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Elite Cafe Reviews List

Elite Cafe

This beautiful original Art Deco building began as the Lincoln Grill in 1928. Since 1981, it has been The Elite Cafe. Since its inception, The Elite has served exquisite food with the flavors of New Orleans. Our current menu continues this tradition but with an emphasis on seasonality, the freshest local ingredients, and a lighter touch in our preparation. From the original mahogany booths to the beautiful full bar to the unsurpassed people watching on the Upper Fillmore, The Elite Cafe has something for everyone. We now offer HEATED-OUTDOOR Dining. Enjoy Brunch, Dinner, or a glass of wine while experiencing one of San Francisco's most exciting Shopping & People-Watching streets.
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429 Current Reviews
Summary of Diner Ratings & Reviews
Overall 
4.1 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.1 / 5
(429 Reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown 429 reviews
5 stars
(182)
4 stars
(139)
3 stars
(71)
2 stars
(29)
1 star
(8)
Food 
4 / 5
(Outstanding) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4.1 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.1 / 5
Noise Level
2.2 / 3
Energetic
Value 
3.7 / 5
(Very Good) 3.7 / 5
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Diners classify this restaurant as:
  • neighborhood gem(172)
  • fit for foodies(124)
  • great for brunch(93)
  • romantic(70)
  • special occasion(67)
  • vibrant bar scene(66)
Elite Cafe Reviews List
Review 1 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 3/22/2016
 2009
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Review 2 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Until We Meet Again

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
"Elite Cafe always served with the utmost care and smile. Food was always great and so was the staff. The vibe was energetic but never frenetic. EC embraced that southern hospitality and it carried through to the vintage decor, too. I am going to miss Peter Snyderman and so sorry to hear that EC sold. Not sure how it's personality will incarnate with the new owner but I hope that the name remains!"
Dined on 3/27/2016
 2007
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, great for brunch, hot spot, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
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Review 3 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

We'll Miss You, Elite Cafe!

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/27/2016
 2006
Dined on 3/27/2016
 2006
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
"We frequented Elite Cafe and went for their final service which was brunch on Easter. Hoping the new ownership keeps the great vibe, food, and service going when they reopen."
Dined on 3/27/2016
 2006
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch
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Review 4 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/27/2016
 2010
Dined on 3/27/2016
 2010
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Dined on 3/27/2016
 2010
Special Features: great for brunch
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Review 5 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Really good as always!

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/26/2016
 2007
Dined on 3/26/2016
 2007
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 3/26/2016
 2007
Special Features: neighborhood gem
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Review 6 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 3/25/2016
 2005
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Review 7 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/25/2016
 2009
Dined on 3/25/2016
 2009
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 3/25/2016
 2009
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Review 8 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 3/23/2016
 2004
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Review 9 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Farewell and thank you, Elite.

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
"Having once lived in New Orleans, I adore good NOLA-style food, and Elita has steadily delivered. Such was the case this past week, when we visited the restaurant for one last dinner before it closed ahead of its new owner taking over.
Elite's new owners have some big shoes to fill. The fried green tomatoes and jambalaya took me back to my beloved New Orleans in just a few bites (thankfully, without NOLA's annoying humidity). Elite's Sazerac was a consistently good choice. Service was outstanding, as usual. we saw many a hug shared between restaurant regulars and various staff members, which was touching.
I'll miss the Elite that served as a bright beacon to me for more than 25 years. I look forward to seeing how the restaurant's new ownership evolves this classic establishment, and wish them well."
Dined on 3/25/2016
 2000
Special Features: neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies
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Review 10 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/24/2016
 2016
Dined on 3/24/2016
 2016
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 3/24/2016
 2016
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Review 11 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 3/15/2016
 2007
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Review 12 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Oh what night on March 23, 2016

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
"The night of the 23rd , We was able to walk right in to get our reserved seat, Brooke was our server , she did an excellent job on , telling me and the Wife, what she was bringing in a Six Course meal , Each time , she broke it down on, what it is, what's in it , From Amuse thru First course thru Sixth ..she even told us the year of the wine , what kind it is and brand and we was served wine at least 6 times thru out , lost track how many times, the buzzes was climbing :) , she was very professional thru out the 2 hours of the night, And in Between bringing out the dishes , the Sous Chef Nelson Claros came out to greet us , asking how was the food, and how we like it , He explain in details , how it was cook and so on......The food tasted very delicious and unique , Can't wait to go to see them again :) Very well done to all the staff that had smiles on their face , making us feel very welcome .... Thank You all"
Dined on 3/23/2016
 2010
Special Features: romantic, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, late-night find
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Review 13 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Dined on 3/25/2016
 2003
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Review 14 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Dined on 3/11/2016
 2008
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Review 15 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 3/19/2016
 2007
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Review 16 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Dined on 3/22/2016
 2007
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies
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Review 17 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Sort-of Cajun

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2008
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2008
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
"The chef takes a lot of liberties with Cajun/Creole cuisine that do not quite hit the mark. The crawfish is sparse on the ziti pasta (yes, I said pasta). The jambalaya is way too salty and oily, with unnecessary Brussels spouts mixed in and broccolini on top (what?). Desserts were equally underwhelming (beignet was good by the chocolate sauce and coffee ice cream were too tart), and service staff was blunt and unfriendly. With a live band, the restaurant tends to be very noisy, but you can escape the chaos by requesting a booth (very private). I want to like the place, but some areas will need to improve before I become a regular."
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2008
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Review 18 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

It will be missed!

