The Sovereign

4.4
352 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Belgian
Dined here? Add a quick review...

Rate your experience

Restaurants you may also like

View all

About

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 Peter Smith, 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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Belgian, Contemporary European
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM (dinner from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM)
Friday: 11:30 AM - 2:00 AM (lunch from 11:30 AM until 3:00 PM, dinner from 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM)
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM (brunch from 11:00 AM to 3:00 pm; dinner from 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM)
Sunday: 11:00 AM - 1:00 AM (brunch from 11:00 AM to 3:00 pm; dinner from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM)
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(202) 774-5875
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Peter Smith
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
M Street NW
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood. Many other parking lots and garages are also nearby. Parking sites can be found at www.georgetowndc.com/visitor-map-travel/parking.
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
The Sovereign is a short walk from the M Street & Wisconsin Avenue NW stops on the DC Circulator route. The closest metro station is the Foggy Bottom-GWU stop on the Blue/Orange/Silver line.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 352 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A must stop for Belgian beer lovers when visiting DC.

b
Washington DC
246 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

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.

NM
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really creative and flavorful food, and the best wait service I’ve had in a long time.

OT
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a terrific find! The food was delicious. We enjoyed the cocktails, appetizer, main entree and desserts. Great place to hold a conversation. Great for intimate dates or taking the family.

D
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great to have an authentic Belgium dining experience. The croquettes were great!

OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food is absolutely amazing and the beer list is impressive.

GB
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food and service were excellent. The one negative of the evening was when the only non-drinker in our group asked for a non-alcoholic beer. He was informed they didn't carry them and in fact it was a "pet peeve" of the owner that they even exist. I realize this restaurant prides itself on the variety of beers served but the owner needs to get over himself and provide a choice for all of his customers - they are the people keeping him in business.

MP
Washington DC
64 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Overpriced for the portions. We got the Benedict and the Liege waffle. They were almost identical and did not fill us up at all. Our empty plates were not cleared for a long time.

WX
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

Came here for boyfriend's birthday. The beer selection made him very happy.

LM
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 1

Too noisy but great food. Also beer selection ironically lacking in Belgian beers

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner — wonderful food and a huge selection of Belgian beers. A great night out!

TB
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

DC has so many great mussel bars that I would suggest those over this place. First, it is hard to find - down an alley? why? Second, the service was just OK - our waiter seemed a bit grumpy. Third, the food was fine, but nothing to write home about, unfortunately. The frites, especially, were SUPER salty. The cocktails were also just ok - not really a place I would go out of my way to visit again.

OT
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was amazing. Service was slow. In fairness, I got the impression that they had a few staff no-show. Loved the female bartender.

LK
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Our food was good but the service was pretty terrible. Our server started out by asking if we had an allergies or intolerances he should be aware of. My husband told him that he had a gluten intolerance. My husband then ordered a salad for us to share only to find a baguette underneath the bed of greens that wasnt mentioned on the description. The server hadn’t mentioned anything when we ordered it. We didn’t make a big deal out of it and my husband just ate around it.

Then the seating area around us started flooding due to the rain outside. There were buckets of water on the ground and someone was mopping 2 feet from our table. Finally we asked to be reseated because the water was encroaching on our space and the mopping was really distracting. We thought it was odd that no one had offered to reseat us. Our server moved us but then didn’t bother bringing our waters over or getting us new ones. Finally I just went and got the water from the table because he obviously wasn’t going to come do anything. We also were our of cocktails and would’ve liked to order more, but again he was not attentive at all. Overall I was really annoyed with the poor service and handling of the flooded area, especially since there were only 3 tables in the whole dining area at the time. I sort of regret not being more demanding because it was pretty unacceptable for the price we paid for the meal.

After dinner we went upstairs and had a few drinks at the bar since it was still raining outside. The bartender was really nice and we enjoyed our experience up there a lot better. Next time I will skip the dining room experience and just grab a burger at the bar.

Finally, my husband got pretty sick after dinner and we are wondering, in light of the baguette in the salad, if it was due to any gluten in other dishes we weren’t made aware of.

MA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Mothers day

OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

It was extremely hot in the restaurant and very uncomfortable.

OT
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 4

The Sovereign is tucked away in an alley, and as you enter you consign yourself to a dark, rather claustrophobic interior. Oh, well, at least it will be cool, right? Wrong! For whatever reason, this restaurant was uncomfortably hot the night we went. I would check before going again that the air conditioning was working properly. Our very nice waiter said that the a.c. was working as well as it could, given the high temperature outside. Whatever. I wouldn't go again until that problem has been solved. Other than that, the salmon was fabulous.

