About Cafe Zola
Café Zola is an independently owned and operated restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in downtown Ann Arbor. Our menus are inspired by flavors and recipes borrowed from European and Mediterranean cultures and cuisine, including some Turkish recipes. We are committed to sourcing the freshest and highest quality ingredients available and supporting local businesses, farms, and suppliers. Café Zola’s seasonal menus emphasize organic and local produce, dairy, eggs, poultry, meat and seafood. Our full service bar features artisanal cocktails, happy hour specials, and a rotating wine selection chosen from various small production vineyards throughout the world. We accept reservations for parties of six or more for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. We accept reservations for groups of two or more for dinner and weekday brunch. We are also glad to accommodate large groups and special occasions. If you need a reservation for a large group or special event, please contact us directly.
Contemporary American, Mediterranean, International
Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Daily: 7:00am-4:00pm, egg service ends at 3:00pm
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday: 5:00pm-10:00pm, Friday-Saturday: 5:00pm-11:00pm
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday: 5:00pm-6:30pm, bar area only
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
There are many locations to park nearby. Metered parking is available on the streets surrounding Cafe Zola. Parking is free on Sundays. The closest public lots are on West Washington between 4th Street and Main Street and on the corner of Ashley and West Washington.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Cafe Zola Ratings and Reviews
Second Trip Even Better Than the First
We were very pleased with our first trip to Café Zola and the were even better this time. Can't wait to get back to see if they can top the first two trips.
Always happy here
Always go here for good service and food. Hot tea is the best in town.
The filet with red wine and port glaze i ...
The filet with red wine and port glaze is excellent!
Excellent food, fun place
Delicious food in downtown Ann Arbor. From the bread, compound butter and olives you receive at first, to cocktails, salads, entrees and tasty deserts, its a safe bet that you will have an enjoyable meal. Mediterranean inspired.
My husband and I very much enjoyed our f ...
My husband and I very much enjoyed our first visit to Cafe Zola for dinner. We shared one of the pear-arugula salads, which was nicely plated, simple, and delicious, then he had the Kobe burger and I had the salmon burger. Both fantastic. Wait service was friendly and attentive. Enjoyed the ambience/decor of the space, my sole complaint is that as we sat there the music seemed to get turned up several times, and conversations in the room got increasingly louder as people spoke over the music. It was unnecessarily loud and detracted from the otherwise lovely ambience!
We started our meal with cocktails - I always like a place that serves the shaker with the drink. Our first courses were tasty (salads). We both really enjoyed our entrees (lamb and steak, both cooked properly) and came back after the concert to have dessert at the bar. Seems like a really reliable place - lots of "regulars". I'll definitely want to go back.
First timers during lunch. Food was exce ...
First timers during lunch. Food was excellent and our waitresses were pleasant. I give this a 4 star only because I had left my daughters baby bottle on the table and realized after I left. When I called 4 times so that I could pick it up nobody really knew where it was until the hostesses that was working the day I went hid it for me. Would have been efficient for them to leave it at the lost and found instead of getting the runaround a few times. Nonetheless, I will return to the restaurant and I'll try not to forget anything!
Last min. dinner on a weeknight. Pleasan ...
Last min. dinner on a weeknight. Pleasantly uncrowded with a nice wine list and a good vibe. Will keep it in mind when on that side of town.
Normally a very good experience at Cafe ...
Normally a very good experience at Cafe Zola, but this Sat night was very busy and chaotic, likely understaffed that night so waitress was often delayed, and hostess seemed confused and overwhelmed. Food still very good. Chalk this up to a rough night but still one of our favorite places.
Great food! Great service!
I was celebrating my birthday with friends and had a splendid time. Not only was the food impeccable, the service was outstanding. I requested my favorite waitress and she of course treated us like royalty. If you want consistently great food and great service, I highly recommend Cafe Zola!
Overall food was very good for entrees. ...
Overall food was very good for entrees. Appetizers were small, sword fish and tuna were excellent. Only drawback was not having anyone even give us water for almost 30 minutes. After 20 minutes we finally got the staff's attention but it still took another 10 minutes for anyone to actually take a drink order and bring us water. We seemed to be lost in the mix as others who were seated after us were given much faster service.
DONT DO IT
cute place on the inside but by far the worst restaurant I've ever eaten at
Good food, slow service
We came on the Friday before Valentine's Day so very busy - we were seated, then asked to move so they could accommodate a 4 person party, then waited another 15 minutes before anyone stopped at our table. Our server was very nice and helpful after that, and perhaps they were short staffed? Food was good, the arugula/pear salad was very heavy vinegar , but the flat iron steak was delicious!! We will try again......
The only challenge we had with our evening was that although I booked our reservation through Open Table, when we arrived at the restaurant, they had NO record of it. They were able to seat us, even though it was a busy night, however, I don't understand what happened. I had an email confirmation but it was not in their books. Service, dinner and experience were all good, we would go back.
First time visiting in Ann Arbor. Great meal and wonderful service (thank you Heather). Would definitely return when we pass thru again.
My friends and I had an awful experience at Cafe Zola unfortunately. It was my friend's birthday and our rude waitress pointed out she gets a free crepe because it was her birthday. When it came time to pay she told my friend that it was not free because she did not order an entree. This was not made aware to us until after ordering this crepe. Our waitress did not applogize and made my friend pay full price. This was over all an unpleasant experience at Cafe Zola. So we left and went across the street to a restaurant called Mongolian Barbaque where we had a much better experience. I hope you talk my review into consideration when hiring/training your employees.
Normally great, but not this time.
I am a regular at Zola and love coming here for all meals. I am usually pretty happy with the service and the food is normally delicious. This visit for a late dinner was different. It look forever to have any one come to talk to us or bring water after being seated. We also had plates removed from the table before we were finished eating and the experience felt scattered and haphazard. It was not relaxing. It was not particularly busy at the time that we were eating 830-845p. It was a strange and disappointing experience for one of my favorite places.
Excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And not just the typical menu either.
They would not honor our open table rese ...
They would not honor our open table reservation and did not seat us.
Great food, unique offferings
We haven't been to Cafe Zola's for years and went during Restaurant Week. The food was outstanding, our server was attentive but not intrusive and quite patient and good tempered given the place was over the top busy due to the RW specials. The acoustics aren't great and it was quite lively--for this reason I didn't mark it outstanding. If you want a quiet , intimate place or if people in your group do not hear well this would not be the place on a weekend night. Other than that the food was excellent and we will definitely put it on our list of places to revisit. Note: they do offer GF pasta but for someone who is vegan, gluten free and avoiding refined carbs there would be fewer offerings.
We booked Cafe Zola for our group of 8 p ...
We booked Cafe Zola for our group of 8 people and had a wonderful time. Great service and Great food.
a change of opinion
Tried Café Zola's during restaurant week and was impressed with the selections . An interesting menu and very nice wine list. I experienced a brunch at this restaurant previously and was unimpressed but dinner won me over and I plan to return.
Saturday night dinner
I need to start this review by stating that Cafe Zola is one of my favorite restaurants in Ann Arbor. Four of us headed out to dinner on Saturday. For the second couple it was their first time at Zola's. We had a reservation and arrived on time and were seated promptly. Although our waitress was fairly new and had a few stumbles she did an excellent job. We had no complaints with the food. All four of us cleared our plates. I had the duck confit and it was amazing. All the flavors and textures came together beautifully. Others enjoyed the hanger steak with equal enthusiasm.
Smile - its New Year's Eve
Cafe Zola's special NYE menu was different, and delicious. We loved the food, as we always do. The service, however, was so lack luster. Unfortunately, under-whelming, negative service is too often the case at Zola's, and totally unacceptable on a festive evening , like NYE. Better training for wait staff is clearly needed at Zola's, and we will be looking at other dining options for special occasions; its a drag to deal with negativity during a special meal.
There were too many tables crammed in so ...
There were too many tables crammed in so it was very tight. We waited an hour for our food. Both meals arrived cold with a "sorry for your wait". Mine tasted okay but my wife's swordfish was undercooked and had a fishy taste. We were offered a free dessert.
Creative and perfectly spiced dishes. Be ...
Creative and perfectly spiced dishes. Best calamari ever and great drinks
Parent Weekend Dinner
We were visiting our child for University of Michigan's parent weekend. I had made the reservation a few weeks prior to our visit and was only able to get a 9PM reservation. I was skeptical about eating so late as I thought we may have to wait for our table, but much to my delight we were seating within 10 minutes of our reservation. The service was excellent as was the food. We will be back
Great food, too bad you feel like a sardine!
Our table for 5 was placed in such a way that we could not access the back of it without having the patrons of the table next to us stand up and move out of the way to let us sit down. This non-sense not only affected us, but also others. So rude! Once settled, our waitress could not access the back seats. We had to reach for our plates and grab them out of her hands. Once again, this is completely unacceptable. When we mentioned all this to her, she said the restaurant was not even that busy, and that it feels even more crammed during important weekends, such as Homecoming, etc. Again, the food was great, but the layout and noise level completely ruined our dinner.
a true happy meal
We celebrated my husband's birthday at Zola's this past Saturday. As usual, the food was excellent. We sat in the quietest spot, so was not disturbed by the conversation of other diners. The soundproofing that seemed recent probably helps with the noise. While the chef has always been accommodating to my dietary restrictions (no dairy and vegetarian), I would appreciate other non-dairy vegetarian offerings on the menu than currently exist. Just a thought.
Hostess attitude and service an opportunity
We arrived early for a 6:30 dinner reservation, about 5:30 to enjoy happy hour drinks and oysters. The hostess had written our name on a small table at the door, as they get busy this becomes cold and congested with customers waiting to be seated. The hostess had written our name on a vinyl sheet with a table assigned and was not going to budge on where we could sit. We finally decided we would just set at the bar for happy hour and wait to be seated. There were only four tables being used at the time, so it would appear to have lots of seating options. The hostess glared at us several times and never smiled or tried to make it work out for us. There are lots of great dining options in Ann Arbor. Cafe Zola has always been a favorite because of the great food, but we may or may not go back. Eve's is opening this month giving us another great option.
Have had a good meal in the past there, ...
Have had a good meal in the past there, but this last experience was just not worth it. I think the kitchen was overwhelmed.
Busy Dining experience
I want to say the only reason my review got such high stars is because of my waitress. I had made a reservation for 9. Did not get seated until 930 and did not receive attention from a waitress until 945ish. When she did eventually get the to table she told us how busy it was and apologized, got us bread and waters and was a PHENOMENAL waitress. She is the only reason I did not walk out of the restaurant, and I have never done so. I was trying to entertain company and recommended this restaurant and looked foolish doing so until she got to the table. I would say service was not the fastest, due to the busy crowd, but when you walked in the door the atmosphere was chaotic. There was only one hostess and she was answering 2 phones, seating, bussing tables, and dealing with customers. My suggestion would be give her some help! Overall, the food was good. Besides the housemade olives which weren't that firm, and seemed a little soggy, the food was fantastic. I will for sure be coming back but will have to plan in more time than 1 and 1/2 hours for dining experience if it is the same. I just think there could be a better way of doing things or do not do reservations at all because they pick that time for a reason. If it is going to be 30 minutes for them to just stand there with a reservation then they should have just possibly come in for a walk in.
Great service and excellent food and win ...
Great service and excellent food and wine. Everything was delicious!
good but not great
The food was good, but nothing special; I would not recommend against it, but would probably try something else next time. Other than that, the service was good though slightly slow, and the noise level high (which is ok for groups of 2-3 people, but we were 6 and it was hard to hear the other end of the table)
Great Food Horrible Service
I attended Cafe Zola for a special occasion to celebrate a friend's new job. She ordered the lamb dish and I ordered the short rib that was on special. We both enjoyed our food. It is too bad that we sat for 15 min without even being acknowledged. The hostess finally walked by and we informed her that we hadn't been seen at all yet. Without apology, she quickly sent someone over. We were finally able to order our drinks, app, and entrees. We decided it would be best to order our food all at once since the service was so slow. We received our app and had to ask for utensils. The food was good, but not worth the money with such poor service.
Four meals, four hits. Great, relaxed atmosphere.
More about food and good company than seen or be seen. But a nice setting - very comfortable and alive. Highly recommended - and we'll be back.
A Nice, Quiet Special Place
Cafe Zola- Our first time here. A bit nervous as the food was out of our comfort zone. We are mainly meat and potato type. The restaurant was very nice. A few tables outside which are very popular. We sat inside, window seats. Too close to the other couple. It was speed dating for sure. The food was fabulous. Our server helped us choose a couple things and explained some others. We played it safe with oysters on the half shell, arugula salad and antipasto. We did step out and ordered the goat cheese and fig jam. All were very, very good! We would recommend to others. Glad we went.
Great Service, excellent choice of music
Early visitors up to 6:00pm can enjoy happy our with great choices of food and drinks. Service was excellent and all extra wishes were accepted without any questions. It was one of the restaurants you could talk to your friends without having to scream do to acceptable noise levels. The background music plus the music choice was contributing to this experience. overall a real pleasant outing for the day.
Re-visiting to "send off" colleague
We (5) enjoyed a meal at Cafe Zola last Summer so decided, when a colleague was leaving to go to Madison, to meet at the restaurant to say our "good-byes". Our colleague (as we did, too) loved the brunch menu we enjoyed in 2014; however, although the website indicated brunch was served all day, the brunch menu ended at 4pm; bummer! We arrived at 6pm, and were sorely disappointed! We talked briefly about leaving for another venue, but decided to stay. Our server was great, and our meals were good, but not brunch, which soured the event a bit, but we recovered to enjoy a "send-off" meal.
Good, but a little pricey
We enjoyed our anniversary dinner at cafe zola. We each had a pasta dish which was very good. I definitely recommend the sangria!
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