Food for the Head and the Stomach

DC is fortunate to have many wonderful independent bookstores. Some sell new books, some used, some both. Regardless, these bookstores contribute to DC’s vibrant feel. Here at the American Guest House, both our staff and guests appreciate the value of a good book. Therefore, I would like to spend some time featuring the amazing bookstores around the city. This week I am writing about Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe.

Services and Atmosphere

Kramerbooks opened in 1976. A crossover between a bookstore and a cafe, Kramerbooks was the first of its kind in DC.

The store sells every kind of book you would want: fiction, nonfiction, photography, puzzles. The large windows give the book filled storefront an open and airy feeling.

The cafe is located towards the back of the store under a greenhouse-like roof. There are multiple menus, one for each time of day. The food is delicious, locally sourced and varies seasonally. If you aren’t feeling hungry, but want to simply sit in a corner, read Dostoyevsky and nurse a beer, Kramerbooks also offers a full-service bar.


Every week Kramerbooks hosts several events. Authors come for talks and book signings. One upcoming event is a talk with Mason Funk, author of The Book of Pride. Moreover, cafegoers Thursday through Saturday nights are privy to live jazz performances by the Blue Dot Jazz Troupe. Patrons wishing to combine food, books and socializing should consider attending a ‘dinner and a story’ event, where attendees discuss a book over a meal.

Hours and Location

Located right next to Dupont Circle, Kramerbooks is easily accessible by metro and only a short walk away from the American Guest House, our unique bed and breakfast. Kramerbooks opens early and closes late. Its hours are from 7:30 am to 1 am. On Fridays and Saturdays, the store stays open until 3:00 am.

If you need something to read on your next Washington DC vacation, Kramerbooks will definitely have a book for you.

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