El Sapo Cuban Social Club

4.3
170 reviews
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$30 and under
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Cuban
EL SAPO, Cuban Social Club is a hip, festive, forward-thinking Cuban restaurant, and the first of its kind in the D.C. metro area: bright, open, and brimming with energy, fresh mojitos, upbeat music and bold island food.
What 170 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Energetic
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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E
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful evening! The food was delicious - and served, family-style, in way that encouraged sharing and conviviality. The staff were warm and hospitable. A great addition to the dining scene.

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P
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Authentic Cuban food with excellent presentation. Sabor!!!

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S
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service. Looking forward to going back.

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AK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great vibe, great food using Cuban/Caribbean ingredients. Great drinks. A little loud on Friday night.

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S
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Tried to have.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Dinner with friends was challenging because we had to shout. The meat portion of the food was excellent but offered portions of bread and rice were inadequate and extra was hard to get even after multiple requests of different staff, so we ended up eating the main course cold. Great potential here, but service basics need to remedial attention.

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

THE best! Simply incredible. Silver Spring rocks.

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I
Detroit
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the food to the atmosphere, to the service, all around solid. My girl and I had a great time on Valentines!

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L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 5

The fixed menu made no sense. I wish I had been told the rules when making the reservation. My date has special dietary needs, but instead of being able to order what we each like, we had to order the same food.

Also, our waiter did not seem to understand food allergies and take them seriously. That and the staff was clearly overwhelmed.

That said the food was excellent but for a $250 meal, I would have expected far more flexibility and better service.

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amaaaazzzzing. Definitely going back

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Good atmosphere, food was good!

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service, nice aesthetics, reasonable pricing. Full house made for a very pleasant Valentine’s Day celebration. Much larger venue than expected. Will definitely return.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Food was average and menu very limited. Nothing special

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W
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere, amazing food and drinks. I would go back and recommend it. For my visit, I shared family style for appetizer, main courses and MOCHA CUBANA dessert which was worth the 25 minutes wait (although I think it came out faster than that).

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DA
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I had the Cuban Rice Bowl and thought it was outstanding. All of our dishes were delicious. I also enjoyed the special Manhattan on offer--made with rum.

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M
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

It was my first time at El Sapp and I was not disappointed. The food was quite good, but the best part was dessert. The churros were some of the best that I have had, and pairing it with the like whipped cream was transcendent. Better even than chocolate; I am not sure that I can go back!

Also, our waiter was phenomenal, a delight to have. Thank you for a great experience!

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p
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 5

Excellent ceviche, but the vaca frita was very disappointing

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e
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is fine, but everything is overpriced. They charge like I was at a restaurant in downtown D.C perhaps a fancy restaurant in NY city.

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NP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It's a great place; on the loud and expensive side.
For cocktails I had the "Mi Cortadito Martini" and my husband had the"Manhattan de Miami".... Both excellent.
For entree I had "Gringo Pobre", and it was delicious except for the fried egg that in my opinion was out of place.  My husband had the Puerco Asado and it was awesome.
The "Tostones" were dry... Too bad.
The dessert for me was the best part... We had an order of "Churros"... OMG so moist and delicious.
It would have been nice if they would have given "Cuban Bread with Butter or Olive Oil" as a starter.
The service was good.  For a Sunday evening the place was packed.
I recommend this place.

Additional:. We ordered Cuban Sandwich to go... They were not Cuban sandwiches... Although the ingredients were there, it was the wrong bread and the sauce was wrong... Cuban sandwiches do not have siracha mayonnaise spread... Only mustard, and it must be Cuban Bread (take it from a Cuban). Other Cuban restaurants in the area manage to find Cuban Bread.

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MO
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice spot and great for dinner. A bit loud for casual conversation but well worth the visit. I look forward to returning in the summer months when the doors are opened to the street.

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L
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

The food was quite good and the service was prompt and attentive. However, the tables are very small and close together and the noise level was unacceptable, had to almost shout to be heard. We would have enjoyed the restaurant but because of the noise and the cramped space we will not return.

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

Wonderful experience. The owner greeted us upon our arrival. Loved the live music and the food!!

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AG
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

It was ok. Too noisy. Service was excellent. Food was just ok.

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d
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

a little pricey for silver spring. probably wouldn't make it a habit though i would love to- food was fabulous.

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MR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was excellent and we liked the vibe of the place! There was live music the night we were there which was a bit loud. Service was good, but on the slower side. I'll definitely go back for their happy hour!

