Circle Bistro

3.8 based on 2226 reviews
Cuisine Type American
Price Range $30 and under
Neighborhood Foggy Bottom - West End

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Fri 12/7
2 guests
7:30 PM
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+1 202 293 5390

About Circle Bistro

Circle Bistro, located in the heart of the Foggy Bottom Neighborhood, offers a casual yet chic bar and restaurant atmosphere serving American comfort fare including a wide selection of sandwiches, salads and sharing plates. The extensive beverage program showcases over 12 wines by the glass, domestic and imported beer, and a seasonal cocktail list. Our pet-friendly outdoor patio is the perfect oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of the Nation’s Capital. Circle Bistro is the ideal place for breakfast meetings, business lunches, and happy hour gatherings.
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Menus

  1. Breakfast
  2. Lunch
  3. Bar
  4. Dessert
  5. Room Service
  6. Wine & Beer
  7. All Day Dining Menu

Reviews and Ratings

3.8
Good
Based on 2,226 reviews
Noise Level
Moderate
3.9
Food
3.7
Service
3.6
Ambiance

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circle
fish and chips
going to the kennedy
kennedy center
menu
west end
2.0
Mediocre
Dined Apr 29 2018

I visited Circle Bistro for Restaurant Week due to the flexibility of their menu. The options were varied and the food was pretty good. However, the service was terrible. I'm not sure if they were short staffed or what, but the maitre'd seemed to be serving as a waiter and the busser seemed to also serve as a waiter. It took nearly 20 minutes from when we were seated and received water to when someone came to take our order. Then it was another 15 minutes before the first course arrived. I had the hummus and pita. The hummus was a bit too salty and pasty, and the pita was a bit too chewy. I had ravioli for the entree and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. The ravioli was the best part of the meal and the cake was a bit too dry. I had to attend a meeting so I had to get my entree and dessert to go.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined Apr 29 2018

Once person with undercooked pork, the other with over cooked pork. Flies in the dining room. Uninterested service. Really sad to see this place continue its slow descent.

4.0
Good
Dined Apr 29 2018

Love this restaurant for the ability to have a conversation and be heard. They do not bother to leave after one has eaten. Delightful.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 29 2018

There were four of us there for Sunday brunch. All liked their meal. Service was attentive and setting was very nice. Location in D.C. West End is great - right on Washington Circle, across the circle from the Foggy Bottom Metro stop. Although I generally do not like hotel restaurants, this one is an exception. Just what we were looking for. Pricing was great in general; but especially for the area and a hotel restaurant. It may not win awards, but it is a solid choice for a comfortable, good quality meal at a great value. Nice view of the area. All were quite glad that we ate there.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 29 2018

Good location and good\n variety of lunch selections. All three of us were pleased with our choices.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined Apr 29 2018

Thought the place might be nice to sit outside for Mother's Day brunch. Outside are near the small pool is not very appealing. They could so so much more with it if they wanted. Service was pretty slow, given how empty it was. Food just so-so also.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined Apr 29 2018

Much as we used to relish going to Circle Bistro for creative cuisine, this weekend's dinner was a disappointment. Service was not great; servers need training in making certain all guests have water, that wine should be savored and not poured out, draining the bottle on the first go around, and that salmon deserves some additional flavor to make it delectable.\nFirst course of mussels was very good. The mussels were extremely small, which may be how they are running. As mentioned, the salmon, swimming in a tasteless broth, needs a different design. When the manager came by to ask about our dinner and I mentioned the salmon's tastelessness, to his credit he offered our table desserts on the house.\nI hope the cooking improves and if so, I and our friends will return happily.

