Terrain Cafe - Bethesda

4.1
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215 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American

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Good Vegetarian Options
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.

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Sun 5:00PM - 8:00PM
Mon - Tue 10:00AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Wed - Fri 10:00AM - 11:45AM 12:00PM - 1:00PM 5:00PM - 8:00PM
Sat 5:00PM - 8:00PM

What 215 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
3.9
service
4.3
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ES
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Service was poor. Food was average.

l
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Very pleasant and welcoming, cozy space, that is not noisy even when busy. The menu is limited, but offers good, healthy choices and lighter as well as more robust fare. Wine list and cocktails are lovely. The "seasonal" mimosa was excellent, and the grain bowl is one of the better ones I have had. nice spot to dine with a friend, especially after a little shopping in Bethesda!

MC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Food and ambiance is great. The server was "too nice", to the point that it can be a bit too interruptive, asking every other minute if we needed something else. Otherwise, great spot!

AC
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. Fantastic brunch!!

JS
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is really lovely. Food is so good. Service is great. My only feedback is how expensive it is for the quantity of food. It’s at least $30 per person without alcohol.

SY
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

If you ever been to Terrain in PA, you are not going to enjoy this one in Bethesda. The store is limited to a shed out space in the corner of anthropologie store, with just candles and wreaths.
The croquets were undercooked and just bad. The service was awful. I am not coming back.

SS
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

My first time at Terrain really enjoyed it.

A
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely atmosphere and delicious experience. Perfect for a light Saturday luncheon. Apple Pie Chai Latte is a must for the season.

P
Washington DC
129 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience4

Very disappointing after several great dining experiences.

MC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Me and my friends ordered the mushroom soup and the avocado toast. These alone are a good combination. We enjoyed it very much.
I also ordered the Terrain Hamburger and the taste is just okay for me. I might try some other menu next time.
We also had a great server.
We'll definitely come back for more of their menu.
Thumbs up!

u
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience3

Food is mediocre. I have done here 3 times for dinner and once for brunch. I really wanted to like it but items are as interesting as they sound. Coffee was cold. We had to ask server for bread which is supposed to be included and he only brought enough for 1 person (we were 3 and a baby).

JL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Wonderful service. Hood food. Hard, uncomfortable chairs

n
Washington DC
89 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Their seats are hard as a rock, downright uncomfortable. Otherwise, Terrain is a special place. The food is creative and delicious. The service was excellent. The design of the cafe/bistro is charming, with lots of plants and unique decorations. I recommend it highly ... just bring something to sit on.

SB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall4food3service2ambience4

Wait staff friendly but need better training. Waitress brought me warm can of Diet Coke, put on table, walked away. How about some ice maybe?
I’ve been to Terrain/Devon PA. Better vibe, trained staff, better service.

PJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Inventive menu; lovely staff; most enjoyable ambiance.

LT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Service was great, atmosphere is wonderful, food...meh. I had the large breakfast- 2 eggs, sourdough bread, salad, home fries, bacon and sausage. I think I ordered the wrong thing. This was just ok and the sausage was questionable. Didn't seemed cooked thru and the maple flavor was just too much. The eggs are on top of the bread which is large and toasted and the salad is on top of that....it was a balancing act of food and it is presented on a cutting board so just not great for eating...visually I guess it was cool but really not an easy dish to take apart and get to. UUUGH...too hard to eat and messy....a bit frustrating. Everything was mixed up. Eggs were slightly undercooked for my taste. I ordered over easy and they were a bit runny. Nothing really tasted amazing. Considering the atmosphere and service which was AMAZING I had high expectations on the food. If I were to give this place another shot I would get something else. Maybe the cheese board....My advice...stick to small plates and apps...If you are going to charge 18-26 for a plated dish it has to taste good and you have to be able to eat it.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Service was poor with delays and confusion about who ordered what.

t
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Restaurant has great aesthetics despite the store relationship. Waiter for us drinks right away. He was enthusiastic, and helpful. Until it was time to get our dessert and check. I needed to leave 1:15 from start of reservation and after we ordered dessert and asked for the check, we didn’t see our waiter for 10 minutes, until he walked by our table to deliver someone else’s lunch. Chatting in the kitchen? Also making the food? We’ll never know, but definitely lost his focus. Asked for dessert and bill once more and 3 more minutes, we received what we needed.
Lunch started off perfectly, and then fizzled out. Will try again, hoping everything arrives from start to finish.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall2food3service5ambience4

Food was over priced, items were dry, dressing was more of a glaze on the salad option. While the staff are accommodating this is not a place I would return to, it seems to be a place to be seen.

OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

We really like Terrain, but this evening’s experience made me sad. It was bustling with customers, and that is not inherently a bad thing. What made it a less than a totally enjoyable experience for us was the fact that the service was painfully slow. Everyone was pleasant and seemed to be working hard, but they seemed understaffed and overwhelmed. The result was that everyone lost. The food was up to their usual good standards, and the ambiance was pleasant, if a bit noisy due to the sell-out crowd. For a pleasant Saturday night in Bethesda, they didn’t plan or anticipate well the amount of customers they would have.

We’ll return, but may keep it to weekday visits instead.

OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience3

The food was excellent and delicious unfortunately the service was bad and ruined our experience. We won’t go back.

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience5

We really enjoyed the location and ambiance — the food was great! The service, however, was poor.

BM
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food was good, service was very pleasant but slower than what you would hope for.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Birthday, but no acknowledgement of it

W
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

The service was slow. We had to ask several times for simple things like silverware. Tables were not being cleaned off. My friend had milk spilt on her by the waiter and nothing was said or done.
When we asked the waiter for the types of dressings they offered his response was “some raspberry thing” and a Vinaigrette but we don’t have any cream ones if that’s what you want”.

It’s a nice atmosphere and sitting outside is lovely but not worth the overpriced menu.

The table next to us sent food back and were unhappy as well.

j
Washington DC
61 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Terrain is still in its promising phase. It could be much better by attending to small details. The salad bowls are as good as I have had anywhere. The scallops were perfectly prepared, with a caramelized exterior and warm and luscious interior. The place is attractive and (perhaps because it's not been crowded) a good place for a meal and conversation. The service was slow. One member of my party found a fly in her glass of wine. My 3 fine scallops with potatoes were overpriced at $30. Small problems like this may be keeping this attractive space with a fine location and some fine cooking from being a place I am ready to return to.

BM
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We got married at the Glen Mills Terrain and were excited to try one closer to where we now live. Great food and ambiance as always!

DH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience4

Service was poor unfortunately. Both courses delivered at once and very hard getting attention of wait staff. Ambience was nice but can not rate the Terrain Cafe highly.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We walked out after being ignored for 10 minutes- no attention- no water and the place was empty and lots of folks working. It was also like a refrigerator in there. Way too cold.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience3

I’ve had lunch several times at Terrain and the food is always decent and the service is usually pretty good. The server this time was miserable! He took drink orders then waited almost 20 minutes to take lunch orders. He stood at the bar chatting with the bartender and never checked on the food that was delivered. We didn’t get the right order and we couldn’t get anyone’s attention to fix it. We had to walk to bar and interrupt our waiter’s lengthy conversation with the bartender. Never refilled drinks, never checked on the table.
Really annoying and sort of ruined the whole experience. It wasn’t particularly busy so it’s hard to overlook such inattentive service. The staff was just way too laid back and seemingly uninterested in taking care of customers.

JC
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Terrain’s menu is creative and offers a good diversity of choices; the space is warm and welcoming, as are the servers. The food is nice, but surprisingly bland. The ingredients are fresh and high quality, but somehow the food doesn’t deliver the “punch” it should. Nonetheless, I’ve had very healthy meals here (and some indulgences, too — don’t skip the warm bread served in a flower pot: just delicious!) and hope that in time, the food will gain a little more flavor.

OT
Washington DC
81 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Service was slow and imcomplete

FB
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, nice surroundings. Glad we went. Would recommend this place to anyone especially if you are vegetarian or vegan.

LB
Philadelphia
46 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sent my daughter there with her college friends. We have a Terrain in PA and it’s one of our favorites. The Bethesda location was excellent as well. Accommodating for Celiac (gluten free) and just excellent food, atmosphere and service. Love this restaurant!!!

P
Washington DC
130 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We appreciate the wonderfully fresh ingredients, combined beautifully, and presented well. We have enjoyed multiple dinners at Terrain and found the food fabulously consistent and great. We have enjoyed each visit.

J
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We enjoy the consistently delicious food at Terrain Cafe. The servers are very trained, always friendly, warm and knowledgeable about the menu. Finally a restaurant where we can carry out a conversation with your fellow dinners without having to shout! Thank you!

JM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food here was so delicious!!! Started with the mushroom soup which was a must have. Husband had the charcuterie board which was also perfect. Three great selections of cheeses. I had the salmon which was so flaky and moist and the cauliflower tabbouleh was a great accompaniment. Husbands scallops were the best we’ve ever had anywhere. And the roasted corn had a surprising kick. We will definitely return! Service was great and manager on duty was very attentive.

ES
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Service at brunch was extremely slow

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience5

The fresh squeezed lemonade tasted like sugar water, and the soda was just sparkling water with an after taste. The food was no better, honestly one of the worst meals I've had. The salad had no dressing, and the burrata toast was uneatable.

OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience5

The server was pretty cold and the food was close to inedible for dinner. The dishes either had too much salt, not enough salt, over cooked or undercooked. Will not go back for dinner.