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“a refuge downtown” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shelly's Back Room

Shelly's Back Room
1331 F Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20004 (Downtown / Chinatown)
202.737.3003
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Ranked #476 of 2,700 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“a refuge downtown”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

I had some afternoon hours to kill before I could check into my hotel and get dinner. Shelly's provided the ideal place to camp out, have a few drinks and smoke a cigar. Thankfully, I had my own cigars because they do charge a premium for their offerings.

Visited April 2014
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    19
    35
    15
    3
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
maryland
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Good Drinks, Convo & Cigars!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

My hubby and I came on a Saturday. 1st time for the both of us. It was really nice. The place was spacious, and the ventilation was superb, which meant a lot to me. The food was delicious and the drinks were just right. We brought our own cigars with us, but their cigars were good also. Next time, I'll have to try one of their cigars.

Glad we came.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiddletown, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“An island of cool decadence in a sea mamby-pamby”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

So we were staying for 10-11 days in DC and were becoming quickly and thoroughly aware of just how wussified the place is in terms of the nanny state living up to it's growing reputation as a scalding schoolmarm wagging her finger at us for any behavior that she, allegedly, would never ever do. Seriously, the nightlife in DC is tamer than a Romper-Room episode on thorazine. Just to find a place to smoke a cigar is a feat worthy of an expedition. There is ONE place where a man can watch the game, have an amazing dinner, and enjoy a fine cigar or cigarette all at the same place!
The food is excellent and very reasonably priced. I watched some shockingly beautiful plates get delivered to tables, and though I was not really that hungry, I ordered up the spicy wings to go with my cigar (which I purchased there). They have a cigar menu... a menu! As you may have guessed, the menu has a wide range of prices and you could spend a whole paycheck in one 6 inch burnable easily, but they have a wide variety of less expensive yet fantastic options. I mostly just enjoyed my cigarettes, a few cocktails, and some stimulating conversation in the outdoor seating area.
I was at Shelly's Back Room almost every night for the entire DC trip and met some great folks, had some superb food, and felt I had found a bit of sanity in a city that is not known for reasonability and/or fun. I grabbed a handful of matchboxes on my last trip to remind myself to give friends a heads-up about this place. They hand out those things like the kids in TJ hand out Chiclets. Unless you are a nun or an uptight politician, chances are you'll love it there.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Reading, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Disappointing!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013 via mobile

The tonic they serve is flat and lifeless, so vodka and tonic tasted like vodka and water. Sent it back, exactly the same 2nd time. And they charge 18% service on groups of 5, automatically added (which is fine), but they calculate the 18% of the TOTAL bill including tax, so effectively 20% on the food and drink - sly trick to watch for.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“El Diablo Burger is great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013 via mobile

Living just outside DC I travel into the city on a regular basis. One day I stumbled upon this place which had outside seating so I sat down and ordered an El Diablo burger and Sierra Nevada. The burger was amazing and I would highly recommend trying it

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