1.0
Poor
Dined Apr 29 2018

Loneliest lunch in town

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

We walked to this place before packing up to leave another hotel. Very nice, we made reservations but they weren't needed at 9:45 on this particular Sunday. Pleasant waiter, 5 of us. Several had the banana buckwheat pancakes which were good. (I would have thought they would have put a strawberry or a small piece of fruit on the plate; it seemed sorta naked with 3 pancakes dusted with sugar!) The others had French toast. We all used the blueberry compote, yum. My brother got a ton of bacon with his. It was all tasty; no complaints.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined Apr 30 2018

Chose this venue for a business lunch as I knew the noise level would be low. Like it because there are a limited number of table for lunch which it makes it's ideal for doing business as well as enjoying the company.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

Very average food. Good service. Too many other restaurants in that area so I probably wouldn't bother to return.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

I often eat dinner at Circle Bistro en route to a concert at the Kennedy Center. The food is good and reasonably priced, and the service is generally good or satisfactory. My most recent meal was on January 29.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined Apr 30 2018

We enjoyed the experience except the waiters were having trouble remembering what we ordered and the bartender should have know how to make a good Irish coffee - no whipped cream and lukewarm.\nGenerally, I had always enjoyed this restaurant - the food is very good, and I love the convenience to the Kennedy Center and the valet parking!!

1.0
Poor
Dined Apr 30 2018

the server was lovely and did the best she could by herself with no help, Several other dinners complained while we where dinning,left very un happy !!!

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

with other reviews somewhat negative, we were very happy that the sandwiches were absolutely first rate. Service was a little slow, but we were in no hurry

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

My wife and I enjoyed a very nice lunch following a NSO event. The special turkey club was loaded with interesting ingredients on a nice bread. Salad consisted of a variety of fresh spring vegetables with a light dressing.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

As relative newcomer to the Foggy Bottom neighborhood we were looking for a new place to try with friends on a Saturday night. So glad we fell into Circle Bistro. The food was good, the menu well priced, the service attentive and the place was practically empty. We simply cannot figure out why. Yes, it has a hotel restaurant vibe (the staff was clearly setting up tables for breakfast as we were finishing our meal) but it all worked if your goal is to have a nice meal where you hear your companions talk and not feel gouged. We will return - and recommend.

1.0
Poor
Dined Apr 30 2018

Food was previously cooked and re-heated. Service was average. We were alone in the restaraunt. Nobody else was there and that was suspicious.

1.0
Poor
Dined Apr 30 2018

The salad course was okay but nothing to write about. The roasted chicken was very dry, a bit on the cold side and not appetizing. Overall, I felt like I was eating at a NJ Turnpike rest stop! Not a place I would ever revisit.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

Appetizer( mussels) and parsnip & apple soup were very good, as was the beet salad and the (outstanding) buckwheat gnocchi. Apple pie dessert was a notch lower, more the consistency of a croissant than a pie. Service was friendly and efficient and there is free valet parking. Great value!

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

This small restaurant in a boutique hotel was deserted upon arrival leaving us a little concerned to start, but all the reviews were good so went for it. And boy were they right. The food was excellent, not a single thing to pick at. Properly cooked, well presented, perfectly seasoned. We had the mussels, gazpacho, caesar salad, swordfish, steak frites, french onion soup, and salmon. The only drawback was the new waitress we had, who was not up on the menu details, and forgot to ask some basic questions about how we wanted things prepared. She tried hard and was pleasant, just needs a little more refinement. We also enjoyed a wonderful pinot gris from Oregon. I would certainly return.

4.0
Good
Dined Apr 30 2018

This is an exceptional place to eat. The food was excellent and presented quite pleasingly. \n\nOut waiter was very helpful and even chased us down outside when we forgot our left over bag.

4.0
Good
Dined Apr 30 2018

Great location if you are heading to the Kennedy Center for a show. They have valet parking and from there it is a quick trip to the Center. All our food choices were very good as were our wine choices. Service was quick and responded to our need to get to the evening show. Staff were helpful and attentive. The Bistro was a great choice for us!

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

We sat in the patio area, which most of us enjoyed. Unfortunately, service was not coming to our table as often as we wished, although our table (5 people) was the only one in the outdoor area.

4.0
Good
Dined Apr 30 2018

We were just in town and needed a place to eat that was close to our hotel. Amazing find. The food was delicious and the service was awesome. I would totally eat there again.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

The mussels appetizers was more than ample for us to share, very well seasoned. We both had fish, salmon and swordfish. Each was just a tad overcooked for our taste, but not dry. The vegetable accompaniments were ok, but unimaginative. Still, the service was expert and no extra charge for sparkling, rather than still, water. We'd go back.

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

There are not that many places to get a good lunch near Washington Circle. I was meeting a colleague who was staying at the hotel in which the restaurant is located, so it seemed like a good option. But service was confused and slow, and the fish and chips was pretty low end, especially for the price being charged. My colleague's salmon looked better. We were really there to talk, so the iffy service and mediocre food was not much of a problem, but if you are looking for a good meal, you should look elsewhere.

4.0
Good
Dined Apr 30 2018

Excellent food and service!

3.0
Okay
Dined Apr 30 2018

Took my mom and sister for Mother's Day brunch. My sister had to send all of her food back and my Mom's waffles were burnt. Drink menu was very scarce and the waiter was unsure of our drink selection. But it was a really quiet and peaceful environment. I would go again on an informal occasion maybe

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

A good menu selection, courteous and friendly service. An intimate dining room but they also have a larger area that was closed off for a private event (good to know they provide that service.) I will be back.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Food was okay, crab dip was the best part of the meal

1.0
Poor
Dined May 1 2018

Went to Circle Bistro before a show and was disappointed with the food. We were surprised given the positive reviews we had seen on this and other websites. The Caesar salad had too much dressing and the short rib pasta tasted good but the pasta itself was under cooked. Given the options in the neighborhood I would not return to Circle Bistro prior to another show at the Kennedy Center.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Circle Bistro is one of the best food choices in town. The food and presentation are outstanding. And you can tell that care and detail goes into every preparation. I think people forget about it because it's in a hotel. And the ambiance isn't at the top of the list. But folks are missing out on a great meal. Kudos to the chef.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

I picked Circle Bistro to meet a friend for dinner, because it was Metro-accessible (near Foggy Bottom) and because I recalled that it was relatively quiet. It was indeed fairly quiet, until a boisterous group was seated a few tables away. The group wasn't misbehaving, just having a good time, but that was the end of the quiet dinner.\n\nOur server was friendly and attentive. The food was good.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Great for small lunch/working meeting. Intimate environment and not to busy.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

The burger was fantastic and reasonably priced. The staff were very friendly and accommodating - we were celebrating a friend and both the bartender and our waitress came over to pop the champagne. The were also very helpful with allergy information.\n\nThe restaurant was mostly empty but was very relaxing and had a nice upscale and dim but not dark vibe.\n\nThe only downside (though it was small) was that there was no scotch/whisky list, which made it slightly more difficult to order a drink\n\nOverall, I would definitely recommend for a good, not-too-expensive weekday dinner

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

Went for a breakfast meeting. Saw a breakfast menu on the web, but there was only a buffet. Nice and quiet room on a Monday morning. Service was fine.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

Came here with my daughter for a pre-Kennedy Center dinner. Was a bit disappointed as menu was limited and portions very small. While the food was tasty, my expectations were not realized. Dining area was quiet and waitress was very attentive though.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

Having seen the other reviews about service, we took a chance with a reservation before a show at the Kennedy Center. We gave ourselves 1.5 hours, assuming we'd take a cab from the restaurant to the Kennedy Center. 1.5 hours turned out to not be enough... we were rushing to eat, pay the check, hail a cab, etc. The waitress was very friendly, but the kitchen staff can't handle more than a table at a time. \n\nThe food was good; the burger a bit salty but cooked correctly, the duck not as tender as it could have been but flavorful.\n\nThe bar is very big and the Happy Hour specials are great. I would go back again for a drink, but not for a sit-down dinner.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Ambiance was perfect for a Anniversary Dinner.. All of the food was AMAZING.. The selection of cheese on the cheeseboard with the raisin bread was superb!! Can't wait to get back..

