El Sapo Cuban Social Club

4.4
204 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 204 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
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Energetic
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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N
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic food with lots of flavor; lovely atmosphere.

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LA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

The noise was so over the top loud. We are a young couple and not adverse to noise but we could barely hear each other. The live music is a nice touch but the noise was off putting.

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MG
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed the food, drinks and music. Will be back soon I hope.

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c
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food. Great ambience. Completely enjoyed my experience.

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BR
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great ambience. Very enjoyable to enter, and you feel great when it's time to leave.

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T
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

This is a delightful restaurant in terms of food, decor, and service. However, it is much too loud.

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FF
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food!!!

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DT
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful, wonderful food, beautifully plated and delicious. Charming waiter (and very easy on the eyes). The grilled sardines were spectacular, but the best was the ceviche. I’ve had ceviche in lots of places, and both the “Classico” (swordfish) and the tuna were simply perfect, and plenty to share among four of us. Tasty mohitos (though $40 a pitcher). The only downside was the noise level, but it was early on a Sunday evening, so reasonably tolerable.

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AG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We loved the food, great service and live music was a great touch!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lively atmosphere, tasty mixed drinks, great food

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TH
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new addition to Silver Spring's dining scene!

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AS
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

overpriced, over advertised, small portions, not knowledgeable server.

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OT
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

What a fun night! Our reservation changed multiple times, and each time the manager was able to accommodate us. The place was packed, but we were immediately seated. Service was a bit slow to start, some due to the restaurant volume and some due to our group figuring out what to order. We settled on the Mango cocktail- small in size, but tasty. Others gravitated to the Zapacapa rum, which is the the smoothest rum I’ve ever tasted. So much so, that we went out the next day to but a bottle!

We tried the Tostones, Tuna Ceviche, Empanadas and the Lechon for the appetizers. The Lechon was so delicious, I wish I had ordered it for my entree...it was that good!

For entrees, we were disappointed that they were out of the Branzino, so we opted for the Salmon. It was flavorful but should have been much warmer coming to the table. Those that had the Habanero Oxtail for Two were in heaven...and hell. It was delicious (for the small amount they shared!), but were sweating and breathing heavily throughout, and loved every bite.

We’re were again disappointed with dessert, as they were out of the Chocolate Soufflé and the Pineapple Creme Brûlée, but the Churros were delicious and piping hot.

We will definitely be back...and ordering the Lechon!!

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SK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved El Sapo! Food and cocktails were fantastic. Great ambiance, service, live music. Favorites: Miami Manhattan (prepared tableside with flair), mojitos, house special ropa vieja, special for two: vaca frita. Can’t wait to visit again soon.

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JG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So much fun and such attentive service! Food was amazing too!

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J
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It has become routine that whenever I am in town, visiting my fiance, we must arrange a dinner out to El Sapo. Needless to say, we have never been disappointed.

Prior to arrival we ensured that we had a reservation set several days in advance, especially if you plan to dine on Thursday-Sunday. Our intention was to go Friday night at 7:30, and per usual the place was popping.

Immediate impressions are always surpassed upon entry; the vibrancy of neon hues as well as the energetic yet sultry music is intoxicating. They have live music Friday evenings which can greatly impact the noise levels. Some may find it too boisterous but I however, growing up in a Puerto Rican household, thoroughly enjoy music while cooking or eating. The hosts, a man and woman respectively, are timely, courteous, and incredibly helpful. You will often find them assisting bussers and waiters with table clearings, dish expediting, and serving. El Sapo is an astounding, colorful, vivacious machine of delectable tropical Cuban cuisine.

This time around my fiance and I ordered the following:
- x1 Mojito
- x1 Hibiscus Sangria
- x1 Hot Pasion
They're drinks are exceptionally composed with a mojito being invigorating and fresh with mint while mildly sweet, the hibiscus sangria in a vibrant deep magenta with hints of floral crispness, and the hot pasion with its warming hot chiles and bite.

