4762 Chicago Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55407Neighborhood:
FrenchPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://cafelevain.com/
- Phone: 6128237111
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm. *Please note that on Sundays, Cafe Levain offers our Sunday Supper prix fixe menu ($25, or $20 for vegetarian option) along with a selection of a la carte items. Our regular menu is not available that evening.
- Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: French
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine, Wine Bar
- Private Party Facilities: Cafe Levain offers a number of options for special events in our restaurant. We've hosted wedding ceremonies and receptions, holiday parties, birthday parties, fundraising galas and more! First, we have a chef's table area that may accommodate anywhere from two to 35 guests. This area is adjacent to the kitchen and offers a bird's-eye view of our cooks hard at work on the line. For those hosting larger events, we do allow the option of renting the main dining area - which seats about 75 guests comfortably - as an alternative or in addition to the chef's table.
- Private Party Contact: Dina Carpenter 6128237111
- Special Events: Cafe Levain has helped guests plan for and execute events including wedding ceremonies and receptions, corporate event parties, non-profit fundraising galas, birthday parties and more.
A word from Cafe Levain
After three years of operating as the well-known fine dining Restaurant Levain, Café Levain was launched in 2007 as a French bistro with a full menu of comfort food done right.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Cafe Levain - Best Restaurants in South Minneapolis ›
Cafe Levain reviews from OpenTable diners
64 reviews since May 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (55)fit for foodies (48)special occasion (35)romantic (29)notable wine list (21)good for groups (13)hot spot (2)late-night find (2)great for lunch (2)scenic view (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
- Good food but bad serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 9/20/2014Visited Cafe Levain for our anniversary. Overall, our food was very good. We each started with soup. The french onion was salty but still good, and we both thought that the mushroom soup (newer to the menu) was delicious. I'd definitely order it again. I had the chicken and kale for the main course, I normally don't order chicken at a nice restaurant, but Levain always has excellent chicken. My wife had the vegetable ragout, it was underwhelming and a little too salty. Unfortunately, our waiter was terrible. He paid no attention and basically disappeared. Too bad. I've had good service at Levain before. It seemed like the other wait staff worked harder. If we go again I'll definitely ask to be in someone else's section.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A not great at normally great placeOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/19/2014We have bee to Levain several times and always loved it. Our in laws were visiting from out of town and we wanted to have a special meal with them. We really talked it up. In the end, the air conditioning wasn't working in the dining room, which made it feel swelteriny hot. It also took almost an hour and a half before from arrival to entree delivery. As we left, I found myself apologizing to my guests as it was clear they were quite put out in the end. I normally love this restaraunt, and we will go back, but was disappointed management didn't come over and apologize for our difficult experience. I regretted that the final, special meal of their visit ended this way.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent hearty fareOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/19/2014The food at Levain was very hearty and flavorful. The french onion soup was loaded with sweet onions and had an excellent broth - absolutely recommended. The mussels were good as well but I did get a few with sand which makes it hard to rate the food outstanding. The short ribs were fabulous. Our table also ordered the chicken and the burger which looked amazing and I was told were also excellent. Overall, full flavored, hearty fall fare. I rated the service as good only because I think the waiter forgot about us after he brought the wine. After that, the service was perfect.Special Features:
- The guys can cook.TheFamousGrouseDined on 9/12/2014Here's the short version: Eat the short ribs. 5 stars. That's all the people need to know. The longer version: What a gem. Everyone should start with the French onion soup and here's why: It's not soup, it's a work of soup sculpture. I ordered the short ribs and they were excellent. Tender and perfect with accompanying veggie puree and 5 stars all the way. I should note that the simple things for me tell the tale, if you can do the "rough" cuts well, that's a sign to me that you have the whole package. My wife did the ribeye and again it was perfect. But huge! These guys know their meat. Service was great, wine list was approachable and appropriate, atmosphere great. Eat there.Special Features:
