Ice House Cafe
Ice House Cafe

Ice House Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.icehousecafe.com/
  • Phone: 7034374500
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thurday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Ice House Cafe
Every now and then you run across a truely memorable restaurant that delights all of your senses. The food is imaginative, the atmosphere charming, the wine list extensive, the entertainment enjoyable, and the staff make you feel so comfortable that you want to come back again and again. Nestled in historic Herndon, the Ice House Cafe has been cooking up an unforgettable dining experience since 1979. From the ceiling fans blowing a cool breeze through the cozy surroundings, to the photos lining the walls of a bygone era when life was less hectic and more relaxed, to the woodwork and brass fixtures that call attention to detail- you'll find yourself easing into a deeply satisfying evening.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
Ice House Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
12 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating3.5
  • Food3.8
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelModerate
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (8)fit for foodies (5)special occasion (4)great for lunch (4)romantic (3)great for brunch (1)good for groups (1)notable wine list (1)hot spot (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Bad Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    We were sat right next to a party of 30 - when there was plenty other seats available..it was a Tuesday night. Our waiter paid attention to everything BUT us. He couldn't remember the specials had to ask again how the steak was cooked after my dining mate had just said. I doubt I will ever go to the Ice house again. We went hoping we could have some quiet pleasant conversation and instead we rushed to get out.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun experience, spotty service
    Diplokeith
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We were there on a Friday night, so the place was pretty packed and the jazz band was in full swing. It made for a fun atmosphere, but pretty noisy. Parking was a bit tight in the area. But the food's the thing. The half dozen oysters on the half shell were sweet, fresh, and delicious and the Jambalaya was a lovely mesh of flavors with just the right amount of kick. The walnut apple pie was a nice finish. I would rate the evening at least a star higher were it not for the spotty service. We waited significant time to place and get each stage of the meal. The bread did not arrive until our entrees did and when we asked for more bread, our server simply disappeared. Nice enough experience, but won't be in a hurry to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice group dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    A group of 7 for dinner. Requested a round table for better conversation and Ice House took care of it & even called to confirm & tell us it was setup for us. Service was very good, all 7 people really liked their food, & amazing desserts. Atmosphere was cozy and nice. Have eaten here several times for group lunches and dinners, and will return, to be sure.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oysters were juicy
    Tparty
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Been to oyster House before, and I'm so glad a Groupon brought me back. Oysters were meaty and juicy, Caesar salad was delicious, bread divine, really satisfying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lunchwiththeladies
    lunchwiththeladies
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    a little pricey, but pleasant. nice atmosphere, helpful waiter.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kudos for Cassie!
    DGraySVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Great lunch, as has been the case each time I've visited the Ice House Cafe: the food was delicious and our seating location encouraged and enabled conversation. The real standout was our server, Cassie, who made excellent suggestions for our very discerning vegetarian, including recommending that the latter should select a fish and how she would wish it prepared: the chef then accommodated both requests (grouper, grilled) to perfection, including a side sauce that yielded raves. It would be difficult to overstate how much Cassie's attentive service enhanced an already very positive workday luncheon experience at this very charming and earnest neighborhood cafe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 6 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.7
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance3.2
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 180 reviews are from the Ice House Cafe reviews archive.
  • Nice ambiance, but limited menu
    SofttechVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Very hard to eat here unless you're getting a huge steak. Which in the past was excellent. The chef was gracious enough to whip something together that was excellent. But the bill was $75 & not worth it. service was disruptive. Great attitude & waiter was especially professional. It is bc this used to be one of my spots for romantic dates with new guys. Unfortunately, music was over bearingly loud, lighting way too bright, noise level annoying, bar crowd sort of lame. Bartender (female) excellent. Too bad they don't give her enough alcohol options. It is what it is. Staff worked very hard with limited options & resources.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent but pricey
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We basically had the restaurant to ourselves on Mother's Day. The earlier brunch crowd was gone, and the dinner crowd was yet to come. Our reservation was for 3:30 and the place was transitioning from the brunch menu to the dinner menu. Some confusion. Service was fantastic. He was knowledgeable and refreshed our glasses and bread basket without being asked. She chose a pineapple salsa which was perfect. Our appetizers were delicate on the dressing for my mom's tomato and mozzarella salad, and my fresh asparagus with crab cake was superb. My daughters brie was superbly done as well. Ahi tuna, Salmon, Eggplant, and Beef were perfect. We did not order dessert.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great little gem!
