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“Good food and good music”
Review of Cafe Aroma

Cafe Aroma
Ranked #2 of 42 Restaurants in Idyllwild
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American, Italian, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations, Takeout
Description: TripAdvisor's #1 Rated Restaurant in Idyllwild for 2014 Working in tandem with amazing culinary talent, some of which have gone on to The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY and Le Cordon Bleu, the Aroma kitchen team uses classic recipes infused with unique, original ingredients, to create beautiful dishes with French, Nuevo Latino, Asian and SoCal influences. Cafe Aroma proudly supports our local farmers, wineries and brewers and features fresh, organic, and sustainable products, along with vegetarian and gluten free options. A unique bistro-gallery experience, featuring some of Idyllwild's most well-known and accomplished artists, featured in two-month, rotating exhibits. Idyllwild's hippest and funkiest dining establishment, Cafe Aroma is the hot spot on "The Hill." Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, along with great snacks and desserts and an assortment of bottled micro-brews and local, artisan wines, indoors or out, on our free Wi-Fi enabled patio deck, the inspiration of Cafe Aroma's "accidental owner" for the last 12 years, Hubert Halkin. Hubert's list of deeds is long, including being an Idyllwild resident for many years, Professor Emeritus and Department Chair of Mathematics at UCSD, a mean bridge player, and all around groovy Frenchman. Not to mention...You won't believe what he can demonstrate table-side with a straw and your Osso Bucco bone! Music is one of the cafe's cornerstones, and features an amazing array of talented musicians, known locally, regionally and nationally. It's no wonder that, among musicians, Cafe Aroma's outdoor stage is known as the Madison Square Garden of Idyllwild! The community of Idyllwild is an eclectic collection of souls, comprised of entrepreneurs, artists of every flavor, hipsters and church-goers, authors and meditators, some really cool, old school jazz cats, and a few belly dancers and ballerinas. Cafe Aroma is the gathering place for everyone, the place to "see and be seen" and features the most dog-friendly patio around. Restaurant, Art Gallery, Social Club and a Home Away From Home...If your home was this cool!
Pasadena, California, USA
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Good food and good music”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

This is a nice place to go with friends and enjoy the food, drinks, and music. There was a live band that was entertaining. The proportions were excellent. I believe the food should be good and not try to overload on portion size. I had the spaghetti and meatballs and my friend had the lasagna. We both were pleased with or meals. We were carbing up for our hike the next day. I would go back here again for sure.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank LAJFJ2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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481 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    291
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Riverside
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Forgettable meal”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

My husband and I were excited about eating at Cafe Aroma because of all the positive reviews we had read. Perhaps we were there on an off night, but the meal was average at best. I got the polenta pie and it was dry and bland. My husband ordered the steak medium rare and it was over cooked and the sides were disappointing. Of the three meals we ate in Idyllwild, this one was our least favorite.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Sawadee28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Worst service, We left.”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Sat for 15min, no service. When we finally got a menu and water, the menu said they automatically add 18% gratuity to the bill. We got the hell out of there!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Jennie73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Food, Warm Friendly Service, Cool Jazz”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We had no idea what to expect when walking into this funky little place with a nice patio, live musicians, and a rustic coziness. After finishing a long hike in the San Jacinto Mountains about an hour's drive out of the hot desert of Palm Springs up into cool mountain air, with the wonderful aroma of pine and spruce and scrub oak, and taking one of the many beautiful and somewhat aerobic ( at least the one we intentionally chose) hikes for 2 and 1/2 hours or so, we drove into the funky/arts and music town of Idyllwild, and found the Cafe' Aroma . We were treated to immediate friendly intelligent service, a great menu, wonderful coffee while listening to a terrific trio of keyboards, bass vile, and saxophone, all played at a respectful volume so that it was easy to converse. The music was played and sung with passion and skill! We learned that they have live music every night of the week, mostly alternating jazz with blues. Terrific ! An exceptional meal, well prepared and served, good wine i was told and most excellent coffee I can attest to, wonderful music and cool breezes from the mountains.. Mmmmmmm Mmmmmm ! What's not to Love about that !

rev. David Logan

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank DavidLOGAN47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“4TH OF JULY in the Pines”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We watched the parade in town and the band turned around and marched up hill to the restaurant and continued playing in the heat! They had people up and dancing during lunchtime! The food is consistently good, breakfast, lunch, & dinner. When in Idyllwild, Cafe Aroma never disappoints.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank naomid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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