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This is the best time to get into D.C.’s dining hot spots

Priyal Patel and Vishnu Panigrahi toast while dining at Rose's Luxury. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
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If the weather has you wary of standing in line at some of D.C.'s, ahem, hottest restaurants, there's good news and bad news. The good news: The hopping dining scene has gotten noticeably quieter during the summer. The bad news: That doesn't mean you can stroll right into Bad Saint at 8 p.m. on a Friday night. With the following tips, though, you can take advantage of the slight summer lull and keep waits to a minimum.

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Rose's LuxuryOver at Rose's Luxury, where would-be diners are known to queue for hours, owner Aaron Silverman said the Barracks Row restaurant is seeing shorter lines: With the weather, things have been "definitely a tad quieter." So, time to give it a try? If you're game, Silverman said you have a very good chance of being seated right away if you show up with your whole party when the restaurant opens at 5 p.m. Don't forget that Rose's takes reservations for group dinners (6 to 8 people) and its rooftop garden (8 to 12 people).

Little SerowAnne Marler, co-owner of Little Serow with her husband, chef Johnny Monis, said the Thai eatery near Dupont Circle has been staying busy, "but it seems like the threat of having to wait in line on Fridays especially has more guests checking in toward the middle of the evening." Her tip: Avoid long waits in the heat by dining early (5:30 p.m.) or late (9 to 9:30 p.m.). Lines are also generally shorter Tuesdays through Thursdays before 6 p.m. or after 8:30 p.m.

Bad Saint: Co-owner Genevieve Villamora said weekend lines have been a bit shorter sometimes -- but at other times, they're the same as they usually are. "We have seen some long lines in the worst weather," she said. Her recommendation for getting into the tiny Filipino spot in Columbia Heights: Arrive Wednesdays or Thursdays before 6 p.m. or after 8:45 p.m.

DaikayaThis summer, the popular Chinatown eatery has seen a slight decrease in the waits to get into its first-floor ramen shop. Don't forget that the upstairs izakaya (with a different menu) takes reservations; you can bide your time with snacks and drinks there until you get into the ramen shop. (Worst case scenario, you can also walk around the corner to Daikaya's new sister chicken ramen shop, Bantam King.)

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Georgetown Cupcake: Co-founder Sophie LaMontagne said lines are as long as ever at the ever-popular bakery. (In times of very hot weather, employees will hand out ice water to customers standing in line.) But LaMontagne suggests one strategy that has caught on with locals during the heat wave: Order online, skip the wait and pick up at your specified time. Or opt for delivery.

Vin & Vic'sFans of Vin & Vic's, the pop-up providing Chicago-style pizza at Capitol Lounge on Friday and Saturday nights, know to arrive around happy hour to snag one of the limited number of deep-dish pies. But last weekend, pizzas were still available at 9 p.m. In the summer, owner Tom Madrecki says, "there's always a noticeable downturn in business on the Hill," because members of Congress are back in their home districts. If you haven't tried one of his pizzas, this might be the time to do it.

Fritz Hahn contributed to this report.

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