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

An entree of braised rabbit with tarragon spaetzle sounded inventive, but it sadly failed to deliver. The rabbit was dry and flavorless. Without any sauce, the whole dish was a struggle to eat. The vegetable crepe was similarly crying out for flavor - the beans covering the dish had clearly been frozen. Service was adequate to start, but became quite slow by the end of the meal. We were going to try a dessert, but the absentee server lost so much time we had to hurry out to make a show at the Kennedy Center. The only redeeming item was a quality cheese plate, though nothing justifies a return visit.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

went on a Sunday for brunch around 12. Place was empty. Despite this the service was terrible. Food turned out to be pretty good though.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Perfection! Great food, fantastic, attentive service, walking distance to Kennedy Center. Fantastic! This restaurant is way under-rated. I want to keep the secret to myself, so we can always get reservations, but you should give it a try. You'll enjoy every bite.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

I come here at least once a week for happy hour, but I've never been for dinner. My parents were in town this past weekend, and I researched for hours trying to compile a list of restaurants that wouldn't be deafeningly loud on a Saturday night.\n\nMy parents were thrilled. The server, Jane, was delightful and extremely welcoming. We were seated at a comfortable table by the window and were quickly served drinks and bread. The noise level remained low the entire meal, which was great, because my dad is hard of hearing. Good luck finding that at more than a few restaurants in the entire city! The food was great and the (new!) pastry chef whipped up this incredible flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream and toasted espresso beans. \n\nMy parents could not stop raving about the meal, and the whole evening. Thank you Circle Bistro!

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

We - a party of 9- had reserved for an early dinner before going to the Kennedy center for a concert. The menu selections were interesting and tasty but the service was rather uneven. Our waiter apparently had trouble hearing and we received several wrong orders for drinks and dishes that had to be exchanged. We often had to chase down the waiter to place orders or other requests. The food was quite good. Several of us had ordered the spring pea soup which had a beautiful bright green color and flavor set off by a bit of cream. My bison tartare was exceptional - just the right consistency and spiced well. The chips that accompanied it were a bit too greasy and lacking in flavor though. I had the mussles as well - a first course but substantial enough for a main course with a nice garlic wine sauce. The bread was excellent. Others had the salmon - nicely crisped on the outside but still appropriately pink on the inside. The lamb chops were a bit dry. All plates were beautifully presented but we had rush through the meal due to the service.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

Although our server was excellent and attentive, our first course ( a cheese plate) took more than 20 minutes to arrive, and we had to ask the assistant manager. On the other food, the cheese plate was superb, with creative, interesting cheeses. My duck and risotto was quite good; I would recommend it. A very accommodating restaurant.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

Great for a snack before going to the Kennedy center. Area a bit dingy, specially the entrance, but the food was good; the fried fish and chips were great. Menu is not very large and food is not cheap; there is a lot of shell fish options. Free parking, a huge plus.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

Good place for dinner before Kennedy Center performance.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Menu was short but had sufficient and varied options. Layout enables private conversation.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

Ideal alternative in West End/Foggy Bottom for lunch. Service was unobtrusive. Menu was of manageable size, so the kitchen could turn orders around quickly. I had the Caesar, which tasted fine, but in my opinion, the romaine must have been done in a food processor, because it was minced into tiny pieces, more like coarse cole slaw than like salad greens. The anchovies were excellent. I had pork-belly over roasted corn as my main course. It was not overcooked, which is the #1 problem with ordering this dish in most restaurants. A nice touch was the sugar that had been spread on top of the fat layer and was then put to the torch, as one might see on a creme brulee. Nice flourish that.\n\nI've previously eaten breakfast there, which is also excellent.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Seared scallops were perfectly cooked. Parking is free if you dine at the restaurant. Very close to the Kennedy Center, so we were able to have a leisurely pre-theater dinner and make the show with time to spare! This will be our new go-to place when we catch a show.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