SA
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

My family (4 people) dined there on Sat. May 12th. I received a phone call on Friday to confirm our reservation. They asked if we were celebrating anything special. Yes, Mother's Day! We arrived 30 minutes early for a 5pm reservation since it was a bit warm out. They told us the dining room didn't open till 5pm. No problem, we sat at the bar had some drinks and a Charcuterie board. It was hotter inside than out! Not comfortable. 5pm came, we were taken to our table. Still HOT! We were greeted and ordered. My Mom asked our waitress for her recommendation between two items. Waitress said short ribs, so she got the short ribs. We got 2 hors d'oeuvre to share, we all ordered a salad, and we all got an entrée. Hors d'oeuvres and salads came out together, except my salad. I asked and waitress said it was coming! Salads were finished and mine still had not arrived. Entrees arrived, including my salad! So 2 good sized plates in front of me, and my entrée was getting cold while I ate my salad. Icing on the cake for me was when our waitress came to our table to ask how everything turned out, I politely asked where my Mother's meal was. She replied with "She only got a salad." WOW I said! My Mother politely said "I ordered your recommendation of the short ribs!" She whipped out her note pad to review. Waitress said I can have your entrée out in 2 minutes! My Mom said No thank you they will be done eating by the time it gets here. Short ribs in pastry would take more than 2 minutes! Waitress apologized and disappeared. Then came the manager to apologize and bring her a complimentary charcuterie board! I asked my mother if she wanted it since we JUST HAD ONE AT THE BAR! She said no not really. They packed it up for us to take home. So to summarize, my Mom on Mother's day didn't receive her meal! It was HOT and very unpleasant! Oh and by the way, what is the point of asking your guests if they are celebrating a special occasion if you DON'T recognize it! Happy Mother's Day!

JA
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great service. Wait staff and manager very attentive. Amazing beer selection. Food was really good, but not great, and a bit pricey for the quality. Very cool location down an alley. Pretty loud on a busy night. Also one of my pet peeves, they keep the restaurant too cold. I run hot at home at 73, my wife is always cold. This place must have been cooled to high 60s - too cold for a cozy meal...

s
Washington DC
54 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

I will preface this review with the fact that we are an older couple and this place clearly caters to the younger crowd with its massive beer menu. That said, the restaurant is so dark the menu cannot be read without help from a flashlight. We ordered the mussels -- imported from Belgium -- and were so disappointed! The broth was barely in the bottom of the pot so that it could not be scooped up with each mussel. No fish forks provided; bread put inside of pot so that the bread arrived steamed (so weird); fries uninteresting frozen variety. On the bright side, we could carry on a pleasant conversation as the noise level was quite low.

OT
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was great, menu quite interesting and flavors on point. The only downside was the lack of attentiveness from our server. He missed out on incresing beverage sales by not checking on us at all.

C
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

I've been to The Sovereign a dozen or so times, as I travel to DC very often for business. It's a top 3 place for me; the beer selection is fantastic, the food is always tasty and hot, and the waffles are unbeatable. However, I figured I would leave this review as a small gripe: the past 2 times I've been here, the service has been lacking. Granted, the food was hot when it arrived at the table, so no issues there, but there were some occurrences that were less than optimal.

One such example was two visits ago, when I ordered a salad, and our group (4 people) ordered a charcuterie board for the table. I recognize that I didn't ask for this explicitly, but I thought it would be understood that the salad would come out with the charcuterie. Instead, our waiter dropped off the charcuterie and was not seen again until the entrees arrived...along with my salad. So now I had a salad to eat, along with Duck Leg Confit. Not the worst, but not the best, and not up the standard I've come to expect from The Sovereign.

Additionally, between the charcuterie and entrees, 2 of the 4 of us finished our drinks. As mentioned, the waiter wasn't seen again until the entrees came out, so there was no offer / ask if we wanted another drink. In my confusion of receiving the salad and duck leg at once, I actually forgot to order my second beer when the entrees came out. No matter, surely the waiter will be back to check in, and I'll order it then. Wrong. Again, didn't see the waiter again until all of our plates were cleared and by that point, I had need for another beer. So in total, we saw the waiter exactly 3 times throughout the night: once for app/drink orders, once for dinner, once for dessert.

It's not a knock against the restaurant as a whole, and maybe this waiter was having a bad night, but those types of experiences need to be few and far between (and granted, they have been) if I'm going to continue being a regular patron.

A
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, amazing drinks and fantastic atmosphere

OT
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great beer selection!

