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“An al fresco Mediterranean dinner - in Ann Arbor”
Review of Cafe Zola

Cafe Zola
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Ranked #23 of 660 Restaurants in Ann Arbor
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$1 - US$30
Cuisines: Polish, Turkish, Cafe
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Ann Arbor's premiere breakfast, lunch and dinner destination International influences + local mindset
Reviewed 16 June 2018

On the recommendation of a friend, our group enjoyed an evening meal at Cafe Zola during restaurant week. We all ordered from the special restaurant week menu (marinated tofu on bed of rice; Turkish lamb chops). (Some restaurant week menu items may not be available at other times.) Each ($28) dinner came with *two* apps; we did shakshuka, kale salad with parmesan and lemon dressing, mashed fava bean toast, Kumato Insalata Caprese, and fried Morrocan chick peas; all were wonderful! The weather this early summer evening was mild, so we took advantage of the outdoor seating. Our server was very competent and friendly. Service was prompt. Altogether, we had a leisurely 3-hour dinner with lots of conversation; it was a lovely evening and I look forward to returning.

Date of visit: June 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank hearingsaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 - 18 of 431 reviews

Reviewed 10 June 2018

Stumbled upon Cafe Zola after our first choice restaurant turned out to be too noisy. The ambiance was perfectly low-key to enjoying a dinner for two. We had the warm olives, fried Moroccan chickpeas, and Caprese salad as appetizers. My husband is from Southern France and he LOVED the idea of warmed olives. It was truly a delightful revelation. The chickpeas were spot on as well.

For entrees, my husband had the swordfish and I had the salmon. Both were nicely prepared and garnished.

Our waitress was attentive and timely. Really enjoyed this impromptu choice.

Date of visit: June 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kimberly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 June 2018 via mobile

I love the food here for weekend breakfasts and evening dinners. Unfortunately the noise level is intense with metal chair and table legs constantly being dragged across the tile floor by waitstaff who seem totally oblivious to the decibel level, such that we frequently have to weigh whether we are up for the torture of eating here. The food is really fabulous. The bar is actually less noisy and for that reason our choice of seating here. Parking is street or surface lot.

Date of visit: March 2018
Thank Rumplestiltskinned
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 June 2018

Has been a favorite place for me and friends over the years. Looked forward to breakfast there on June 1 and was terribly disappointed. Ordereded coffee and the complete crepe. The presentation was unusual but interesting. The crepe was cold and more like a tortilla than a crepe. I ate about one third of it and it contained a few pieces of ham but very little else. Then I discovered that the egg except for a few slivers was completely raw, white was not cooked at all and ran onto the plate. Asked for my server and it took quite a white for her to come to the table. The people next to me took a look and the plate and contents were gross. Understatement. The server eventually apologized and said there was a new cook. Hope they were fired! I left without accepting any substitutes. I most likely won’t return. Having a few gastrointestinal problems today. It is an expensive trendy place, very noisy and crowded. Hope other diners have a better experience.

Date of visit: June 2018
Thank PristineWilderness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 28 May 2018 via mobile

We go way back, us and Cafe Zola; Patrons through many years. We used to put up with their nastiness, now we don’t.

The owner, Hediye, is so rude. Downright mean. She will argue with patrons over the slightest things. Today, she decided that after we were seated, she was going to move us to a different table. Why? Because she wanted to accommodate someone else. (Accommodate us, Hediye. We’re paying patrons, too.)

We said no, we like this table and we’re not moving. She argued, because that’s just who she is. So we said no. Again. She finally gave up.

We had a reservation. We were ordering a ton of food. You don’t just move people to a different table after they’ve been sitting there for 30 minutes to benefit yourself.

It was twenty minutes before a server even stopped by our table. She came with nothing- no water, no plan to take any order. She just showed up to say she’d be back. I had to beg her to listen to my drink order. It took at least 15 more minutes to get the drinks and my mocha was cold, so it clearly sat before being served.

There are very few places in Ann Arbor that serve breakfast and Cafe Zola was the only place open on Memorial Day, it was our last choice.

Here’s the thing- Zola is filled with tourists and they think the place is great because the menu is diverse and they only get abused once in a while. Locals know the truth. Locals stay away from Zola because the owner, Hediye, is rude and it translates through every server. What do they care? Ann Arbor is a transient town with a new crop of students & visiting parents every fall. This is how Zola exists, new patrons who don’t know the story.

I haven’t been here since February, I said I wouldn’t go back. Now, I mean it.

Date of visit: May 2018
1  Thank travelinggirl02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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