Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

4.3
456 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 456 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LE
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Had not been here for a couple of years and decided to give it a go and re-live all the goodness and fond memories the place conjured. It was all just sadly disappointing. Many people that I was with liked their meals, but there were some issues I had (and I am not the kind of person that has issues at every restaurant I go to...). I ordered the steak sand with chimichurri, medium well at a cost of $17. It arrived on the plate as a open roll with 3 pieces of lettuce with Caesar dressing (tasted good) and 4 pieces of lame beef chunks, with a fab of sauce. Zero presentation and not at all appealing. Taste of the meat was ok and then I hit the piece of meat that was rare. Disappointing. I wish I could have had a better experience, as with the one I had I am sure I won’t be going back again.

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MJ
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed an early Sunday morning breakfast here before walking around the DuPont Circle area. The food was delicious.

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J
New Orleans
11 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service.

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SC
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the setting of the restaurant through the bookstore! Server was excellent - just the right amount of hovering, and helpful w/choices and special requests. Evidently, the Kramer Burger is very popular since many passed our table on the way to others' tables. The apple dessert looked huge and scrumptious so would return for it and coffee, esp. since it was offered w/cinnamon ice cream as well as vanilla. We enjoyed the music on a Thursday evening, so would go back for food and listening again, browsing the books before or after. Nachitos weren't as tasty as they looked, but looking forward to getting the Spring Salad next time.

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a
New England
16 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Its a unique and fun place but perhaps a bit overrated. Its getting a bit tired too.

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J
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I like this restaurant but my meat and potatoes husband did not. The food is very spicy. The desserts are so so and vary in size. The staff/service is lovely. I would say the menu is more female oriented- kale etc. So think of who you are going with before you go. Also not a full bar.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on July 1, 2019

Hello, we appreciate your feedback. Our menu includes numerous steak and meat dishes. We also have a full bar. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom to discuss.

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AJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

portions were small but the food was very good. i had ordered a hasselback potato as a side which was very tasty but it did not meet the definition of hasselback - it was a regular baked potato.

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JB
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable restaurant and book store. Love the atmosphere,

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p
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, good service, space is a bit cramped but not too bad

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W
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

Our service was terribly slow, the coffee was not good, the bloody Mary was weak and our brunch omelets were just so-so. Disappointed since we have enjoyed brunch there before.

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E
Washington DC
202 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Kramer’s is always a fun place for good food and lively conversation. They have live music on the weekends so that was good also. I had the veggie lasagna which was really good. The server was new but did a good job. Kramer’s is always a fun place to go

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 3

Bad service, bad food.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on June 2, 2019

Hello, it would be helpful to learn more information about your visit. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom

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JC
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A nice, bright, not crowded space. Nicely varied menu. The entrees we ordered were tasty

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K
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

Decent food, cool concept in the bookstore, but terrible service.

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MR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite spot for brunch in the city! Bloody Mary's are made to perfection. Avocado Toast is taken to a new level with the fried garlic and shishito peppers. We have never had a bad meal here.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very kind people and great service

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JM
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

A favorite spot for coffee and dessert with friends

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SW
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite place to visit every time we are in DC. Food is amazing and local. It has items no one else seems to have. Don’t forget the dessert menu.

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P
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kramerbooks is a DC institution and it’s always a treat to eat there.

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r
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The staff and servers were Awesome! The restaurant was super busy. We were received with a warm welcome and promptly seated. The food arrived quickly and was hot. The smoked pineapple mimosas were good, we missed the “unlimited mimosas “ of the past. We will continue to be frequent customers of Kramerbooks.

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C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

They didn’t took into consideration that we had a reservation through open table.

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k
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Steak that my dining companion had was delicious but my salad was limp and sad. Clearly cut up a long time ago and left to get soggy. There was some confusion over our order but the staff were very courteous and corrected everything. Very energetic and loud so not the best for intimate conversation but we still enjoyed ourselves and browsing the bookshop afterwards. I would go back again but not order a salad.

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SM
1 review
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great time there! The crab pasta and chocolate cake were delicious!

