Barking Mad Cafe

4.4
366 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
We told people we offer super premium coffee and scratch-baked sweets and savories in north Gaithersburg, and they assumed we were crazy. We told them we cook in a wood hearth, and they said we were batty. We paired food with specialty cocktails and house infusions, and they thought we were nuts. We revealed the on-site aeroponic, organic garden where we grow vegetables, herbs and edible flowers, and they whispered we were mad as a hatter. And as the lights sparkled above a 100+ seat outdoor patio, they declared us Barking Mad.

Here’s to the mad ones - Jack Kerouac
What 366 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good creative dishes and very good value.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday brunch was lovely!

JB
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Have been to Barking Mad many times (just 2 or 3 people); however we wanted to celebrate a family members B'day & made a reservation for 5 -- on arrival, I was greeted by numerous amounts of "I don't know what I'm doing" by host - reminded them of my reservation - & had to wait while a table area was thrown together for us (last minute ?) in an area that was cramped - had to flag down server - repeatedly ask for individual plates for appetizers - & request food order be taken. I've worked (many years) in the restaurant/food industry as a server & I understand last minute issues & overcrowding - however, we all were somewhat unsettled by the lack in service and accommodation - perhaps, it's best if one comes in with a 2 to 3 person party - I'm not sure I would want to return with another large party (even with a reservation) - we really loved the cuisine & in the past have had great service. Just was a bit disappointed after this last get together.

l
Washington DC
45 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Nothing special food-wise. Service is slow and not great. It's like they don't care for your business. Two of us ordered a side of fruit, and the waiter decided the fruit that comes with the kids' meal is all we needed, because they were running low on berries. Hostess is rude, again, seems like being served here is an annoyance to the staff. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes under sooner than later.

FB
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

This place is one of our local brunch favorites, but this visit was rather disappointing. It seemed that the restaurant was understaffed, and it took a while to get the items we requested. We had also ordered alcoholic drinks, but the waiter didn't tell us until 20 minutes after we ordered that alcohol is not served until 10 a.m. Had we known this, we would have gone somewhere else as we were celebrating a birthday. The food was still exquisite, but unfortunately the service and attention you usually give your guests was severely lacking this time around.

r
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food and service are always top-notch. However, as we have stated in the past the music is entirely too loud - especially for breakfast.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant! The service is great and even when it is crowded the wait never seems too long. The only reason for 4 rather than 5 stars is dogs in the outside dining area. Dog hair will get in your food which is not only unsanitary and disgusting but just unpleasant. I understand some people want to take their dogs out and that’s great, up to the point where other people have to bear the cost. The solution: eat inside. So not a terribly big deal, just an inconvenience during the fair weather months.

C
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Barking Mad Cafe is one of my new favorite restaurants! The food is fabulous, the service is great and it's just a fun atmosphere!

M
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Service was slow and the food was mediocre. We felt forgotten about as it took almost 20 minutes to get our drinks and our service rarely made an appearance.

C
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely great! Can't wait to go back! Fabulous venue!

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

The only saving quality of this visit was the entree. Went at 10:30 on a Saturday morning, sat outside. Plenty of empty tables so not that busy but the service was horrible. Took 20 min to order drinks and another 20 to order entrees. Each time we had to seek the server out. Then desserts took 15 min to come out but didn’t have half of the ingredients on them! Terrible experience. Won’t be back for a long time.

CM
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A great place for lunch...a very good seasonal watermelon salad and tasty chicken sandwich with wonderful French fries.

MT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite brunch places in Gaithersburg. Always a great time when I go.

JR
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends and I had a great time. The server was accommodating! We came around the last half hour of lunch. The server still served us when the lunch section was closed.

P
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Restaurant was packed-patio seating was closed due to excessive heat. Noise level was high and service was a little slow, but our server was very good. We were very happy with the quality of the food.

EO
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Soooo loud. It’s hard to hear the person across the table.

CL
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is good. Love the bottomless mimosas. The staff is very friendly. Our chairs and floor have been dirty each time we have gone.

LT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

My only complaint is that they need more staff during Sunday brunch. I did sit a the table with my guests for a while before anyone came and took our drink order. So please consider more staff especially during the summer month for brunch.

DM
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Food was good, but service was overall poor, floor manager clearly has the wrong attitude and this trickles down to disengaged servers. We watch out food sit on the line ready to be dropped for almost 10 minutes, when we asked the server she said “oh the food runner will get it” and walked away. Food ended up being cold.

LM
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place, consistently good food and a fun vibe all around! Nice people too!

DB
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I can't believe I've never been here before. I was there for brunch and there were easily 5 things I wanted to eat. They were super helpful with our food preferences/avoidances. The beignets were delicious! I can't wait to go back. My friends and I decided we needed to do a reoccurring monthly there.

PR
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We regularly visit Barking Mad Cafe because of the good food and service. We often take friends and family for breakfast and occasionally dinner.

M
Washington DC
84 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We usually really enjoy meals at Barking Mad, but were disappointed this time. Once we were seated it took a very long time, about 15 minutes, for a server to come to our table. Then we waited for food to arrive for quite awhile. I ordered the new wild mushroom toast. I was very disappointed that the bread was saturated. I ended up scraping the tasty mushrooms and cheese off the bread and eating it with the eggs. My husband was very pleased with the eggs rancheros and our side salads were nice. Our server not attentive and the hostess ended up getting me a refill for my drink. I hope that this was just a bad day and future visits will be better.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was tasty and it was nice and quite inside even though there was a band playing outside. We split some appetizers with the cauliflower, guac, and calamari. Ate the BBQ pizza which was great

OT
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We go here often and Iris is our favorite staff member. They do try to keep the menu fresh but need to work on their desserts

EW
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

I sat outside. The food and coffee were good but crisper waffles would have made it excellent.

The staff were very friendly and the bussing was good but the outdoor servers need to be more on top of the coffee situation. I ordered a regular coffee and was there long enough for it to be refilled twice but didn’t get asked if I wanted a refill till the end. OTOH I really enjoyed not being rushed, so just know that people drinking regular coffee (not a special drink) want more coffee.

DA
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The problem I had was the wait time. I made reservations for 12:30 and didn’t get seated until 1. I even showed up 10 min early for my reservation. I even watched other people who got there later than i did, get seated before me it was ridiculous. But once I got seated my servers were nice and the food was good.

OT
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The only complaint I have is that I had to stand in line for 20 mins just to check in & I had a reservation!

DM
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

I sent my daughter and her friend because the reviews looked so good. I am not sire if they were treated so poorly because they are 20 something, or if this is just how the place is. One ordered French toast and the other pancakes. One a coffee drink and the other tea. First the good, the coffee and tea were good.

They were seated with a view of the kitchen/service area, so one could see what was going on with the food the entire time. She saw the pancakes come out and sit, and sit, and sit. Finally the French toast came out. It was raw, wet soggy bread in the middle and not edible. The waitress told them she had the pancakes remade because they had been sitting so long they were cold. During this entire HOUR, did I mention it took an hour to get pancakes and French toast, a lady they said appeared to be the owner was standing and watching. The only thing the lady did was call the server when one of the girls mentioned the under cooked food. She did get an order of bacon, which She said was "fine". When the server appeared, she said they could order something else to replace the French toast. They replied that they didn't want to wait another hour, so no thank you. This happened again, so they asked for the check. The waitress said she would try to do something for them! At this point my daughter spoke up, and the pancakes and French toast were taken off the bill. Probably fair since one was not edible.

My daughter never complains, but I heard about this.

This is our second interaction with this business. When they first opened my wife and I went in, but they were so rude we left without getting anything. I never would have imagined they could stay in business if that continued, but apparently people are happy to pay to be treated poorly.

SE
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This was the first time I visited this café. Everything was wonderful. The food was very good. The service also. I'm a vegetarian and there were many things on the menu I would like to order on future visits. The only reason I did not give 5 stars for ambiance/noise level was it was pretty noisy in the room but it was at the height of the lunch hour and very busy.

C
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, our experience at Barking Mad Cafe was excellent! Our server was delightful. Our meals were fabulous. The atmosphere was inviting. Thank you for another beautiful afternoon!

OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the live music

OT
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love music made it an awesome experience. Food and service was great

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

My husband and I cane for brunch on Father’s Day. Our reservation was for 12:45pm; but due to a kitchen back up, we didn’t get our food until almost 2pm. However, the waiter kept us informed and made sure that we were well taken care of. The food, as always, was amazing. We’ll definitely come back...just not on a holiday.

B
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We were pleasantly surprised with the menu and food selection. We were sitting in front of the kitchen watching food sit on the counter waiting for the staff to t as ke it to customers table. It was a bit haphazard and slow. The person next to us didn't want her food anymore because she watched it sit on the counter too long. There has to be a better way!
Other than that the food was delicious and generous. We will return.

GT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

I brought my husband here for Father's Day. Thank goodness I made a reservation, it's very busy on Sunday! Food was great, service was a little slow. I would definitely return though.

NW
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food and service was average. Nothing stood out as very great and nothing was bad. It’s a fine place to check out if you are close by but not worth a special trip.

KD
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great variety, generous portions of delicious food. Previously only had the awesome espresso drinks. Regular coffee smooth and piping hot refills were perfect.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

The server we had was great. The food lacked taste. It's a good spot for people who prefer their food to taste bland. The espresso was wonderfully strong and effective but it tasted horrible (like unfiltered tap water was used to prepare it).

IA
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is delicious and I like that they are able to accommodate my vegan diet. The ambiance is great and the customers are a very diverse group of people.

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