About Cafe Zola

112 W Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1325
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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.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
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

Cross Street:
Main Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(734) 769-2020

Website:
http://www.cafezola.com/

Parking Details:
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.

Additional:
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

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.2

ambience

4.1

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

fit for foodies (29)
special occasion (21)
neighborhood gem (14)
See All
romantic (14)
great for brunch (12)
good for groups (12)
hot spot (7)
great for lunch (7)
notable wine list (5)
great for outdoor dining (4)
late-night find (3)
vibrant bar scene (2)
kid-friendly (1)
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Newest
130 reviews
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food4
ambience2
service4
value4

Second Trip Even Better Than the First

Dined on May 15, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always happy here

vip
Dined on May 1, 2016

Always go here for good service and food. Hot tea is the best in town.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

The filet with red wine and port glaze i ...

Dined on April 15, 2016

The filet with red wine and port glaze is excellent!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food, fun place

Dined on April 14, 2016

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.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience3
service4

My husband and I very much enjoyed our f ...

Dined on April 14, 2016

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!

food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Pre-concert dinner

Dined on March 26, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

First timers during lunch. Food was exce ...

vip
Dined on March 15, 2016

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!

food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Last min. dinner on a weeknight. Pleasan ...

Dined on February 23, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch
food4
ambience3
service2
value3

Normally a very good experience at Cafe ...

vip
Dined on February 21, 2016

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.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food! Great service!

Dined on February 18, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
food4
ambience3
service3

Overall food was very good for entrees. ...

vip
Dined on February 15, 2016

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.

food1
ambience1
service1
value1

DONT DO IT

Dined on February 14, 2016

cute place on the inside but by far the worst restaurant I've ever eaten at

Tags: notable wine list
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

Good food, slow service

Dined on February 13, 2016

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......

Tags: great for lunch, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nice experiene

vip
Dined on February 13, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Nice surprise

vip
Dined on February 13, 2016

First time visiting in Ann Arbor. Great meal and wonderful service (thank you Heather). Would definitely return when we pass thru again.

Tags: neighborhood gem
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

Unpleasant

Dined on February 6, 2016

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.

food3
ambience3
service2
value3

Normally great, but not this time.

Dined on February 6, 2016

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.

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Extraordinary

Dined on January 22, 2016

Excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And not just the typical menu either.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food
ambience
service

They would not honor our open table rese ...

Dined on January 22, 2016

They would not honor our open table reservation and did not seat us.

food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Great food, unique offferings

Dined on January 21, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We booked Cafe Zola for our group of 8 p ...

Dined on January 20, 2016

We booked Cafe Zola for our group of 8 people and had a wonderful time. Great service and Great food.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

a change of opinion

Dined on January 19, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Saturday night dinner

vip
Dined on January 3, 2016

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.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience3
service2
value3

Smile - its New Year's Eve

Dined on January 1, 2016

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.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food2
ambience2
service2

There were too many tables crammed in so ...

Dined on December 31, 2015

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.

food5
ambience4
service3

Creative and perfectly spiced dishes. Be ...

Dined on December 6, 2015

Creative and perfectly spiced dishes. Best calamari ever and great drinks

food5
ambience4
service4

Parent Weekend Dinner

vip
Dined on November 8, 2015

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

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience1
service3

Great food, too bad you feel like a sardine!

Dined on October 24, 2015

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.

food5
ambience5
service5

a true happy meal

Dined on October 17, 2015

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience3
service2

Hostess attitude and service an opportunity

Dined on October 16, 2015

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.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food2
ambience2
service2

Have had a good meal in the past there, ...

Dined on October 11, 2015

Have had a good meal in the past there, but this last experience was just not worth it. I think the kitchen was overwhelmed.

food5
ambience3
service5

Busy Dining experience

Dined on October 11, 2015

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.

Tags: great for brunch, romantic, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Great service and excellent food and win ...

Dined on October 9, 2015

Great service and excellent food and wine. Everything was delicious!

food3
ambience3
service3

good but not great

Dined on September 27, 2015

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)

Tags: great for brunch
food4
ambience3
service1

Great Food Horrible Service

Dined on September 11, 2015

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.

food5
ambience4
service4

Four meals, four hits. Great, relaxed atmosphere.

Dined on September 6, 2015

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service4

A Nice, Quiet Special Place

Dined on August 22, 2015

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food4
ambience5
service5

Great Service, excellent choice of music

Dined on August 13, 2015

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.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service5

Re-visiting to "send off" colleague

Dined on July 30, 2015

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.

Tags: fit for foodies
food4
ambience4
service4

Good, but a little pricey

Dined on July 23, 2015

We enjoyed our anniversary dinner at cafe zola. We each had a pasta dish which was very good. I definitely recommend the sangria!

Tags: fit for foodies

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