KD
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Food was great. Server seemed not very happy to be there. Not sure if he was tired or ? But I felt a bit uncomfortable trying to flag him down for stuff (salt and pepper, eg!). Otherwise, food was delish and atmosphere is great!

OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice gastropub featuring mostly Belgian beer and a few USA beers brewed in a belgian style. Food was good. Steak frite was huge. Duck and Rabbit excellent and full of flavor.

I
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, nice modern ambiance, friendly service. Would definitely come back.

LM
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Disappointing...but worth another try

I was very excited to find a Belgian restaurant in Georgetown and made reservations for my wife and I for dinner. Sadly, the reality didn't quite match up to the expectations...but it was good enough to give another try.

It's never a good sign when my review starts with the drinks...but they were amazing. We started with a Sovereign Sazerac and a Winter Punch and they were both wonderful. But the best part of Sovereign is the beer list - particularly the draft selection - and we moved on to drafts of Sint Bernardus ABT 12 and Boon Kriek. Both spectacular.

The food was perfectly reasonable...just not as good as it should be in a Belgian restaurant. The cheese board and fennel salad were fine, the croquettes de fromage a bit better and the pickle plate was actually quite delicious. But the frites were OK at best and the housemade mayonnaise oddly liquid - this simply should not happen in a Belgian restaurant. Lastly, the pot de creme was reasonably flavorful but way too firm. It also came in a ramekin so huge my wife dubbed it 'cauldron-de-creme'.

The decor was that of a repurposed wine cellar and the atmosphere quite fun. And thankfully we didn't run into any of the service issues other reviewers have noted. In short, our meal was a disappointment...but not so bad that we aren't eager to give it another try.

RU
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

The online presentation of this restaurant is appealing. However, upon arrival (once you find it because it is down a long, dingy alley lined with trash dumpsters), it is unimpressive. We were seated when we arrived without delay. That's about the only positive thing I can add. Our server was unkempt (and dirty looking), rude, ignorant, dismissive and unattentive.

The limited wines offered were almost exclusively French. Even being somewhat of a wine geek, even I didn't recognize the offerings. I asked our server his opinion or if he knew anything about one ($100) bottle of Chateauneuf de Pape. I had to repeat my question three times because the restaurant is so extremely loud. He completely dismissed me stating, "I don't know. Chateauneuf de Pape is a classic wine from France." I told him that I'm aware of that, but simply wondering his opinion of the wine. He then said, "Well, if you've had Chateauneuf de Pape, then you know what it tastes like -- why are you asking me?" Even my 14-year old daughter said, "that was rude, huh, dad?"

From there, it went farther downhill. He knew nothing about the food. When asked the size of a salad (if large enough for my daughter and her other young friend to share in addition to sharing an entre), he told them the salad would be enough on its own. That it's large enough for 3 people. It was barely enough for one. When asked if he'd recommend the short ribs or duck, he said, "I don't know why you're asking me these questions. (Seriously?!) One is beef and one is duck. I don't know. What do you like better?"

He never returned to refill wine or water. We had to flag down other servers to do so. And then, he never returned to clear our plates. Ever. I finally removed them, and placed them on another empty table that also had uncleared dishes the entire time we were eating!

I would not return or recommend this restaurant to anyone. Too many other great options in the city.

JR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and beer list!! Will absolutely go back (wife’s new favorite spot)!

d
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The food was sub par and came out different then the description, the beer was overpriced and low quality

OT
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always perfect in every way.

AV
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 2

Great waffles and good Belgian beer selection! Ambiance is a bit off--you feel like you're in a dark basement.

S
Pittsburgh
8 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My husband and I truly enjoyed the whole experience! The food was excellent , mussels, chicken dish, butternut squash salad. Excellent server! we were celebrating our anniversary and the manager served us a complimentary glass of beer..loved trying a variety of beers all night!
Will come back to when we visit DC again!

M
Washington DC
249 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Was there for brunch - good, not great - service was adequate - the issue is the space and lighting - extremely dark and cavernous

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

The mussels were tasteless and there was no broth. The picked dish was inedible.
The service was slow. You could hardly have a conversation because it was incredibly loud. $250 wasted. Never going back and also telling friends never to go there.

OT
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my go to place whenever I come to Georgetown. Never disappoints. Great food, great bar and super friendly service.

F
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Fun hip atmosphere but too noisy. Eat on the 2nd floor so cute.

MS
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Love the beer selection, our favorite was the DE DOLLE / OERBIER. Delicious. I had the steak which was flavorful and cooked perfectly. Wished we lived closer.

OT
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Located in an alley

1
2
3
9

Tweets by The Sovereign