We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Pleasantly Surprised”

Stars & Stripes Cafe
Ranked #2,425 of 3,326 Restaurants in Washington DC
Cuisines: American
Restaurant details
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Most of the comments I would make have previously been made: cafeteria-style with a nice variety, closes at 3:00 (bummer), pricey (but admission to the Museum is free - stop whining, people!). If you go you MUST try the chocolate chip cookie! It was out of this world!! The dessert selection was very good for a cafeteria, not just your run-of-the-mill stuff.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Michelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (75)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

65 - 69 of 75 reviews

Reviewed June 6, 2013

When visiting the different attractions on the National Mall for us the Stars and Stripes Cafe (located in the American History Museum) is a good place to eat lunch close to the museums and other attractions. The cafe has a reasonable selection of food, a capacity to serve a lot of people fairly fast and as noted is located right in the American History Museum. Prices and hours of operation are two of the cafes drawbacks (nowhere is perfect). A few more comments on each item to hopefully help you decide if you would like to eat here while visiting DC.

Cafe Location: Can't beat the location of the Starts and Stripes Cafe, however being located in the museum guarantees every lunch hour will be very crowded. The food is served cafeteria style, you take a tray and then you can go to several different counters and pick-up what you would like. When we were there some of the counters had food waiting to be picked up, others you had to wait a few minutes while they prepared your food. You then go to one of 3 or 4 registers to check out. The system seemed to work fairly well, although due to the large crowds you did have to wait a bit for food and to check out. There was adequate seating, I did not see anyone having trouble finding a place. Once done you are asked to clean your own place like other fast food restaurants. I'm not a big fan of cafeteria style especially when eating with a family (5 trays all together at the checkout), but will endure if needed. Some folks I don't think will like the restaurant due to the crowds and serving style.

We found the selection of food to be pretty good, several different choices, not just burgers and fries, although as with a lot of fast food type restaurants the preparation is done on a large scale resulting in a ballpark feel and taste to the food. If you don't like this feel, maybe this cafe is not the best for you.

Prices: We found the prices to here to be high (higher than the McDonalds at Air and Space) even for a DC, but if you want the convenience of the location you have no choice. It cost our group of 4 ~$50 for a burger, fries and soda, but being fast food style no tip was required.

Hours: For us the biggest drawback of the cafe is the hours. They seem to stop serving a lot of items at ~2PM and close ~ 30 minutes before the Museum. Note on days the museum is open late (7:30 PM) I believe the cafe still closes at ~4:30 or 5PM. Make sure to check the hours before planning a early dinner here.

All in all the Stars and Stripes Cafe is by no means a great restaurant, but if you are looking for a place located in the heart of the Mall with reasonable food, it is one of the only choices. We don't love it, but will eat here again when visiting the mall in DC. Hopefully this information can help you decide to eat here or not.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PzTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We were visiting the museum and got hungry and knew it was not going to be a great cafe...it was expensive, but there was a decent variety. You have to ask for straws. Our hot dog bun was hard so we brought it back and they exchanged it no problem. Fries were good. $3 for a soda? There was a salad bar if you are looking to eat healthy! Overall not great and would avoid it unless you need to be refueled during your museum visit.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TRJRM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

OK, a caffe in a Museum isn't an obvious candidate for a favorable review, but this one is an exception. Located in the American History Museum, it was crowded, long food lines = turn-off for me. But discovered that the crowds all left in groups, thereby opening up tables all at once. And on my visit the one food line that wasn't long was the Pizza/Pasta table. So had a colorful salad from the easily accessed salad bar and a colorful, freshly cooked vegetable half-pizza. Just looking at it made me feel healthy. Had window seats; unfortunately, all the green area outside is gone; hope it's part of a redo and not a permanent condition. Good visit to a wonderful Museum.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank higham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

The great think about this is, no matter how crowded D.C. is or what is going on, this cafe is large enough to move people in and out. A great variety of food, prices are OK, but you can at least get a wine or a beer with your food and not have to leave the museums. There were almost 10 of us during Cherry Blossom festival and it was great to come here, not need a reservation, and be able to all have something different with no wait!

Thank Ycartnirak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Stars & Stripes Cafe also viewed

 

Been to Stars & Stripes Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing