Banana Cafe & Piano Bar
Banana Cafe & Piano Bar

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.bananacafedc.com/
  • Phone: 2025435906x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:30pm, Sunday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban
  • Executive Chef: Chris Windus
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Corner of 8th & E street S.E.
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Banana Cafe & Piano Bar
Banana Café and Piano Bar is renowned for its Cuban, Puerto Rican and Mexican Cuisine.

The Piano Bar upstairs has one of the best Happy Hours on the Hill as well as live entertainment every night.


Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Banana Cafe & Piano Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
21 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.9
    Service3.4
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
75% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (14)neighborhood gem (14)great for lunch (8)great for brunch (7)good for groups (5)vibrant bar scene (4)kid-friendly (4)late-night find (3)special occasion (2)fit for foodies (2)hot spot (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Voy a ir otra vez
    JimJDiner
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Better than I expected. Can see the comparison to Cactus Cantina; some of the décor is cheesy. The carnival masks were innovative and unusual. Laminated menus turned out to be a good thing. Service was overly helpful, but often people want to get out in an hour for lunch. Decided to take my time. Gambas al ajillo was quite good and shrimp actually were jumbo. Carnitas cubanos was every bit as good as L’auriol Plaza’s Masitas de Puerco if not better. Sauteed veggies were disappointing. The garlic was neither the sweet of roasted not the pungent of sautéed. Squash, broc and carrots are a fine combination, but to have comparable texture, the broc needed to be cut into smaller pieces and the carrots julienned rather than small stalks.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It Takes Me Away
    PWDCVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    I always enjoy visiting Banana Café. I've eaten here solo, with lunch companions, and large groups. The service is always attentive. The bar makes a fantastic mojito and the music is fantastic. Favorite dishes: camarones andalusz - delicious shrimp stuffed with crab served with pico, black beans and rice; and the fish tacos - fresh, tender, and well seasoned tilapia. The restaurant is a hit loud because it has a lot of hard surfaces that don't absorb noise. Depending on where you sit, the chairs may not be the most comfortable. But order a mojito and you won't be bothered by a hard seat or decibels, and the food and service will transport you South to a warmer place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing
    LovewhatIlove
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    While the food was good(not great), there were 2 issues that keep me from recommending this restaurant: 1. The noise. The acoustics are terrible, making it extremely noisy and hard to carry on a conversation. 2. The service - and this is really the main issue. The service was unacceptable. Our waiter was very nice, but once he took our order we rarely saw him again. He brought me the wrong entree(but charged me for the one I ordered), he forgot to bring a drink order until we flagged him down (with much effort), and never brought a desert we ordered, at which point we just gave up and asked for our check. The overall experience was disappointing enough that I won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • good food, lousy karaoke
    misunderestimated
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Way too loud for a restaurant. Cant believe downstairs would be reserved for parties, upstairs for bad loud karaoke. where do you actually eat dinner??!! Bad call
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Wonderful group brunch
    ParentalunitVIP
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    We chose long-time favorite Banana Cafe for an important Sunday brunch we were hosting. They were, as always, just wonderful. Great food, wonderful service, and a lovely place to share a special time with friends.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overwhelmed Kitchen
    4545VIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    730 pm on Sunday -- every table full -- 40+ for appetizers to arrive
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad experience
    Notimpressed
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    I never leave reviews but this restaurant warrants one. I went with a party of 4 from work for dinner. The tortilla chips were stale but the salsa was good. They were out of every appetizer I tried to order. The tostones had obviously been sitting out for a while before they were brought to the table as they were so dry I had to drink water after each bite. I had the breaded steak which was delicious but I was already jaded from the problems prior to my main course arriving. We brought up our concerns with the meal and were told that the kitchen didn't have time to prep in the morning so they were out of a lot of items. They still tried to charge us for the chips and did nothing to reassure our next visit would be better.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wendfishVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    We went before the DC United game. The food is moderate (not great , but not bad). I was disappointed with my dish - the vegetarian platter - but that was my fault. The menu is so overwhelming that I didn't read it carefully & when we were finishing, I heard a woman at the table next to us order ceviche, which I hadn't seen. I totally would have ordered that. Their salsa needs some zip to it; it's a bit bland & watery. We got the house margaritas, which were a bit sweet - I didn't really taste any tequila. Overall, it's a good place to sit outside & watch the Barracks Row goings-on, but don't expect the best Mexican/Cuban meal.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice change
    Glutenfree
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Good service. Food was a nice change from the standard American fare.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 12 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 18 reviews are from the Banana Cafe & Piano Bar reviews archive.
  • GREAT brunch spot!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    made last minute brunch reservations & was not disappointed! the food was delicious (burritos & caribbean breakfast), service attentive, prices reasonable, and location very accessible (2 blocks from eastern market metro). will definitely go back! (but consider making reservations... it was getting quite busy as we were leaving ~12 noon).
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Food, Very Loud
    SeanKVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The food was very good on a recent Saturday night, however the tables were packed in and it was very loud.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Best margarita I've had in a long time. Go for the pitcher.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JTNUGENTVIP
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Great neighborhood place. Consistently good food and service. Great piano bar upstairs. Awesome upstairs bartender!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • jgronerVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    Not easy to find Cuban food anywhere in DC .. loved the veggie Cuban platter.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Phenomenal Food
    Andrea
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    We went to this place to celebrate a birthday. We had a party of 13....the staff was very accomodating and found enough space for our party. The waitstaff was a little slow but we saw the "servers wanted" sign on the front door so we weren't too upset. The food was absolutely amazing and the cocktails were very tasty! Our reservation was for 6pm and the place already packed, definitely recommend reservations. The place was kinda loud but we didn't mind.....great place to take your kids if they're a little rowdy. Would definitely recommend this place to all my friends and family.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Late night dinner with co workers
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    I came to Banana Cafe on Saturday night around 10:30. I made a reservation two hours before. My co workers and I just wanted to have dinner and drinks after a long day. This restaurant is truly a gem. Our drinks were strong like I like them and our food was outstanding. The waiter gave exceptionally great service. My co workers and I will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly Recommend Banana Cafe!
    Christopher
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    The food was delicious and the drinks were perfect. Out waiter was very prompt yet polite. I highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was excellent, as
    dcluv2dineVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Service was excellent, as well as, the food. Just one point to be made regarding the food, it should be hot when served to your customers, not luke warm, but hot.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun for a party or night out
    Missy2468
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    The restaurant was a great, casual dining experience. Quality Tex-Mex cuisine. The piano bar was a lot of fun. Plenty of good music and a handful of folks dancing and singing along!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mofongo!
    apiche
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    I've lived in D.C. for almost 3 years now and finally managed to stop in for lunch with some friends. We all have lived in NYC/Boston at some point and have discriminating tastes when it comes to Latin food. The menu was like a foodie's dream. Mofongo, ceviche, paella, plantains, yuca, cubanas, congri, and more. Every favorite Latin food in one place. It was wonderful. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food from Puerto Rico is hard
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    Food from Puerto Rico is hard to find in this town. Glad that it is here. I wanted good mofongo and got it. Service was pretty good and very friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and affordable drinks
    GemmyVIP
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    Delicious huevos rancheros, my companion was very happy with the enchiladas and the Bloody Marys were strong and spicy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hill Fun
    Tommy13VIP
    Dined on 11/3/2013
    This was a first visit for brunch. It has a lively interior and nice owner and wait staff. Good food, fun ambience. I will return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Latin food-affordable prices
    va1evan5
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    I had the shrimp in a white wine sauce. My friends each had the taco-enchilada combo platter. We were laughing and chatting for hours, but when that food first arrived, the table was silent. Always a good sign!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome Friday
    Friends6hungry
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    My quest enjoyed the restaurant and the choice to dine in or outside. The food was good and the waiter was attentive to our needs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We took a co-worker to lunch
    Likespicy
    Dined on 9/25/2013
    We took a co-worker to lunch there to celebrate leaving his job and moving on. He plans to open a non-profit organization to benefit Cuban citizens, so I selected Banana Cafe for the cuisine. Everyone was satisfied with their selections. The beef was a little tough, but the plantains were excellent, very sweet. More black beans could have been provided to cover the rice which was a larger portion. The food could have been served hotter. Not sure why it was luke warm as the restaurant was not crowded at the time.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Good But Could Have Been Bette
    AlvinB
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    The Cuban food is delicious and the friendly service is top notch. We were disappointed that the Piano Bar was closed and on a Saturday night. Something about new furniture but couldn't that be done during the week? Also, no cheesecake available.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic