We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Average food - poor service”
Review of Island Cafe

Island Cafe
Ranked #3 of 86 Restaurants in Oak Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Highchairs Available, Seating, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
67 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Average food - poor service”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

For a tourist destination, Whidbey Is has few choices for breakfast. We went at 10:00 a.m. on a weekday thinking it might be a slow time. Wrong! The place was packed with large families and older patrons. Many of the tables had more than one high chair and several of the booths had extra chairs next to them, making this a crowded place to navigate. Because of the numerous very young children, the place was extremely noisy with parents just ignoring screaming and crying kids. None of the above is the fault of the restaurant, but just info for those who might visit.

The café was very understaffed during our visit. Three wait staff had the entire restaurant, and they could have used three more (two if they knew what they were doing). It took a long time to be seated and have our order taken. The food took forever - over 30 minutes to arrive, and mediocre is the best thing to say about it. Eggs over easy, what was ordered, came the first time sunny side up with clear, runny, see-through raw whites. Next time was solid yolks, irritating, but at least edible. The pancakes were tough as rubber and cold. No syrup, so we flagged a waitress, but ten minutes later, we just got up and got our own.

I am not a demanding patron and have lots of patience, but this place needs some management care and attention on their systems. Everything seemed disorderly, no bill came and no notice of whether to pay wait staff or at counter, so paid at counter. That meant being elbow to elbow with a patron seated at the counter who had to move food over to make room for payment in the tiny space allotted. Unless they get better organized, success may be their downfall.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank tuddo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

167 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
110 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Best breakfast joint in town”
Reviewed August 8, 2013 via mobile

Tried this cafe after doing some on line sourcing.......reviews were good, so we checked it out! It did not disappoint, friendly service, clean, and enjoyable service. My wife has the corn beef hash, and heaven forbid, it had honest to goodness homemade corn beef, not some processed deli stuff.....the real deal....if you like corn beef, then this is the breakie for you.....I tried the island omelet it was excellent, and the portion size is very generous. I couldn't finish it all. So good we are going back tomorrow! Try it, an excellent breakfast stop!

Visited August 2013
Thank bcdurangoboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keller, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
145 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great clam chowder”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

Feels like you are at home. Causal dining,friendly wait staff and good food. Clam chowder was thick rich and the best in the area. Others with us enjoyed the breakfast menu. Huge pancakes! Sandwiches were good as well.

Visited July 2013
Thank Penny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Dora, Florida
Level Contributor
243 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 348 helpful votes
“Just What Oak Harbor Needed - Breakfast”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

There used to be a restaurant that served good breakfasts (albeit by surely servers after long waits) and offered us an alternative to McDonald's or cooking breakfast at home. When I saw it was gone, I was afraid our week-end ritual of going out for breakfast was hopeless. Then we saw the Island Cafe. Located on SR 20 in a spot that used to serve as a ramshackle building serving lunchtime sandwiches is the new Island Cafe.

The interior is charming, tastefully completed in deep shades of bronze and gold, with nice art objects on the walls. It is clear that someone was determined to create a nice atmosphere for guests. The menu did not disappoint us. There is truly something for everyone. There are basic breakfast offerings, along with fluffy pancakes, and fantastic french toast. The corned beef hash and eggs is always a winner, and the waffles (only served until 2pm) are outstanding. Do not miss the specials board walking into the restaurant, and if they offer crepes, that is the thing to order. They are so good I dream about them at night. Paired with a couple of fresh eggs and thick, smokey bacon they make a brunch experience to remember. Breakfast is served all day.

The restaurant is child-friendly, offering a children's menu with a multitude of choices and servers who are exceptionally pleasant, even with the little ones. Service in general has always been good, with above average attention to filled cups of coffee and overall satisfaction.

The menu reflects standard choices for lunch and dinner. We have yet to eat either of these meals at the Island Cafe, and I am not sure we will so long as we can enjoy outstanding breakfasts.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Busy-retired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviewed June 24, 2013

My wife and I have had breakfast there several times and so far have found it to be the best choice for breakfast for the Northern part of the Island. Except for a few Latin touches, the breakfast offerings are of good quality and similar to what you would find most anywhere. What sets this place apart is the efficiency and dedication of the staff. This family run restaurant is usually packed during the peak breakfast hours, but our meals have always been delivered hot and in a timely fashion. There are 2-3 cooks that turn out dishes at an amazing rate. This place is a well oiled machine.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Island Cafe also viewed

Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island
Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island
Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island
Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

Been to Island Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing