The Sovereign

4.4
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390 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Belgian

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Great Beer
The Sovereign is a Belgian bar & bistro committed to celebrating the rustic cuisine & fabled brewing culture of Belgium. Located in the vibrant Georgetown neighborhood, the Sovereign's kitchen is led by Executive Chef Andres Zuluaga whose classic, ingredient-driven Belgian dishes draw on French, German & Dutch cooking techniques & traditions. Specially sourced Dutch-style mussels, traditional flammekuchen (crispy flatbreads), braises & stews such as Smith's Lapin a la Kriek (rabbit braised in cherry beer) & other classic, regional dishes serve as the core of the seasonally changing menu. The Sovereign features 50 drafts & more than 350 bottles meticulously curated by Beer Director, Greg Engert. From classic Belgian producers to revivalist brewers, as well as international & domestic producers of Belgian-style ales, The Sovereign offers an expansive breadth of selections that illuminate the flavor-driven, craft-brewed complexity that is the trademark of the very best of Belgian brewing.
What 390 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
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CS
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great ambience, good food, service good and not rushed.

MS
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Dining room is waaaay too dark, and we ended up booking brunch reservations on the same day as a party/bar crawl so service was overwhelmed, but still very friendly. Food was delicious! Would recommend, but maybe take a flashlight hahaha....

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good place for a birthday, the manager comped my drink!

BG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very cool place in Georgetown. Great food and beer selection.

K
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful beer love the Art Deco style and dim bar

A
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience4

The restaurant is promising, but the leadership has some work to do—this was a failure in all phases of service. It is a leadership failure.

The food was good, but the whole experience was a mess. They have kitchen problems and front of the house problems.
1. Took four requests to the waiter to get the beer I ordered. It did not arrive until halfway through my entree.
2. The salad appetizer arrived no more than 60 seconds before the entrees arrived. Why did they even bother with the salad?
3. Only two of three entrees arrived. The third did not arrive until the other two diners were nearly done.
4. The manager did come by once, almost threw some meatball appetizers on the table. Did not apologize for the botched service, did not attempt service recovery. Did not come back to check on us. When confronted after the meal to again make it right, he made no offer.

The shame of it is, the food (in isolation) was quite good, and the beer selection is lovely.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Really nice food and beer menu but the place is very dark and so loud...

SH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

First time eating at this restaurant. It was the 2nd week of Restaurant week so I was happy to find that I could get a lovely meal for $35 and change. The onion soup was not the traditional kind in that it's made with duck broth instead of beef; however, this did not negate the yumminess. It was just different.
I had the oven-roasted salmon, cooked medium, and it was surprisingly good (I usually get my salmon cooked well done). The dessert I chose was the waffle with bananas and nutella! Oh so good.

The server we had did a good job and the individual who picked up the empty dishes was attentive - almost to the point of being "too attentive."

The only negative thing I have to write is that the lighting in the restaurant is super low. It was a bit of a challenge for me to read the menu.

OT
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Must do for any beer lover! Incredible selection and perfect ambiance for tasting flights.

Food was good, better than average for sure, kale salad was great even for the non-uber health conscious. Waffle deserts were unique and worth a try.

Service was outstanding, only caveat, it was a slower Tuesday night

KE
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We ordered a three course meal for each individual. Our first courses came out promptly and then there was an extremely long break before our main course. We were attending a show (allowed 2 hours for dinner) and ended up having to rush through our main course and dessert waffles to get out within the 2 hour timeframe.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Boxed up a pork chop, when I ate it a day later it was still the best pork chop I’d ever had.

OT
Orlando
23 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing 50 tap beer selection. The large format beer list is as impressive as any wine list. Moules frittes were on point.

OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We took the server’s recommendation for both food and beverage, and all were great.

NY
Washington DC
116 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Great beer selection!

KE
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A pleasant surprise! The Steak Frites and Pot de Creme were terrific. Kareem was cordial and professional and offered excellent service.

L
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

A nice find. Food was good. Nice atmosphere...dim lighting which makes it feel kind of cozy. Very very loud and we had to raise our voices more than once to be heard. We both ordered the mussels and frites. The mussels were superb. Plump and all were open! Unfortunately we both agreed each broth was tasteless. We usually love dipping bread in the broth but we passed on doing it this time.

d
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Hidden down an alley, The Sovereign has a great selection of draft beers - try a flight. I enjoyed a happy repast with friends. You won't be disappointed at The Sovereign.

PS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Luke warm food and very mediocre service. So much potential totally wasted.

CM
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loud but such a good date night. Lovely atmosphere and very attentive / caring waitress. Very intelligent and right on WIRH the beers. Very dark inside !!

DC
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Dinner with a friend. I got a main dish that was cold by the time it reached our table, they kindly made another. The serving was medium/small — so that I wished I had gotten a salad or more volume and I am not a big eater. The rabbit was good but i usually love rabbit and this was not excellent.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service our server was amazing.

KF
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience2

I'm a repeat visitor to the Sovereign but our recent lunch there was disappointing. In the bar, 2 games on television which no one was watching were blaring loudly. We asked twice for the volume to be lowered and were refused. The waitress then forgot to bring the starters. Other requests for bread and water took a very long time, and it's not that the place was crowded. Really wishing we hadn't brought our out of town guests here.