- Chupate Los Dedos (massive street food and Cubano sampler that easily serves four)

This gargantuan platter comes with 4 of everything below, and they are incredibly generous portions:
( beef empanadas, tostones, croquetas de bacaloa, pan con lechon, frita, yuca frita, and cubano sandwiches.) We took about 55% of the platter home due to the amazing size.

- Tomato & Avocado (A necessary side order to cut the richness of the sampler!)
- x2 Pastelitos de Guayaba (Creamy, flakey puff pastry and guava? Sensational.)
- x1 Curtadito (My fiance needs coffee after a meal and this put a pep to his step!)

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OT
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Fun restaurant. Attentive and friendly servers. Live music is amazing. Very tasty entrees. Drinks are just okay.

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s
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Noise was high level . Portions were very large for one person.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Muy bonito lugar, con gran ambiente. Una buena experiencia en cuanto a experimentar comida cubana.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Cubano sandwich anywhere. Very authentic place.

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F
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quickly becoming our go to on Monday nights! Love the amazing flavors of every dish...5 people, 8 dishes, not enough time in the night to eat it all!!

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M
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful dinner service. Food was delicious and looking forward to you coming back to try more of the menu! Highly recommend the fresh coconut to start!!

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e
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The drinks were excellent. Love the conch ceviche. The restaurant was out of the goat jerky we ordered. The waiter started off very attentive but when he got busy he didn't check on things. Coffee came after dessert was finished. Whereas there we hits and misses there is a lot to try there and will go back.

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c
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Liked the food and the room but the noise level, especially when the musician played, was unbearable.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Noise level was extreme. My tinnitus is worse since our visit. It is is in the zone of permanent hearing damage.

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PK
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service was great!

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SK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Great ambience until the noise level overwhelms you. The live music is inaudible. The food is generally really good, but a dish of five shrimp seems more like an appetizer than a $28 main course. Rice accompaniment is doled out in such small quantities that it seems like it is treated more like caviar. You have to pay for bread. First course arrived before drinks. This restaurant seems to be experiencing a meteoric rise which will likely be followed by a precipitous fall. Too bad; it has potential.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food and good drinks!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful place. Great food, energetic atmosphere, warm service.

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A
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Loved the food and fun atmosphere. Vert attentive service. The only problem was the noise level. Unfortunately, it was impossible to hear the entertainment.

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L
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food, drinks and service are excellent. Perfect place to go by oneself as you cannot carry on a conversation.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Loved it the first time I went about three weeks ago. I thought the food was more imaginative and flavorful than at any place in Miami (and I'm a Cuban from Miami). Unfortunately, this second time the food was not as good. The lechón was still delicious (but some of the rinds were soggy). The ropa vieja was OK, but not outstanding like the first time. THAT ropa vieja was incredible. It was more spicy and flavorful than this second time. Finally, the pastelitos were not fully heated and soggy rather than warm and flacky.

I was disappointed. Hopefully it was just a blip. This was a Wednesday night on a snow day, so perhaps everyone was off. Let's hope so because we really do need good Cuban food in city. Before el Sapo I would always recommend Cubano's, 1201 Fidler Ln, Silver Spring, MD 20910, which is literally blocks away. That place is consistently good though the food is less elevated and cool than el Sapo.

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JM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The mojitos are very good -- tasty and packed a punch! The appetizers (toast with ham, manchengo with roasted peppers, tuna ceviche) were delicious. The mains (ropa vieja and grilled fish) were very good and not too salty. We didn't see many vegetarian choices, which may be on purpose. It took a comparatively long time for our main courses to arrive after the appetizers, which came out immediately. We did not see anything very interesting among the desserts, The restaurant is noisy.

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E
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2019
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 on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Authentic Cuban food with excellent presentation. Sabor!!!

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S
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

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AK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
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 on February 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Tried to have.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
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 on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

THE best! Simply incredible. Silver Spring rocks.

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