Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

4.4
409 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, opened in 1976, was the first Bookstore/Cafe in the country to feature Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch & Late Supper as well as offering complete bar service, 18 drafts and wine by the glass and bottle. Since its inception, it has established itself as "Washington's pre-eminent café.'

' From The Washington Post: "The action at Kramerbooks & Afterwords starts with breakfast and the morning papers at 7:30 AM, and keeps throbbing until well after midnight, 7 days a week, complete with indoor and sidewalk cafes, a full-service bar and live entertainment. The sounds are diverting, the smells are delicious, the sights are tempting."

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
Rating coming soon

If you want to make your brunch more literary, do it at Kramerbooks, a cafe and bookstore hybrid in Dupont.

The Infatuation is an app and website which uses a small team of local editors who dine anonymously to rate and review restaurants. We are partnering with them to bring you their smart, helpful, trustworthy reviews of restaurants on OpenTable
What 409 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KE
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a business breakfast. Very quiet, and great to support local businesses!

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SB
Houston
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely one of my new favorite eateries. Food is exceptional. Atmosphere perfect. Nothing better than eating surrounded by books.

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M
New England
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Five members of my family had dinner on Saturday night. Eating in a restaurant adjoining an excellent independent bookstore is the coziest most satisfying feeling. We were seated in a corner that I had requested, and served delicious food in a timely manner. A couple of us had the petition filet mignon with a blue cheese butter topping and balsamic reduction glaze, potatoes and delicious broccoli tossed in. I cleared the plate as it was cooked to perfection. My husband enjoyed his crab cakes and scallop dinner on risotto as well. The meal was relaxing and unhurried. Our waiter offered fine service. We were all very happy with our meals. Highly recommend!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot, good service, quality food, nice cafe ambiance

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D
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and very tasty food. Success!

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

I was entertaining friends from out of town. I had not been to the restaurant in a while. Previously I had enjoyed it. I was very disappointed this time. There were 5 of us. The upstairs was not very pleasant. I had a salad with chicken. The chicken was like shoe leather. I could not eat it. Since I was entertaining some friends from Spain, I did not want to make a scene and send it back. The service was also very poor. No silverware, slow, inconsistent and unfriendly. I will probably not return.

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g
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

We ordered 2 MD crab cake salads. They were not the MD crab cakes we know about. Salad was bland as well as appearance. Quite bad!

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S
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was one of the best dining experiences I've had at a bookstore. The wait staff was quick and responsive. I had a delicious chicken arugula salad with candied walnuts and craisins. My dinner companion enjoyed scallops and quinoa. The ambiance was great for catching up with my friend.

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SW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We love to eat here every time we are in DC. Some of my favorite menu items have been taken off and I do miss them. A fabulous steak is gone and a pricier one added. Desserts are not as fantastic as they used to be. Miss the pies. Service was good but very very slow this last time.

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BD
New England
30 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love visiting Kramerbooks when we come to DC. The food is fresh and healthy and not overpriced.

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r
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Yes, although when my server brought out my food a crab cake it was burnt. How does a cook/chef thinks a patron will not noticed burnt food? but from previous experience Kramer is a good brunch place

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BV
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Another enjoyable meal at Kramerbooks/Afterwords Cafe for us. Steak salad was great -- as was the Cubano sandwich. Noise levels can get high here, but we were early, so it was pretty quiet. Server was moderately attentive -- he could probably pay a bit more mind to his customers.

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LG
Brisbane / QLD
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Feed your body and feed your mind! Good food at reasonable prices in a quirky atmosphere.

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p
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Nice enough but what's the fuss? Quite a plain menu and the food was OK.

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TR
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food and ambiance.

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EA
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great experience as always.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the best dinner I have had in a long time. The hanger steak was phenomenal.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We made a reservation for dinner and when we got there the main hostess was pretty short and not very helpful. She gave us a pretty crappy table. Their menu says that they serve dinner until midnight but they only let us order from the late night menu even though we were there at 10:40. Overall service sucked and they didn’t seem to really care.