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g
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Exciting Cuban dishes that delight the senses. Live music by a female singer provides atmosphere. Staff, including the owner, are super friendly.

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H
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Had a great time there. The music was nice and easy to listen to. Food was excellent and very tasty. Would go again but the wait time was too long. Call at 5pm for a 7:30 table and they where super busy that the earliest was at 9:30.. bit well worth the wait. . Good food and nice music. Thanks

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R
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

We went on a Saturday night. Were met by the owner at the door - he is charming! Highly recommend making a reservation. There was an hour wait if no reservation. Service was attentive. Food was great. Enjoyed the Tuna and Ginger Ceviche, Fresh Cod Stew with rice, Charred Salmon, Sardines (if you like them). Get the churros to share for dessert and have an espresso too, its great coffee!
Enjoy!!

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CD
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loveed it! I’m Dominican and personally it was one of the best pescado al vapor that I’ve had! The drinks and the yuca was amazing, I will be back soon.

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N
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food and service, but TOO Loud for my comfort...

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VA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

The noise level was extreme. Had to yell across the table in an effort to have a conversation. Ordered the picadillo, a staple Cuban dish. It was more of a sweet ragú; it was fine but nothing special. I was very underwhelmed.

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L
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

If you are looking for authentic Cuban cuisine this is not the place to go. I would reccomend the mojitos and pan con lechon. The food is pricey and if the noise level is pretty high. Overall, the food was good and the service too.

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JL
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 1

We did not have a good service at El Sapo. The waiter was too busy to check on us and we had to call at least 5 times during the meal to get our request. He was not only forgot to bring the silverware and even forgot about our order and had to remind him. The food came out slow, we spent at least 3 hours to finish our 3 courses meal. We ordered ROPA VIEJA and the beef stew was way too salty. The restaurant is very loud and noisy so hard to talk to our friend. I won't recommend to anyone for this restaurant.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, welcoming service, bumping on a Sunday night -- fun, celebratory and convivial!

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H
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything about El Sapo was really top flight, except for the extremely loud music which really should absolutely be amplified at a much lower level. The music itself was nice, but one of the real pleasures of eating at a restaurant is conversation with others, which was almost impossible. We will probably give El Sapo another try, but if the music remains at this extreme level, that will be our last visit.

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AB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Lovely food, staff was overwhelmed, and the noise level was crazy. I love the fact that they want to do live music but on a Saturday at 7 it just adds to the general noise.

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RM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very lively scene and great food - good sized portions too.

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L
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

Our experience was so disappointing. I had heard good things about El Sapo, but the best I can say is that the bartender makes a mean mojito! I would ONLY return for that, and it would have to be when they first open as the noise level increases as it gets more crowded. To top that off, there was a live musician playing during dinner, so a conversation was out of the question. I understand the social club thing, but maybe that could start much later...after most folks have had dinner...maybe around 10-11PM. The cod in the bacalau was tough (overcooked?) and had charred bread crumbs on top, which was not necessary. Tomato and avocado salad was tasteless, and a nice lime vinaigrette would have fixed that problem. Overall, my main complaint was the noise level during dinner. Hope the owner tweaks the concept, and improves on the food. Neat place to go to with goood location. I WANTED it to be great, but sadly, it was not.

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AC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Had a good time at El Sapo Cuban Social Club. Prices are a bit on higher side than some of the other restaurants in the area, for two it came out to about $120, while at other restaurants I usually expect to stay below $70 for two. The main course of our dinner was rather plain, like something I would cook at home. The appetizers and desserts were pretty good. There’s not much selection of drinks for someone not looking to drink alcohol, although the mojito was pretty good. Our waiter was very good and gave us very friendly service. The noise in the restaurant is a bit high and is difficult to have a conversation with your date but the overall setting was fun.

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AH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a wonderful meal and very good service. The restaurant week selections were excellent and the complimentary mojito was a nice surprise. We went at a very busy time (Friday night) and the noise level was extreme. It was virtually impossible to hold a conversation with the people at our table. There is no acoustic buffer at all. The noise goes well beyond “energetic”. We hosted out of town guests who were impressed with the exceptional food, but would think twice about returning due to the uncomfortable noise levels. These are people who are not averse to lively bar environments and loud music venues. The bottom line for us is that the food and service were excellent, but we would not return at any busy time. I hope the management seriously considers altering the physical environment to make a more pleasant dining environment for your guests.

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