The objective of the study was to evaluate the hygienic-sanitary conditions and the microbial community profile of tables and tableware of a food service located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The characterization of the sanitation process of the tableware (plates, trays and cutlery) and the tables was carried out by systematic observation. The tableware were washed in washing machine and the tables, cleaned by hand. After this process, the tableware presented moisture and food residues. For the culture-dependent method, 126 sanitized samples (tableware: n = 90 and tables: n = 36) were analyzed. Mesophilic bacteria, coliforms, fungi, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were investigated. 100% of the sampled tableware and 80% of the sampled tables presented microbial counts higher than recommended in literature. The surfaces were in inadequate hygienic-sanitary conditions. E. coli was isolated in the tableware and S. aureus in the tables. By independent culture methods (PCR-DGGE and 16S rRNA sequencing), 36 samples (tableware: n = 27 and tables: n = 9) were analyzed. Klebsiella sp. and Acinetobacter sp. were detected in all samples, Citrobacter sp. was found on the tables and Aeromonas hydrophila in the cutlery. Results showed that the analyzed surfaces had indicative and pathogenic microorganisms, which can cause loss of quality in meals, as well as damages to the consumers’ health. Therefore, it is necessary to adapt the tableware and tables hygiene process in order to minimize the risk of contamination and food disease outbreaks.