Duke’s Grocery Has a Secret Location Inside the British Embassy

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The London-inspired sandwich and burger spot serves fish and chips and a proper English “brekkie.”

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Duke’s Grocery’s famed Proper Burger is available in the British Embassy. Photograph courtesy Duke’s Grocery.

You’ll need to befriend a diplomat if you want to try the newest location of Duke’s Grocery. The London-inspired sandwich and burger spot quietly opened an outpost inside the British Embassy in June, where it serves its famed Proper Burgers exclusively to UK staff and invited visitors.

Duke’s co-owner Daniel Kramer isn’t British, but Duke’s initially drew inspiration for its globe-trotting menu from the international flavors found in East London. Plus, it’s one of the few spots around town where you can find a full English “brekkie.” The restaurant has catered a number of embassy events over the years, from Wimbledon watch parties to open house nights. So when the embassy recently built out a new kitchen, cafe, and exhibition hall, Duke’s was a natural contender to run food operations.

“We arranged a tasting of typical British fare at Duke’s Grocery, alongside a Q-and-A session with a focus group from the embassy, to explore some of the practicalities of working together,” says Ian Campbell, Refurbishment Business Change Manager for the British Embassy. Apparently, Duke’s mini Yorkshire puddings passed the test.

The embassy Duke’s offers a slightly smaller—and more British—menu than those at locations in Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and Woodley Park (plus another on the way to Navy Yard this winter). The team serves lunch and breakfast and runs in-house catering for cocktails hours and receptions. The burger is on the cafe menu, of course, but you can also find a bacon butty—a sandwich of rashers and brown sauce. There are daily specials too: English breakfast on Mondays, curry on Wednesday, and popular traditional fish and chips on Fridays.

One thing the location doesn’t serve, though, is a pint of beer. Alcohol is only available for special events. The embassy does, however, occasionally host pub nights, dubbed Bar 3100.

Counsellor Clare Toogood calls the relationship with Duke’s “an excellent example of Anglo-American partnership” in a statement on behalf of the British Embassy. “No two countries do more together than the US and UK. But the ‘special relationship’ can’t operate on an empty stomach!,” she says.

Kramer agrees: “It was an honour—with a ‘u’—for them to select us.”

Jessica Sidman

Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

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