El Sapo Cuban Social Club

4.2
65 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Cuban
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Dinner
Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–9:30 pm
Fri–Sun 5:00 pm–10:30 pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(301) 326-1063
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Smart Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Raynold Mendizabal
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private party facilities
For private events, please send us a note at events@elsaporestaurant.com.
Open Google Maps
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
enter on Wayne Ave.
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Public Garage available.
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
Silver Spring Metro Station
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 65 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Energetic
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
TG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Super place the get a good meal and have an enrgy driven time. Love to go there again.

Report
Helpful
r
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

Manager and owner were rude. Poor customer service.

Report
Helpful
J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

It took too long to get our check over 48mins!

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

Reynald has done it again! We are fans of urban butcher, but el sapo hits home—flavors of Cuba are both full and traditional with a contemporary flair. The Vaca Frita for two is divine. The garlicky lemony beef with carmelized onions is tender and melts in your mouth. I loved the music but the noise level is a bit higher for my taste. Bacalao croquetas were tasty and the hot pasión cocktail a sweet, spicy libation. El sapo is on my top 2 list for DTSS along with Buena Vida. A must try. You will keep going back. It is a little pricey but worth it!

Report
Helpful
AG
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic all the way around. Ribs are a must. Churros are insane. Cubano is silly good. Ceviches are can’t miss.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

We went to El Sapo on a Tuesday night. We were one of the first tables in the dining area. There were several people serving us. We ordered drinks, appetizers and dinner. We got our drinks and they were delicious (hibiscus ginger sangria and a mojito). Next came our conch ceviche which was also delicious but spicier then the waiter had described. I had to drink a lot of water and the bussers were quick to refill my water each time. After our appetizers we noticed the dishes coming out to the surrounding tables... one by one everyone who sat after us were getting their entrees. We were patient not to say anything, even though the servers came to our table several times to ask if we wanted more cocktails - but never to explain why our food was not coming out. Finally after about 45 min (both tables next to us were paying their checks!) we asked about our dinner. The server responded with a “let me check!”. I was totally confused because it seemed like they had no idea our food was even missing. The server never came back and we asked another server. When she came back she said it was a kitchen error and said it should be out soon. The servers seemed unphased. We waited another 10 minutes and then got fed up & asked for the check which also never came. So finally we got up and went to the main area to pay for our drinks and appetizers. One of the servers apologized but the host/manager ignored us & nobody tried to fix this blunder before we walked out the door. Very disappointing! :(

Report
Helpful
KE
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

This restaurant has quickly become one of my faves! The food is amazing! Just looking at the menu makes my mouth water!! Everything from the tostones, ceviche, and OMG for the vaca frita!!! I have been three times now, and have not been disappointed once in the food. Love the agua de coco in
The music is loud, however. I have to yell to have a conversation, and so do other patrons. Also, the wait are so efficient, sometimes too - not even giving us a chance to put our fork down before our plates are scooped up.
That being said - I will still go back as there are so many other delicious sounding items on the menu I have yet to try.

Report
Helpful
R
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was very good! Flavorful and served at correct temps. We had a mojito & Manhattan di Miami. The Manhattan is prepared tableside and amazing! It’s a lively place. The Sat night we were there a musician was singing & playing. We had the beef empanadas, Ropa Vieja & Salmon a la Planchs. Two nice size beef empanadas per order. Both entrees come in a large tray that sits on a stand. Presentation is great. However, both entrees only came with one bowl of rice. The salmon came as a long thin charcoal grilled piece. The ropa was served in a small cast iron dish. We felt that the price for the two dishes was high considering the portion sizes and accompanying rice. Nice to see the chef seating guests, checking on tables and joining a group of girls celebrating a birthday. Would def recommend and return to try the appetizers, street food, the awesome drinks & the meals for two.

Report
Helpful
EM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic place and amazing food!!

Report
Helpful
HD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere was great. Food wonderful and staff was very attentive.

Report
Helpful
LC
Mainz
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

They were severely short staffed which resulted inrodoculous waits to get water, food, bill, etc. This is a new place and hosts should be actively asking guests for things to improve, etc. We did not see anything like this happening while we were there. This is unfortunate because this place has lots of potential if owner/manager is willing to make improvements using customer feedback.
Place was very loud at the beginning of our visit, but then it calmed down. I think the high level of noise was due to eco from restaurant being half empty when we first arrived. As it filled up, noise level improved.

