Convivial

4.6
505 reviews
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$30 and under
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French American
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
Chef Cedric Maupillier welcomes you to his award winning American Cafe. Located in the heart of the historic Shaw neighborhood, Convivial brings diners to a table alive with the deep and provocative marriage of American and French cuisines.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
French American
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Hours of operation
Sat & Sun Brunch
Sat, Sun 10:30 am–2:30 pm
Sun & Mon Dinner
Mon, Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Tue -Thurs Dinner
Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri & Sat Dinner
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:30 pm
All Night Happy Hour
Mon, Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Weeknight Happy Hour
Tue–Fri 5:00 pm–7:00 pm
Late Night Happy Hour
Tue–Thu 9:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(202) 525-2870
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Cedric Maupillier
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Private party facilities
In addition to a semi-private alcove table seating up to 8, we offer a full private dining room accommodating parties of up to 40 guests.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Located on 8th Street on the corner of 8 and O
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Parking details
We offer the convenience of complementary two-hour parking in our building's dedicated underground parking garage. Parking entrance location on 8 or 9 street between O and P street
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Public transit
Mt. Vernon Square / 7th St. - Convention Center (Green / Yellow Lines)
Shaw - Howard University (Green / Yellow Lines)
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 505 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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OT
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great meal. The beef tartare was amazing, with a slight crunch that gave it a great texture. I ordered the charcoute, and the chef himself came out to tell us about the different sausages. What an honor to meet the person who created this yummy dish. Sauerkraut is often too tangy and overpowering but Chef's homemade version (with accompanying mustard) perfectly complimented the sausage. My husband's bouillabaise overflowed with seafood. He loved it. Such a great experience!

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SP
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Great food, I had the chicken and waffles and it was delish!! Very nice atmosphere!!

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MP
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went here for a FABULOUS brunch with my family and boyfriend on a rainy Sunday morning. Our waiter was absolutely lovely, with an extensive knowledge of the menu. Because I couldn't decide (there are so many great French-inspired options here for brunch!!) I ordered the quiche with a side of potatoes and additional side of bacon. The quiche was massive (but AMAZING, served with mixed greens in the most delicate dressing), the bacon was cooked perfectly, and the potatoes were seasoned and oh so flavorful. All of us ordered coffee (which was good and strong, and paired well with lots of cream), and fully enjoyed the entire meal. The ambiance of the restaurant was cozy and bright, with lots of natural light flooding the area and impeccably clean restrooms. It was perfect for a rainy brunch and the best way to send my parents off from their trip to visit Washington. We will definitely be back!

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MP
Washington DC
58 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

My husband's soft shell sandwich was pretty good but the crab was on the small side.

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GM
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

All of what we expected i.e. good food, group accommodation, were met... except the requested dessert which was made 3 weeks in advance. The substitute was fine and tastefully presented.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We celebrated a friend's birthday with Saturday brunch at Convivial. The food was fantastic, especially the burrata appetizer. We also particularly enjoyed the omelet and shrimp and grits entrees. Our waiter, Elvis, hit every note just right. The atmosphere was relaxed, but "special." They validate parking and the garage has lots of room, which is a real plus in that neighborhood.

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WM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I never used to get excited about French food, but Convivial has changed my mind! Everything we ordered was delicious and inspired and the service was fantastic. We were there to casually celebrate my husband's birthday and we will be back.

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DC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Convivial is a WONDERFUL restaurant! If you haven't tried it, you must!

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JA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful anniversary dinner with an excellent roasted chicken. The wine was inexpensive for the area and atmosphere but was excellent.

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K
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Fun, delicious hot spot to eat AND - bonus - not hard to get a reservation! It should be - it is definitely fit for foodies. High quality ingredients and inventive dishes in the appropriately short memo. Excellent wines and creative cocktails will round out a perfect evening!

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IP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Attentive service and a creative menu that is duly respected. The cooking tended pretty heavily toward the salty and buttery (this is not a complaint, just an observation—it’s French, after all).

