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“A great way to start or end a visit to Morikami” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cornell Cafe

Cornell Cafe
4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446
561-495-0233, ext. 219
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Ranked #9 of 319 Restaurants in Delray Beach
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Families with children, Romantic
Dining options: Outdoor Seating
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A great way to start or end a visit to Morikami”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

After driving up here from South FL to visit Morikami, my boyfriend and I were both starving and in need of sustenance. Just beyond the museum entrance, the Cornell Cafe beckoned and we happily indulged prior to our visit to the gardens.

I had the teriyaki grilled chicken, which came with rice and veggies. The teriyaki was sweet but not overly so, and the rice was cooked to that perfect texture. It was a decently sized portion, and just tasty and filling enough to satisfy my hunger without weighing me down for a walk through the gardens later. Prices are surprisingly reasonable for a museum cafe establishment: most entrees are under or around $10 (expect to pay more for the sushi, obviously). Service was unobtrusive, speedy, and efficient, and the staff is Japanese, lending a little bit to the credibility/authenticity factor.

The view from the patio overlooking the gardens is to die for. Morikami makes you feel like you've been transported to somewhere outside Florida (if not Japan, California maybe?) and enjoying the view of the lake and gardens as you dine only adds to that experience. Definitely one of the best museum cafe experiences I've had.

Bottom line: top off (or start!) a visit to Morikami with a lunch at the Cornell Cafe. It will only add to your day of Japanese immersion.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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51 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Delray Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
232 reviews 232 reviews
181 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
“Surprise Inside Morikami Gardens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

While visiting the Morikami Museum and Gardens you must stop for lunch at the Cornell Cafe, inside the Museum Building. It is a wonderful Japanese/Asian restaurant that serves only lunch. On a recent visit we had delicious egg rolls and cold sesame noodles as appetizers. The lunch bowls of chicken, pork or eel served over rice are always a hit. My favorite is the Bento Box, which contains rice, chicken and salmon teriyaki, asian eggplant, red shrimp, pork and vege dumplings, three sushi pieces, an egg roll and the most delicious fried tofu (and I am not a tofu lover). For $13.95 you get to sample the best of their menu. We finished up with a dessert of Manju Ice Cream, which is two bon bons wrapped in rice paste of green tea or red bean. I did not expect to like them, but they were quite delicious. The restaurant has outdoor tables on a covered balcony overlooking the Morikami gardens. A beautiful place to dine. For those who do not like eating outside or for those too hot days in Florida, there is also an inside dining room. I highly recommend for some very good Japanese/Asian food.

Visited January 2012
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Restaurant, twice was too many. Don't let that stop you from visiting Morikami!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

I reviewed the restaurant last time as part of our overall visit to Morikami, I thought it could use a review here as well since there don't seem to be many.

We enjoy food, particularly good food. We've eaten at Cornell Cafe twice now- once a full meal and this time a light lunch-- same experience both times. Not here to tell you to eat or not eat just sharing our honest opinion. We offer two points for consideration: 1) The quality of the food is just ok, sometimes not very good, for the price they can certainly do better, and 2) not really Japanese.

Our family IS Japanese- American. We cook Japanese food at home frequently so maybe from that standpoint we're kind of overly picky about authenticity. I can see where people might enjoy this place as an experience, especially if this was the only 'Japanese' meal someone had eaten. But it's just about as Japanese as Banquet's Frozen Enchiladas are good Mexican. Compared with what you would find at a family table in Japan the food at Cornell is distinctly Chinese in style. Much more greasy and salty than traditional Japanese food. And spices, as well as some ingredients, that are common in Chinese cooking but not Japanese. There are also a lot of warmed up prepackaged freezer type foods, not made from scratch, and the quality shows it.

Don't let authenticity dissuade you from stopping to eat in a beautiful setting. Just don't go away thinking that is what Japanese food tastes like.

Quality wise, the miso has been consistently good. We enjoyed the mochi ice cream last time, but this time it was freezer burned. Everything else has been just ok to so bad we left it, we aren't picky eaters. Ingredients often just don't taste fresh. And the bento box was mostly those aforementioned grocery store type convenience foods from the freezer. blech. Because the place had such high reviews we went back to see if maybe the first time was just an off day, unfortunately it was consistent with the first. All argument over authenticity aside, it just hasn't been very enjoyable food. Twice was more than enough, we won't go back.

There are obviously people who do enjoy it so maybe you will as well. To each their own tastes :) And we love Morikami so even if you don't eat there, go visit!

As a side tip: I think it is a middle-aged Chinese couple that runs/owns the restaurant, they are always there. The gentleman is very sweet but the lady who often works in the kitchen is ornery. If you have any questions ask the man. And it is beautiful to sit out on the veranda during the winter! (no bugs)

  • Visited January 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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New York City
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Tranquil Japanese”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

Lunch here offers tasty & well prepared Japanese light fare & entrees in a beautiful setting. The Morikami Musem & Gardens are a true gem.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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wellington, fl
Top Contributor
263 reviews 263 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
“If I lived closer, I'd eat here every week!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

Can't believe no one has rated this charmer before. It's inside the Morikami Museum, so you should either become a member (I did...free admission to grounds, discount at CC as well as a truly wonderful gift shop there!!), or just visit the Japanese gardens & include eatting on your agenda!

There's inside seating but the best is sitting outside overlooking the lake and gardens...if you were stressed when you came in, you won't be when you leave!

The food is wonderful and not at all expensive. I always have the gyoza and some miso soup because it's so fab I'd hate to miss it. Once I got a grouper dinner to go and it was delicious (& a huge portion!). I've never seen anyone there not having a fun dining experience. They have wine and beer in case you'd like some.

During the summer they have one Fri. nite each month when the restaurant and the grounds are open until 8:30pm...they call it sushi & stroll. Also nitetime Obon festival with fireworks.

This is one of my favorite places in S.FL and the Cornell Cafe was rated as one of the top museum restaurants in the nation!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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