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“Absolutely will return”

Ciao Thyme In The Kitchen
Ranked #11 of 447 Restaurants in Bellingham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Flora
Transit: We are just 2 blocks from the downtown transit station
Description: We plan to greet you with a warm smile and the aromas of delicious soups, sandwiches, and freshly baked treats. You place your order in the cafe and then find a seat in the dining room or outside under the umbrellas. You strike up a friendly conversation with the person next to you. When you leave, you feel nourished--body and soul recharged for the continuation of your day.The menu will change with the farm produce of the seasons, approximately every two weeks, and we always have some gluten-free and vegetarian options too. There is no pretense in this space, just high quality ingredients prepared with care and delivered with love. Folks come knowing they can trust that the food that is prepared here will be sourced responsibly. They know that by choosing Ciao Thyme Cafe, their dining dollars will go farther in this community to support local families, local farmers, and other small businesses in Bellingham--keeping our community thriving.
Bellingham, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Absolutely will return”
Reviewed July 31, 2014

This is a restaurant where it is hard to make choices because everything on the menu sounds enticing. They obviously know this, so they give the customer the option to order a tasting option where you can have three of their featured items--one as a larger main item and the other two as sides. There was a lot of food here, but it was all so tasty and presented so artfully that I "licked the platters clean." The lamb and feta on a flat pita with exquisite toppings was mouth-watering good! The two side salads were delicious and could have easily been stand alone items. The items my friends ordered also looked delicious.

We were able to eat our lunch outside at a brightly bedecked bistro table with chairs that accented the colors in the table cloth. It was so pleasant sitting out there. All the folks at the other outdoor tables were clearly also enjoying their meals which made it all very pleasant.

There is a good amount of indoor seating, although that is not apparent when you first view the restaurant. The "system" is not easy to figure out for the first-timer; we just sat down at a table and only later found out that you had to go to the counter, which was in another room to place and pay for your order. This is not a problem, just something to be aware of.

Overall, a great meal that was masterfully prepared and presented.

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

Visitor rating
    124
    22
    5
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, VA
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Creative, fresh,healthy: best lunch in Bellingham”
Reviewed July 26, 2014

What a great addition to the Bellingham food scene: wonderfully creative and healthy menus, beautifully presented. On a recent day we sampled a delicious green curry soup, a marvelous salad of grilled apricots with blueberries and honey cream, a huge salad of sliced rare beef with greens, beets and bleu cheese, a chicken banh mi, a cabbage bowl, and a pulled pork flatbread: all were terrific. This is by far the best place for lunch in Bellingham: take-out options also look great.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank MartsoSwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent Food in Good Homey Space ”
Reviewed July 22, 2014 via mobile

From what I understand they only consistently do lunch - dinners are often themed. I had lunch with family there recently and what a wonderful lunch it was! The day was sunny & warm so we sat outside on sidewalk - nice. Their inside spaces are great. One room - where kitchen is - with big tables, communal style - really good multi- purpose. And smaller, cozy comfy room next door where you order lunch.

We had a green curry soup, loaded with chunks of vegetables and had chicken too I think - delicious! Accompanied this with special pizette - roasted lamb shank bits, beets, greens etc. The topping was really tasty but crust a little on bland side. Then we had a modern take on fruit salad - grilled apricots, berries & a good dollop of mascarpone - yum, yum! Coffee & cookies finished off the meal.

Service was friendly and good. The prices are fair - quality/$ ratio good value. It was a lovely lunch.

Helpful?
2 Thank Konboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GA
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed June 29, 2014

Surprise me! Almost always, there is something on the menu that I have never experienced. It is consistently good.
Good portions, good prices. Ordered one meal and split it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jjohnhenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jessica G, Owner at Ciao Thyme In The Kitchen, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Ciao,

Thank you so much for the kind review. We appreciate your support and are thrilled you enjoyed your experience at Ciao Thyme. These reviews help bring in new customers--thanks for making that happen.

ciao,
Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
596 reviews
402 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 466 helpful votes
“An oasis”
Reviewed June 19, 2014

For it's size and relative affluence, Bellingham mysteriously lacks serious food by people with serious food skills; many others have tried and failed for reasons I'll never understand (Tivoli, for instance). In the desert that is upscale dining in B'ham, presided over with passion and dedication by Jessica and Mataio and their loyal crew, Ciao Thyme is the brightest of lights.

The Cafe is open for lunch weekdays (possibly excluding Monday). Each day's offerings consist of 7 or 8 items that you can order individually or in a set menu, and as others have described organic, local and sustainable when and where possible drive the menu. We have lunched there on multiple occasions, including today, where I had the best meatball sandwich I've ever had--well seasoned chicken meatballs, a good marinara sauce, a light bun that was oven baked to a delicate crunch, cheese and a crisp shaved fennel salad on top. I've never had the same thing twice--I've never even been offered the same thing twice.

We've also dined at many of Ciao Thyme's special event dinners, both Incognito and the Pickford Film Center's "Dinner and a Movie" program. Too busy being this town's best caterer, Ciao Thyme isn't able to to run a full dinner service so they instead put on a number of special event dinners each month based on themes, guest chefs, or cooking-school like demonstrations (some are hands-on, some not). One can check out events as well as buy tickets/make reservations via a calendar on their website.

Most of the dinners are held in the beautiful restaurant space on Unity Street. Warm greens and reds set the mood with rich, raw organics and interesting art. Two large long tables cut from whole slabs of live-edge wood dominate the seating space, and you are guaranteed that by the end of the night you'll have new friends. The foods are multiple courses--usually five, sometimes six--that are plated on the long island that separates the dining area from the open kitchen. A mirror on the ceiling gives diners a fantastic view of the food preparation.

In addition to all this, they also offer daily take-home foods for people with no time to cook.

Bellingham foodies are SO lucky that this is the place that Jessica and Mataio have chosen raise their children and perfect their art.

Prices are commensurate with the quality, and vary depending on the meal/event.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank UnrepentantFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jessica G, Owner at Ciao Thyme In The Kitchen, responded to this review, June 23, 2014
Thank you so much for the kind words and thorough review of our many services. We are thrilled that you enjoy our food and space at Ciao Thyme. Food and conviviality are our passions--we hope to bring folks together to enjoy each other and great local food in a variety of venues and events. Having fabulous customers and a supportive community makes it so rewarding to share our love of food. Thank you for being among them!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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