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“Nice rest stop!”

Pavilion Cafe at the Sculpture Garden
Ranked #226 of 3,237 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Outdoor Seating
Neighborhood: Federal Triangle
Description: The Pavilion Cafe is found amidst the casual elegance of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. A Jazz Garden Restaurant Café in Washington DC in the summer, a winter wonderland of ice skating in the winter.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
235 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
“Nice rest stop!”
Reviewed September 15, 2012

We recently visited the Pavilion, our favorite place to eat lunch on the Mall. The P is located between the West National Gallery of Art building and the adjacent Smithsonian building. If you see a large fountain and a bunch of outside sculpture, you're there. What is available at the P are pre-made salads and sandwiches of pretty good quality, as well as soft drinks, water, beer and wine. You can sit in the air-conditioned building, or sit outside in the fresh air. The bathrooms are clean. this trip we had just walked several blocks, so we chose to sit in the A/C. I might note that the cost of a salad or sandwich plus drink is about $10, which may be a bit steep for families. That may account for generally quiet atmosphere - a bit different from the popular eating places in the Art Galleries and the Smithsonian buildings. This spot is a bit hidden, which for me is great amongst the bustle of the popular nearby tourist spots.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank nancysid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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Burlington, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great place for a pit stop wall wandering the National Mall”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

We stopped in here for lunch, on the way to the National Gallery of Art. It overlooks the sculpture garden, and has a pleasant look from the outside.

The food is pretty basic, but was tasty for sandwiches and salads (tuna salad and turkey with brie). It was lovely and cool inside, or you could sit at the outside tables looking at the art and fountains. Much preferable to the interior cafes or food options within the museums.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Suzanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alma, KS
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Relaxing, comfortable chairs”
Reviewed June 23, 2012

Comfortable chairs, get in from the heat and take a load off, food is decent, nothing to write home about. If you want free refills you can take your cup back up to the counter and ask. Good bathrooms. Good atmosphere.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank ksbeef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntingtown, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Tasty, but nothing fancy”
Reviewed June 13, 2012

Ask locals where to eat around The National Mall, and they likely won't recommend this place. But when you're in DC on a hot day and you want somewhere to sit and enjoy a light lunch, this fits the bill nicely. We got there between 11 and noon, so we beat the lunch rush and had the place nearly to ourselves.

I got a gorgonzola and potato tart (a slice of quiche, really), with a side salad. Didn't knock my socks off, but it was good, simple food. Just what I wanted. I ordered Chardonnay, which was a bit pricey, but since it was my birthday, I thought it was worth the splurge. Once I tried it though, I didn't think it was good enough for what I paid for it (in other words, don't order wine with your meal).

We got a table outside in a shady spot with a nice cross breeze (there is also indoor seating), and we people watched. I could've happily stayed there all afternoon. This is really an ideal spot, which, in many cases, is just as important as the food. And once you've finished your meal, you can have a nice stroll around the sculpture garden before getting on with your day.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank prosodic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A great place for lunch on a nice day...”
Reviewed March 28, 2012

A lovely setting on The National Mall with outdoor/indoor seating and art and on Friday evening during the summer a very nice jazz concert...

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank TWS500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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