Report
Helpful
SK
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

The food was great and reasonably priced. But the noise level was so high that you had to shout to have a conversation. When we mentioned this this to the manager, he said it's a "club" and we like it like that. Because of that we might not come back. Also, it took an hour after we finished our appetizers to get the main courses!

Report
Helpful
DC
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 4ambience 1

I almost never write a negative review. And I really wanted to like this new restaurant in my hood. However, the noise level was the WORST of any restaurant I've been in in the past 10 years. I've been to many dance clubs that were quieter. Honestly, we cut our meal short by an hour because of the noise. I wanted to cry when I left; the sound level really hurt my ears and my experience. The food was a bit above average and the service was attentive but I cannot recommend it because of the sound level. The staff seemed to feel a sense of pride about the sound. The Open Table form even lists the loudest sound level as "energetic," which is a ridiculous euphemism! Good luck to El Sapo but, sadly, I won't return and I won't recommend it.

Report
Helpful
M
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a large group for my husband's big birthday which happened to be the opening of El Sapo. They did a perfect job of accommodating us. We enjoyed it so much that we went back with friends and, again, we were not disappointed. Great food ... great atmosphere. The staff are all very friendly and clearly happy to have us visit. We'll be back again.

Report
Helpful
E
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment we entered the warmth was evident. We were promptly greeted by someone at the hostess table who informed us that the hostess would be right with us. Within a few moments we were seated The mojitos were good but the memorable drink was the Hot Pasion with ginger, jalapeños and a mixture of what i think was rum and tequila. We had two each. Classic Cerviche is a must have though the conch and avocado cerviche runs a close second. The highlight of the evening for me was the lobster and mango dish which was not even the main course. When it arrived at our table by one of the chefs he asked us to give him a few seconds while he promptly got new clean plates because this dish was sweeter compared to the saltiness of our cerviches. It was hard to share that lobster dish. Absolutely delicious. Almost stuffed our main courses arrived. The national dish and i think mine was called Pobre rico. Well seasoned and very appetizing. Dessert was great - guava tart with whipped cream.
The location of the tables gives the wait staff a birds eye of their tables so they can attend to guests without being bothersome. Staff was spectacular, attentive and knowledgeable. Will definitely be back. Loved the live music too.

Report
Helpful
r
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent place with great atmosphere and ambience. We had a blast.

Report
Helpful
D
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Way too loud. Was in Cuba earlier this year, the food here bore little resemblance. Mojitos were good but sangria was not drinkable.

Report
Helpful
AM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was better than I expected! Nice lively atmosphere for a week night, and friendly staff. Tuna ceviche, hibiscus sangria and churros w/ lime whip cream were some of our favorites.
Some things were a tad overpriced: the tostones app was tasty, but it was only 4 pieces.
I can't wait to go back!

Report
Helpful
CB
Tallahassee
4 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Reynald has another hit on his hands. Chef brings his Cuban roots to El Sapo featuring very authentic Cuban dishes in an informal but upscale environment. Chef sources only the very best ingredients and everything is made from scratch. Great restaurant!

Report
Helpful
BL
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, but might just be too loud. This was my first time at El Sapo, and I could instantly tell it was a fun place, with energetic music, open kitchen, appealing cocktails, and really great food. I'm not normally someone who balks at loud places, but this is probably one of the loudest restaurants I have ever been in. It is all concrete with no buffers, so be prepared for your ears to ring and having trouble carrying on normal conversation. Maybe you'll be too busy to talk while stuffing tostones in your mouth (delicious!) and delicious, piquant ropa vieja. Even the bread was a treat. But the noise is a lot to take, so keep that in mind if that will be troubling for hard-of-hearing dinner guests.

Report
Helpful
E
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great time...great staff...great food!

Report
Helpful
MP
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved our first time visit to El Sapo. The food was excellent and the atmosphere is truly special, with great music and energy filling the space. Our waitress was friendly, competent and bilingual!

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service from the host to leaving the restaurant. Food was great and environment was good too Along with the salsa.

Report
Helpful
NB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Yum, Yum, Yummy! A great addition to SilverSpring area!

