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Permanently Closed - Bayou on Penn

4.0
647 reviews
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$30 and under
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Creole / Cajun / Southern
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - For world class live music, New Orleans inspired cooking, and that laid back Big Easy vibe, there"s only one place in Washington DC to go. Located at 2519 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, just steps from the Foggy Bottom metro, Bayou brings together the award winning cuisine of executive chef Rusty Holman, hand crafted New Orleans cocktails, and a rotating line-up of both local and national recording artists. With two funky floors of dining and dancing, Bayou suits any occasion. Whether it's grabbing a quick po'boy at lunch, sitting down to a three course dinner, watching the game with a cold Abita, or grooving the night away in our intimate concert space, Bayou is DC's number one spot to laissez les bons temps rouler.

Open for Lunch and Dinner Tuesday-Sunday
Brunch served Saturdays and Sundays.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Creole / Cajun / Southern
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Tuesday - Thursday: 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(202) 223-6941
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Rusty Holman
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
25th Ave NW
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Public transit
2 blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro.
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Entertainment
Friday and Saturday nights the music starts at 10:30 with concerts featuring a rotating line-up of local and national acts.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 647 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.0
service
3.7
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on June 2, 2017

Good location, outside casual and quite, food good

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4.0Dined on May 28, 2017

Bottomless Mimosas for Sunday Brunch were nice. The bread pudding desert with vanilla ice cream was so good! We were seated outside for Sunday Brunch which was very nice (but just be aware that there is busy street and pedestrian traffic on Pennsylvania avenue. Also, for outside seating note that there will be significant spray and water spattering during downpours if you are seated outside. Staff was very accommodating on moving table due to rain as well as keeping our drinks nicely filled and checking on us throughout our afternoon meal. Fare definitely has a New Orleans Cajun flare/influence which I have not seen before hence the name I suppose. Overall, a very pleasant experience.

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4.0Dined on May 26, 2017

Restaurant was authentic New Orleans food. The Fried Green Tomatoes were terrific & the Shrimp, Chicken & Andioulle Sausage was good & spicy. Our server new the menu & gave us recommendations which were great. We'll be back.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2017

The food was absolutely delicious and the service was amazing! The vibe of this place was a little run-down, but in an oddly authentic-to-New-Orleans sort of way. I definitely highly recommend, just maybe not for super formal events.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2017

Great lunch spot! Best po'boy ever! We stopped in for an impromptu lunch after GWU's graduation and we're so impressed. We can't wait to come back for more Bayou fare!

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4.0Dined on May 6, 2017

This restaurant was a lucky find. Great food and service. Drinks were also unique and well made.

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2017

Always love coming to Bayou! The food is always great - especially love the Marigny sandwich, jambalaya, shrimp & grits, red beans & rice, and jalapeno cheddar grits. Hurricanes are also very great and a must!

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5.0Dined on May 4, 2017

Bayou is a great neighborhood restaurant. Very much a French Quarter feeling in atmosphere, drinks and cuisine. A bit on the louder side downstairs where the bar and the Big TV are located. Upstairs tends to be quieter most of the time. Our servers were friendly and attentive and the food was timely and delicious.
Definitely recommend.

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2017

We took the family here for Easter. The foods was great, service- excellent.

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1.0Dined on April 6, 2017

This was disappointing all around, it feels like it is now just a bar that kind of serves food. The food was quite lackluster (mine was cold), and most of our group did not finish their meal. Only thing worse was the service -- our server disappeared entirely, maybe even went home, and the other person working the dining room did not feel like picking up the slack. It had been awhile since I had been here and not likely to return.

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2017

Good food fast service and reasonably priced. Easy to get there.

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3.0Dined on March 26, 2017

The food was so so. Honestly, nothing to write hoe about. The crawfish "cheesecake" appetizer was pretty decent. Hubby (who's from LA) was not happy with his Po Boy. He had to ask for s/p to "doctor" it up.....he still wasn't happy with it. I ordered shrimp and grits. The grits were a bit gritty and had SO much sauce, I had to go diving to find my grits. The plus is, they gave me 6 huge shrimp which I was very happy with. Once was enough for us.

