Evening Star Cafe
The Evening Star Cafe is a rollicking neighborhood gem located in the heart of Del Ray. Opened in 1997, Evening Star is well known for its friendly vibe and convivial setting and continues to shine with a fiercely loyal crowd. Led by Executive Chef Inti Villalobos-Coady, General Manager Aislin Kavaldjian and Assistant General Manger Eloise Clapp, Evening Star combines friendly, gracious service with a seasonal, American menu featuring produce grown on our rooftop garden and by local farmers throughout the region.
The Evening Star also offers a stunning array of nearly 1,500 wines, all of which are available next door at Planet Wine Shop. Our bars, The Majestic Lounge and the No. 9 Lounge (opening September 2021!), each offer a total of 20 craft draft and cask beers, plus plenty of room to gather with friends.
Please note that we are CLOSED Monday & Tuesday
Indoor Dining at Evening Star Cafe
Multiple dates availableJoin us in our jewel box of a dining room at experience the classic spirit of one of Del Ray's longest-tenured restaurants! With distanced, limited seating available nightly and during brunch, join us for an intimate dining experience for parties of 2 to 8 maximum.
Front Porch Beer Garden
Multiple dates availableJoin us and dine in our turf lined, true al fresco area in our front porch and back yard areas! This section includes two tops viewing the street (great for people watching!) and our more secluded turf-lined back yard beer garden. These tables are in the center of our outdoor area and are truly outdoors - we have limited umbrellas for this area but we cannot guarantee weather-proof seating. **Please note that this reservation does not include Private Cabana Dining.**
Private Cabana Dining at the Front Porch
Multiple dates availableThese gorgeous distanced cabanas are perfect for parties of 2-7 guests. Covered on four sides with billowing canvas, these are the ultimate private dining seats - with a view of the entire beer garden, enough space to view the projector on movie night, and spacious room to spread out or grab a high chair for the kids. These seats are weather resistant, but not truly waterproof - so dress for the forecast!
- Surfaces sanitized between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
- Contactless payment available
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Front Porch Mussels
PEI mussels, roasted tomatoes, garlic, white wine, basil, grilled bread & jalapeno butter
Korean bbq sauce, miso mayo, sesame seeds
demi glace, arugula, pecorino fries
As a group of four, their “cabana experience”
seemed like the perfect option on an early (6:30) Sunday evening. Seating was prompt, and an obliging waiter offered to take our order rather than insist that we use the QR code to order online. Then he disappeared. For a long time. A light rain had come and gone when the waiter returned. He took both our drink and food orders. We had had ample time to contemplate the options. When the food and drinks arrived, more or less simultaneously, everything was delicious, and my salmon was beautifully plated. Alas, along with the food came a pair of flies. A dumpster was nearby. Then the serious rain arrived, and the cabana proved a somewhat inadequate shelter, but far better than an umbrella. The intrepid staff of runners continued to come and go despite getting soaked. Our waiter was not among them. We wondered if having ordered via the QR code would have provided a way to pay and leave. Eventually, we snagged another waiter who brought us our checks. The “cabana experience” was not one we are eager to repeat, despite the excellent food.
It’s a good, casual neighborhood place… but it is time to get rid of the online ordering as the only option.
Hi Wonderful, Thank you for your review. We do offer full-service dining inside and also outside by request. We can't wait to see you again soon! -Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manger, email@example.com
This is one of our go-to restaurants, but this visit was disappointing. Food and service were both lacking. (Wasn’t crowded—there was only one other party in the restaurant.)
The app ordering was very frustrating. We couldn’t get what we needed/wanted.
Outdoor dining service was terrible. Had to scan a UR code to get anyone to come to the table. Took them 15 minutes to actually come to our table after using their system to notify them. Food is average. Wine list had 5 wines total even though they are attached to a wine shop! Evening Star used to be a go to place for ambiance and food but they need to refresh everything including their menu.
Hi ChrisW, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback. I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience today. We pride ourselves on always providing a 5 star experience to every guest who dines with us. I'm proud to say that we are still a neighborhood favorite after so many other restaurants failed to re-open post-COVID. If you choose to dine with us again, I hope we can live up to your expectations. Eloise Clapp, Assistant General Manger firstname.lastname@example.org
To be honest, I am disappointed in Evening Star. The place just isn't the same restaurant that it was five years ago. I understand that post-COVID everyone is coming back and doesn't quite have the same level of service. But it doesn't seem like Evening Star is even trying to capture the service and food excellence they once had. Instead, they seem to be cashing in on their reputation and name. Our appetizer (Crostini) was tiny and only came in three pieces. Both of our cocktails were ok..but frankly we could make better drinks at home. The drinks lacked creativity and flair. The glasses were not chilled, the margarita was watery and the froze was so tart we could barely drink it. I would recommend that you provide appetizers that are not so sparse and are large enough to allow people to share (even numbers). My fried chicken sandwich was not equal to what I might have gotten at McDonald's or Chic--fil-e... it was messy and the sauce was too spicy and ran all over the place when I tried to eat it. The pork bellies and clams were pretty bad too - the clams were tough and could barely be found amongst the plentiful lentils...and the pork belly was 75% fat and very little substance. We decided not to stay for dessert and just went across the street to Dolce and Bean. It was also REALLY LOUD inside. I feel like they are still serving a takeout menu and charging dine-in prices. I would rather go a block down the street to Del Ray Cafe where they seem to have gotten back on their feet.
