Prince Cafe’s Less Than Royal Standards

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get out and enjoy Tenleytown’s restaurant scene more … and to make progress on Tenleytown, D.C.‘s restaurant reviews at the same time. The neighborhood has a lot to offer, including a variety of global cuisines from sushi to Indian to French and places in between.

However, as I set out to follow through with at least this resolution, I am disheartened that one establishment has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately.

It seems that the owner of the Prince Cafe restaurants has been having some challenges keeping up with the DC Department of Health’s standards. While the Georgetown location has received the most notoriety, including this recent disturbing report from WUSA9, the Tenleytown location also has had its fair share of problems.

A November 8, 2013 health inspection found 13 critical violations, as well as an additional eight non-critical violations, with major issues including a rodent infestation, a lack of hot water and no certified food protection manager. The restaurant passed a subsequent inspection on November 15, though two violations were noted.

Online reviews would indicate that Prince Cafe has persistent issues with regards to the quality of its food, sheesha, and cleanliness. Commenters on the Tenleytown, D.C. site also have raised concerns.

As an ardent fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, it’s disappointing that what could be a fun local spot for the ubiquitous kebaab, kibbeh and baba ghanoush leaves this diner not even wanting to cross the threshold. I sincerely hope that the owner brings in some new management to turn things around, especially as other establishments like the revamped Dancing Crab and Public Tenley are bringing new life to this block of Tenleytown.

Fortunately, those craving the tastes of the Middle East can enjoy them at another Tenleytown restaurant – and one that has received lots of praise.  Café Olé at the southeastern end of Tenleytown has a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes to satisfy the taste buds, and they even deliver. I think I just might need to dine there again this week. Keep an eye out for a review soon.


Disagree with the reviews of Prince Cafe? Have your own experience to share? Let me know in the comments section.


  • I’ve been disappointed in Café Prince. In addition to Café Ole, Cava is a Middle-eastern type restaurant.

  • Cafe Prince is consistently ranked one of the worst restaurants in DC. Think I’m kidding? Check out the Fearless Critic book which came out in 2009. No other restaurant scored as low. Also check out Yelp and other social media sites, it’s just an epic fail of biblical proportions.

  • I remember the previous owner of the Prince Cafe – a lovely woman from Egypt if I remember correctly. The food was always good and my family would eat there often. When it became Prince Cafe, we ate there once and never went back. Everyone smoking hookahs around us was enough to turn us off.