Just across the street from Ford's Theater (where President Lincoln was shot) and just a few doors down from the Petersen House (where Lincoln died from his wounds) is, well, Lincoln's Waffle House, a greasy spoon on the edge of Washington's Chinatown on 10th Street NW.
Make no mistake about it, this is a greasy spoon, as much atmosphere and local flavor as it is a great place for a classic American breakfast. I often judge a cafe so close to tourist destinations by the number of locals eating there. Here is a mixture of DC locals and tourists filling the counters and tables and small spaces set aside to eat. The place fills up fast!
One thing I like about Lincoln's Waffle Shop is they still serve coffee in a cup ...a real ceramic cup, with saucer. This is how I grew to enjoy coffee in the small cafes in the Midwest. Cups invite you to stay awhile, they are among the sounds of a great cafe. What's better? Not all the cups and saucers match.
Locals mix easily with tourists or government workers from nearby offices, any of which you may be seated next to on a busy morning. It can be a cast of characters in this place, all for the price of coffee and a meal. My kind of place.
The food is plenty and the prices reasonable. A classic American breakfast of eggs, sausage, toast and coffee goes for around $7-8. Whenever my son and I plan a weekend in the city, he makes sure Lincoln's Waffle Shop is our first stop of the morning.
On a very busy morning at the height of tourist season you may see a line just outside the front door. Don't lose heart! The line moves fast and the wait to be seated doesn't take long. It's a great alternative to McDonald's (a few blocks away) and the people watching alone is worth the experience.