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OT
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Surprisingly delicious food for a book store cafe or for any cafe!

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W
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Avocado Toast was wonderful! i like that they are not afraid to use spicy guacamole.

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JS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great book store, bar and restaurant. Lively and in a great location at Dupont Circle. The food and service were excellent. The menu was creative and homey comfort food. Would go again and take friends.

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EB
San Antonio
7 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great neighborhood tavern in addition to being a wonderful bookstore!

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CC
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very casual place to have brunch with a small group. I loved knowing that we would head straight to the bookstore afterwards! Our waitress was friednly, fast and efficient.

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CT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

My reservation was for 12am which was an available timeslot listed on Open Table: however, when I arrived the restaurant was closing so I wasted money getting there and left HUNGRIER AND UPSET!

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1
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

A great establishment that has been around for decades - hope it continues to be around. Great friendly service, good food - just a great fun place to meet friends over a casual dinner.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Books and brunch: what more can you want?

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D
London
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 2

Very poor value. Quarter of an avocado, one small size of sourdough and one scrambled egg for $17?!

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MG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great place for brunch. We arrived just before it got crowded. Ambiance was terrific. Food was wonderful. Would definitely come back again.

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TS
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent. Our server was polite and efficient but we had a strong sense that the restaurant was short of staff Thursday during lunchtime. In particular, there was no one to seat us. We selected a table and were promptly waited on. The problem was that I had made a reservation though Open Table and my presence was not recorded. Later that day I received an email from Open Table asking why I had not kept my reservation. I explained and they accepted my explanation but that was not optimal. The server was good but he was very busy and getting refills and the check was a challenge. But overall I like the restaurant and will return.

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L
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The combination with the bookstore just makes it a winner. Not every meal has to be Michelin star and this is quick service, good food and a fun place to be.

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AB
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious food in a beautiful setting that feels casual but special. Quiet relaxing dinner. Always enjoy the experience and delicious food! Good service, too. Plus you can enjoy shopping for books, etc.

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RD
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

We were disappointed about the minimal vegan options. Also, were told immediately before being served, that our chicken pot pies didn't have any crust, they had run out of crust. Whaaaaaat?

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting DC - great brunch-bookstore

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c
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service! Great vibe and fabulous books!

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MY
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Is great fun to eat and shop for books. Always find some thing good to nourish my mind as well as my stomach. Nice variety of food, often more tradition foods but with an updated, tasty twist.

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MS
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We had brunch here many moons ago and returned for a group dinner Friday night. Unfortunately, there were many problems with the food and the service wasn't great, either. One order of mac & cheese arrived room temp. My filet was good, but the side potatoes were so undercooked they were still crunchy in the middle. The veggie lasagna was overly salted. They didn't have pisco for the drink I ordered, then they ran out of Pimms and all of us had to either switch drinks or leave. We decided to leave. Servers rarely checked on us, I guess because we were seated upstairs. I felt the need to apologize to my friends for bringing them here! :(

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Always a favorite stop when I'm in DC. Great food, creative cocktails and a solid beer list.

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OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

We both ordered crab cake Benedict and the server brought out our food, mine had a large shell on the egg and my Benedict came with ham too, but wasn’t supposed to. My girlfriends Benedict was cold so she sent it back. They brought her a new one and the poached egg was hard, third time the egg was just alright still on the hard side but one of the staff members said they’d take it off the bill. When the bill came the only things taken off were a $4 late and hot chocolate. She has been coming here since she was a child and this was my first time. We were both very disappointed and not sure we will be returning.

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F
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 1

The food and bookstore was great, but overall, I would say go here during the day for a low key meal.

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SS
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

recommended by concierge at the Fairfax. Found it to be a real gem. Maybe our favorite for the week. Friendly service and wonderful food.

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