Terrain Cafe - Bethesda

4.3
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260 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American

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Casual
Terrain Cafe celebrates the cycle of the seasons and the bounty of the land. Using hand-selected local produce, meats and dairy products, our team takes pride in crafting menus from the seasonal harvest of farmers we know and trust. We work tirelessly to craft an environment that aesthetically and gastronomically reflects the best of our local communities.
What 260 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
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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A
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

What a nice treat. Different from other Bethesda staples, but extremely enjoyable. I will be back for sure!

SD
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was surprisingly good and the ambiance was delightful. The staff were very accommodating as well. Would definitely recommend.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience2

The sitting is very tight with tiny tables and you’re literally knocking your elbows with patrons at the table next to you. On top of that the place is extremely hot and the temperature is poorly regulated. The food was below average: greasy and heavy.

KB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

love this place SOOOOO much. every bit of food is fantastic! mushroom soup amazing and choc chip cookie WORTH EVERY CALORIE

KC
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Although most of the food was just okay, they really know how to cook a mushroom! The trio of desserts was underwhelming with the exception of the apple tart. The service was fantastic.We didn't care for our experimental drink and it was quickly replaced with something more enjoyable at no charge.

R
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Was not given a seat by the window even though I reserved a table ahead of time.
Food took some time to get to the table / some items seems to be forgotten, or just delayed, so I had to remind again.
Seems to be cheap on products. French toast had a very minimal amount of cream to it. Toast had a minimal amount of cream cheese, but overall tasted good.
I will be giving that place a second chance and hope for the best.

BV
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very nice service and ambiance. An enjoyable meal!

w
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The house was packed for Valentine’s Day, so many people were interested in dining there. I think the servers are making an effort to provide good service. Still it took a very long time to get our dinners. Maybe the kitchen needs more help? If you’re not in a hurry you can just sit back and take it as it comes.

JS
New Orleans
9 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

great food, good atmosphere. Service was a little slow. I will return again to try some of the other dishes.

BP
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We have been to Terrain several times and are always happy. They have so many tasty options for vegetarians. The crispy chickpeas are delicious ! Cool cocktails. I always like their avocado toast and bowls. The only draw back was being right across from the kitchen door and hearing the orders being shouted out. Easy to manage in the future and will ask not to be there next time. We over ordered had a few left overs and had them bagged to bring home. Forgot the bag and called to arrange pick up the next day. We weren’t able to get there until the next evening and the bag had been disposed of......the manager didn’t miss a beat and offered to make me another bowl to replace the two things! Very happy to have not lost my savory leftovers ! Great service!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Worst service, especially for price of meal. Food was not cooked well

BE
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

When I arrived for a lunch reservation at 12:30 the host was more interested in assembling menus, which might have been done in the AM, than promptly seating me. It was a little disconcerting. On the other hand our server, ??? Ani , was excellent.

LC
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This has become my new favorite place for weekend lunch. I enjoy the atmosphere - and the food is really good. The ingredients are fresh and unique! Will be returning regularly.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

So there is a hard close at 10pm. We had reservations for 830pm. At 945pm, we were told last call. We assumed that meant the bar. No no. This meant the kitchen, the bar and get the hell out as fast as you can. Not so cool ending. We wanted dessert, and we werent told ahead of time that orders had to be by a certain time.

M
Washington DC
55 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Had a delicious mushroom burger and love the plant life all around. Wait staff was good about refilling water and the food came promptly. I would definitely go again.

KR
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience5

Want to love the food, but I don’t except for the bioche bread. All I dine with agree, unfortunately. Been there thrice now. And the staff typically seems annoyed to be there, or annoyed you are there, not sure which. It’s a charming space. I may keep trying and hoping for improvement.

W
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

I really like the feel of this restaurant and healthy menu. But they need to act fast and rethink things or it will go out of business. Staff seems uncoordinated and not professional. Restaurant is empty at times it should be full. chairs are so hard - metal and no cushion. Doesn’t feel welcoming.

RR
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As usual, great place for lunch with friends. Courteous service and yummy food! Highly recommend it for an unpretentious and casual, yet chic, lunch or dinner.

B
London
34 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The scallops were very tasty! Served with puréed butternut squash, which added a little sweetness which was a nice compliment. My spouse enjoyed his chicken breast && loved the mushroom soup. We’ll be back.

M
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Excellent food, difficult acoustics

LC
Charleston
25 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Second visit. Second success. Delightful lunch and service. My only suggestion is to offer black napkins. White leave lint on dark clothing. Thanks!

