Circle Bistro

3.8
896 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Circle Bistro, located in the heart of the Foggy Bottom Neighborhood, offers a casual yet chic bar and restaurant atmosphere serving American comfort fare including a wide selection of sandwiches, salads and sharing plates. The extensive beverage program showcases over 12 wines by the glass, domestic and imported beer, and a seasonal cocktail list. Our pet-friendly outdoor patio is the perfect oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of the Nation’s Capital. Circle Bistro is the ideal place for breakfast meetings, business lunches, and happy hour gatherings.
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Sun - Tue 5:00PM - 6:00PM 8:00PM - 9:45PM
Wed - Sat 8:00PM - 9:45PM

What 896 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.8based on all time ratings
3.9
food
3.7
service
3.6
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
56 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Reliable, enjoyable though limited selections. Perfect for quiet meetings and get togethers. Definitely a top choice for convenience and easy dining.

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JP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Our muffin was moldy! It was disgusting, so we left.

It also smelt like old hotels that used to allow smoking. Not pleasant to smell that while eating.

The waitresses were friendly.

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OT
Washington DC
56 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Food is better than average although very limited choices. My go to place for quiet meetings. Very accommodating staff.

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a
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food & service are great and it’s a treat to find a place where you can actually talk to friends without shouting at them!

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Quiet location. Nice, fresh food. Attentive service. Kitchen was able to modify items to suit all our needs.

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OT
Washington DC
56 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Staff is always great. Downsized menu is a challenge since I like to use this quiet and pleasant location for biweekly lunch meetings. Food is good. Never have or hear complaints.

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JA
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

No one up front at the desk. Had to knock on the kitchen door before someone noticed we were there. Tiny menu. Left for a better place.

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KE
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely one of Washington's best-kept secrets, yet has been around for years and is appreciated by those who know about it; enjoy the creative, delicious menu (and beautiful presentation); calming ambience to be able to appreciate the food; and the courteous, excellent, unobtrusive service--all of which equals a five-star rating!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had breakfast here on Sunday, February 18th but I neglected to mention Open Table to the restaurant and would like to receive my dining points. We stayed in Room 317.
The service was great and the food was delicious.

Thank you,
Sandra Callahan

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 1

No one was there for a reason

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a
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful to find a quiet spot for downtown dining! Definitely a hidden gem.

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B
Washington DC
71 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Circle Bistro is a neighborhood go-to for lunch, happy hour, dinner, or setting up a meeting for friends. The food is excellent and innovative. The staff is excellent, although from time to time inattentive. It is reliably good.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We made a reservation for 11:45 on Sunday for brunch. When we arrived at 11:45 we were told they were closing at noon. Why on earth take an 11:45 reservation to only close at noon? Also, not a good way to welcome a guest. Needless to say, we left and went elsewhere because of this.

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C
Baltimore
16 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful hidden gem! Service was great and we truly enjoyed our meals. The bar area has a wonderful fireplace. It was a very quiet location which was great for a lunch. Will definitely be back!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

I visited Circle Bistro for Restaurant Week due to the flexibility of their menu. The options were varied and the food was pretty good. However, the service was terrible. I'm not sure if they were short staffed or what, but the maitre'd seemed to be serving as a waiter and the busser seemed to also serve as a waiter. It took nearly 20 minutes from when we were seated and received water to when someone came to take our order. Then it was another 15 minutes before the first course arrived. I had the hummus and pita. The hummus was a bit too salty and pasty, and the pita was a bit too chewy. I had ravioli for the entree and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. The ravioli was the best part of the meal and the cake was a bit too dry. I had to attend a meeting so I had to get my entree and dessert to go.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Second visit. Good place to talk. Salad was good and prices are reasonable. It is sort of unknown in Foggy bottom.

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KJ
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this restaurant for the ability to have a conversation and be heard. They do not bother to leave after one has eaten. Delightful.

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SR
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

There were four of us there for Sunday brunch. All liked their meal. Service was attentive and setting was very nice. Location in D.C. West End is great - right on Washington Circle, across the circle from the Foggy Bottom Metro stop. Although I generally do not like hotel restaurants, this one is an exception. Just what we were looking for. Pricing was great in general; but especially for the area and a hotel restaurant. It may not win awards, but it is a solid choice for a comfortable, good quality meal at a great value. Nice view of the area. All were quite glad that we ate there.

