We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
All 160 Ames Restaurants

The Cafe

2616 Northridge Parkway, Ames, IA
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 160 Restaurants in Ames
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $10 - $20
Sun - Thu 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Cuisines: Café
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Late Night
Write a Review

213 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2014 NEW via mobile

At busiest times, Sunday mornings, the wait can approach half an hour. However, the preparation, the plating, the knowledge of the servers, the freshness of the dishes, all approach perfection. At times the menu can be a bit limited, but the quality reigns supreme.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

The location is convenient to the ISU campus. Decor is casual, warm and comfortable. We all had steaks and agreed they were well cooked and flavorful, but were not quite lean enough. Garlic mashed potatoes were terrific, as were the mushrooms served with our steaks. Portions were generous, but not outrageous in size (other than the mac and cheese). We... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014

Delicious dinner for a great price. The variety of menu choices will be sure to have something for everyone. Try the grilled cauliflower appetizer with tzatziki. Loved the vegetable chilaquiles with eggplant and peppers and an egg sunny side up! We also tried the Mac and cheese that they are known for but we were less than impressed. If you... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Wheaton, Illinois
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014

Our family has come here many times. When visiting Ames, you are always guaranteed a wonderful meal, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu changes seasonally and every meal has been a wonderful experience. The ingredients are always fresh, the choices are always impressive and the atmosphere is friendly. We usually have a wait before we are seated, but... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Princeton, Illinois
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

My son and I were visiting Iowa state university. Looking for anything healthy and not a chain was a challenge. But we were in a shop downtown Ames and asked around. This place was a short 10 minute drive. They do not take reservations and there's really no place to comfortably wait. But needless to say it was worth waiting... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

OK, so, they don't take reservations, plan accordingly. 'had breakfast at the Cafe this morning?Sun, 12 Oct. Arrived a 8:20 am and had a 20 minute wait to be seated - no big deal. From the point after being seated everything went according to Hoyle. One in our party order their two egss with one 'over-easy' and the other 'scrambled'... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Marshalltown, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

This has to be the best place to eat in ames for breakfast! Friendly atmosphere, classy and clean, excellent food! I had the eggs, toast, and potatoes with a zucchini pancake on the side. It was the best pancake I have ever had! Good portions and delicious. Potatoes have small onions and green peppers with a buttery flavor. They change... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Ames, Iowa
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014

I love this restaurant for all the reasons mentioned, but it's almost certain that you will have to stand in a cramped area waiting for a half hour or more to get a table. It's especially uncomfortable in the winter when you can't wait outside. They don't take reservations, and the place is very popular. Frankly, I don't bother going... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Madison, Wisconsin
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014

Some girlfriends and I recently enjoyed the brunch at The Cafe. I had the zucchini pancakes and a caramel latte. Both were delicious. I actually tend to not like pancakes much, but the zucchini sounded intriguing and I am very glad that I gave them a try! Someone else tried the Monte Cristo and said that was delicious as well.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Liberty, Missouri
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2014

We visited The Café and Dublin Bay two days apart and found that their top 5 ratings in Ames completely justified. At the café we found everyone pleasant, knowledgeable and professional, the food interesting and different, Parking was easy, at 12:45 just a short wait for a comfortable table. A little difficult to find, but worth the trip. Other good... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed The Cafe also viewed


Been to The Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing