Image: Nurturing community; feeding the community.
Last Updated: July 2022
Current Status: It is a deceptively large space inside, and post-2020, they have gone big on the outdoor seating. In addition to sit-down, they also offer take-out. Delivery is available via several apps.
Though it calls itself a steakhouse, Annie’s has a menu closer to a New York diner with a large range of stick-to-your-ribs food. Starting first thing in the morning on the weekends patrons start filling the booths and large number of outdoor seats for brunch plates full of things like French toast, home fries, and assorted types of eggs. Over the course of the day, breakfast food gives way to burgers, sandwiches, and the namesake steaks. Coffee is supplanted by cocktails. The single diner reading the news over bacon and eggs in the early morning starts the day, the business people and work-from-home cohort grabbing salads for lunch, and then later, those looking to take the edge off a long night’s appetite wander in. The food is reliable and good enough that a large portion of seats are always filled.
Though it calls itself a steakhouse, it is really an institution and an anchor of the Dupont neighborhood. It is the kind of restaurant that has a Wikipedia page documenting its history since 1948, the role of the legendary Annie who was the welcoming face of the establishment, and how it supported the gay community and how that community supported it back. In 2019, the James Beard Foundation honored Annie’s with a America’s Classics Award that goes to “beloved regional restaurants. Distinguished by their timeless appeal, they serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities.” In the words of local writer David Hagedorn, who nominated Annie’s, “More important than the fare at Annie’s is its significance to Washington’s gay history and its community. It is that feeling of community that earns Annie’s a spot among the America’s Classics and a permanent place in my heart.”
Other Guidance: The spot is casual. The large number of menu options mean that those avoiding Gluten can do well. Even those avoiding meat can find something – despite the name. It is located on the ground floor and according to Trip Advisor wheelchair accessible.
Merch available on site.
Cuisine: New and Old American
Address: 1609 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Reservations: Walk-in (Reservations for large groups: 202-232-0395)
James Beard: “Through the years, Annie’s has remained a stalwart supporter of LGBTQ causes, among them the Gay Men’s Chorus, Whitman Walker Clinic, Food and Friends and the Pride parade. At Annie’s, the steaks are hefty, the burgers juicy and the cocktails strong, but what really keeps people coming back is the restaurant’s legacy of inclusiveness and respect.” Annie’s was nominated by local writer David Hagedorn. You can read the nomination HERE.
David Chang: Featured in the Ugly/Delicious episode on steak.