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T
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for brunch. We had the salmon to start and shrimp and grits, the burger, and chicken and waffles. Everything was fresh and delicious! Eat here.

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NR
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Best omelette I have ever had.

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TE
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fried Chicken & Waffles are unique and delicious! The cinnamon bun was great too.

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9
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Food was decent but the service was aggressive and rude, even according to the standards of a town where such things are commonplace. This was not my first visit to Convivial and I hope that our experience with the staff was an outlier. I'm not in the habit of writing reviews, but this seemed sufficiently out of the ordinary to merit feedback.

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K
Raleigh
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyed our meal. Visiting from out of town and lived up to my expectations. Every dish we had had lovely flavor and presentation. Will be back.

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A
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, very creative menu. Will absolutely be back.

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L
Washington DC
44 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Extremely disappointing!!!!

Very limited food choices for people with garlic allergy and not accommodating at all. Ended up eating half of a mediocre burger which had to be exchanged as was cooked wrong. Ruined the birthday dinner.

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OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

duck breast and pork butt were amazing. pina colada was great. soft shell crab, chips, burrata were also excellent. esgargot were terrible, big disappointment for a nicer french restaurant as lauded as this one. good experience overall.

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e
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate outside on a lovely, warm evening. We didn't know that Convivial had extended its Restaurant Week, but were really pleased. Food was wonderful and beautifully presented. We haven't been to the restaurant since it first opened, but it was excellent and we hope to return soon.

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DS
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

Went to convivial for a friends birthday. I heard great things about the restaurant and was super excited to try it out for brunch. Bottom line: it was a waste of money. We both ordered the quiche which was a foot long piece of mostly cheese with some onions and a pinch of egg. The crust was super thin and mostly burnt. We shared a cinnamon roll which as decent, but nothing to write home about. One positive was the service: our waitress was attentive and gave us a free whip cream and ice cream birthday dessert.

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AB
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went for dinner during restaurant week (although we have been before) and were lucky enough to sit outside during a beautiful day. The ambiance outside is lovely and I think quieter than inside and we had a great server (Elvis). We only wish we lived closer so we could go more often.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Food was subpar. Service Cen was ok. Not enough attention. Total letdown.

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a
New England
76 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

First visit and will definitely be back! Didn't realize that it was restaurant week but we took advantage of the the special 3 course menu. Everything was terrific...the roast chicken for two was outstanding and the desserts were amazing especially the sticky toffee pudding and the raspberry mousse.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The meal was one of the best meals I have ever eaten!

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d
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Restaurant Week menu. Chef in house. Always a delicious experience.

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MT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

GreT food, original, welcoming, good service. An all around satisfying experience.

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k
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

Highly disappointed in a Convivial tonight.
I came with a group to celebrate a birthday and most everything was mediocre to not great.
Here is a breakdown of what we had:

Panisse: Literally 15 cold, tasteless French fries. And not even good fries. My friend put salt all over them.

Soft Shell Crab: The person who ordered this did like it so there's a plus.

Escargot: So the person did like this, but found it odd. It's served like an egg roll. But he said it was good for someone wanted to try out escargot but too afraid to fully dive in.

Burrata: It was kinda weird. Like a corn soup with a lot of tzatziki and then a huge chunk of cheese. Could have used some crackers or fresh bread and not sure I liked it with the soup.

Jambon Parisien: Umm this is literally sliced ham in bowl. We all laughed when it was served. But to be fair-- it is as described.

Spicy Lamb Sausage: The guy that ordered this said he had it before and loved it. This time he said it was not the same and just ok.

Pork Butt Pasta: flavorless and the two people in our group that ordered it literally left 90% of it in the bowl. The waiter never asked what was wrong. It just wasn't worth eating.

Quiche: This dish came out cold and the person that ordered it works in restaurant industry and had it sent back to me heated. It is also oddly served in a weird strip. She left 1/2 of it on the plate. Again, she said not good.

Gnocchi: Can you call it that? 8 gnocchi pastas in the bowl (yes, I counted), a bed of mushrooms and then some balsamic paste at the bottom leaving the entire dish tasting of balsamic with no other flavor. Don't get me wrong, I love balsamic but I don't want the entire dish to taste of it and seriously there were like no gnocchis in the bowl. The waiter even highly recommended this one to me.

Steak: Described by my sister-in-law as "mediocre and chewy.

Bouillabaisse: This dish was was good according to the friend at table that ordered it. He said it was fresh seafood.

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M
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Next time I'll stick to just the appetizers. They were very good and interesting. The main dishes were okay but nothing special.

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DM
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Took two friends for their August birthdays and was happy it was also Restaurant Week ! We went early at 5:30 and the place was empty /quiet so that was great. Of course it filled up after about 6:30. Creative menu forced us to try some unique items and everything was outstanding: soft shell crab appetizer, pork but w/pasta, spicy lamb sausage, duck, hanger steak, and more. Desserts were also a treat; key lime pie and profiteroles.
We pledged to return on the spot to try some of the other mouth watering offerings.

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T
Washington DC
113 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went for DC Restaurant Week and liked Convivial so much that we went back two days later. I'd have given five stars for food except the squid in one dish was a little rubbery -- not awful, but not the best I've ever had -- and my companion thought the "medium rare" duck breast was way too rare. I gave four stars for service because though the server on the second night, Erin, easily rated five stars+, but the first night's server was just average. We'll definitely return even when Restaurant Week is over.

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u
Washington DC
58 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Convivial serves very good food. I was with a group of four. All of the patrons other than me were very satisfied. I ordered two courses recommended by the waiter. The appetizer and the main course did not live up to the advance billing. My food was more than playable but was very disappointing given the buildup that the waiter had given.

Everyone else at the table was happy with all of the food and recommendations. I’ve been taken to the restaurant before and enjoyed the food and your service. I was with a group of four. Everyone else at the table was pleased with all the food and recommendations. I will return but not hurry back.

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E
London
7 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and great value during restaurant week. We got soft shelled crabs and leek dish for appetizers. Crabs were especially good - cooked just right. We all got duck breast dinner - tasty. The toffee dessert was good, not amazing. Profiteroles were standard.

Definitely will go there again.

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OT
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I had a smoked herring dish that had a complex vegetable accompaniment. Too complex. Next a quiche that was not what I expected but it turned out to be quite good. A worthwhile experience. Dessert was key lime pie. Unfortunately it was covered with kiwi slices. It may look nice but it degrades the taste. The pie itself was really good. I had to have my espresso without sugar because no white sugar was available. Brown sugar spoils the taste of the coffee. Blemishes but it worth goofing back for another dinner.

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BB
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We decided to try a few new places for restaurant week. Convivial was on our list. The atmosphere wasn't that appealing to me. The menu had many choices, more than most rest. week menus. Food was very nice. Nice presentation. I thought our server wasn't overly friendly to us but was all over the 4 people next to us. He told them all about the menu,offered suggestions and told them his favorites. He told us if we had any questions just ask.........

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t
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

highly recommend

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EF
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Disappointed with the service. We were rushed. Everything else was fine.

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JT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and great service. Fried chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits were delicious. Raspberry dessert hit the spot.

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CL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious and great portion size!

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p
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a wonderful dinner last night. Even though it was restaurant week, we had the choice almost of the whole menu. The soft-shell crab appetizer we both had was delicious. The bouillabaisse was the best I've ever had, with fairly big pieces of rockfish, monkfish and sea bass cooked separately and perfectly, as were the clams and mussels, with a light but gutsy fish broth then poured over them at the table. We usually don't have dessert but gratefully finished the floating island and profiterole to the last drop. Three outstanding courses -- that's rare. And the ambience, inside and on the terrace, was great as well. Thanks, chef Cedric Maupillier. You more than justify your Michelin star.

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