Seattle >Food & Dining > Cafe Flora
2901 E Madison St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9811247.624057 -122.295056
Neighborhoods: Stevens, Capitol Hill
Step into the animal-safe world of Cafe Flora, complete with a thriving indoor jungle in a restaurant sanctuary extension. Beyond the vegetarian cuisine concept, the food is creative and delicious, the staff is very accommodating the the cocktails are deceptively dangerous.
Highly disappointed! My partner and I went there for my birthday since I knew it was a vegetarian restaurant. The service was good but the food was both disappointing and expensive for what you got. He ordered a cheese florentine pizza sans the smoked mozarella for plain and I ordered the french dip ala protabella mushroom. We both ordered wine but at 9.50 and 10.00 a glass I thought that was rather high. His pizza was ok, the sauce tasted like it came out of a can (light red) more like ragu or something. My sandwich came out and first the yam fries were cold, and I mean cold not a good sign of the kitchen. Then my sandwich had just a little cheese light onion and shavings of portabella mushroom (probably about a dollar or less worth). It tasted like bread with au jus on eating. My mistake was not having them take it back for I ate almost a half before I realized was was actually going on.
We exited the restaurant and saw how poorly they have kept up the out side. The window seals were loose therefore moisture in the windows. Plants that really had not been taken care of. Walking into the restaurant there was dirt grass and other things all over the entrance. And I thought they might be living off their reputation instead of staying current and really excelling in the kitchen which they obviously have not. This was our first and probably our last to ever go to Cafe Flora. I wanted to really like them but was so highly disappointed will probably never go back there again.
Meat eaters will love it too – When I hear people talking about vegetarian restaurants I often hear meat eaters complain that there's nothing for them to eat on the menu and then talk about twigs or rabbit food. Well, as a steak loving, pulled pork eating, fried chicken adoring meat eater here, I want to tell you meat eater that you will NOT be missing out on a thing when you go to Cafe Flora. The food here is hearty and unique. Get the French Dip sandwich, the Oaxaca Tacos or the Portobello Wellington. Whatever you do, don't skip the fried avocado or the yam fries. They also have great cocktails! Go for brunch as everything, and I mean everything on the brunch menu is delicious: French Toast Foster, the Cinnamon Rolls, Spicy Black Eye Pea Fritters and all the scrambles. After your meal, you will be full and never even realized there wasn't bacon on the plate.
A once great place that has slipped a notch or two – I have been going to Cafe Flora from the very beginning and have always seen it as a "rare treat" - that is until about the last year or two. I can attest to a reviewers comment about the Oaxaca tacos. This is one of their signature entrees along with the Portobello Wellington. With the Oaxaca tacos, instead of serving it with the "pico de gallo", they are now serving it was some cheap tasting salsa. I thought it was really disgusting and really cheapened the dish. My wife routinely gets the Portobello Wellington, and even this signature dish is not as good as it used to be - often doughy and just not good. Same thing with their Hoppin' John Fritters which I often get during their weekend brunch. The collards are not as tasty as they used to be - in fact they are kinda yucky if I have to be honest. Another signature dish gone bad.
Here is my feeling. You don't mess with your signature dishes! They are signature dishes for a reason and people grow to expect them to be a certain way. Very disappointing.
Secondly, the food seems to be worse on the weekends and especially Sunday night. That's when we've had the worst food.
My last complaint is about the noise. They remodeled a couple years ago and removed all of the carpeting in the main room. That means that there is nothing to dampen the sound. During weekend brunch it is extremely noisy - the garden room is quieter so aim for that if you can.
Like so many longterm restaurants that suffer through changes in chefs, cuisine and turnover, I fear that Cafe Flora's best days are behind her.
An everyday spot to eat – I've been to Cafe Flora twice. Once for brunch and once for dinner. Fresh eggs are always great, and the menu inspired me to take home their cook book.
I returned home to SF, and tried out many of their recipes.
Upon returning to Seattle, I decided to order one of their signature dishes. The Oaxaca Tacos. I think I did a better job making them at home. That's a problem.
Still, the food is great. It's not overly rich and tastes very home-made. The dishes are always creative although sometimes strange, but most importantly they try new things and mix a lot of different styles together, which keeps things interesting. The environment and staff are cool, not uptight. It's the type of place I could see myself frequenting quite regularly.
Good service makes the food taste better, I swear. – Okay yes the yam fries are quite good. I also really liked the vegan version (how hard is that?) of the black bean burger, the bun was nice. Though it is no special feat to make vegan mayonnaise, or buy veganaise, I do appreciate the alternative offerings of the sauces. To be honest, I don't fully go there to pay ten dollars for a mashed bean burger and vegan mayonnaise. I go there because the atmosphere is quite fantastic, there are plants and lots of sunlight, and I leave there feeling better than when I came. Each time I have been, the service was outstanding, friendly, and fairly efficient.
Overpriced and over-hyped – Firstly, I've been a vegetarian all my life and I know how good it can taste. After listening to people rave about this place and looking at such high ratings, I took my wife out to this place for her birthday for lunch. The celebrated Yam fries were decent and the fried avocado was so bland. The pizza was at best just acceptable and the noodles were horrible. The server recommended dessert was just a pie crust in strawberry/raspberry jam. I must compliment them on their friendliness and service though - that was top-notch.
We ended up spending $60 on very average food. To set things even I took her to another place in the evening, where the same $60 on dinner gave us amazing food. I feel that this place is over-rated.
For Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians – You must try the sweet potatoe fries!! Love Cafe Flora's take on "meat" dishes like French Dip and Biscuits and Gravy. My husband is a meat eater and this is one of his favorite restaurants!
Fantastic food for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike! – My daughter and I recently ate at Cafe Flora, she's a vegetarian and I am not so we looked for something to please us both. Well, this is it. The portobello mushroom French dip was worth fighting over, better than any beef version I have ever had. The pate platter was a delicious appetizer and we enjoyed the unusual rosemary lemonade. Desserts were fine, too. Attentive, friendly service. Dine in the atrium if you can.
Great vegetarian – I really liked this restaurant. I've enjoyed the food each time I visited, and I appreciate how creative the chefs are, given this is a vegetarian restaurant. I am a vegetarian, and it's great to have more protein options. Nice atmosphere.
Great service, great food, the whole package! – I have been to Cafe Flora three times, twice with my husband, and once with a large group. All three times were spectacular! The yam fries appetizer is amazing. I think it's the chipotle aioli that makes it great. I ordered the sage polenta twice and it was outstanding. The sauces they make from scratch are perfect. My husband had the tacos which were really rolled up crispy tortillas. He thought they were great. I love their ever-changing seasonal menus. Their wine list is good too. Now the desserts. MMMM! We had the cheesecake with a port wine reduction sauce. To. Die. For. I have dreams about this cheesecake.
And on top of all that, the service is top notch! When we came in with the large party, they let us make a reservation even though our party was one less than the minimum requirement (they only take reservations for parties of 8 or more), and then they held the nicest table in the house for us despite multiple requests for the table from other patrons. The server never got frustrated with us even though two members of our party didn't speak much English and we all stayed until half an hour after closing time.
I very highly recommend Cafe Flora to everyone. Veggies and non-veggies alike will love it!
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