Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

4.3
442 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 442 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
4.0
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very kind people and great service

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JM
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

A favorite spot for coffee and dessert with friends

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SW
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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
47 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
20 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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KP
New England
6 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first time to Dupont Circle. We wanted to meet our niece for dinner and she recommended Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. It is her favorite restaurant in Dupont Circle. We can see why, delicious food and GREAT service. We would definitely go back and would certainly recommend this fun place.

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SS
New England
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent. Food was good

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PC
Montreal
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Our food, when we got it, was fine but wasn't worth what we paid. The service...the waiters appeared to be fobbing our table off on each other. One forgot my wife's cocktail, and then had the gall to accuse my wife as we were leaving of stealing his (very cheap) pen! It was a memorable dining experience, I suppose, but not one I'd recommend to any but those entertained by bad service.

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DC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Food was terrible - over salted and over spiced. The service wasn't good. We barely saw our server and kept having to flag others down to get water glasses filled, the dessert menu, and finally the check.

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IC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A small cafe in the rear of one of DC's beloved independent bookstores just north of Dupont Circle. Our table location was excellent, and the service especially accommodating. If you believe small is beautiful, the dining area has about 20 tables, the menu is varied but a limited menu of steak, chicken, salmon, scallops and average price between 18-28 USD. But all of this intentional setting is in welcome relief from the much larger dinner restaurants in DC.

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c
New England
3 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Recommended by a friend and very glad he directed us here. Very nice meal in a congenial setting and convenient to our Dupont Circle hotel.

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c
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

I always wanted to try this cafe for brunch since it’s always so crowded and I thought it would be a good place. I was severely mistaken. 1) Staff was incredibly unprofessional in getting people seated; we told them multiple times we had a reservation and they made us wait and they seated other people w/o reservations, and generally were rude because they *completely* ignored (no eye contact) all the people waiting desperately to get seated (instead of saying something like, it’ll be a few minutes). They also seated us near the kitchen with lots of foot traffic instead of in the nice greenhouse-y room with lots of windows. I swear the people without a res got better service than us. 2) The food was below average; truly the quality was just very low and the disconnect b/w high price and bad food was surprising. I expect DC to be expensive but also expect fairly decent food - trust me, this was not worth it in the least. The only way I can figure it is that it used to be a simple cafe tacked onto the bookstore and when demand grew it attempted to become a true brunch place. Listen to me- it is not. Go somewhere else for a nice Sunday brunch, where your money and time will be spent on something even marginally more worthwhile than this place. (Side note: the bookstore is great.)

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KE
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
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 on March 16, 2019
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 on March 16, 2019
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
9 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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