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Travellers' Choice

Food and ambience

Local cuisine, American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bar, events space, bookstore and cultural hub where arts, politics and culture internally collide. Menu is vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly.
US$6 - US$22
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, After-hours
American, Bar
Takeout, Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Live Music
Reviews (1,051)
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All reviews brunch sweet potato pancakes blackened salmon panini nachos french toast crab cakes pasta cool vibe gluten free bookstore vegan atmosphere patrons neighborhood
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Reviewed 1 December 2020 via mobile

My first time going to Busboys and Poets and I must say it was a very good experience. I wish we weren’t in a pandemic so I could’ve enjoyed the full atmosphere with the performances and all. I went with a friend and we pretty...much ate the same food and had the same drink. We had the DC Tap water drink and the blackened salmon over wild rice, asparagus and roasted corn and tomatoes. It was such a lovely meal and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Our waiter was so nice too and funny, it was a good night. I hope to one day change my ratings to 5 stars after a full experience.More

Date of visit: November 2020
Reviewed 12 October 2020

First food review and this place deserves it. We got takeout and it was great. The old lady got the portobello shroom sangwich.

Date of visit: October 2020
Reviewed 3 September 2020

I was at Busboys and Poets recently and did not have a positive experience. The place was not clean and the food was lacking. Especially with Covid going on, I did not feel safe. I would not recommend going there.

Date of visit: August 2020
Reviewed 25 April 2020

The place is really located on K St, NW (owner hasn’t had the web page updated to tell you the location change) and has a nice atmosphere when you first walk in, until you see all the political opinion and agenda material hitting you from...all directions and angles, right down to the server’s T shirt. Unless you are a seething political that feeds on this stuff, having the owner's agenda smothering every visual aspect of the eatery and unrelentingly shoved at you from all angles no matter where you are seated is far from relaxing, enjoyable or appetizing and probably is why the place was only 1/4 full at peak lunch. This coupled with bad food. The Avocado Panini (the sandwich pictured on their landing page and looks so good) being a woefully disgusting serving of ¼ size of an Amercian cheese slice, cooked wilted stringy lettuce and brown avocado inside the whole grain bread (with a nasty red sauce), and the tomato bisque (rustic texture, far from creamy or smooth, and looking/tasting like pureed canned tomatoes with microwave wilted fresh basil on top. The fellow next to me had the steak salad and frankly, while it was interestingly assembled in a pyramid, its colors and presentation were ugly, looking more like leftover cooked meat and veggies. To top it off, even though we told the server we would need separate checks when we sat down, and verified it not being a problem when making the reservation, the server refused to do more that split the cost of the entire bill evenly amongst the 5 of us at the table, so some of us were paying 1 1/2 times our bill) and when the server brought me my change it included a stapled together $20 bill. Very poor form. I was a server in my early years and always treat service industry staff with respect. As a patron I expect it to be reciprocated. This place has nothing pleasant to offer and will hopefully close before more patrons waste their money or precious lunch break on a sensorial offensive experience on many levels.More

Date of visit: July 2019
Reviewed 10 March 2020

We dined at this restaurant for breakfast because it came highly recommended. It may be a DC thing but it didn’t meet my expectations. It was just okay with average or slight below average food offerings. It’s more of place to grab a drinks and...do a little work while waiting out traffic or just needing to get out the house. It is not a must do/stop if you are on vacation in my opinion. My waiter was nice but did mess up the order. It wasn’t worth waiting to get it corrected.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 7 March 2020 via mobile

I’ve been here twice now. This time we got there early enough for the happy hour which was perfect. We enjoyed several DC Tapwaters, a fave when we were in DC. The server was nice enough to let us hang in a table in the...corner and talk and drink for several hours. I always have great memories after visiting here. We grabbed some happy hour food which actually was a great deal with the drinks. I always enjoy the food here.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 6 March 2020

A local friend of mine took me here on a recent visit to DC. I hadn't heard of the chain, which is a fantastic blend of dining, lounge, bookstore and performance space. No reservations, so since I was hungry and waiting for a table would...be almost 1/2 hour, we ate at the bar. The chicken barley soup was almost a stew; a bit too salty for me. I also had the shrimp tacos which were delicious. Prices are reasonable and a large menu features many veggie options. A comfortable spot I'd definitely go to again.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 29 February 2020 via mobile

Fun vibes and feels local (according to some this is a DC staple, but I am not a native and can neither confirm nor deny that statement)

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 14 February 2020 via mobile

First time at this place with a friend who is local. Highly recommended. Great spot with a good book selection. Highly recommended the brussel sprouts. The salmon was excellent! There is a cocktail called DC water that is refreshing. All this coupled with great service...and ambiance.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 13 February 2020 via mobile

Went with friends on a sunday morning. The place was packed and we had a wait a bit. While we waited, we looked through their book selection. They have all types of genres to choose from. The food was excellent! I had the tofu scramble...with home fries, vegan sausage and toast. The decor is very artsy and nice to look at. They had several conversation pieces. Overall, it was great, would go back.More

Date of visit: January 2020
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Questions & Answers
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21 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from 121barryk | Reviewed this property |
It is about 16-18 minutes. That is only because of traffic. My friend picked me up and took me there. You can always get a taxi. For taxi prices, you are looking at $12-$15. We went on a Wednesday night around 7:00 PM and it... More
20 May 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from sworrels | Reviewed this property |
Grits may be but not sure about shrimp as they are served with a sauce that may contain flour. However they do have other GF choices.
20 May 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from ags3391 | Reviewed this property |
Definitely call, but so many gluten free choices No on the reservations but wait was not horrible at 8:30 on a Friday night. Maybe 20 minutes. And you can get a drink at the bar or browser the books.
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