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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
Top Tags:
  • 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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3.0Dined on March 4, 2012

Good spot to meet friends and have a quick brunch/lunch. Parking is main negative though.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2012

We went as a group of seven family members. It was easy to talk. The service was great as they even helped find some mashed potatoes for my daughter to use to help her swallow a pill. The food was great and included eggs benedict, omelettes, and a bananas foster French toast. The French toast was extraordinary with a true bananas foster flavor, bananas that were not mushy and real maple syrup. We are definitely going back.

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2012

We have been to this restaurant several times. This time we stayed for the music and were very pleased (Kings of Crownsville). Loved the music. However, the talking noise level before the band started was the noisiest I've been around in a very long time, if ever. Everything else was great.Very friendly service and great food.

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2012

The food is great! Service is usually good but the hostesses need some training in service!

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4.0Dined on March 2, 2012

I like Bayou on Penn. The food is quite good, the service was excellent, and the ambiance was pleasant although a bit noisy. I will definitely return to Bayou on Penn, especially when the weather is warmer. The one problem we encountered is that Bayou on Penn really has nowhere to hang coats except on hooks right by the front door. For this reason I will probably not return there until the weather is warm enough that I don't need a coat, and when it is not raining, because they have nowhere to put umbrellas, either. We had to hang our coats and umbrellas on the backs of our chairs, which made sitting somewhat uncomfortable. It seems to me that this problem could be fixed at minimum expense, since they seem to have plenty of room.

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3.0Dined on February 28, 2012

The food was ok. Not bad, but not brilliant. However, the food was incredibly overpriced considering how standard it tasted.

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3.0Dined on February 26, 2012

Tasty and reasonably priced New Orleans inspired fare. The food is good; service is uneven. Noisy on live music nights where the band fights with sports TV screens for attention

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4.0Dined on February 26, 2012

Comfortable setting, good food at reasonable prices. We enjoyed our visit. It is probably a great lunch spot too, but we were there on a quiet sunday night so I can't be sure.

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5.0Dined on February 26, 2012

The food, oh the food! The food was excellent! Flavorful, savory and overall delicious. We had the crawfish and andouille sausage cheesecake (sounds weird, I know) for an appetizer and it was great! The shrimp and grits also were very tasty...probably some of the best I've had. We also tried the 1/2 and 1/2 po boy which was also good. For dessert, we tried the bananas foster french toast (it was brunch time) and cleaned the plate. I flet the bananas were a little too heavy on the rum but luckily there were only a few but the french toast was also some of the best I've had. Ok, we ate a lot but there were so many things we wanted to try on the menu. Last but not least, our waiter and the service were great! Can't wait to go back!

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2012

Very good food. Requested a quieter table but did NOT get it. Seated in what appeared to be the noisiest. Very loud place with good food.

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2.0Dined on February 24, 2012

Perhaps we two women were expecting more New Orleans feeling to the place, something like the old New Orleans Cafe in Adams Morgan years ago, and we were disappointed. The Post seemed to say there was live music even before the 10 PM set, but the atmosphere was "after-work" with a bit of noise from some boisterous men letting loose after a hard work week. More than one basketball game on one of several TV's. Food was palatable but together with one mixed drink and an appetizer, the bill came to nearly $70, which was twice what we normally spend for a meal for two. Service was very upbeat, courteous and friendly.

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2012

Great place to taste New Orleans food.

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4.0Dined on February 18, 2012

The food was excellent!!! I cannot wait to go back!! Oh..and I enjoyed the entertainment as well!

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4.0Dined on February 15, 2012

I had a very good dinner. There were a few cajun/creole dishes that I was expecting (and would have preferred) to be a little spicier. Restaurant was not crowded, and I could see noise level being much higher when it was hopping.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2012

I took my wife there on Valentine Day because I wanted good food and a different vibe. They were very accomodating. The food was really delicious and the lighting made it quite romantic. We will definitely go back to listen to some of the performances as well as get the fried green tomatoes!

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4.0Dined on February 11, 2012

The food was great. It was a little cold when we went and they stuck us by the door. However, they also provided a heater so it wasn't too bad. We went late at around 10pm so the Jazz band was playing. Great band but also loud. We were way in the back next to the door and we could hear them loud and clear so I can't imagine how people sitting closer felt. So if you're not up for the noise than I suggest not going during Jazz time. The service was excellent and the staff very accommodating. I also suggest getting a reservation because that saved my friends and I from paying the entrance fee (which I guess if because of the band). Also, I'm not recommending this place for vegetarians/vegan because they don't have much options.

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5.0Dined on February 11, 2012

The most authentic New Orleans venue in DC.

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3.0Dined on February 10, 2012

Bayou provides a good dining experience, though it gives the impression that it is not quite sure what it wants to be. The food is quite good, and our server was friendly and attentive. The space is small, and as a consequence, televisions are jammed along the walls between art and tschotskes. If you get up from your table, you and a server will likely have to dodge one another. Plus, it's loud, even without a band upstairs. All not major points, but they are more glaring given the relatively high cost of the food. That said, I will be back, but would appreciate a more polished dining experience for the money spent.

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5.0Dined on February 5, 2012

This restaurant has a lot of personality and is close to the Kennedy Center, which makes ideal for pre-theater dining. I love the atmosphere and recommend the blackened cat fish. Although the menu doesn't change that much, I always enjoy myself and find a new decoration to look at when I go.

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4.0Dined on February 5, 2012

Have already been a big fan of Bayou, but today was the first time to try the brunch...and it won't be the last. The surf & turf eggs benedict were delicious. My father had and loved the bananas Foster French toast, and my mother raved about the crab, gruyere and spinach quiche. Sazeracs are always tasty too! Surprisingly quiet and empty, but might've been due to it being Super Bowl Sunday and folks gearing up for that. Anyway, one more reason to recommend Bayou!

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3.0Dined on February 4, 2012

For Me: The food is authentic. I lived in NO for 3 years and my in-laws are Cajun. The problem is that the price point is too high for the food. However, considering that you cannot find "down home" cajun food in DC (outside of someone's kitchen), I understand why the price point is adjusted so high.

For My Wife: She loved the food and would probably rate it higher than I, but I am a tough rater.

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5.0Dined on February 4, 2012

Had a great lunch with friends, good food, good price, good service, nice ambience.

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4.0Dined on January 26, 2012

The food was great and so was the service. Can't wait to go back.

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4.0Dined on January 22, 2012

This was a really cute restaurant. The brunch was pretty good though a bit too heavy for my liking (but I guess I should've expected that...), but I think I would come back here more for the ambiance than anything else. The environment was great and, with such fantastic service, I really enjoyed my dining experience!

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4.0Dined on January 21, 2012

This was my second time going to the Bayou on Penn. The food was excellent and the service was very good. The waitress was very attentive without being over bearing. The one thing I find disconcerning is the closeness, of each of the tables to each other.

But overall the restaurant is excellent

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4.0Dined on January 20, 2012

Good local spot convenient to all the foot traffic to Georgetown. Very colorful menu and non pretentious.

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3.0Dined on January 20, 2012

The food is good, but can be better.

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3.0Dined on January 8, 2012

I enjoyed my time and the service was good. I feel the food needs a little help. We ate everything, but if they stepped it up one more, I'd have had a better note.

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2.0Dined on January 7, 2012

This place was just not my thing. If you are looking for an incredibly loud bar to watch a game, then this is the place to go. We had to yell across a very small table, and then gave up. Food was just ok, nothing special. The person who brought out our meals took away my biscuit (he didn't hear me ask him to leave it because it was just too loud), and they charged me to replace it. It wasn't very good, so I should not have asked for another. Not a big deal, but we won't be going back.

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5.0Dined on January 7, 2012

Great food, great service even with a large group during a Saints game. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on January 7, 2012

Excellent food! Everything was great; from the appetizers to the desserts.

Service was swift and attentive!

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3.0Dined on January 5, 2012

Having just spent a weekend in New Orleans with real Bayou food, it was hard to rate this food as up to par. It wasn't bad, just not truly authentic. The server was nice and the atmosphere was fun. Definitely a good place to go with friends.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2011

Great food - great happy hour spot.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2011

Great service, food was good and the price was very reasonable.

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5.0Dined on December 30, 2011

Went here for my anniversary; the food and service were outstanding. A great place to go relax and enjoy New Orleans style food.

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3.0Dined on December 27, 2011

Great location. Good spot to hit after a little Georgetown Shopping! The Shrimp Po'boy was very satisfying. The bread was crusty on the outside and nice and soft on the inside and the shrimp were ample and fried to perfection. The tomato and cucumber salad was awesome! Overall delicious. This is definitely not a first date kind of place but it is a great spot for a group gathering. Really casual and fun.

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4.0Dined on December 20, 2011

Great Food!!! But it took an hour to get our lunch and it took the waiter 45 minutes to check on us before we got something to munch on while we waited an hour for our lunch. Despite the slow service the food was outstanding.

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5.0Dined on December 17, 2011

A great place to eat before a show at the Kennedy Center. Great gumbo and great Po'Boys!!!

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3.0Dined on December 16, 2011

Food was good, nothing overly special. It was a turnoff when they felt the need to charge for extra bread. Talk about being cheap. And there was no beer on tap. Good food, but I feel no reason to go back.

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4.0Dined on December 11, 2011

Wow ... an unassuming place with a truly great kitchen. Loved it.

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