soon.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • tons of fun
    LadyB
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    You are in for a treat at this spot for Sunday brunch and beyond. Make sure to ask for Turn Up Tony's table and be ready for the time of your life. We came for my going away brunch, but if I'm ever back in DC, I'll be back. The good is just ok, but you forget that because you have so much fun. Definitely worth it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • beats and brunch
    SusanVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    On the sunday we went for brunch, it was beats and brunch sunday, music videos on a couple of the screens, still able to watch the world cup on the the other TV's, food and service great, the brunch menu had fewer selections, a differernt vibe but still fun
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 4 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 62 reviews are from the Sign of the Whale reviews archive.
  • great food
    SusanVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    This was our second time at here, we again had great food and service. The reuben sandwich was one of the best I have ever tasted. This is a great place to stop after work, catch some of the world cup and enjoy a drink and dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Still pretty good
    SH83
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    I wasn't a fan of the "Beats and Brunch" event because the bottomless drinks were twice the cost for no real reason than we were eating in the dark with loud music playing. I probably should have read their website a little closer before booking my reservation. I'll definitely be back again for brunch, but probably not during this event.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not impressed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Reserved for 1:00 brunch using Open Table but when I arrived exactly on time, my name was written in pen at the bottom of the wait list and I waited for more than half an hour to be seated. Don't know why they use a reservation system when they clearly don't follow it. Was intrigued by the bloody mary bar, but all the fixings were nearly empty both times I went to fill up - empty tubs where pickles, olives, celery, lemons, etc. used to be. When we asked for restocking of some items, only a few were grudgingly replaced. Could have been fun to concoct, but there just wasn't anything to make even a standard, much less creative drink with.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible@Brunch - avoid!
    ABBB
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Sign of the Whale was spectacularly bad at brunch: they took in far more reservations than they could handle: I feel sorry for the greeter and the wait staff. The kitchen was behind, our food took a long time to come and the omelette was underwhelming for the price (one table nearby had been waiting an hour for their food). The endless Mimosas are depressing: like Tang with very little alcohol. The "manager" was taking no ownership of the situation - just wandering around. Do NOT buy the Living Social or Groupon for brunch: no matter how cheap, it's horrible (oh, and the seating upstairs is DANK - do NOT let yourself be seated there!).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place to have lunch.
    SavvyCindi
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Great place to have lunch. Great food and quick service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dirty
    jrock
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    I was so disappointed with this place... SO dirty, water running from the ceiling, wait staff that didn't want to be bothered, food that was lukewarm... they ran out of OJ and so we had mimosas made with pineapple juice... even the coffee was cold. It was very disappointing. I won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not convinced
    TAGG
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    Apparently the Living Social Brunch Voucher is very popular because the majority of the patrons the Sunday we were there had one. CONS: They did not have enough menus. No one told us about the menus though, we just sat there waiting as multiple people walked by. We had to ask. The gentleman who greeted us very unprofessional. Not rude, but too relaxed and "laid back" in my opinion to be greeting new customers. They open at 11:00, but instead of letting us in out of the rain at 10:45, we had to wait outside...in the rain. There were limits to what was covered by the voucher; basically could only get the basics. PROS: Waitress was friendly and promptly gave us our second drinks. Food was okay, not great, but not bad.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Promo states brunch for 2
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Promo states brunch for 2 with 2 momosas or bloody marys each. Brunch menu was restriced, excluding some menu items without prior notice. They had no orange juice. "Mimosas" made with pineapple juice or cranberry juice. Better off going for their all you can drink mimosas or bloody marys for $10 as it is clearly just a bar
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent brunch, terrible service
    Foodaholic
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    It took quite a while before we were acknowledged when we came in for our brunch reservation. (The entryway smelled bad/musty too). This was our 2nd time eating there & service was bad the 1st time too. When we were finally seated the server was prompt enough to get our drink order but that was it. We asked for syrup & it took so long my boyfriend got up himself to find some & came back with it before our server did. It wasn't very busy & they don't have a lot of tables. The servers were just slow & not very attentive. We've had the french toast (bananas foster & elvis style) and the monte cristo sandwich. Both were pretty good, which is why we came back. But we were just turned off by the service and atmosphere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food at Sign of the Whale
    Maureen
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    The food at Sign of the Whale was just fine. Had a living social deal that promised mimosas, yet they were out of orange juice. The host was not attentive. We had a reservation and he barely acknowledged our presence at the door. He then did not walk us all the way to our table; instead, he pointed at it to tell us where to sit. As we were finishing up our meal, he asked us to relocate so he could sit a larger party. I have never had this happen to me as a paying customer in a restaurant. We were kind enough to finish up quickly and sit at the bar while finishing our drinks. Our waitress was also highly inattentive and we had to find her to get our check. I would not go back for dining because of the bad service. Nighttime is fun though!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Build your own Bloody Marys!
