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“Trendy and busy restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Cafe

The Cafe
2616 Northridge Parkway, Ames, IA 50010
+1 515-292-0100
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Ranked #1 of 149 Restaurants in Ames
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: Coffee Shop
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night
Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Trendy and busy restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

The menu is simple but varied. Plenty of choices for any type of appetite. Food is well prepared and served on time. Save room for dessert! Bar area is small, however it is first class as well. Always a wait at dinner hour, sadly.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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247 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    165
    59
    13
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
midwest
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere AND Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Had Breakfast and Dinner here. Get big portions and everything tasted great! I love the atmosphere and the furnishings of the place as well. Although I haven't tried one yet, they have the best looking desserts ever! I will be trying one in the near future. Both waitresses we had were very nice and knowledgeable. We had some gluten free questions and if they didn't already know the answer, they quickly went to the chef to find out. Very accommodating. Kids can easily go here and it also would be a great place for a very special and/or a romantic occasion. Definitely recommend it. The menu does change some with the seasons I believe, which just adds to the appeal of this place.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Not the best!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

So we come to Ames for some business and as we approach the last night here we go to trip advisor for the best food and what appears top choice is....the Cafe. So my buddy insists we try this place out. What i didnt know that i was walking into maybe the hot "gay" spot. As we look at the menu all the items are very feminine and dressed up. As we wait for are food we discuss walking out the side door to head on down to Texas Roadhouse for a more of our kind of food joint. So needless to say if you are going on a date with a dude of the same sex or a chick of the opposite sex this place might just be for you..but if you and some buddies are looking for a good meal, you might want to stick to Roadhouse or Hickory Park, just my opinion. We were caught a little off guard. Thanks for taking the time to read this as I dont think number one on this list of places in Ames is this place.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado, USA
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Shockingly good”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013 via mobile

What a delight.

I travel a lot, and have come to expect little in the way of quality food service and preparation among mid-sized towns in the Midwest. Not criticizing, it's just not their strength.

The Cafe is a notable exception to that rule, and it's easy to see why it is the #1 restaurant in Ames on TripAdvisor. Really, really well done. I will go out of my way to come back.

Edamame were steamed and salted perfectly. Salad was dressed just right, with flavor in every bite but no puddle at the bottom of the bowl. Fish tacos were crisp but saucy. I would argue that the sauce was a little runny, but they were one step ahead of me, putting an insulating layer of tortilla inside the outer shell... not enough thickness to ruin the taste but enough to avoid the sloppy results of "wet tortilla". And the banana cream pie? Almost as good as my mother used to make. I might say more, but I wouldn't want to make the woman who bore me cry.

Decor was charming, not overdone, intimate but well-lit with good music that wasn't too loud. Wait at the door? You bet. And if this place were in a big city like Boston or Chicago it would still have a wait at the door. Either the wait is worth it to you, or you should find another place to eat.

Thanks for a memorable evening.

Visited August 2013
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PVE CA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“best in Ames”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

When we visit our daughter in Ames,
we always head to the Cafe. We
could eat there every night. Excellent
and interesting healthy choices like
veggie burger or veggie risotto.
Then the dizzying array of selections
for dessert - always excellent.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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