My wife and I enjoyed a quiet Saturday lunch here. The server was extremely pleasant and helpful. I had chicken caesar salad and my wife had salmon, both very good. For dessert, I chose the chocolate cake and she the apple tart. My cake was excellent, but her tart as too sweet. Recommend toning down the sugar on that one. We always come back.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Nice restaurant. Quiet. Close to the Kennedy Center. Was able to relax and dine prior to show time. Creative menu. Especially enjoyed the home-made hummus. The fruit cobbler dessert was memorable. Our server's suggestions were spot on.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

Always good for lunch if you're in the Foggy Bottom area.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

We had our holiday luncheon on Monday, everyone on my team was pleased with the food and the service. We had a private room which help facilitate the conversation among the team. Several of the team members remarked, this is a restaurant they would return. Thank you for everything.

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

CB has a unique menu and most of the salads and entrees and we tried were quite good (the fish and chips were not good. Greasy and dull). The duck and the shrimp pasta were quite good. Unique accompaniments for each.\n\nThe service from the hopefully neophyte waiter was not good. He had little knowledge of the menu items and even worse, he suggested that if you had food allergies then you couldn't eat anything on the menu since he didn't know what was in the food (and was initially unwilling to ask). The kitchen wasn't willing to work with the allergic diner but eventually suggested that they couldn't modify anything on the menu except the salads. Eventually they found something she could eat but it was the less than good fish and chips mentioned above.\n\nIf you dine here you should have a good time, but dine at your own risk.

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

My son and I 'experienced' breakfast on a trip from the midwest. We were taken to an out of the way room, away from business dressed customers. Two other 'under dressed' diners joined us while business dressed individuals dined in the main room.\n\nMy son ordered $11 pancakes-he was disappointed in the taste and SIZE, three 4' pancakes. (we had plate size pancakes at another establishment for $7, the day before!). It did come with 4 slices of bacon, however.\n\nI ordered a pineapple-mango smoothie, which was very good although, overpriced for the size (8 oz glass). It was listed as $8 on the menu, but I was charged $9-didn't realize the overcharge until after I had paid and left the restaurant!\n\nI, also, ordered an omelet. I was pleased with the portion and price. However, I would not recommend this restaurant to average diners.

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

We were pleasantly surprised with this place. We were seated promptly though it did take a little while for a server to take our order. We each started with a salad (nicely sized for a starter) which arrived in good time. My husband enjoyed his wine as well. I had the butternut squash soup for my dinner while he had the wild\nboar ragout. Both were hearty and satisfying. They were out of espresso which was a shame but my husband enjoyed his gelato (though I found it to be a little icy). \nOverall, it was a nice experience and we will definitely be back. It was a nice respite, close to the metro, close to the Kennedy Center, and easy to find. If you are in Foggy Bottom, give it a try!

3.0
Okay
Dined May 1 2018

this little placed tucked behind the hotel was a perfect spot for a lunch meeting. it was quiet we were able to talk and not pressured by the staff. the food was very good not amazing

4.0
Good
Dined May 1 2018

We returned to the Circle Bistro for dinner prior to catching a performance at the Kennedy Center. Nice small menu with top notch offerings. The venison carpaccio and the pumpkin gnocchi in wild boar sauce were particularly delicious! And the chocolate cake should have been served with courtesy defibrillators, that's how rich it was!

2.0
Mediocre
Dined May 1 2018

We were a group of 11. The wait staff was friendly and efficient. Unfortunately the kudos stop there. Several printed parts of the menu were no longer available: a wine selection, a tap beer, an entre, expresso coffee, and a dessert!

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