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LJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and really neat ambiance. The selection of books and specialty gifts was fantastic. I ordered the lump crab salad and it was great

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B
Philadelphia
50 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect Spring day to enjoy Kramerbooks patio for lunch!

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B
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 5

VEry sweet and eager young server who seemed in need of a bit more training. Our orders seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle and we waited a long time for any food to arrive. When it did it was on the cool side--two orders of the mushroom scramble, for instance, were not warm. We wanted to ask for jam for the toast but couldn't get anyone's attention. We ordered the yummy raspberry french toast dessert to share and had to ask for individual plates.
I hate to sound so critical, because the young woman was so eager to please. I'm sure some coaching would make things right. And as always, the ambience was just lovely, which really is what we come for.

One other point of major praise: One of us dropped a coin purse with a credit card and quite a lot of cash coming coming in the door. A big of searching led us to an employee who had picked it up and taken it to the cashier for the cafe and happily, there it was! A happy ending to brunch in one of our favorite spots.

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JE
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend was delayed. I explained this to the host, who was beyond gracious. She seated me anyway. I again explained the situation to my server, who smiled and provided endless coffee. When my friend arrived and apologized, our server generously offered more coffee. We stayed far longer than the typical brunch guests, but felt no pressure to leave. The food was excellent and the ambience, too. When the music was too loud and I requested the volume be lowered, it was. I will definitely return.

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OT
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The nachos were amazing and our desserts were the perfect ending to an amazing day! Definitely recommend.

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JB
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved the concept of having a book store and restaurant together, very cozy and excellent food it is a happy memory for me and if I lived closer I would return for more good food 💕

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S
Cincinnati
22 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Casual and quiet. Very nice! Good food.

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MT
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was great! I went with a good friend and we split the cheddar waffles and chicken. The quality and taste of the food was out of this world, which I guess explains the cost. We also ordered the apple pie, and I certainly was not disappointed. It was a very big slice and all the ingredients were real and complimented one another. The sound was not loud at all and our server was great! It’s fancy without being over extravagant. 10/10 would recommend!!

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RI
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Great neighborhood spot with something for everyone.

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d
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great time at Easter Brunch with my family. The stuffed French Toast was marvelous. Service was outstanding. And after browsed in the bookstore. Lovely.

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JH
Toronto
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Staff would not let us bring our dog onto the patio, he had to sit on the sidewalk tied to the fence, not what we expected but we had made a reservation so we stayed. Food was ok, patio was cramped. Also washrooms are 2 floors up!

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g
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

I am a regular here. Food is always good. The crab cakes the Duck salad and the desserts all good. Service is always good can get very busy but they maintain good customer service. Can get very loud too.

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CM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Yes-for brunch. But sit downstairs. We had a party of 6 and they put us upstairs. Grimy and smelly up there. Dinner menu just ok.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on April 16, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom

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FS
Philadelphia
32 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Stick with selling books. Steak was not only poor quality, it was over cooked and that’s coming from someone who enjoys well done steak.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on April 16, 2019

Hello, we appreciate your feedback about the steak. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom when you have a moment to discuss your visit.

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A
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

While I love the bookstore, the restaurant is definitely lacking. We were left waiting and confused about our table, right next to the kitchen where we could unfortunately see the unorganized chaos in there and witness a server/busser preparing a hot chocolate and "cleaning up" the spilling whipped cream with his finger before bringing it to a guest...

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on April 16, 2019

Hello Annabel, thank you for your feedback. Please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom when you have a moment.

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BU
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very quirky, but a nice experience. Good, wholesome American cuisine, nice drinks selection and great service. Oh and I bought a book afterwards... As I said quirky.

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m
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

The Cafe inside Kramerbooks is a DC institution, nevertheless: the place is filthy, and needs a good clean. Food was OK, but the presentation of our cocktails was rather lackluster to begin with, and they came with little plastic straws, which are banned in DC. Asked about that, the waiter explained these were stirrers, not straws, and therefore not included in the ban. Seriously????

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe
Responded on April 8, 2019

Hello Monii, please contact us at justino@kramers dotcom to discuss your visit. Additional information will help us get better.

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