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2015
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2015
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
"Elite, as it is now, will be missed! Unfortunately, this visit was a reflection of the staff knowing that will be gone by month's end. Sad to see it go and go out without much love from the staff."
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2015
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Review 19 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Food 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Dined on 3/18/2016
 2012
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Review 20 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
"Service was a real let down. The waiter took 30 minutes to get our drinks to us, They served our appetizer - oysters after all the side dishes had come out, so was inappropriate eating sequence. Beinets were not good. They were hard, almost stale."
Dined on 3/19/2016
 2006
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Review 21 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2014
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Review 22 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 3/16/2016
 2013
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Review 23 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2005
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2005
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"The food was pretty good. We liked the shrimp dish as an appetizer and the Devils eggs were ok. For the mains, we had the jambalaya and the pork chops. The jambalaya was ok but the pork chops were cooked nicely. We liked the beignets for dessert but wished it was a little bit lighter. It was a bit dense. I think the food was overall pretty good but the service was a bit lacking. We waited a long time to get water and then for each course, it was lengthy time b4 the waiter checked on us."
Dined on 3/20/2016
 2005
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Review 24 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/18/2016
 2007
Dined on 3/18/2016
 2007
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 3/18/2016
 2007
Special Features: great for lunch
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Review 25 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 3/19/2016
 2014
Special Features: good for groups, great for brunch
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Review 26 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/15/2016
 2016
Dined on 3/15/2016
 2016
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 3/15/2016
 2016
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Review 27 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Dined on 3/19/2016
 2012
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Review 28 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

Dined on 3/17/2016
 2006
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Review 29 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 3/19/2016
 2012
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Review 30 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

Good they are closing!

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/16/2016
 2005
Dined on 3/16/2016
 2005
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
"Too bad. What had been a historically great dining spot on Filmore has become a run-of-the-mill restaurant with a mediocre menu and excessive music noise."
Dined on 3/16/2016
 2005
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Review 31 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 3/18/2016
 2003
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Review 32 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Fell short

Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Value 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
"I was very excited to finally try Elite Cafe for a birthday brunch. My partner got the smoked trout benedict and enjoyed it, I had the winter veggie hash and it was very disappointing. The winter veggies were just carrots, celery, and potatoes, undercooked, with two eggs on top. The sauce that covered it was heavy but tasteless.
Definitely didn't live up to expectations and at that price point we won't be back.
"
Dined on 3/13/2016
 2012
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Review 33 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 3/14/2016
 2006
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Review 34 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"Happy to see fried brussel sprouts on the menu-amazing dish! Ribs are divine, too.
Thanks, Brook, for such fine service: you're the best!
"
Dined on 3/16/2016
 2008
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Review 35 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 3/13/2016
 2006
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Review 36 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/13/2016
 2007
Dined on 3/13/2016
 2007
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 3/13/2016
 2007
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
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Review 37 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/12/2016
 2012
Dined on 3/12/2016
 2012
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 3/12/2016
 2012
Special Features: romantic, great for brunch, hot spot, special occasion, kid-friendly
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Review 38 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/06/2016
 2009
Dined on 3/06/2016
 2009
Dined on 3/06/2016
 2009
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Review 39 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/11/2016
 2014
Dined on 3/11/2016
 2014
Dined on 3/11/2016
 2014
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Review 40 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 3/03/2016
 2008
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Review 41 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Prix-fix menu is awesome

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/06/2016
 2015
Dined on 3/06/2016
 2015
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 3/06/2016
 2015
Special Features: romantic, hot spot, special occasion, fit for foodies
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Review 42 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

A Great New Orleans Style Restaurant

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
"My friends and I go to Elite Cafe at least twice a year and always enjoy it. The room is almost always buzzing, whether it is the time of day for brunch or if it is later in the day. The staff are fun and the food is really good. I do not come from New Orleans, so, my taste for these dishes may not be as discerning as others, but, I enjoy all of the Elite Cafe's versions of cajun/creole classics - I love their red beans & rice, their etoufee, their jambalaya (though it wasn't available this last time we were there), and especially their barbecue shrimp. The wine list is a little drab, but very servicable, and the bartenders know how to make your New Orleans classics like a Corpse Reviver, Vieux Carre, or a Sazerac. I just adore their ambiance, that they still use tablecloths, the silverware, and the old booths and tables (though the white napkins are always especially super-linty, though I always forget to ask if they have black napkins). So, if you can't make it to New Orleans, for a fun casual meal, Elit is just perfect."
Dined on 3/05/2016
 2000
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
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Review 43 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 3/04/2016
 2006
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Review 44 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 2/26/2016
 2009
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Review 45 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 3/06/2016
 2005
Special Features: great for brunch
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Review 46 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Dined on 3/06/2016
 2008
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Review 47 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

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OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 3/05/2016
 2015
Dined on 3/05/2016
 2015
Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 3/05/2016
 2015
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Review 48 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/14/2016
 2006
Dined on 2/14/2016
 2006
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 2/14/2016
 2006
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Review 49 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Dined on 3/05/2016
 2006
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Review 50 for Elite Cafe
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Dined on 2/27/2016
 2014
Special Features: vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, late-night find
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