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22 Historic Restaurants in the Washington DC Area

Dining Landmarks in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia


11. Normandie Farm

10710 Falls Road, Potomac, MD. (301) 983-8838. Nestled in the heart of Potomac, Maryland, the restaurant has been serving French influenced cuisine since 1931. With five dining rooms, the restaurant can accommodate up to 350 people. The rustic decor, fireplaces and country setting make this a local favorite. Banquet rooms are available as well as the lawn gardens for large parties or weddings.

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12. Old Anglers Inn

10801 MacArthur Blvd. Potomac, MD. (301)365-2425. The Old Angler’s Inn, opened in 1860 and located just steps from the C & O Canal, housed military officers during the Civil War. In 1957, the Reges family purchased the inn and transformed into a charming restaurant that has become a capital landmark. With unique indoor and outdoor dining areas, the restaurant consistently ranks as one of the most romantic in the Washington DC area.

13. Irish Inn at Glen Echo

6119 Tulane Avenue Glen Echo, MD. (301) 229-6600. The Irish Inn serves upscale Irish fare in a casual and cozy setting. The restaurant has changed ownership and names several times over the years, with its most recent renovation in 2003. The property was built in 1931 after a fire had destroyed the home on the property and killed the family who lived there. The restaurant is said to be haunted by their ghosts.

14. L'Auberge Chez François

332 Springvale Rd. Great Falls, VA. (703) 759-3800. François Haeringer, the founder of L'Auberge Chez François, was a pioneer when he opened the original Chez François in the heart of Washington DC in 1954. In 1975, the building was sold to make room for an office building and Haeringer opened the L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, Virginia, on six acres of rolling hills that were reminiscent of his native Alsatian countryside. The dining rooms are filled with family heirlooms and murals depicting scenes of Haeringer's place of birth, Obernai, France. The Haeringer family continues to run the restaurant which has become a culinary icon in the Washington DC area.

15. Mr. K’s Tollhouse

9201 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD. (301) 589-3500. The historic building functioned as a toll house in the early 1900s. In 1930 it was converted to a restaurant. Mrs. K's is a charming inn with several dining areas, including a wine cellar and an outdoor terrace. The elegant gardens provide an ideal setting for weddings and other special gatherings. Sunday brunch is especially popular.

16. Olney Ale House

2000 Olney Sandy Spring Road. Olney, MD. (301) 774-6708. The restaurant dates back to 1924, when this part of Montgomery County was sparsely populated. It began as "The Corner Cupboard" serving ice cream, baked goods and ham sandwiches. Over the years, the structure has been expanded and the ownership has changed several times. Today, it is a traditional Irish pub serving American classics.

17. The Royal Restaurant

734 N St. Asaph St. Alexandria, VA. (703) 548-1616. For more than 100 years, the Royal has been an Old Town favorite, a casual family-style restaurant. The Royal Café was originally located at 109 North Royal Street. The building was torn down in 1964 as part of the city’s urban renewal and was moved to it’s current location in 1965. Today, the menu features home-style cooking, including authentic Greek & Italian fare.

18. Clyde’s of Georgetown

3236 M Street, NW, Washington, DC. (202) 333-9180. The first of Clyde's restaurants opened in Georgetown in 1963, attracting a loyal clientele including many political, media, entertainment, and sports celebrities. The restaurant became a local institution and has expanded over the years. The Clyde's Restaurant Group now includes twelve restaurants in the Washington DC area that serve contemporary American fare.

19. The Warehouse Bar & Grill

214 King Street, Alexandria, VA. (703) 683-6868. The steak-and-seafood restaurant is a local favorite in Old Town Alexandria. Circa 1868, the building originally served as a storage facility for tobacco and as a torpedo warehouse during the World Wars. The Warehouse Restaurant opened here in 1969. There was a fire in the building in 1980. The current owners adapted the name to the Warehouse Bar & Grill which they have been operating since 1987. The restaurant is known for its caricatures of Old Town personalities including ordinary customers, local business owners and TV news anchor Katie Couric.

20. Roys Place

2 East Diamond Avenue Gaithersburg, MD. (301) 947-5548. The casual restaurant has been a Gaithersburg institution since 1971, known for its unique menu of more than 200 overstuffed sandwiches. The building was modeled after the Point of Rock's railroad station. Roy Passin, the restaurant's namesake and longtime owner, died in 2009 at age 87.

21. Il Porto Ristorante

121 King Street Alexandria, VA. (703) 836-2637. Il Porto has been serving fine Northern Italian food since 1973. Built in the 18th century by a retired Sea Captain, the building has served as a warehouse for exotic imports, a home, a wine press and distillery, a butcher shop, a speakeasy and a Nazi radio station.

22. Franklin's Restaurant, Brewery & General Store

5121 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD. (301) 927-2740. Franklins is located in a historic landmark building built in the 1880's as a blacksmith and carriage shop. Starting in 1910, the building housed the Hyattsville Hardware Co. which stayed in continuous operation until 1992. Franklins opened in 1992 using many of the hardware store's fixtures and offers a unique blend of food and beer combined with upscale, practical, and offbeat shopping. The nail bins now hold penny candy and toys, The shelves, once full of hardware and cans of paint, are now stocked with the modern "essentials:" rubber chickens, Legos, chocolate body paint and hot sauces.

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