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Sign of the Whale

3.3
81 reviews
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$30 and under
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Burgers
Top Tags:
  • Great for Brunch
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Good for Groups

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About

Sign of the Whale in West Loop is perhaps one of the most lively and inviting restaurants in the area. There is always a special event of some kind going on to keep diners entertained and happy. No matter your interests, you will find that Sign of the Whale has something to offer for everyone. From trivia contests to karaoke, you will love visiting this restaurant and dining on some delicious foods.

If you are in the mood for some all-American goodness, check out the sliders, wing platters, fried cheese, soft pretzels and Jamaican jerk chicken. You can literally find a dish that satisfies just about every flavor profile you can think of found on the rather expansive menu of options. Bring your friends and have a fun and satisfyingly delicious dinner or lunch at Sign of the Whale.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Burgers, American, Comfort Food
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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
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Phone number
(202) 785-1110
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Donnie Frasier
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
19th St NW
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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.
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Public transit
We are in between the Farragut North and Dupont Circle Metro stop.
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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.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 81 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.3based on all time ratings
3.5
food
3.3
service
2.9
ambience
Noise · Moderate
59% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on July 8, 2016

I think Sign of the Whale is best bar in DC. delicious food, great music, Nice & Relax environment.

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5.0Dined on August 18, 2015

My friend and I both had the Patty Melt. Best one I have had in years!

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1.0Dined on August 6, 2015

They DID NOT honor our Open Table request. They claimed they had "continuously attempted to remove their listing from Open Table but have been held hostage." This is the first time this has happened with the countless reservations I have made on Open Table. Seems like an easy fix from Open Table and a lazy attempt from Sign of the Whale to show hospitality in what appeared to be AN OPEN RESTAURANT WITH PLENTY OF OPEN SEATS/TABLES TO ACCOMMODATE US.

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2.0Dined on July 29, 2015

Service centered around the uncrowded bar and was slow and inattentive. This may or may not be a good saloon at night, but I will not go back again for lunch.

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4.0Dined on June 29, 2015

No one else was in there and the waiter/ bartender still messed up our checks. Food was okay but undercooked and took a while to get out

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5.0Dined on October 29, 2014

Service was just perfect. We were never neglected but also not bothered unnecessarily. I liked the refill of the wine glasses. An expected touch.

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3.0Dined on August 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.

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3.0Dined on August 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

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1.0Dined on August 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.

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1.0Dined on August 24, 2014

All I can say is don't take your date here. The place has a bad Oder. Auuuugh not going there again

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2.0Dined on August 18, 2014

Service was good. Food was ok. Not very busy during lunch.

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3.0Dined on August 9, 2014

Food was delicious and service was wonderful! Good for a cheap but relaxing brunch.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2014

Delicious brunch options, great service, a friendly neighborhood gathering spot! I would highly recommend!

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4.0Dined on July 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.

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4.0Dined on June 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.

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4.0Dined on June 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

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5.0Dined on June 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.

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3.0Dined on April 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.

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2.0Dined on April 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.

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1.0Dined on April 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!).

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3.0Dined on April 6, 2014

massive draft of cold air where we were sitting

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4.0Dined on April 3, 2014

Great place to have lunch. Great food and quick service.

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2.0Dined on March 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.

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3.0Dined on March 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.

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3.0Dined on March 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

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2.0Dined on March 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.

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2.0Dined on March 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!

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4.0Dined on March 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.

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2.0Dined on March 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.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2014

I Love This Restaurant, It Was The Best

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3.0Dined on March 23, 2014

Being generous with a 2 for service.

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1.0Dined on March 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?!

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4.0Dined on March 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.

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2.0Dined on March 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.

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1.0Dined on March 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.

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3.0Dined on March 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!

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1.0Dined on March 9, 2014

Would not return. Food was so so, service terrible, and too noisy.

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1.0Dined on March 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.

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5.0Dined on March 2, 2014

I've come here for brunch a lot. It's always the best. There's no better way to put it!

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5.0Dined on February 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!

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