Report
Helpful
MS
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent Cuban food. The service and ambiance were also great.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun. Good vibes. Good food.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We arrived to a very crowded unattended reception desk for about five to ten minutes. The music and sound level were extremely loud. We were seated by a very nice host. Then waited another 10-15 minutes before someone came over to pour water. During that time, the sound level was so loud we had to yell to be heard. Here’s the point where I have to confess that we are in our sixties. We decided to not stay for our friend’s birthday celebration and went to another restaurant nearby. It all turned out but I am sad that this wonderful restaurant is not a fit for us. I am sure the food and drink are amazing. :-(

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is a great to relax and have some good food if you don’t mind the noise level. The music is very loud!!!

Report
Helpful
EH
Miami
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We celebrated my husband's birthday at El Sapo last weekend. We had a 7:30 PM reservation, and though the place was very busy, we were greeted and seated immediately upon arrival. We ended up having to wait a little while for a cocktail, but given how busy the bar was, we anticipated a slight slowdown in service.
Our food came out very quickly after we ordered, and everything was delicious! As an appetizer, my husband enjoyed the frita (slider), and we shared the yuca frita. For our entrees, we had the Puerco Asado and the Gringo Pobre-- both dishes did not disappoint! The atmosphere here is lively and energetic, and the HH drink specials are a great value. We're looking forward to coming back in the spring when the outdoor seating opens up!

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful place , delicious and authentic food , drinks and service excellent I loved it

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been looking forward to this restaurant! Upbeat ambience, great latín music and even service from the owner himself!

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Just disappointing. Not bad, not very good. Prices are just slightly overpriced and dishes are slightly off the mark. The real bummer was with management. Very lackluster, aloof and kinda cold. For a Cuban place the staff and the vibe lacked passion and warmth.

Report
Helpful
RR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food and service were excellent, but very hard to talk. It needs some type of noise damping feature

Report
Helpful
R
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is an awesome new restaurant in Silver Spring. The drinks and food options are amazing. Strongly recommend the souco drink, vaca frita, ropa vieja and pastelitos. Yum! I enjoyed the food so much that I went twice over one weekend. This is definitely going to be my new hang out place.

Report
Helpful
GA
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Not sure how to respond to this request. Hard to judge food, service etc when THE PLACE WAS NOT OPEN!. I made a reservation, for Brunch at 11:00, several weeks ago. It was accepted and I received multiple reminders for the same time. Yet we show up at the restaurant and is not open. Sign on the door says open at 11 on Sundays. But no activity inside. No response to phone call or email...yet. Hmmmm, will we try again? Perhaps - when the bugs are worked out.

Report
Helpful
MC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food and energetic vibe. It was a Saturday night, so perhaps the volume was up a couple notches. Only nit to pick was the taped music was blasted at a level that made conversation very hard. Perhaps take it down a couple decibels. But overall, lterrific.

Report
Helpful
LS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

El Sapo has recently just opened and it needs to get on its feet! Service painfully slow; the mojito was horrible-NO RUM! Food average- does not reflect true Cuban cuisine....Been to Cuba several times and it doesn’t come close although Roma Veijo was decent

Report
Helpful
PM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

My visit to El Sapo was underwhelming. The music was extremely loud at 8pm and the food was overpriced for the portion size and flavor. I ordered the Spanish Branzino to share and the fish had a bitter taste. The empanadas was disappointing, it reminded me of chilli. Overall the restaurant is located in a prime location and has potential if they revisit their menu and the noise level.

Report
Helpful
BK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I went for happy hour and, literally, got every item offered for happy hour (mojito, house beer, six street food items and the cubano - which we had to take to go). We enjoyed every sip and bite. We thought everything was amazing that we wanted to tell the owner/chef how great it was. Unfortunately, he must have been very busy and didn't seem to
appreciate the praise. We wouldn't have gone up to him if the kitchen wasn't an open concept. That being said, the food and atmosphere was great and we will be back soon and often!

Report
Helpful
TC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Great location! Nice decor and good music (a bit too loud). Went there on Friday night, at 10 pm they have what they call "Havana Nights" where they have happy hour prices on some items but apparently it is only served at the bar and communal table. This is hugely misleading, there is no different menu between dining part and the others and actually it makes little sense to have different prices. Anyways, we got a pitcher of mojito which was less than average. Food was okay, I got pan con lechon. Others got ceviche, topa vieja. Dessert what guava pastry pretty good.

Report
Helpful
1
2