Washington DC: Napoleon Bistro Restaurant

Visiting our nation’s capital? Call DC home? Either way, we have an eatery suggestion for you after you’ve toured the monuments: the Napoleon Bistro. This award-winning restaurant is located in the charming Adams Morgan area and is just a stone’s throw away from the bus stop and Metro. 

Napoleon Bistro & Lounge, one of three restaurants owned by Omar Popal and his family, and was named one of the top 75 best bars by the Washingtonian in the 80’s. Currently the bistro receives culinary guidance from Paris native, Chef Gerard Pangaud. 

Napoleon Bistro is a classic French bistro with black and gold accents throughout the space. You can walk in and find a showing of a classic film at the bar, a miniature collection of historic black and white photos gracing the walls, and if you’re visiting late at night, a tried-and-true speak easy in the basement. 

When you visit, may we suggest the following:

Rossini: $5 (Happy Hour)
If you’re looking to grab a drink, Napoleon is famous for their champagne bar during brunch and happy hour. Try the Rossini; it’s made with strawberries, Italian grape wine, and champagne.

Kir Royal Napoleon: $5 (Happy Hour)
Another goodie is the Kir Royal Napoleon. It consists of black raspberry chambord and champagne.

New Orleans: $13
For hors d’oeuvres, the New Orleans. It features a mix of crawfish, shrimp, and cabbage wrapped in a crispy cajun crepe. The fried crepe has a nice crisp similar to an egg roll, and when paired with the mayo basil dip, it is perfection. 

Kale Salad: $12
The Kale salad is a good balance of sweet, tart, and crunch. It consists of fresh ingredients including granny smith apples, fennel, red cabbage, roasted pecans, Parmesan, tarragon, and balsamic vinaigrette. It is filling for a healthy appetite and a healthy option as an entrée. 

Napoleon Bar Steak: $18
The Napoleon Bar Steak is cooked in a very simple and classic way. The meat is rubbed with salt, pepper, and cayenne, served with pommes frites and maître d’butter. The house fries had just the right crisp and a modest dash of seasoning. You can bet the fries were so good, they were finished with none to share.

Apple Beignets: $9
Of course, the apple beignets are our favorite part of the meal. The pastry team at Napelon includes Serge Torres and Ruth Stoltzfus; each item is made in-house. For this dessert, they coated granny smith apples with an egg batter and deep-fried them. The sweet, warm apples are served à la mode, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and crème  anglaise. Yum.

Attire: casual
Reservations: recommended
Price: $$
Explore more about Napoleon Bistro here!
  • This isn’t a Michelin-starred restaurant. The chef received two Michelin stars in the past. But not at the restaurant.

  • I LOVE this place. Used to live a couple of blocks from it. Brunches are the best!

  • Can’t wait to check out their happy hour and order a kir royale! If you are interested in exploring other great places in DC, check out my Spring and Summer bucket lists. Here they are: