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“Superior food and service--the best” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cafe Navarre

Cafe Navarre
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Ranked #3 of 292 Restaurants in South Bend
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $38
Cuisines: American, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Washington
Description: A warm, inviting atmosphere best defines Cafe Navarre. Clearly one of downtown South Bend's most attractive buildings from the exterior, and the view from inside Cafe Navarre is nothing short of breathtaking. The fusion of Old World style architecture with natural light and the finest interior furnishings, the ambiance of Cafe Navarre is truly one of a kind.The style of food offered by Cafe Navarre includes French, Italian and Spanish. Cuisine distinguished by simplicity, full flavor, and healthiness describes the overall style. Cafe Navarre's menu also offers more fresh fish options than what other local restaurants typically offer.Dishes created with farm to table sources are unmistakable in flavor and quality. These are regularly featured at Cafe Navarre, along with an array of top shelf wines at prices that our customers return frequently to enjoy.Private Rooms: For your special event or business meeting, Cafe Navarre can seat up to 20 guests in each of three private meeting rooms.
Manlius, NY
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Superior food and service--the best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2012

We were referred to Cafe Navarre by a friend who noted the outstanding food and service. The restaurant opened in January 2012 and should have a long and successful run if our experience is typical. Upon entering, we were greeted by a friendly hostess who escorted us past the attractive (not noisy) bar to a comfortable booth in the main restaurant. The restaurant is located in a former historic bank with interior columns, high ceiling, and appropriate lighting (soft but adequate to actually see and read the menus). White linen tablecloths and napkins were matched with sparkling clean glasses and silverware. The waitress was very knowledgeable about the wine list and food preparations. My husband and I agree that the beef filet was by far the best we have ever eaten---far superior to other notable restaurants in major cities. In fact, we are still talking about the restaurant and jokingly asked if "airline delivered takeout was available" as we live 600 miles away. In addition to quality of the food, the meal was creatively presented and the amount of food perfect for a fine meal. Service was attentive without being overbearing. The restaurant manager stopped by our table to inquire about our satisfaction--another example of a fine dining experience. Cafe Navarre is tops on our list when returning to South Bend.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank nurselawyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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283 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    184
    74
    19
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
66 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great Find in South Bend!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2012

Visiting U of Notre Dame, we wanted a good meal. We read the reviews and selected Cafe Navarre and were not disappointed. The hotel was easy to find, with free street parking. Busy, but tables free, we made reservations, and were seated promptly.
Nice lounge and bar set up, the restaurant is attractive. Modern with faux classic touches, especially the ceiling, which magically changed colors as the night grew on.
The menu is eclectic, with different styles of food. Our waiter was very helpful, navigating us through our selections.
We started with the Navarre salad -- pear and gorgonzola with lettuce and pecans -- excellent. We shared Duck Two Ways -- which was delicious in every way; Waygu NY Strip, which was tasty, but surprisingly tough, and a trio of tapas -- Gambas (grilled shrimp over chorizo risotto), stuffed quail (with a sunny side up fried quail egg on top on a bed of fried sweet potato straws), and a pair of fried rissot/brie croquettes. I did say eclectic. All were delicious, and to be frank, an unexpected delight in South Bend.
The waiter was very attentive, providing an update regarding our meal timing midway during our wait. Our bus person Danielle was especially attentive.
No room for dessert, but they also looked delicious.
All in all, a great experience, capping off a great two days in South Bend.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MrEricJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
“Excellent service and food.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2012

We liked the staff and friendly, enthusiastic service. The food was varied, creatively presented and good. We liked the small plate options. Great location.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Terry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
43 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Delicious, but smaller portions.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2012

My wife and I stopped at Cafe Navarre with the intent of getting some appetizers and desert since we had already taken an earlier dinner that night. We ended up each picking out a "small plate" from their small plate menu list. Recommended by our waiter was the scallops and the arancini. Both were delicious. My only small quibble is that when they say small plates they mean SMALL plates. There were two medium-sized scallops on the one, plate and two arancini on another. I understand the concept of small plates, but for the price we paid for these I expected a tad more. They were, however, delicious.
What really stole the show though were the desserts went ordered. The Creme Brulee was perfect. Fantastic consistency and flavor with a perfectly torched top. And wonderfully reasonably priced for the size of it.
The Grand Marinier Souffle was massive and incredibly delicious. It was perfectly risen, the texture was dead on and it was served with a boat of delicious sauce. These two desserts were stunning and worth the trip.
I have been recommended to take a full dinner there, which we will soon. Overall for 2 small plates, a Coke, and 2 desserts it was about $52 after a $10 tip.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Jon_n_Jess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF Bay Area
Level Contributor
83 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Food was delicious”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2012

Located downtown across the street from the College Football HOF, we walked in.
Service was excellent and on top of things. The food was the star, however.
French onion soup was hearty and tasty. The steak with pomme frites was delicious, however, the fries were a but overdone. The grilled shrimp had a sweet sauce which was different but good. The sea bass in basil butter was cooked perfectly.
A little on the expensive side (about $100 w one glass of wine and no dessert), but we thought worth it.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Seamsplitter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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