AK
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

The wine our was very small, did not feel the waiter was attentive and took a while with drinks, bread, needed to ask if I could exchange potato with avocado..instead of let me see... He said "no" then said "but let me ask" children breaking dishes and tables too close. We are in Bethesda, not Europe. If you want to make it more "European" there are ways to do so but not half assed.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The waitress was very nice and incredibly accommodating for such a large group!

LC
Charleston
26 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First visit. Delicious grilled cheese plate. Attentive service and welcoming setting. Will return!

k
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

First time eating here. Went to Sunday brunch. Amazed by the freshness and taste of the food. Loved the ambiance. Will definitely return for dinner one day - as I noticed a hot wine list!

AR
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Made a reservation and marked that it was for a birthday (brunch). Food was ok. The "brioche in a flower pot" is like wonderbread; omelets same as anywhere else. We were brought the check when they cleared the plates - no one asked if we wanted dessert. Interesting - usually a birthday means you order dessert. We decided they seemed more interested in turning over the table then giving us the chance to order.

n
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

The autumn squash socca stuck in our throats. We couldn’t drink enough water to wash it down. Ugh!

JB
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

The food is delicious, service could use a bit of work, I was there twice last week & both times the sever forgot something.

RG
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovey New Year's day brunch at Terrain. We had a tough time choosing from an unusual menu, but were very happy with the selections we made from brunch items and salads and some unusual tea/juice drinks. Our server was very helpful and gracious. We recommend Terrain and will be back again soon.

F
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Excellent food. Service was as expected. Waiter was very attentive.
Coffee could was not hot. Could have been a tad hotter.

CD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience4

The menu is small, but the food is very good. My only complaint was the service, which for the money was sub-par. Our water glasses were never refilled, our server did not check-in to make sure we received our orders, and when he did check in he only ever addressed half the party. My niece arrived a few minutes before me and her drink order was taken, however, when I arrived I was completely ignored. I placed an order for a drink when the waiter came to take our lunch order, and then we had to flag him down 30 minutes later after our appetizer had come and gone and my drink had still never arrived. The restaurant is small, so even at its busiest, I find it hard to excuse such neglectful service.

While the food was great, I'm hesitant to recommend the cafe due to the poor service.

T
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience5

BEAUTIFUL ambiance! Love the look. Would go just to sit and enjoy. Excellent food and great service. As its local and fresh based it's a very limited menu, though.

OT
San Antonio
11 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brought my sister here for a quiet birthday dinner and couldn’t have been happier. The food is delicious (highly recommend the mushroom soup) and the ambience enchanting. Great service too! Can’t wait to go back.

DD
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been to Terrain many times since it opened and always enjoy the food, wine selection, coffees, and dessert. But my meal this past Saturday was especially wonderful! The ricotta and fig appetizer was delicate in flavor and also a nice light way to start. Terrain's chicken is always perfectly cooked and the entree with chicken, barley risotto, and brussel spouts was delicious! And, the caramel cake was amazing -- especially when accompanied by Terrain's coffee. The restaurant, with its lights, always looks beautiful at night but there were special additions for the holidays. It was a wonderful evening! I can't wait to go back!

OT
London
4 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Very nice simple and trendy restaurant. Food is gorgeous, burger fabulous. Service okay-ish. Overall I’d recommend a visit. Lou

NL
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We dine in Bethesda often, but this was our first time dining at Terrain Cafe -- and the food, staff and ambiance were all a wonderful surprise! Brandon, the Asst Gen Manager, is just terrific -- a delight to chat with, and ensured our dinner was flawless. Servers Elami and others were absolutely lovely -- efficient, helpful and lovely. And the food was delicious. We highly recommend this wonderful restaurant, and look forward to returning soon.

G
Washington DC
62 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience4

Prices too high and menu items not wonderful. Wish they'd lose the mason jar drinking glasses.

TM
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I made a reservation for 8 and last minute had 10. Very accommodating. Wrapped up all food. effortless service. Helped foster a welcoming and fun experience.

OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always an AMAZING and tasty menu. Cocktails are great and always love the fresh bread with the honey butter. I drive in from Pennsylvania and make sure we stop at our favorite cafe. Keep doing what your doing!

BC
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrain Cafe always delivers. Great dishes (try the mushroom soup) from fresh ingredients with great service in an inspiring (design) environment. One of our favorites- and we come across the bridge from NoVA to eat here.