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BS
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Good location and good
variety of lunch selections. All three of us were pleased with our choices.

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J
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We walked to this place before packing up to leave another hotel. Very nice, we made reservations but they weren't needed at 9:45 on this particular Sunday. Pleasant waiter, 5 of us. Several had the banana buckwheat pancakes which were good. (I would have thought they would have put a strawberry or a small piece of fruit on the plate; it seemed sorta naked with 3 pancakes dusted with sugar!) The others had French toast. We all used the blueberry compote, yum. My brother got a ton of bacon with his. It was all tasty; no complaints.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Chose this venue for a business lunch as I knew the noise level would be low. Like it because there are a limited number of table for lunch which it makes it's ideal for doing business as well as enjoying the company.

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l
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Very average food. Good service. Too many other restaurants in that area so I probably wouldn't bother to return.

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PH
Richmond
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location if you are heading to the Kennedy Center for a show. They have valet parking and from there it is a quick trip to the Center. All our food choices were very good as were our wine choices. Service was quick and responded to our need to get to the evening show. Staff were helpful and attentive. The Bistro was a great choice for us!

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MG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We sat in the patio area, which most of us enjoyed. Unfortunately, service was not coming to our table as often as we wished, although our table (5 people) was the only one in the outdoor area.

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S
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is an exceptional place to eat. The food was excellent and presented quite pleasingly.

Out waiter was very helpful and even chased us down outside when we forgot our left over bag.

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K
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice and quiet place.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The mussels appetizers was more than ample for us to share, very well seasoned. We both had fish, salmon and swordfish. Each was just a tad overcooked for our taste, but not dry. The vegetable accompaniments were ok, but unimaginative. Still, the service was expert and no extra charge for sparkling, rather than still, water. We'd go back.

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FB
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service!

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T
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Took my mom and sister for Mother's Day brunch. My sister had to send all of her food back and my Mom's waffles were burnt. Drink menu was very scarce and the waiter was unsure of our drink selection. But it was a really quiet and peaceful environment. I would go again on an informal occasion maybe

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OT
Baltimore
115 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My wife and I enjoyed a very nice lunch following a NSO event. The special turkey club was loaded with interesting ingredients on a nice bread. Salad consisted of a variety of fresh spring vegetables with a light dressing.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

A good menu selection, courteous and friendly service. An intimate dining room but they also have a larger area that was closed off for a private event (good to know they provide that service.) I will be back.

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L
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

There are not that many places to get a good lunch near Washington Circle. I was meeting a colleague who was staying at the hotel in which the restaurant is located, so it seemed like a good option. But service was confused and slow, and the fish and chips was pretty low end, especially for the price being charged. My colleague's salmon looked better. We were really there to talk, so the iffy service and mediocre food was not much of a problem, but if you are looking for a good meal, you should look elsewhere.

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OT
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2016
Overall 5food 3service 3ambience 5

Food was okay, crab dip was the best part of the meal

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FD
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I often eat dinner at Circle Bistro en route to a concert at the Kennedy Center. The food is good and reasonably priced, and the service is generally good or satisfactory. My most recent meal was on January 29.

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KC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2016
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

Went to Circle Bistro before a show and was disappointed with the food. We were surprised given the positive reviews we had seen on this and other websites. The Caesar salad had too much dressing and the short rib pasta tasted good but the pasta itself was under cooked. Given the options in the neighborhood I would not return to Circle Bistro prior to another show at the Kennedy Center.

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SB
Washington DC
78 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Circle Bistro is one of the best food choices in town. The food and presentation are outstanding. And you can tell that care and detail goes into every preparation. I think people forget about it because it's in a hotel. And the ambiance isn't at the top of the list. But folks are missing out on a great meal. Kudos to the chef.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2015
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great for small lunch/working meeting. Intimate environment and not to busy.

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TM
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2015
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 4

We enjoyed the experience except the waiters were having trouble remembering what we ordered and the bartender should have know how to make a good Irish coffee - no whipped cream and lukewarm.
Generally, I had always enjoyed this restaurant - the food is very good, and I love the convenience to the Kennedy Center and the valet parking!!

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JT
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2015
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

The salad course was okay but nothing to write about. The roasted chicken was very dry, a bit on the cold side and not appetizing. Overall, I felt like I was eating at a NJ Turnpike rest stop! Not a place I would ever revisit.

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c
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2015
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Loneliest lunch in town

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