Cafe Deluxe - Bethesda

3.9
439 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Cafe Deluxe, an American bistro combining the charm of a neighborhood restaurant with the energy of a bustling European eatery, serves fresh and innovative classics in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Washingtonians have enjoyed the friendly service and casual dining experience for over 20 years. The diverse brunch, lunch and dinner menus combine traditional fare like Steak Frites and Grilled Meatloaf with menu favorites ranging from the Spinach, Feta and Tomato Omelet for brunch to the Grilled Atlantic Salmon Nicoise Salad, and the Prosciutto Mac & Cheese to the Ahi Tuna Tacos.
What 439 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.8
food
3.9
service
3.9
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The restaurant was quite loud, the tonic in one diner’s drink was flat and could not be replaced, the food came very slowly, and service was alternately pleasant and inattentive.

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m
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

For a Mother’s Day Brunch the service was polite, the food was warm when it arrived and the waiter attentive. It made for a relaxing and enjoyable celebration. My only complaint was that because of the hard surfaces in the restaurant the noise level made talking and hearing each other very difficult. I would definitely recommend the restaurant!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Lovely evening, good food, attentive waitstaff. Will definitely be back!

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S
Miami
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The food never seems to do better than “fine” and the service was pretty terrible. Fifteen minute delay in seating our party, then the server kept on forgetting things and took an eternity to take our food order. Not particularly excited to go back.

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M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and great food. Will visit again. Recommended!

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P
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The salad nicoise ingredients were lovely: all of the ingredients were top grade and the grilled lemon was a great and appreciated touch. The dressing not so much. Nicoise demands a bit of mustard, seeds, Dijon, something! I would’ve returned the next day and the next had the salad been appropriately dressed; I felt so embarrassed for “la salade” who was otherwise a lovely lady, albeit shabbily dressed. I did consume every bit of it.

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MB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

We were given a table at the front door. When we asked to move to an empty table away from the door, we were told that that table was reserved for people with reservations...we had reservations too. We were told that we could wait for another table, but we declined. Then our waiter never brought us bread, but brought it to other tables. He only checked in with us once and we had to flag down someone else just to refill our water glasses. My boyfriend’s food was over cooked. We weren’t offered dessert and were given the wrong check. Overall, our experience was far from pleasant. This was the first time I had a bad experience here.

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p
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

I returned to Cafe Deluxe with a friend from out of town. I was disappointed to learn that my favorite chicken penne pasta dish was no longer on the menu after I had raved about it to my friend. I had the lamb shank (also not on the menu but available) and my friend had a chicken pot pie which was enormous but had too much salt in it she thought. I enjoyed a margarita. There were lots of families there enjoying dinner together. It was a pleasant meal.

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BB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

I would recommend cafe deluxe Bethesda to a friend based on previous experiences. If this visit was my first, I would not. Our service was not good at all. Four of us ordered coffee and were told they were brewing a new pot. We waited upwards of a half hour for coffee while other tables were served it, and one of our party had to go up to the hostess stand to complain before they brought coffee. Then there was no apology from our waiter, who pretended like nothing was wrong. Incredibly inattentive.

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M
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Our waitress was very rude; she didn't introduce herself and just came up and asked if we were ready to order after a wait of 10-15 minutes with no service at all during a slow period with only a few full tables. When my daughter asked the simple question of "are you our waitress? We haven't been served," the waitress replied, "I'm here, so you're being served" in a nasty tone. The food was mediocre at best. My "mixed greens" side was a combination of pale and paler lettuce (romaine and iceberg), all brown-tinged. My son's kale salad came with almost dressing at all and the entree size was entirely too small. For the price of the food, the quality was poor. I would not recommend Cafe Deluxe and will not go back myself.

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KW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I ordered a greek salad and the greens were not fresh, the toppings were sparse and the dressing was nonexistent! No Flavor!! I didn't say anything to the server as I was treating my friend to lunch and didn't want to voice my displeasure - otherwise I would have.

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FN
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I like to see the return of some of the previous items on the menus, I.e. the lamb shank.

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MH
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We enjoyed the early dinner and service was very attentive.

Good food great service.

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P
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our waiter was very attentive without being overly so - food was good and arrived in a timely fashion.

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J
Washington DC
88 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Our waiter seemed to be in another planet. He forgot to bring the bread, the side dressing and never asked if we wanted our coffees refilled. They need to do better training. And it wasn't that crowded so really no excuse.

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C
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was very good. Waiter took forever to bring our drinks and was slow in bringing us our meals even though we told him that we were in a bit of a hurry to get to a movie. He seemed to be young, inexperienced, and poorly trained. Usually the service at Cafe Deluxe is better. Macomb Street has two older waiters that are first rate.

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BH
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 1ambience 3

They got our orders wrong multiple times. The service was extremely slow and took over 40 minutes to even take our orders.

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SS
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’m allergic to citrus. My waiter totally had my back and so my dining experience was excellent. We even ordered dessert-something we never do-because we felt so relaxed even though the restaurant was busy. Great food, clean facilities, lovely staff. Highly recommend.

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BR
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Slow and poor service. Very good food and atmosphere.

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

Had a bit of a larger group and they really squished us in there. Would have preferred a bit more room to breathe. But the food was amazing. Highly recommend the steak frites.

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R
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Has good days and off days. This day was a little off: the service was disorganized even though the restaurant wasn't full. There seems to be a lot of turnover in the wait staff, which means that there are a lot of kind, courteous but inexperienced servers. Food is still consistently good and prices aren't bad for Bethesda.

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MB
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

I was disappointed in the Sunday brunch, though I have had dinner meals here that were much better. The french toast was undercooked, quite soggy. The kitchen service was very slow. We sat 35 minutes after ordering for french toast and pancakes to be prepared. The waitstaff said they had a "big" party of 12 ahead of us. I wondered what they would do if all their tables were filled, only half were.

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LL
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Four of us enjoyed a terrific meal early on Saturday evening before a movie. We had a terrific server (whose name I don't know, but if the restaurant reads this they can triangulate from our reservation time and figure it out and compliment him) and the food-- we all ordered from the special menu-- was really delicious. We used to eat at Cafe Deluxe frequently but with so much new dining in Bethesda we were exploring other places. I think the merger with Chef Geoff's group might be holding Cafe Deluxe to a higher standard as we all agreed every aspect of our time Saturday was better than it used to be. We will go back sooner rather than later for sure.

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l
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food and service both good at a very reasonable ltoce

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G
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to eat and meet friends. Great for business meetings as well

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NS
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always have fun and food and service excellent. Good place to meet friends after movie.

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JT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Everything was very good, except for the duck breast which was overcooked.

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PT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant in the heart of Bethesda! Good food, friendly, attentive service, convenient, something for everyone. The chicken pot pie is especially delicious and rich.

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j
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Been going here for years. Wonderful room with a high ceiling. The food and service here generally has been very good. Staff is very pleasant and obviously wants to please the customers.

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PB
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed our dinner! Staff friendly and helpful! High level noise.

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y
Washington DC
84 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for lunch. Had a wonderful Greek salad with salmon. But the best part of the meal was the skillet cookie. My new favorite dessert.

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DK
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Great vibe. Neighborhood pub feel. Service very slow. Got drink orders wrong. The tuna appetizer was excellent but very small. The roasted chicken is very large but very dry. There might be better things on the menu.

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F
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Our server was outstanding, smart, friendly and very hardworking. Orders were just what we wanted and the whole experience was a great value. We were there at Sunday Brunch and the noise level was really high, plus lots of normal, noisy kids. Of course, everyone had to talk louder to hear. Most that the restaurant could control in the short term was really fine. I would certainly go back.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Outstanding staff and great service. They accommodate groups and families well.

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l
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

This restaurant is not for kids. It took 25 minutes to get served and a 5 year old cannot wait that long. Bad news!

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JA
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent choice for brunch - so family friendly. Ambiance, food and service was impeccable. Thank you.

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E
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Food mediocre at best. Restaurant is convenient to Bethesda Row movie and parking garages.

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s
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

GREAT SERVICE! WE WILL COME BACK!
THEY ACCOMMODATED A GROUP OF TEN WITH KIDS IN A MINUTE!

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MD
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

David was a superb server, attentive, offered recommendations and lovely personality. Mussels have been removed from the menu (boo!), which is the only reason food was rated very good vs excellent. Great atmosphere!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 4

Pork chop was raw in part. Vegetable side dish was frozen. No es bueno!

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