Hi JeffreyM The past year has been very challenging for us and we're very excited to have re-opened when so many of our peers in the industry did not. We're slowly working back up to the volume of menu items we've served in the past but it's been a long process. We are really proud of our unique menu concept; our chef works very hard to keep the menu fresh and updated. Thank you for your feedback - I hope that we can live up to your expectations next time Eloise Clapp, Assistant General Manager
The food was OUTSTANDING! Service was great-loved what is happening in the kitchen!
Thank you so much for your kind review. I will pass your compliment on to the chef. We can't wait to see you again soon! Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manger email@example.com
Really enjoyed the cabanas. Charlotte is fantastic!
Hi! Charlotte IS fantastic. Thank you for your sweet review and I will be sure to pass this note along to Charlotte and we can't wait to see you again soon! Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
A great evening overall. The service and food were superior as always. Just one disappointment that there is not a greater selection of bourbons. Other than that, a wonderful experience.
The smash burger us delicious! Can order wine from the wine store next door to have with dinner for a small corkage fee.
Hi Rich, So glad you enjoyed your dinner!! We can't wait to see you again soon Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manager
As always, the food was amazing! The smoked corned beef hash was wonderful with plentiful amount of lean corned beef. Eggs were cooked perfectly! Hollandaise sauce was terrific! Obviously everything was home-made! The apple crumble had a nice level of tartness to go with sweet topping! The Evening Star cafe remains one of my favorite restaurants in the area.
Hi there, Thank you so much for your awesome review. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed our food!! We can't wait to see you again soon -Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manger, Evening Star Cafe
Brucnh wasn't great. I know dinner is good though.
Hi there, I would love to hear more about your experience with our brunch and to hopefully make this up to you. Can you please email me at email@example.com and we can chat? Thanks! Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manger
The food was delicious and it was great to be able to indicate food allergies right in the order. Be thoughtful about how and when you order because you are using your phone. I would definitely recommend ordering each course separately because our food - 3 courses worth and drinks - were all brought out at once. We also never had anyone from the staff check on us once in an hour, so I would also recommend requesting how to ask staff for something when you are seated. The only interaction we had beyond someone dropping off our food was a person who quickly walked by and took my not quite finished drink glass without asking and never refilled it. Also, the front patio had very loud music that made it almost impossible to carry on a conversation. The tables in the front are unfortunately not social distanced very well and I was less than 3 feet from the person at the table next to me. Definitely request the back patio if you are eating outside.
Hi AlexLocal Thank you for your review. The online ordering system allows for you to request almost anything, including a visit from a staff member if you have any questions! The CDC, and subsequently, Virginia, removed social distancing mandates on May 28, 2021. I'm sorry to see you only had a one star experience when we strive to provide 5 star experiences for all guests. I hope we can live up to your expectations next time. Eloise Clapp, Assistant General Manger firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a fun time sitting on the Frontporch enjoying some drinks and snacks. What would have made the experience even better was if all the tables had umbrellas. At 430 the sun really bakes down on the outside seating area and only a handful of the tables offer shade from umbrellas.
A very cute neighborhood spot - We'll definitely visit again. Their outdoor dining setup is tucked away from the street and very creative. Staff was very helpful and attentive.
The food was all cold. It came out so quick that it clearly was not made to order. Ambiance of the outdoor dining was fantastic though.
Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear about your food experience. We pride ourselves on our food and your food should never be cold. I do apologize. Can you please email me at email@example.com so I can find out more about your visit and try to make this right? Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manager, Evening Star Cafe
My only suggestion is to figure out how to get a breeze to blow through the cabanas. When we held the curtains open, we were much more successful!
Hi Jodi- Thank you for your review. We are constantly looking for ways to make our guests more comfortable during their dining experience and I will pass this along to our operations team. We hope to welcome you back again soon! Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manger, Evening Star Cafe
Evening Star is always a great option for brunch. Food was great, service was prompt and friendly, and we enjoyed the outdoor cabana seating.
Sandy- Thank you so much for your awesome review. We can't wait to see you again soon! -Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manger, Evening Star Cafe
The dining experience was lovely and the method they've set up with purchasing food for tables is pretty simple. Will definitely revisit.
Katie- Thanks so much for your review. I'm glad to hear that you found our ordering platform easy to use. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Eloise Clapp Assistant General Manager, Evening Star Cafe
The beer garden is cool and front porch cabanas is neat and private. The food was good but not great. Service was was okay. Customers use the web app to order and ask questions which is not an issue but the staff that came around couldn't really answer any questions, which made the process of ordering and getting service slow. But the staff was very nice. We enjoyed ourselves and will be back!
This used to be a favorite, but has clearly suffered due to Covid. Hopefully they will recover.
We arrived and the restaurant was very busy. Our initial service was a little slow and our drinks took a long time to arrive. But we mentioned the delay to the manager and our concerns were quickly addressed. Food was excellent and the rest of our evening was perfect.
Burger was horrible. Covered in cheese sauce and butter. Way too rich.
Lovely meal - great food and service at a manageable price!
highly recommend their brunch! very cute spot. great service. i had a lovely time with my gals
awesome in every way!
Really nice service. Good food. BRING BACK THE SHRIMP AND GRITS!
We have tried to support this neighborhood restaurant during the past year. It was previously, consistently good, and we could count on this when we dined there regularly, and even brought family and friends. I do know that it is still a difficult time for restaurants, but there is really no excuse for the quality of dishes, such as wilted salad, when costs have not been lowered to reflect the lack of interest in providing service and quality food. We have had attentive runners who delivered food, but no one returned to check of our dinner.
I hope that efforts will be made to find a focus for this neighborhood restaurant.
We sat on the front porch. The greeter was awesome and super friendly and the ambience outside was great (except for a few cicadas) i love the system of ordering and paying through the app at your table. I was disappointed In the service I put conflicting information in the app for my order so instead of the waitress being willing to make it right it was an attitude of “too bad” you selected “no egg” and “scrambled”... so no egg for you! Also there were other elements of my dish that were listed but i did not receive. When I inquired about those items i was told there would be an extra charge. I was like .. just forget it. I was very disappointed in the lack of customer service.
Awesome music, drinks, food, and outside patios space
The ambience is great, but the food is meh. When you combine the okay service with the hefty price tag- it seriously isn’t worth it. Why is their food so damn expensive?? It seriously isn’t that great.
Fantastic service for such a busy night and the food was perfect! Highly recommend the fried cauliflower and the pork belly with clams
Food very salty. Very little wait staff interaction. Was told 10 minutes after being seated that it was last call to order food for brunch. Dining took nearly empty except for staff cleaning. Bathrooms absolutely dirty and gross.
Loved the ability to sit outside on a gorgeous day, mostly in the shade! Felt COVID safe with their distancing and protocols. The food was great and I appreciated the ability to get brunch a la carte (& the mimosas by the bottle of champagne!) It was a lovely experience.
Using the app was cumbersome. Staff was not available to help. I don’t mind the automatic 18% service charge but there was NO service. The few times we saw someone they were fine. It just took forever to track someone down. App makes it hard to order drinks and food in stages. We went with another couple. It really was a disappointing experience.
It was a nice evening with good drinks, but they need more vegan options on the menu.
Loved dining in the cabana on a beautiful day, especially with my dog in tow. We liked the concept of a contactless app to order service HOWEVER ONLY if it actually works. My mimosa and food came out at the same time and far before my companion’s order, but I know now to put in drink orders separately if I don’t want them at once. My companion never received her drink after they brought out the wrong drink (a bottle instead of a single glass was brought to the table), and after we both requested a server come to the table via the app which never happened. We also asked for a water refill which we also never received. By the time we were able to flag down an actual person, our 90 minute table limit was up and all that could be done was to refund the drink. I’m guessing staffing is down because of the new contactless ordering, but it seems additional staff is needed to support.
This was not the Evening Star I remember from before the pandemic. I understand many things have changed but this was most unusual. The host did acknowledge we had arrived by making snide comment to please not touch the reservations ipad. The ipad was sitting on the table facing the public and I simply pointed at it. I am not a child and had no intention of touching it. He disappeared and over 10 minutes passed when we saw him delivering drinks to a table in the back area of the outdoor seating. All the while I am seeing no other wait staff. Again he passed by, did acknowledge we were there but we were still not seated. Shortly after another man arrived and took us to our table. He explained that all ordering was via the app. On the app we found that we needed to push a button even if we wanted water refills. The menu was more like bar food than I had recalled from many visits over the many years Evening Star has been there. In the time we were at the table we saw no wait staff in the dining room at all. We did not stay for anymore of this experience. Had a great dinner across the street. Very sad to see Evening Star is not what it once was.
It was perfect! We were seated under a pergola draped in white canvas, looking at the other tables. Ordering was through the phone, no problem with splitting the bill or handling credit cards. Through the app you could ask for more water, extra silverware, just about everything. And they were super fast and responsive. Bravo!
Good and drinks were great as usual. The volume of outside music was a bit loud. Overall it was a good experience and we will be back.
Evening Star Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (703) 549-5051.
Evening Star Cafe is rated 4.3 stars by 1310 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.