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“Past it's Freshness Date”
Review of The Courier Cafe

The Courier Cafe
Ranked #2 of 96 Restaurants in Urbana
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
33 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Past it's Freshness Date”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

The Courier has been around for years, and it's showing. It used to be a family favorite, but in 20 years it seems to have gone steadily downhill. The hostess was clearly having a bad day, and wiped down my table with a soggy rag and literally tossed the menu down. Great, wet table. The two servers were actually great, including Sarah who was new and in training. Looking around, the carpet was filthy, and the decor is tired, tired, tired. I was taken aback that the place clearly needed cleaning and the hostess simply leaned on the counter, which was covered in papers and newspapers, and ignored it all.

I had an unremarkable cheeseburger and cold fries. I didn't have the heart to complain as it wasn't the servers fault. I paid the still surly hostess and left. The servers there could do much better. Clearly the owners have no desire to update the menu, decor, or service standards. Save your money and head to Murphy's Pub over on campus instead. I am not kidding when I say the menu has not changed at the Courier in more than 20 years, and the cleanliness and food quality is poor.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank D557JLLeigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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279 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    136
    107
    22
    6
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Local favorite”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

The Courier comes steeped in Urbana culture and history. The menu even includes a history of the building, which was once a newspaper office. Foodwise, we enjoy their sandwiches and malts, usually accompanied by the salad bar. You pay by weight at the salad bar, so be well aware of what you're adding to your plate.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sarah3M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Ugh”
Reviewed April 14, 2014

Okay, we're from the big city where we are lucky enough to have so many dining options that we never have to go to a bad restaurant. Still, we have often found great places (not fancy or expensive) in small towns or out of the way places. This, unfortunately, is not one of them. The interior was not quaint. It was worn-out and kinda dirty. The service was mediocre. Not horrible, but there was a definite air of apathy about the place. The food was downright bad. I had some kind of bizarre artichoke/olive thing on a bagel. I think they dumped out a jar of marinated artichokes and a jar of olives and plopped them on a toasted bagel. My daughter had a cheeseburger -- very basic, which is fine, but nothing to write home about. My husband had the Buffalo chicken wrap, which was just chicken strips with Tabasco on them. The milkshakes, however, were good and plentiful. We really wanted to like this place because it's nice to be able to support the non-chains and help a community thrive with great eating options. Sadly, if you are used to good restaurants I have to recommend that you skip this one.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank apisparva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
2 reviews
“What a mistake.”
Reviewed April 2, 2014

Greasy tough rib eye, tired salad bar. Not much of a drink selection. Wait staff, while friendly, you could tell were very inexperienced and less than devoted to customer service or encouraging repeat business.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Rob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
98 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT-Courier Newspaper Ambiance”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

A great place for families with all the soda fountain treats. Their ROOT BEER is to die for, mixed fresh each time from syrup like the olden days! Very nice salad bar, local memorabilia included in the interior of now defunct Urbana newspaper building. Kids and adults alike want to try their hand at the mechanical claw machine to get a prize. The burgers here are great as well as the homemade daily soups. Friendly staff, owner Allen Strong is often on site and takes an on going interest in his operation of this restaurant and the more upscale SILVERCREEK.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank newarknancy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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