    DebMVIP
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Discovered this fun sports bar via LivingSocial. A definite must for any Philadelphia sports fans in DC. But when we went for Saturday brunch, the place was rather quiet and peaceful. The staff was friendly and helpful. The menu was interesting, and we enjoyed our meals very much. A lot of fun to building your own drinks too.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just ok.
    Ellaredee
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    When I walked in, no one came to seat me. There were no signs to indicate that I needed to seat myself, so I sat on a bench and waited for my guest to arrive. When he walked in I stood up to greet him, and then someone came and asked if we wanted to sit. They ran out of orange juice for the mimosas, so they offered us pineapple or cranberry juice. Living Social told them that was unacceptable, so someone ran out and got juice. The server was ok...he was polite, but not very visible. My food was pretty good. We wanted to upgrade and pay the difference from our LS voucher, but were told that wasn't allowed. The visit wasn't awful, but I don't see myself recommending this place to anyone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • brunch
    Disappointed
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    I made a reservation online and put in the notes that "it was a birthday brunch," figuring it wouldn't be a big deal to make that type of reservation online. Despite this, they would not give me us the birthday deal upon arrival (the birthday person would have had a bottomless mimosa brunch and eaten free AND we would have gotten 10% off). Instead, our waitress explained "anyone can come in and claim it is there birthday." Isn't that what ID's are for?!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good for the price
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Sign of the whale is often a late night college drinking spot so most people usually avoid it. However, they had a deal on living social so I gave it a try for brunch. Everything was very cheap and I was surprised by how good the food and drinks were. Still, the atmosphere and the people sign of the whale attract are what will keep me from going back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The place smelled like toilet
    dclady
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    The place smelled like toilet cleaner. Unfriendly staff. Just about half of the menu was "not covered" for the online deal I purchased. Food was bland and the drinks were weak.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Didn't Experience it At All
    CowboyRamVIP
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    There was a lot of confusion at the Whale, and it seemed like they cared little about clearing it up. They had a fundraiser going on; very loud and crowded. The person at the door told us they didn't take Open Table reservations for the evening even though it shows up on the site and App. The person they called to verify that with never came down to greet us to let us know if they were trying to fill our reservation or not. 10 minutes later we were, literally, pointed to a table. 10 more minutes later a server or maybe hostess came to ask if anyone had helped us. We answered "no." 5 minutes later upon returning to ask if we knew about the specials, I had enough and left. Seemed like a good place, but needs to step up service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Inexpensive food, good vibe brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Went for brunch with a groupon/living social deal. Bottomless mimosas/bloody Mary's weren't of the best quality but the food and price were totally worth it. They ran out of to-go boxes (!!?) but the bar tender went to the restaurant next door to ask for one for me. Extra star for service!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Would not return. Food was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    Would not return. Food was so so, service terrible, and too noisy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Extremely Dissappinted
    NeverGoingBackVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    We went for brunch and were pretty excited because the food menu looked really good. Maybe it would have been if it didn't take 45 minutes from when we ordered it and if it wasn't room temperature (both dishes were supposed to be hot) when it finally arrived. Also, water glasses were empty for a majority of the meal. I'm not sure if our server forgot about us for 90% of the time we were there, but when he did actually show up at our table, there was no sense of urgency and absolutely no sense that he was sorry he was absent almost the whole time. When he finally did get us more water, he REUSED our glasses. Not sanitary! And then blamed the bar staff for our lack of water (not their job!). Just don't bother. We were extremely disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Never A Bad Experience
    SH83