JH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience2

Food is good, and the beer list is great. However, it appeared that there was only one server for the entire dining room (probably 20 tables). She was absolutely great--friendly, knowledgeable, and somehow able to serve the whole dining room. However, given how thinly she was stretched, everything took too long. It was 15+ minutes from the time we came in until we had our first drinks. Given the situation, we ordered drinks, appetizers, and dinner all at once. When we wanted another round of drinks (before our food came out), we had to wait a long time, so my second beer came after I finished dinner. To be clear, the waitress did the best possible she could have done, given the circumstances. Also, the whole place kind of smelled like my fraternity house from college. So...Sovereign was fine, but I wouldn't go back unless I had to.

LO
Greensboro
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Enjoyed the mussels!

m
Philadelphia
78 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We came for the beer and the mussels. They were both great! It was loud but on a Saturday night after the Nats parade, it’s what we expected. It’s down an alley so you have to look for the folding sign on the sidewalk to find it.

Our server was helpful and made good suggestions. The mixed salad was fresh and the dressing crisp. I had several small pours to try things and my son picked one he liked. We tried three different flavorings of the mussels.

I have two negatives. One, the waffle and pot de creme weren’t at the same quality as the mussels and salad. Go elsewhere for dessert. Spend more money on the beers. And, food arrived without silverware so we sat there staring at it until we called over someone to get it for us. It happened with each course. And we never got fish/mussels forks so we were scoping out with dinner forks.

We will go again, before the Nats win again! Baby shark!!!!

T
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food. Very very dark dining room. Feels more like a bar than a restaurant.

DD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

We were disappointed in the service. At the time we arrived (Halloween evening) there were approximately 3-4 tables (lower floor) with diners. We ordered our drinks shortly after we sat down....a glass of wine and a flight of beers (3 samples). Our starter came before our drinks. We were at the table for 20 minutes and we pointed out to the waitress that we did not have our drinks. By this time we had finished the starter. A few minutes later my glass of wine arrived and she said the bartender was 'busy' and the beer would arrive shortly. By the time the beer arrived we were already well into eating our dinner! The bottom line it they seemed under staffed both at the bar and on the floor. It seemed there was one waitress taking care of the floor.

H
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience2

Great sampling of Belgian fare. Mussels were fabulous as well as the waffle desserts. Everyone at my table raved about their dishes. Highly recommend! Very noisy though during dinner hours.

BC
Jacksonville
15 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great mussels and our entrees were all tasty. Love the beer menu, too.

CC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It’s simply too loud - but the quality of the beer list, the expert knowledge of their beer, and the food pairing is some of the best anywhere.

MD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday. Great time!

OT
London
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic meal. The beer menu is incredible. Anyone who is into high quality craft and/or Belgian beer must go to The Sovereign. I felt all of my beers were superb! The menu is diverse and any person can enjoy any food to their liking. The prices are reasonable for DC, the meatballs were very tasty, braised beef was superb and the mussels were juicy and succulent. 5/5 10/10

ES
New England
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food was very good and interesting, and even though our group members had a lot of different palates, everyone was able to find (and enjoy!) items to suit our varied tastes. My only complaint would be that the restaurant (or at least the first floor) was INCREDIBLY dark. I think they are going for a traditional European ambiance – and the ambiance definitely did feel authentically Belgian and cozy-cool – but one tiny candle isn't really enough to adequately illuminate a shadowy corner booth. No one was able to read the menu without our phone flashlights. It was also quite loud on the Saturday night we went, so this might not be the best place to bring anyone who is hard of hearing, as they will likely not be able to hear well or see enough to read lips/faces. I'll probably not take our parents here again, but my boyfriend and I will certainly be back for drinks and apps at the upstairs bar!

CS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

I would recommend for the beer. The food was OK, perhaps I wasn't too hungry? excellent steak frite, rest just fine.

JT
Salt Lake City
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great place for friends to have dinner. Nice atmosphere and beer selection.

OT
Frankfurt Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Good food, service ok, restaurant is very dark- you don't really see what you eat;)

b
St. Louis
22 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Second good experience here. Food excellent, service attentive, comfortable seating and calm, warm atmosphere.

OT
1 review
Reviewed on August 27, 2019
Overall1foodserviceambience

If you want to eat at a wannabe-Michelin-star bar with mediocre burgers & beer down a dark alley then be prepared to wait for 20-30 minutes at least without being served by the snobby, condescending staff. I asked about 4 waiters to take my order during this time and they kept brushing me off and refusing to take it. All this when the place was half empty. It's an average bar selling below average food (I had been here once before), try to lighten up and not take yourself so seriously.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A must stop for Belgian beer lovers when visiting DC.

b
Washington DC
250 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I've been wanting to try Sovereign since it opened so my husband and I finally stopped in after work one friday. We were not disappointed. We were greeted warmly and our waiter was superb. We both order several small glasses of beer to share and then we split a few appetizers. The standout dish was the mushroom flatbread. it was outstanding. For us, Sovereign is not for everyday dining, but it was a special treat to try some interesting beers and appetizers. Highly recommend.

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