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2.0Dined on March 25, 2017

I was so hopeful that the food would be great based upon the reviews; however, it was so disappointing. The food was so bland, and I could detect very little Cajun seasonings. If a person likes traditional creole food, this would be a big disappointment.

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2017

Was a trip to NOLA

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2017

Great gumbo at this informal restaurant. We go there regularly for lunch.

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2.0Dined on March 12, 2017

Was there for brunch and had chicken and waffles. Nothing special but fine. My friend had shrimp and grits which she said she liked but the portion size was pretty small. My friend ordered two alcoholic drinks, I ordered one. I ordered coffee which was terrible. They said the coffee machine was broken. I switched to tea and was not charged for either the coffee or tea. The waitress was nice and accommodating. The place was quiet, so if you're looking for a place that is far from the madding crowd, this is an option. But our overall bill was 80USD for pretty mediocre food with below average ambience for the price and this city. The plus is that it's quiet, unpretentious and not crowded, which , I guess is what you're paying for?

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2.0Dined on March 12, 2017

It was dead on a Sunday afternoon considering the popularity of brunch in DC. Service was meh considering there were not a lot of people in the restaurant. Our server was not attentive and we had to get help from the other waitstaff. Food wise - the meal was okay. There were certain elements that were really good and others so-so. I loved the fried oysters! Also the bottomless mimosas were a good deal. It has a New Orleans vibe and decor and I could totally see the place jumping on a Friday or Saturday night, but Sunday afternoon - not so much.

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5.0Dined on March 12, 2017

Amazing Sunday brunch with a large group of friends! Our server Molly was great and extremely attentive and friendly, it was wonderful service. The food & drinks were delicious! I highly recommend the fried green tomatoes starter. Our whole group enjoyed their meals and drinks. Would definitely return!

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2017

Myself and husband enjoyed the food at Bayou. The decor of the restaurant was unique and the music in the background was just right. We still can't stop talking about the biscuits (with spread). We can't wait to go back when the bands return.

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3.0Dined on March 5, 2017

Good Cajun food in a small, casual, local neighborhood restaurant. A little on the pricey side.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2017

Looking for a restaurant after a play at the Kennedy Center, we went to Open Table which is very easy to use. I like the fact that you can see immediately what times they have available. We made a reservation and when we walked in there weren't many people there at 8:30pm. We thought what are we walking into? Soon after we sat down the place started to fill up. We ordered the gumbo and it was delicious. Just the right spiciness and was served steaming hot. The waitress was friendly and the service was just right.

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1.0Dined on March 4, 2017

This was one of the worse experiences I have had with a restaurant. It started with the very rude greeter who barked that he did not have a reservation for us even when I showed him my open table confirmation. Luckily, our server was very pleasant and professional. The gumbo was excellent. From there it went downhill quickly. My husband and I both ordered Po-boys - catfish and shrimp. My husband is a New Orleans native and well aware of what a Po-boy should taste like. The fish was not seasoned (not even salt and pepper). The sandwich was not good and the red beans and rice was just okay. The pleasant server asked if she could get us something else but at that point all we wanted was the check.
It was my husband's birthday - so disappointing!!

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3.0Dined on March 1, 2017

Surprisingly, Bayou was really good. I was craving for cajun food and came to the right place. The food came out quick, perfectly hot and spicy.

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2017

I had the Po'Boy (Catfish and Shrimp). The bread was incredible! The bread pudding was also very good!

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2017

Great friendly service and excellent food....authentic New Orleans hang out

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5.0Dined on February 12, 2017

Nice Sunday afternoon meal in Washington DC near close Georgetown. Great creole food and drink with outstanding service.

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3.0Dined on February 11, 2017

Bayou used to be a staple on our rotation, but during our recent visit the service was below average - waitress not familiar with the menu and was not attentive - and the portion sizes were small given the price of the dishes. Still a great place for Happy Hour.

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3.0Dined on February 11, 2017

The food and cocktails here are very good. But little has been done to update the tired feeling of the Bayou. The service was spotty -- took quite a while for the server to get out drink order, but from then on, it improved. Great place for New Orlean's style food in DC.

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3.0Dined on February 11, 2017

The food was just ok. Nothing to get excited over. I'm

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2017

My girlfriend and I walked to this restaurant from our hotel and as we walked up we were both like uh oh. This looks like a dive. I had made a reservation so we went inside and were quickly seated. The doorman was also very friendly.
Having been to New Orleans, the restaurant definitely had the NOLA vibe and the interior was painted and decorated accordingly but overall, the interior aesthetics are nothing to rave about but the FOOD IS.
The food was great. My girlfriend ordered the blackened catfish and i had the southern fried chicken. Both were cooked exceptionally well and the flavor was spot on. The sides were also delicious. My collard greens with bits of bacon were superb.
I would highly recommend a stop here if you want some good grub.
I can also say that the gentleman seated next to us told the waitress that the short ribs he ordered were excellent and he didn't know how the chef did it. He tried to order a second entree of them but unfortunately the kitchen had been closed down for the night.
My girlfriend ordered a key lime pie with homemade whipped topping. It was also very tasty although the graham cracker bottom could have been decently thicker and more well done.
All in all, i was happily and pleasantly surprised and would return.

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4.0Dined on February 9, 2017

Great service and atmosphere. Just thought the only non-fried shrimp pop boy they had on the menu was a tad overpriced for what I got at $17.

I will come back for the roast beef po boy.

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4.0Dined on January 28, 2017

Bayou is an odd combination of delicious soul food at a moderate price point (most entrees are approx. $20) in a space that feels like a humble neighborhood bar. There was a lively happy hour upstairs while we tried to have a quiet dinner downstairs, which affected the ambiance. However, the wine and cocktails were plentiful, the food tasty (if a bit spicy), and the dessert sublime.

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3.0Dined on January 6, 2017

Food was subpar. Nice Cajun fell to the place

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5.0Dined on January 1, 2017

We enjoyed an awesome experience. Everything from our service, food and ambiance was absolutely ideal. I highly recommend Bayou and I will most definetly be back. My new favorite establishment!

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4.0Dined on January 1, 2017

Laid back, neighborhood type of restaurant featuring Cajun/New Orleanian style dishes with a couple of menu outliers (braised short ribs with polenta). My mom and I thought the grits (shrimp and grits) were soupier than our particular preferences; however, I really enjoyed the gumbo and wished I has ordered a bowl rather than the cup after my short ribs came out at room temperature. That required a 15 minute wait for a replacement plate (although it was taken away with an apology and no hassle and re-served with a smile). The red beans and rice were very well done and nicely seasoned as were the collard greens. The coffee was very good and we differed on our appraisal of the bread pudding-I liked it, my mom wasn't impressed. It seems to host die-hard Saints fans for game days and although they were present and enjoying the game against the Falcons, it wasn't overly loud or disruptive to our New Year's Day dinner. I chose this restaurant as our kitchen is being renovated and I spotted several dishes on the menu which are must-haves for a Southern New Year's Celebration.

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2016

truly outstanding food. everything we ordered was amazing. Jumbalaya, gumbo, boudin balls, bread pudding. very good service.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2016

Great presentation and tasty dishes!

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5.0Dined on December 29, 2016

Excellent Cajun/Creole dinner. Warm and cozy booth for all of us, right next to the window. Shrimp and grits were outstanding, bourbon pork chops were wonderful, and the bread pudding with caramel sauce was oh-so-good. Service was fast and friendly and helpful from everyone. We would all go back there again.

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5.0Dined on December 23, 2016

As a native New Orleanian I can say the food and flavors were very authentic. Awesome gumbo and po boys!

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2016

Great Atmosphere. The food is delicious. I have yet to be disappointed with any food selection.

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