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    I've come here for brunch a lot. It's always the best. There's no better way to put it!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bloodyrific
    SirBrunchALot
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    My wife and I have had brunch now at about every restaurant around DC that offers a Groupon (LivingSocial, etc...). For me, brunch might be more about the bloody's than the food. The Whale stands out from all the other brunch locations because of their outstanding build-your-own bloody bar! Everyone has their own version of a perfect Bloody Mary and the Whale lets you mix and concoct your custom blend. Love it! And, the food is very good too! We've brunched at the Whale a couple times now and will come back again!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch
    BandK
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    Sign of the Whale brunch is off the menu. The food was okay, nice little bar/restaurant space, fairly quiet on a Sunday morning. The food was good, nothing special. If we lived in the neighborhood, would likely give it another try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Veggies
    Carmelafuente
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    I found the menu pretty good, but I missed more vegetarian dishes as well as a bit more offer with no eggs on it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • wouldn't recommend it.. ever
    livingsocialcustomer
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    I wouldn't recommend it at all. For starters it smelled like a frat house the morning after a kegger. We bought a living social coupon. and although we wanted to get extra stuff like "specialty pancakes" they did not allow us to do so even though we were willing to pay extra. it did included bottomless mimosas which were Eh and served in a beer glass Food was just ok. We asked for waffles and the waiter said " Nah i wouldn't order those. they are terrible" haha so i ordered fresh fruit as stated in their menu and our waiter said again "Nah, i wouldn't order that either. fresh fruit is nothing but a slice of melon, a slice of orange and a strawberry on top This place is a joke
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Rude
    Disappointed
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    They dont do reservations so when we made reservations in open table and they said that there was a cover charge an there was no where to sit and eat so we had to leave.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • TERRIBLE! one of the worst service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/2/2014
    Despite a warning from a previous week when reservation was canceled since they apparently were overbooked for Sunday brunch, I gave them another try this past week. There was no service period. Three groups of people showed up before us, apparently all on time and had reservation. There were no "Seat yourself" sign at the door nor was there any greeter. Several waitresses passed by pre-occupied and none even greeted the waiting long lines. The bar was practically empty at 1PM on Sunday but bartender would not offer patrons to sit down and some water/drink while waiting. We were (un)lucky enough to not try their food as we realize 30 minutes of waiting is the tolerance any sane person would give to this ridicule and left.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reservation not honored
    Anonymous
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    I made a point to make a reservation here to watch a basketball game because I knew it would be busy. They took my reservation but when I showed up there were no tables. When I approached the staff about my reservation they said "yea that's not going to happen." They made no attempt to make things right or to apologize for not holding my reservation. Rude staff and bad experience. I will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ignored my reservation
    hmmm
    Dined on 1/29/2014
    When I arrived and said I had a reservation they said they we're busy and it's first come first serve. Isn't that why people make reservations to begin with? They should get off open table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Food was pretty good...
    LovesFood
    Dined on 1/26/2014
    Went here for Brunch on a Sunday and the food was pretty good. My french toast was a little soggy but my sides were delish. My friends also enjoyed their meals too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad Choice for our purpose
    MichaelCVIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    We had a strong hankering for a good burger. Sign of the Whale had good reviews and a good looking menu. However, nothing prepared us for the place being a college hangout and the crowd, it just wasn't indicated in the Open Table info. Our reservation was useless and halfway through our burgers they started removing the tables around us so to hurry us up. We won't go back
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic