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Cafe Paradiso

3.9
68 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

Add some flavor to your day at Café Paradiso. This bi-level restaurant serves classic Italian cuisine in a relaxed space, complete with outdoor seating. Chef Samer Zeytoun champions an appealing menu that features appetizers, soups and salads and homemade pasta, alongside gluten-free and vegetarian dishes. Visit for dinner and indulge your sense in some pasta with meatballs or a juicy filet mignon, served with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a cherry sauce. Flip open the drink menu and choose from a nice selection that includes cocktails and wine.

A crowd pleaser, Café Paradiso is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant's roomy interior combined with its expansive menu makes it a nice pick for family adventures. You can dine indoors or (depending on the weather) outdoors while enjoying the view. Café Paradiso is open Mondays to Saturdays.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation


Lunch:

Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 4:00pm


Dinner:

Daily: 4:00pm - 10:00pm (11:00pm in the summer)
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Phone number
(202) 265-8955
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Samer Zeytoun
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Private party facilities
Second floor private dining area with full bar for parties of 40 or more. Semi private for smaller parties. Private dining area fits up to 75 people for sit-down dinner or 120 for buffet-style reception.
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Private party contact
Will Zeytoun: (888) 506-8973
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Catering
We specialize in serving large groups and often cater corporate events. Please contact Walid Zeytoun to discuss menu items available in large format for your next catering need (WZeytoun@hotmail.com) or call 240-418-6647.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Woodley Road
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Parking details
Street parking & Rear entry garage (hourly rates apply)
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Public transit
Across the street from Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan metro stop (RED LINE)
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Special events & promotions
Elegant and modern--large, private room with exclusive bar available for private event rental. Customize your own menu and different bar menus available. Private bartender available upon request. MC set up available for private music and microphone use.

We specialize in: engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and wedding parties.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 68 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
3.9
food
3.9
service
3.7
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on August 6, 2016

Food was excellent especially pizza dough appetizer and canolli dessert Cauliflower risotto is not good though Amazing service

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2016

Excellent meal, but a bit pricey for the area. Very noisy as well...it was difficult to carry on a conversation.

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4.0Dined on July 19, 2016

Good, fresh food. Presentation was very nice, but the actual dishes seemed amateur (like something I could have cooked in my own kitchen)...I suppose this could have been expected given the price range. Server was great, although he hovered a bit.

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4.0Dined on July 17, 2016

We chose Cafe Paradiso mainly because it was close to our hotel but it turned out to be a great dinner spot. We had a very nice waitress and the food was quite good. I had the chicken paradiso, which is a stuffed chicken breast. It was delicious. We will go back again when we are in town.

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4.0Dined on July 17, 2016

We went to Cafe Paradisio to celebrate a birthday. We had to add one additional person to our group of 7 and they accommodated us easily and with a smile. Service was great, food was delicious. They were out of champagne but had a good wine selection. The pasta was fantastic and the cheesecake was pretty good. Would definitely go back for the pasta.

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3.0Dined on July 8, 2016

I have had very good experiences at this restaurant over many years. This one was less so (the food was just eh - somewhat taste-less), but I will go back, and I would still recommend it.

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2.0Dined on July 5, 2016

When the food came out I was told they were out of gluten free pasta. I'm not sure what they were going to serve me. Additionally, there was nothing done to make up for this poor performance by the staff. I had to watch our party of 9 eat while I waited for them to correct their error. Unacceptable. If the kitchen is out of food they should let the customer know before meals come out. This is restaurant 101. I will never recommend this restaurant. If they can't do this simple task then it's hopeless. The customer was not treated special.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2016

Great dinner for a large group. The staff could not have been more friendly & catered to our every need.

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3.0Dined on May 16, 2016

Sat outside, which was great on a weekday spring evening. The service was good but the food is mediocre for the price. I expected better given the rave reviews from other diners. We had the scallops and the frutti di mare. Careful attention is paid to the proteins of each dish but the supporting cast is weak. The pasta sauce tasted like spaghetti-os, and the risotto was dry and needed seasoning. There are surely better places for the price.

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3.0Dined on April 27, 2016

Went in needing dinner while traveling. Attentive service and good basic Italian fare presented attractively. Would go again. good value.

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2016

We wanted a group dinner for our staff and board members who came together from across the country for our Policy Forum. The staff were attentive, respectful, and took care of us well. We would definitely use them again. It is not many restaurants who would respectfully manage a group of 25 so well.

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4.0Dined on April 4, 2016

We had a group of 25+ in town of a Forum we were attending. On short notice Cafe' Paradiso was able to accommodate our large group without breaking us down to smaller tables which was a big plus because many were volunteers that we brought and it gave all a chance to get to know one another. All in our group raved about the quality of the food and left full and very satisfied. The only draw back to the experience is that we had a few plates come out a bit late, but given the size of our group, and the fact there was another group in the room of equal or greater size, this is understandable. Our server handled this quite well and was attentive throughout the evening, making sure we were all good. We will certainly keep this on the short list for future trips to the area. All in all a great dining experience

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2016

I am in this neighborhood once a year for a conference, and every single year I come here for the Saturday dinner. The food is delicious and the staff is attentive! It can be noisy on the main level, but you could call ahead and ask to be seated upstairs if you prefer quiet. Enjoy!

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4.0Dined on January 30, 2016

First experience here to enjoy The Jazz Boyz. Food was excellent. The feeling was very intimate.

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5.0Dined on January 8, 2016

We had a nice dinner here that was not very expensive for 9 people. We were glad we reserved ahead of time since there was only one table on the lower level that was appropriate for a mobility impaired person. Don't let the reviews that say it's expensive fool you. We had 3 bottles of wine, two mixed drinks, two appetizers and two desserts with the 9 entrees for less than $350!

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3.0Dined on December 11, 2015

Café Paradiso is a good restaurant. The menu has a large selection from appetizers to entrees - something for everyone.
The food was good - not great. The service was fine and the ambiance is nothing to write about.

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4.0Dined on October 22, 2015

Excellent food. Busy and popular place. Were out of the sea bass Tow of our group really wanted.

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5.0Dined on October 5, 2015

We had a work group of ten. The staff was attentive and the food was very good. They have a short but decent wine list. Being the host for my group, I asked for feedback and heard only positive comments. I would definitely recommend.

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5.0Dined on June 26, 2015

We had a lovely summer evening sitting on the patio. Attentive service. Nice wine list with moderate bottles. My husband and I both had the veal saltimbocca which was well-prepared. My daughter had the chicken parmesan and we wished we had gotten that! Fresh fettucini, well-prepared chicken and a well-balanced marinara. Tiramisu was well-done as well. A very happy, lingering evening.

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2015

Group of 15. Had a great time. Service was outstanding! Food was wonderful. We WILL be back!!

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4.0Dined on May 13, 2015

Food was good but not enough food for the money. Service was just ok. Setup of restaurant is awful. Staff is brusque. Decent enjoyment.

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4.0Dined on May 13, 2015

We dine here often because it never disappoints. The veal dishes are wonderful as is the Pasta La Casa. The wait staff is always attentive and friendly.

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5.0Dined on May 7, 2015

I had my first dinner at Cafe Paradiso, and wow I'm glad I did! Euro contemporary vibe is very inviting, with eurotechno music. I'd add in some Italoam female vocals (Laura Pausini) though. Attention to detail...perfectly filled olive oil and balsamic in spotless bottles! The sea scallops with lump crab over spinach was awesome. I could smell the sweetness of them before they got to my table and pan seared to perfection. Great arugula salad came out on ice cold plate, the way it should be done. Excellent wine list with nice prices. Service was very friendly, attentive and prompt. No complaints whatsoever. Paradiso is a great find and I will return with friends for sure!

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2.0Dined on November 15, 2014

Very disappointed with my experience. I dined here two nights in a row, first with a group of 3 and second with a large group of 25.

With the small group, my food came out cold, i sent it back. Another person's pasta came out stuck together in one big clump. At $20 a plate, it was very overpriced (for a clump of pasta with basil on it).

My experience with the large group reservation was even worse. We called the restaurant a month ahead to make the reservation, and agreed to do a pre frix menu specifically so that our group could have separate checks. The kitchen and wait staff we not propared for our group - the dinner took over 3 hours. And the restaurant didn't let us do separate checks (even thought that's what we agreed on beforehand). It was a stressful and unpleasant experience.

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3.0Dined on November 3, 2014

Was expecting more from the reviews, overall good not sure if I woudl return as there are many other options.

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5.0Dined on August 29, 2014

Café Paradiso expertly handled a group of 14 diners. The food was sent to the table quickly, wine was poured when needed, special dining needs were accommodated. The noise level was pleasantly conducive to good conversation. Food was excellent, and reasonably priced. Nice décor. Overall, this was a very nice dining experience. Thanks!

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3.0Dined on June 21, 2014

Had a nice meal. The service was very good, very personable, and not intrusive. The food was good, but not exceptional.

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5.0Dined on May 22, 2014

I came here for my graduation dinner with a bunch of out of town family. There werea lot of picky eaters in the bunch, but for once no one had anything but compliments about the food! The homemade pasta was absolutely delicious. I had the seafood ravioli, and the lobster sauce was so good I asked for more bread so I could get all of the sauce. The only thing I would recommend is trying to sit outside if possible. The inside of the restaurant seemed a little dark, and kind of had ugly carpets. We sat outside though, so none of that mattered. Overall, I will definitely be coming back!

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5.0Dined on May 18, 2014

The Woodley Park area is starved for good food. Caffe Paradiso comes to the rescue. Try the grilled fish or the linguine with clams or the thinly sliced veal in white wine and capers. The staff is fabulous. Inside seating or outside seating, this place works!

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4.0Dined on May 16, 2014

The sea bass was perfect. Good wine choices. Service was slow.

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5.0Dined on May 11, 2014

Very accommodating staff, very good food, and a very convenient location close to major hotels and the Zmetro.

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2014

We visit Cafe Paradiso on our visits to DC. The staff is always welcoming and the food always excellent. The location is also convenient and enjoyable for outside dining.

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2.0Dined on May 10, 2014

My companions and I really wanted to like this place but the fact of the matter is the food was mediocre. The pastas were lacking good flavor. My friend's pasta sauce (marinara) was tasteless, not seasoned. My vegetable lasgna was goopy, if that's a word. I suspect it had been around a while, the consistency ws pasty and not fresh.
The rosemary bread was good. The service was ok, waited a long while to take our order but they were busy.

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3.0Dined on March 3, 2014

Visit Cafe Paradiso every year, as its within walking distance of an annual meeting location. This vsit was not as great as we have enjoyed in the past. The weather may have contributed. Two of us had Veal that we both found a bit "greasy" and not tender. Pretty sure we were mistakenly poured caffeinated coffee too.

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4.0Dined on February 21, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit!

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2014

This was a perfect spot for our Valentine's Day dinner this year.

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4.0Dined on January 27, 2014

We actually ate here twice while at meetings in Washington DC. It is a short walk from either the Omni or the Marriott Wardman Park hotels. Dining is generally a half level up, which on cold nights is great, because any cold air entering the front door stays below the dining level. Intimate atmosphere, great service and very good food.

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4.0Dined on January 15, 2014

When I feel like a good veal scallopini or a delectable moist salmon on a bed of soft potatoes, I walk over to Woodley Park and go to Cafe Paradiso. My table mates tell me everything else is also good but I never vary.

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5.0Dined on December 10, 2013

Was in DC for business and went out at 8:39p on a Tues night looking for a decent meal. Looked at posted menus outside and saw Cafe Paradiso had positive Open Table reviews. I was very glad I stopped. I knew I wanted fettucine but not exactly what I saw on the menu. The waiter offered his suggestion of substituting fettucine for rigatoni in a dish with broccoli rabe, olive oil, grilled shrimp and shaved parmesean. It was delicious! The bread had rosemary in it, and with the olive oil, was a perfect started. Dessert was a house made cannoli; crispy shell and delicious filling. Service was prompt without feeling rushed. A perfect meal!

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2.0Dined on November 23, 2013

The waiter was rude and would not bring the check when it was asked for at the table. Instead, he tried to upsale on coffee and dessert--and I understand there is nothing wrong with that--but then went off in a huff when we said we did not want any and made us wait 20+ minutes for the check.

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