    New2
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Foodies would enjoy! Fresh fish and creative cuisine. Amazing, inventive and talented chef! The service was 5 star... They train their servers well! I will return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food is outstanding
    DannyVIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We went to this restaurant for dinner. Upon entering the person that seated us seemed very confused and didnt really know what to do. I told him we had a reservation but he didnt look for it. He just proceeded to seat us. Not a big deal, he was pleasant and immediately filled our water glasses. Our server then came and got our drink order and let us know the specials. I reviewed the menu prior to coming to the restaurant and was very excited that there was Oysters Rockefeller. We ordered that for appetizer and it was wonderful. I ordered the Ostrick steak entree and my partner ordered the steak special. Everything was cooked perfectly and wonderful. I would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • na
    food
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    The busser kept water full and table clean. Food so so
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • 3 Business Travelers loved it!!!
    TJMCC
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    I definitely wanted to try this place for dinner after reading the reviews. My biggest concern was the noise level on a Friday night so I booked dinner early. We were immediately welcomed as we walked in the door and the place was definitely quiet at 6 pm. Service was fantastic and all food selections were cooked beautifully. By 7 pm the place started filling up and the jazz band began playing promptly at 7:30. The band was not loud and the overall restaurant scene was vibrant and pleasant. The ambiance is "old school" restaurant / pub style and despite the tables being a little close together (as some have mentioned here), it was a very comfortable dining experience. If I owned this restaurant I wouldn't change a thing. A Must Try!!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad to be back!!
    DaughterVIP
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    We hadn't been to Ice House in maybe ten years. The interior is still the same, which we love, a combination of pub and white tablecloths. Food is interesting and very good. They have a great bar menu and we saw tons of folks come in and head to the back bar. Our waiter was very personable and helped make the evening enjoyable. We definitely plan to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for food and music.
    BusinessLunch
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Drove out to Herndon from DC and it was totally worth it. The Ice House has regular (maybe even nightly) music in a pub setting. Very good food, very relaxed ambience, and good "homestyle" friendly service. Of course the entertainment was good, and the crowd was very relaxed and friendly, including many regulars and neghborhood diners.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant with character
    Bill
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Yes, it's crowded and loud, the tables are a little close together and the decor a bit '50s, but the food was very good and so was the staff. People were enjoying themselves and the music was lively (zydeco, I think). If you want plain vanilla dining, go to the Olive Garden. If you want a lively, full of character "people and food" place, try the Ice House.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cassie was great
    GregVIP
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    Food was good and Cassie, our server, was great. Will ask for her again next time we go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid and consistent
    StevenA875VIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    We have been to Ice House Cafe a number of times and it's always the same story...in a good way! The varied menu provides a variety of dishes and even those with the most discriminating of tastes are sure to find something they will enjoy. For me, it was the French onion soup followed by shrimp and grits, and then a shared chocolate mousse. All were delicious. Adding to the ambiance was a jazz quintet that was entertaining without being overbearing in such a cozy venue.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Upscale Casual
    JimP
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Service was great and the live Jazz was just right. Not too loud or too soft and the selection of music was great. Our table of three had all your specials which were excellent. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Evening
    RedHatWoman
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    Had a nice evening with my women's group. We were in the back so it is a bit more roomy and quiet. The food was excellent. The service was good. We had arranged in advance for separate checks and the server was very accommodating. Only a bit slow at the end when the server was confused as to who got what check.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good for oysters, wine and jazz.
    DMY5
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Nice place for a drink and some lovely oysters. Decent beer and wine selection. Seafood (mussels, stuffed flounder, crab cakes) was disappointing, especially for the prices charges. Service was good and so was the jazz.
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The only problem was the noise
    leroi
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    We had a great dinner Saturday night at the Ice House with another couple. Unfortunately, we were at a table in the back room with a large group beside us. At times it was so loud we literally had to shout to hear each other. The food was great, but we the noise level was just too much. We had planned on desert and coffee, but couldn't stand it any longer so we came back to our home for coffee and after dinner drinks. The bottom line is, if you go you might want to request a table in the front room just in case.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Romantic and Jazzy
    Rooster
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Enjoyed Valentines Day with good music and great food. Service was outstanding. We were seated next to the piano player. A little loud but was able to have some conversation. Recommend for a romantic evening with entertainment and great food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old fashion and overpriced
    Xpat4ever
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    The only praise for the food I can give is for the bread. Everything else was disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ice House
    Goodfood
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    We sat in the back room where it was nice and quiet. Good jazz music started and it was a good volume to still be able to carry on a conversation.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok
    Zman
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    It would have been good, BUT: Tiny bits of crab and/or lobster shell in the food. Waiter forgot our appetizer. Music was nice but interfered with conversation.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food
    johnz
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    After our NYE plans fell through, we were lucky to score a last second reservation. The food was amazing. We live within walking distance and have never dined there. We will certainly be going back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The service was outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/16/2013
    The service was outstanding and the food was excellent as well. It was quiet, but it was also a Monday. I would definitely recommend it.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Music Venue
    Arthur
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    We like jazz and we were not disappointed. The food was just average. The food did not meet expectations. The mussels special which was described as done in a white wine, was in a marinara sauce and the mussels were like peas, big shells and small. About half of the shells were empty. I had a Mahi special which was OK but hardly "special". Three of our four ordered the lamb shank and were later informed that they were out of that. We had a 7:30 reservation so that surprised us. We had a nice evening and enjoyed the music which sort of saved the overall experience. The Ice House, has great ambience for a small and intimate evening in a jazz club atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good meal, mediocre setting
    JerseyJazz
    Dined on 11/19/2013
    I had some good fish and apple pie here, but the setting is like a 1950s finished basement with dark knotty pine walls and stuffed deer heads, etc. The place is so dark that it was hard even to read the menu. I was eating by myself, and though the servers were friendly, they rushed me. It is obviously very popular with locals, though, and would be a completely different experience if you went with a crowd.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Ice House Cafe is a small
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    The Ice House Cafe is a small restaurant with two separate seating areas. The main floor is just 2 and 4 tops and is pretty romantic. The styling is well aged speak easy. The live music was great and for no cover - a treat for the neightborhood. The food was really good - I had the French onion soup and lamb shank; both were hearty and flavorful. My wife had the mahi mahi special which I tasted and it was very well prepared and was a nice light offering. The Oysters Rockerfeller were amazing and a perfect appitizer on a cold night. The wait staff was pretty good by DC standards but we did have to wave down the waiter a few times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great night of jazz
    Ginger
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    Came to hear the jazz band and enjoy the food which is always great. Wonderful evening!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We were in Herndon for a late
    ChriscVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    We were in Herndon for a late youth baseball game and decided to check it out. Interesting variety on the menu. Great food and super jazz band.
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ice House is one of my fave's
    IzzyVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2013
    Ice House is one of my fave's because it is quaint yet it has a local bar feel. Great place to meet for Happy Hour! They have an excellent bar and the servers are energetic,oh and they have nice appetizer and drink specials. You should go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/5/2013
    We had a great lunch at Ice House Café. The room was fairly quiet, although we did arrive toward the end of the lunch service time (1:15). Our waitress was very attentive and the food was fresh and delicious. Note that there is not a dedicated parking lot, but there is public parking nearby. Ice House is noted for seafood and we had the raw oysters, a treat. I had called the restaurant the day before to ensure that oysters were plentiful and was told that they were sold out but expected a fresh shipment the day of our intended lunch. The restaurant was kind enough to call me back that morning to tell me that the new supply had arrived!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Over priced & oily
    cburris29VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2013
    Highlight of the meal was the appetizer smoked salmon and raw oysters. Had to ask the server for the specials, he couldn't name the vegetable that came with the grouper when asked and he never offered the price. The grouper was topped with crabmeat and broken hollandaise, oily sugar snap peas, peppers, rice, It originally came with corn, but they remade it without it after I told him I don't eat it corn. I ate half of it because I thought it would upset my stomach later and when the bill came I realized that that oily mess was $29! Not up to par from the last time I visited a year ago and got the shrimp and grits, which my mother ordered and was also a bowl of oil.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Don't Bother
    Vern
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    To say that we were disappointed in this restaurant would be an understatement. I had been passing this restaurant on my way in to work for years and had always thought that we should try it - bad mistake. Frankly, I'm surprised this restaurant is still around because most of the ones like it tend to go out of business. Food was very mediocre. In addition, we were the only ones in the place when we got there and although the waitress was attentive, it took a long time for our food to arrive. We won't be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mothers Day
    CarterAdvantage
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    This is always a great place for a dinner; Mother's Day or other. Generally, there is live music Thursday through Saturday, but this was Sunday evening for Mother's Day. If you like beef or filet mignon, do not miss the Ostrich. It is fantastic as is the desert and coffee.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • With so many new restaurants
    aherndon
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    With so many new restaurants in the area we had not been to the Ice House for several years. Now we wonder why we stopped? Had a great evening with surperb food, good wine and GREAT martinis. And, the service was EXCELLENT.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tried new food with mixed results
    Whoosie
    Dined on 5/8/2013
    Our second visit in a month. Last time we had wonderful wine, oysters and entree specials. This time we had 2 adequate wines by the glass (Gruner Veltliner and Pinot) and a fabulous half bottle of Kings Estate Pinot. We started with the great calamari - unbreaded with a fantastic Greek sauce and the mussels special. The mussels were good but had large spicy chunks of sausage that overwhelmed the mussels and cream -- need to dice these. Next we had a great warm Brie salad and the shrimp and grits. The S&G were interesting and confusing. Excellent grilled shrimp surrounded stacked onion rings, came with German pickled red cabbage, snow peas and that same andouille sausage over very cheesy (&browned butter?) grits. Good, but a mess.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I really enjoyed the jazz
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 4/27/2013
    I really enjoyed the jazz combo on the weekend. The chef was willing to accommodate my needs and the sever offered tastes of various sauces before ordering. The food was good, not great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate