Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill

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Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & GrillKramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill
Very Good
25 Ratings
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & GrillKramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill

Type: Bar, Eatery

1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20036-1103
United States

(202) 387-1400 | map

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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of Guppy314
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

This is a smallish restaurant and patio that is really mostly an independent bookstore. We had a great server, my blackened salmon was perfect, and their beer list is pretty respectable. Also (if you're used to DC prices) it's pretty fair.

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Photo of osickeym
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Casterbridge
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of seanchai
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of polopaul20
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of n00blar
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Chaney
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Atmosphere: Right off the Metro, and a door or two down from Connecticut Wine & Liquor, which is the absolute mecca of "out of the market" destination for most of us.

Quality: Thank god for this place: My wife now has a place to shop for books, get her coffee, and grab an alcoholic drink in a one-stop-shop.

Service and Selection: Never eaten here before, but I totally appreciate the bartender letting me know a couple of beer whales were on the menu. I came here before when CBS was an offering. Pretty cool.

Value: Like the rest of the DC area: It is what it is. Whatcha gonna do, huh?

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Photo of jonmacklin
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Let me start off by saying that this is not a beer bar, but rather a bookstore, restaurant that also has cool little bar with some thought out and interesting drafts. From the outside you would have no idea what is actually inside. its not necessarily a destination place like church key or black squirrel but if you're in the neighborhood/area it is def worth stopping in.

anyway was in town for work and was shopping for beers next door at connecticut ave liquor and one of the guys in there reccomended I check out kramers as it was right next door.

I was super impressed to see that they had 120 minute on draft... first ever draft experience for me, so that was pretty cool. they have 10-15 drafts & a few other highlights included: brooklyn maple porter, old rasputin & troegs hopback.

again, its not a beer bar and it isn't trying to be. but it is a great neighborhood spot to check out and have a drink or two.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Located smack-dab in the middle of DuPont Circle. Prime place for hipsters, suits, politicos and any other walk of life to stop by, check out a book, grab a drink, and eat some cafe style food in the wee hours of the morning.

I really like the idea and setup of the place. Book prices were a bit high, no discounts. The bar is perfectly situated in the back half of the bookstore and opposite the cafe. The cafe always seems to be packed, I haven't tried the food there yet, but I assume that the food is either great or everyone wants to be in the middle of the hippest area in town. I really dig the unique selection of beer, small choices, but a touch of everything. I'll be back again for sure.

Here's a selection what beers and/or brewers they had on-tap for the evening:

Special: Loose Cannon IPA
Great Lakes - Lake Erie
Tregs - Sunshine Pils
Victory - Hop Devil
Wyld - Organic Extra Pale
Abita Beer

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Photo of imbibehour
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

For this area in Dupont circle this a great quick place to come in and get a simple drink.

There are usually about 10 offerings available all on tap, and some bottles, you won't find a single BMC product on tap here at all. There are also some nice whiskeys and upper shelf spirits to enjoy also.

Beer on tap here is actually very reasonable for price for this area. The bar area though is small but on a quiet day it's a great place to have a simple good cheap drink and kick back. However, after 5 PM the place gets busy.

Food here isn't that much great, but the one thing that it does excel at are the deserts which are step above average. My Wild Ale was served a little too cold, but other than that I don't have any major complaints.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

My attempt to get into Pizzeria Paradiso at Dupont Circle was halted by the ungainly masses mobbing the entrance. There is no way I would want to fight a mob for a brew and a pizza.

So I walked down to Kramerbooks! I had read the BA listing and wanted to give it a try. WOW! This ain't no ordinary beer-bar-on-the-back-of-a-bookstore place. The lineup is tremendous- 15 taps including Goose Island Bourbon County, Sophie and Matilda, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Allagash White, Brooklyn Brewmaster, Rogue Dead Guy, Great Divide Wild Raspberry... serious selection!

The atmosphere is alright, not special. A pretty average-looking bar on the back of the bookstore. No wood, dim lights or comfy sofas here- this looks more like a Starbucks with craft beer. It can get a bit loud, but not crazy.

I didn't try food but looks more than decent: lobster cobb, pumpkin ravioli, seared tuna, scallops... not your average bar food!

Service was exceptional. Big friendly bartender didn't miss a beat (or maybe one, but only one) and was real nice. Not only that but he offered a half-pint of Goose Bourbon for free, just because! And then bought my pint of Loose Cannon too.

I understand this was due to the shocking $12 price-tag of my Bourbon County, but still, it is a most generous gesture. Other beers are priced at $6, good price for DC.

I would come back here often if I lived in DC, and will visit again next time.

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Photo of jdense
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited during DC beer sojourn 11.13.10.

Located in the posh and spending DuPont Circle neighborhood, Kramerbooks Afterwords is located in the rear of a busy independent bookstore, with food provided by an adjacent restaurant located via a backdoor on the next street. Atmosphere was like, err, a beer bar in the back of a bookstore, a 10 seat bar and about 4 small tables, not a lot of room. The taps were above average quality, 18 including Great Lakes Elliot Ness, Abita, Magic Hat, Goose Island Sofie and Matilda and a Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve they were out of (bummer). They also had an extensive wine menu. I didn't eat the food and didn't see anybody eating. Service was attentive and pleasant and prices were reasonable. A different business concept to be sure, worth checking out when in the DuPont Circle area to make sure you haven't missed anything on your beers to drink list.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Went a little out of the way to get up to Dupont Circle for this one. It was early afternoon by the time we arrived, so we were the only patrons at the 10-seat bar except for a very sad and sodden gentleman - a risk you run anywhere alcohol is served. I don't hold it against Afterwords.

Close to 20 taps, which is great. Prices are acceptable for their location, and they are uniform here, which is nice. Our server was pleasant and friendly, but not overly knowledgeable. In general, books and brews go great together, and putting an indie bookstore with some great micros and imports is a fantastic idea. Kramerbooks and Afterwords both get a big thumbs up from me.

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Photo of macpapi
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Kramerbooks and Afterwords is quite a unique place that seems to thrive on catering to a niche market. It is a great locale for book lovers who appreciate good craft brews.

Walking in the front door of the establishment, one encounters an independant-type of bookstore. As both a beer and book lover, let me just say that for a store that is much smaller than your normal Borders or Barnes and Noble, Kramerbooks has a great selection of many essentials and several unique literary offerings. I have spent quite a while in the book section on more than one occasion, and think just going to this place to look for reading material alone is worth the trip. But since this review is about the restaurant/bar (which really is separate from the bookstore) I do not include that part of the establishment in my review.

The dining/drinking portion--undoubtedly the Afterwords described in its name--includes both a small barroom and larger dining area. The bar seats 10, maybe 12 people with small table space for about 10-15 more. It is rather dark and cozy, without a television, which would seem to fit a place dedicated to reading. The restaurant portion includes many tables, yet still manages to retain an intimate atmosphere. Several interesting posters adorn the walls, lending to the ambiance.

Beer selection is quite good. There are 16-18 drafts. Just about all of them are craft and gourmet Euro offerings. They are listed on the beer menu from light to dark, with an informative description of each. A sampling of their beer list includes Founder's Porter, Allagash White, Magic Hat Odd Notion, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Bellhaven Scottish Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, Hofbrau Maibock, and Smuttynose Brown Dog. On the last visit I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that my 8+ percent Victory Hop Devil actually came in a real sixteen oz. pint glass!! All drafts are six dollars, a relative bargain for downtown D.C.

Service is very friendly with a bit of knowledge about their beers. The description provided by our waitress of the seasonal offerings were not perfect, but still helpful. I was quite impressed with the amount of attention that our servers have given at this restaurant. It is definitely a plus in my book.

Food is appetizing and somewhat unique, if a bit expensively priced. I'm giving a reasonable value rating based on the good value of beer and slightly above average cost of food. Nonetheless, the food is good and flavorful.

On the whole, Kramerbooks and Afterwards is a pretty cool place. I really enjoy combining perusing their book selection before or after having a fine brew or two and some good grub. A nice find in Dupont Circle.

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Photo of hmarebel02
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4

This is a bookstore/brewpub/all night cafe. Its a great place in the heart of Dupont circle. The beer is pretty average so you won't find any microbrews. However, they do have palatable selections other than Bud/Miller/Coors. The food is great, and the scene for meeting singles is great due to the bookstore aspect of the cafe. Great place to do as a night-cap or after party. More caffeine heads at this place than beer heads, but people are nice and its open super-late!

Come to this place if you are looking for any of the following:
laid-back atmosphere, good desserts, a place to meet literate people, an eclectic atmosphere.

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Photo of timmay41
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went on a bustling Friday night around 9pm but only had to wait 20 minutes for a table. The service at the bar wasn't great while we waited, but it was excusable because of how busy it was. Draft selection included all American craft brews as I recall, from Great Divide (Titan IPA) to Brooklyn Brewery (Chocolate Stout) to Allagash (White). Pint prices ranged from $5.50 to $7.

The restaurant section of this bookstore-cafe hybrid is a somewhat confusing little labyrinth, especially after having a couple. The dining room is split up in weird ways, with mirrors indiscriminately posted in some, but not all, walls. Disorienting. The bathrooms are a couple floors up, and you need a token from a server to get into the door to do your business. But our server was great--attentive but not pushy. The food was really interesting and creative, and for DC the prices were fine. The big deal was a full pint of Brooklyn Chocolate Stout for $6. That was a great dessert.

Overall this establishment fuses two of my favorite things--books and beer. A funky, unique place worth checking out.

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Photo of BrewTat
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

First, the food was great and the bookstore is very good and the beer list is acceptable. The problem was the waiter didn't know what was on the list. I don't mean he didn't have it memorized, I mean he told me they only had draft beer. I pointed out the beer menu and was told again that they didn't have any bottled beer. I changed my plans and had a draft. The waiter was indifferent inattentive and one the worst I've ever had. While the family was waiting for dessert I went to the bar and inquired about the bottled beer situation. He told me they had what was on the menu. I asked for the manager and he comped us the beer and dessert (which hadn't arrived after 15 min). We stopped by the bar 2 nights latter and the waiter was still there. Go figure.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Great atmosphere, something for everyone with the bookstore, cafe, and bar, well-divided into distinct areas so the noise from the bar doesn't penetrate the bookstore or cafe too much. Unfortunately, the group next to us was pretty loud. The service wasn't bad, but she did seem a little rushed. Also, you need to get a token from your server in order to use the bathroom - irritating! The first two things I ordered on tap were out, so selection is an issue. Nice that they attempt to have 18 taps at all times, though. As far as food goes, we only had dessert, but what we had was good - the mixed fruit pie with cinnamon ice cream in particular.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

What a neat place this is. Part bookstore, part bar, part fashionable late night cafe/eatery. Seating is located in the front, with the bookstore in the back. All seating is either under a glassed in dining area (lots of skylights, etc) or under the heated awnings along the sidewalk. Nice beer selection with about 18 taps (mostly US craft) and some decent 750s. Prices are about average for the area (ie a bit expensive) but not absurd. Food is great. Entrees are a tad on the pricy side for what they are, but again, not bad and very tasty. One of the better deals is the three appetizer (sharezies) deal for $17 which you can add a pitcher of any of their drafts for $10. The portions are good and everything is homemade. The deserts are phenomenal as well. Service is kinda spotty and they don't know much about the beer. Great late night or date place though.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Kramerbooks was a cinch to find on Connecticut just North of Dupont Circle. As you walk through the bookstore to the back then they seat you. It was chilly outside, but we decided to sit there. The heaters made it very comfortable and the only traffic on that street was pedestrian. Heck, Tip O'Neil was spotted strolling down the street.

The beer selection is not long and nothing too exciting, but everyone can find something to have with the meal. Our service was good, but not especially well versed in beer. I settled into a 60 minute and decided that would be all for this visit.

The food had potential for greatness, but ended up only good. The signature dish was bass and it was slightly overcooked and the spinach was engulfed in garlic and the potatoes were not well seasoned. A little less flame on the fish, a little more salt on the potatoes and a little less garlic in the spinach. The other two folks with me, enjoyed their entrees. With just a bit of work the food could be stellar.

I'd go back, good food, good service and some beers all for a decent price (DC standards).

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Photo of alysmith4
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This place is perfect for the non-beer snob.. mainly because it is open all hours of the (weekend) night, and convenient for hungover drinking and munching. But once you sit there and sober up for a second, you look at the menu and realize that they actually have some good beers available. It's too bad that the waitstaff knows nothing about them.. but hey- it's late, right? Stick with the ones you know, and definitely avoid anything containing meat. Oh, yeah- and this place is actually a bookstore, so be sure to stock up on all things brew while you are there.

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Photo of mdavis31481
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

During a recent grad school scouting trip I, with the help of beerfly, came across Kramerbooks. The day was warm and sunny prompting my companion and I to dine outside. The fifteen or so outdoor tables were sparsely occupied. Upon browsing the menu, a menu replete with expensive dishes, we came across the appealing "Sharzies" option. This special allowed us to choose three appetizers and a pitcher of beer for the pittance of $22. Having chosen the macaroni & cheese (absolutely delicious), nachos (tasty but not out of the ordinary), and side pizza (interesting without sauce) the task of selecting a beer was upon us. Perusing the beer menu we came across delectable, but limited choices. Allagash Tripel and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA headlined the selections. We chose the IPA as we felt it better complimented the food. The beer was served in a substantial glass pitcher, at the proper temperature, with spotless pint glasses.

The experience was quite enjoyable, so much so my sister and I returned for Sunday brunch. While beer was not part of this particular meal I feel it is important to highlight how scrumptious the food was. I ordered the whole wheat waffles which at $14.95 seemed a bit pricey. Needless to say I felt I walked away with a bargain after finding my plate full of scrambled eggs, three strips of bacon, a side of home fries, a sampling of fruits, and a complimentary glass of champagne. The meal was quite filling and absolutely delectable.

If you find yourself in DC Kramers is a wonderful choice for a meal and a pint or two.

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Photo of schemb
4/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A smallish friendly tap-room that serves as the hallway between the bookstore and the restaurant.
Kramer has a nice Tap selection (esp.for DC). Among the selections are the excellent Allagash Triple (served in regular pints, yippe), Brooklyn Lager and a Bkln Seasonal, a Rogue (I think it was Brutal in late Sept. when I was last there last) , and an Abita. Nice food and snacks. There's a nice food/beer deal, get three "sharzies" snacks and get a pitcher of your choice (including the aforementioned Allagash)at a discount.

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Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill in Washington, DC
Place rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 25 ratings
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