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Whodini once sang that the freaks come out at night, and never is this truer than when they’re scouring the city for food at night.  I can speak from experience.

Late-night noshing is just like reality TV, a universal guilty pleasure in which many share a shame-ridden interest.  The good news is that calories don’t really count on the weekends.  The bad news is that it could give you an ass fatter than Kim Kardashian’s. We’ve divided some post-midnight dining options into food groups less humiliating than Taco Bell’s Fourth Meal, and more satisfying than those approved by the USDA:


The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with Italian breaded chicken cutlet, marinara, sharp provolone at Taylor Gourmet will soak up the alcohol.  Open til 3 am at 1116 H Street NE, Washington, DC; open til 3:30 am at 1908 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Playing bocce at Black Jack can work up an appetite; try The Earl, a BLT that’s heavy on the bacon and light on…nothing.  Late-night menu served til last call/1:30 am-ish.  1612 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Fast Gourmet has gained cult-followers with their Chivito sandwich (tenderloin, mozzarella, black forest, bacon, green olives, hard boiled eggs, escabeche)–a vegan’s nightmare.  Open til 5:30 am.  1400 W Street NW, Washington, DC.


My love affair with Mellow Mushroom’s Funky Q Chicken pizza has lasted 7 years and counting. Added bonus: the whole-wheat flour crust will ease your guilt.  Kitchen open til 1 am.  2436 18th St NW, Washington, DC.

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How any good night should end. #jumboslice

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If you must go the Jumbo Slice route Duccini’s is the only way to go, where the crust actually has a backbone and can hold quality toppings.  Open til 5 am.  1778 U St NW, Washington, DC.

Fried Foods

For the under-appreciated glory of fried catfish, head to Oohhs & Aahhs after a night of dancing on U Street.  Open til 4 am.  1005 U Street NW, Washington, DC.

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Go (fried) balls to the wall at Amsterdam Falafelshop’s extensive garnish bar.  Open til 4 am.  2425 18th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Granville Moore’s delicious frites and paired sauces make H Street worth the trek.  Late-night menu served til 1 am.  1238 H Street NE, Washington, DC.


Cashion’s Eat Place has an after dark menu which includes a bison burger with Gruyere, bacon, a fried egg, and comeback sauce guaranteed to keep tomorrow’s hangover at bay.  Open til 2 am.  1819 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC.

Can’t sleep? Desperados also delivers late-night and their popular Cajun Burger (Cajun spice, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard and mayo) will put you in a food coma.  Open til 2 am.  1342 U Street NW, Washington, DC.

No frills burger joint for meat-lovers alike, Black & Orange even offers a portabella mushroom burger for all the soulless vegetarians.  Open til 5 am.  1300 Connecticut Avenue NW; 1931 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.


Ming’s, a favorite late-night spot for local chefs, doesn’t need MSG to get you hooked on their crispy fried pork chops.  Open til 4:30 am.  617 H Street NW, Washington, DC.

Do as the Parisians do and have a late dinner at Bistrot du Coin; the Le Steak Maison is a must-try.  Open til 1 am.  1738 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC.


The Hamilton has bacon chocolate chip pancakes on the after-midnight menu…they had me at bacon.  Open til 2 am (no longer 24/7).  600 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Stumble your way through the Adams Morgan crowd into The Diner for an all-American breakfast. Open 24/7.  2453 18th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Osman & Joe’s Steak n Egg Kitchen in Tenleytown is a must.  The massive omlettes and juicy steaks are perfection at 3 am.  It’s a greasy spoon that has been around for decades, and the generous portions will stave off a hangover. Open 24/7. 4700 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Feature photo: Yelp/Scott B.