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Permanently Closed - Bayou on Penn

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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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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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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Cross street
25th Ave NW
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Public transit
2 blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro.
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Friday and Saturday nights the music starts at 10:30 with concerts featuring a rotating line-up of local and national acts.
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
4.0  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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eatwell (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on June 2, 2017

Good location, outside casual and quite, food good

OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined 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.

vipFoodie (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined 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.

ylenad (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 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.

vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 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!

OpenTable Diner (Pittsburgh)
4.0  Dined on May 6, 2017

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

vipDowntownDCFoodie (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 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!

vipDCdiners (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 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.

vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on April 16, 2017

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

vipGWpf (Washington DC)
1.0  Dined 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.

OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on April 1, 2017

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

ByeBayou (Baltimore)
3.0  Dined 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.

OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
2.0  Dined 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.

OpenTable Diner (Tampa)
5.0  Dined on March 22, 2017

Was a trip to NOLA

vipD2d2 (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on March 18, 2017

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

time2dine (Washington DC)
2.0  Dined 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?

foodiewannabe (Washington DC)
2.0  Dined 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.

vipnewtoBmore (Baltimore)
5.0  Dined 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!

vipFoodie (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 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.

OpenTable Diner (Las Vegas)
3.0  Dined on March 5, 2017

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