Café Saint-Ex

Bar / Club / Restaurant
Café Saint-Ex A popular neighborhood haunt for artsy post-grads and young professionals, Café Saint-Ex may fly high with its aviation-themed décor, but the vibe is considerably more bohemian – in fact, a chalked sign near the door respectfully... Washington, DC United States 38.915531 -77.031752
3.26 7
Café Saint-Ex - Bar | Club | Restaurant in Washington, DC.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review A popular neighborhood haunt for artsy post-grads and young professionals, Café Saint-Ex may fly high with its aviation-themed décor, but the vibe is considerably more bohemian – in fact, a chalked sign near the door respectfully... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Green, Yellow Lines: U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo

  • Phone:

    202-265-7839

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Bar: M 5pm–1:30am, Tu–Th 11am–1:30am, F–Sa 11am–2:30am, Su 11am–1:30am
    Restaurant: closes M–F, Su 10:45pm, Sa 10:45pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Café Saint-Ex Review

The Scene

A popular neighborhood haunt for artsy post-grads and young professionals, Café Saint-Ex may fly high with its aviation-themed décor, but the vibe is considerably more bohemian – in fact, a chalked sign near the door respectfully...

A popular neighborhood haunt for artsy post-grads and young professionals, Café Saint-Ex may fly high with its aviation-themed décor, but the vibe is considerably more bohemian – in fact, a chalked sign near the door respectfully asks that “all collars be turned down prior to entry.”

Named after Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French aviator and author of The Little Prince, the narrow bistro and underground music venue features a long wooden bar where puddle-jumpers of all ages gather to sip beer and specialty cocktails or chow down on some comfort food.

A line of simple wooden tables provides a place for quieter couples and groups to enjoy their barbecue sliders and eco-friendly pork chops, while the larger upstairs dining area fills up quickly with patrons pouring over the extensive wine list to find the perfect libation to go with their meticulously-crafted desserts.

Larger parties can take their pumpkin martinis and macadamia oat ice cream sandwiches to the dark cherry leather booths in the back, or mingle with the other guests out on the small patio.

Evenings, meanwhile, tend to be the most popular and bring music lovers and dancers down into the sparsely furnished basement, aptly named Gate 54, where local DJs spin Brazilian beats, old school, and hip-hop five nights a week, giving the younger crowd at Café Saint-Ex ample time to dance off their desserts and cocktails.

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Tip from Jonah:

If you like strong drinks, try the Sweet Heat Margarita. It’ll set you back $11, but more than a few patrons swear it could drop a rhinoceros.

  • Crowd

    Shabby-chic local students, young professionals, musicians, and artists, 20s+ during the day, 20s at night.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJs spin hip-hop, old school, and Brazilian beats Tuesdays through Saturdays in the Gate 54 basement from around 10pm. Occasional fund-raising events and tastings. Check the website for details.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Dishes featuring locally-grown ingredients, including fried green tomato BLTs, Smith Meadow Farms burgers, and house-made pappardelle pasta.

  • Prices

    Brunch $8–$11, appetizers $9–$11, entrées $10–$25, dessert $5–$8. Beer $5–$24, wine $7–$12/glass or $25–$75/bottle, cocktails $9–$12.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: jeans and t-shirts.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Tuesdays through Saturdays for the DJs and dancing.

  • Close By

    Utopia Bar & Grill (1418 U Street NW) offers funky live jazz and Brazilian music for a slightly older crowd.

Café Saint-Ex User Reviews

Average rating:
Great selection of brews but can be a tad cramped
marcus b. Sep 11, 2013
Well, where do we start with St. Ex? The décor? Not this early in the review. Is it the clientele? Not just yet. I'll start this off by saying that this one of the better free entrance establishments (lets say that again FREE!!!) And for that its worth the trip down to the U St corridor. Great place to start the evening festivities if you get there early enough. Cool aviation styled décor with a killer selection of brewskies. If you get there in what I call the golden hour you can either hang out upstairs and grab a table or seat at the bar or you could head downstairs where there is usually a good DJ spinning anything you can imagine from 90s hip hop to 80s pop to contemporary pop depending on who the feature DJ is. Now I mentioned the golden hour before, for me its usually between 10-12PM before it gets too crowded. And crowded isn't the word for it on some nights. We're talking elbow to elbow downstairs on the dance floor but if that's your scene more power to you. The drinks can be kinda pricey but that's what you can expect from a DC establishment with no cover. During the day they serve pretty decent food which is a plus. All in all its a nice space to come start your night off and head to less crowded waters when you've had your fill. Get in early enough and snag a bite to eat before you really get going.
Terrific Beer Selection and 2 Fun Scenes Upstairs/Downstairs
Matt A. Aug 7, 2012
Cafe Saint Ex is a terrific spot to grab a beer with buddies. They have one of the more varied beer selections in the city including Delirium Tremens, which can lead to a long and fun evening. Upstairs is an always lively bar scene and downstairs becomes a packed dance scene on the weekends. It tends to get unbelievable hot down there though. If you are nearby during the day, they serve a great burger for lunch or early dinner. Also close to a number of other good bars that are easy to pop by such as Bar Pilar.
Great place to meet your buddies for a drink
Sherry M. Aug 5, 2012
It's easy, it's casual, and it's comfortable... A step up from the college bar scene. Saint-Ex is one of my go-to places, when I'm going to grab drinks with my friends.
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