- Always outstandingceejVIPDined on 8/21/2014I took an out-of-town friend to Cafe LeVain for dinner. I had been raving about the delicious and creative ways in which Chef Adam uses the freshest ingredients. We both ordered the short ribs which are always amazingly tender and flavorful. I also ordered the corn chowder which we shared. Our server was very pleasant and helpful but not overbearing. My friend really enjoyed her first experience at Cafe Levain and I was happy that this bistro is not only in my neighborhood but never fails to impress!Special Features:
- August Tasting MenucookNeatDined on 8/10/2014Corn chowder is the winning first course option and the real standout of the night! Among us, we tried it all… no complaints about any of the main courses and both desserts were delicious. At $25, Cafe Levain's tasting menu is a good choice for Sunday nights; the food is well-balanced and the portion size is perfect.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LOVE Café Levain!!!FoodLoverDined on 8/8/2014Café Levain is the BEST restaurant I've ever been to! The food is fantastic- there are so many flavors and big portions! The staff are attentive, funny, and really know their stuff! If you make a reservation online, you can put in a special request. I put "please leave a note that says 'Francis and Lynset' on the table. Instead of doing this, they brought us out TWO FREE DESSERTS with the card stuck into one of them! This restaurant really goes above a d beyond!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DinnerdateNightDined on 7/25/2014Service was excellent. The corn chowder which we split was the best I've ever had. My wife's short ribs were wonderful with the Polenta. I ordered the rib eye which sadly was not. Not sure what cut it was but it was tough, thick and hard to chew. We'd go back for the service and chowder but stay away from the steak.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/25/2014Our whole party loved the whole experience. We will be back! And we will spread the word--not to be missed.Special Features:
- Neighborhood gemFantaDined on 7/24/2014Cafe Levain is a good reliable place to have a nice dinner. The food is consistently good and the waitstaff attentive. The prices are reasonable. My husband and I are quite choosy as to where we eat and Cafe Levain remains on our list as a preferred place to eat.Special Features:
- Great food at a good price point!Niklo78Dined on 7/19/2014Everyone enjoyed their food immensely, without breaking the bank. Great choice for a romantic date or meeting a group of friends.Special Features:
- JimboDined on 7/19/2014Very good meal, well prepared and presented,, very goo service, highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bastille DayCariVIPDined on 7/15/2014Cafe LeVain celebrated Bastille Day with some wonderful French specials. I had the boullibase which was fantastic & my husband had the cassoulet which included pork belly, chicken & chicken sausage. There was also mussels & creme brûlée which I highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Top NotchDaveVIPDined on 7/13/2014The "Sunday Supper" (Three courses for $25) is an insanely great value. Every dish we had was superb.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Will go again.FauxFoodieDined on 7/13/2014Great food. Very personal service. Our server had worked there >10 years and took great pride in the restaurant.Special Features:
- our anniversaryouranniversaryDined on 7/3/2014They gave us the best tabel in the house made our night very special great food! Not for picky eaters tho. But it was truly amazing!Special Features:
- onlymyop123VIPDined on 6/21/2014Have dined here several times, always great food and service. Reasonably priced. Very well selected wine list.Special Features:
- Simply FabulousBeSpoiledDined on 6/21/2014Cafe Levain is a treat. Just remember, the menu is limited to five or six entrees on any given night. But ooh-lah-lah, what fabulous entrees they are. Never had a bad experience here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 6/20/2014Fantastic experience. We split the chicken and short ribs. Both were amazing. The chicken had cracklingly crisp skin, yet was still juicy. The short ribs were infused with flavor and rich without being overly fatty. For those who appreciate the little things about good food (technique, ingredients), give it a try.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- sunshineDined on 6/15/2014Sorry to have to report a disappointing meal. We've had several outstanding meals in the past. Hopefully this was an aberation. I'll start out with the praise--the French onion soup was superb. The green salad was good, but not outstanding. The ribs were good, but we thought the updated preparation was not as good as the previous recipe. Then the halibut--very bland fish, with a vegetable and lentil combo that was very spicy and not to my taste at all. The spring vegetable melange was very disappointing. The same spicy preparation for the whole dish. The vegetable melange last summer had several vegetables, all with a different preparation, all scrumptious, and all worked well together. I hope they will bring back that special dish.
- Great place to impress visitorsminnesotamuscleDined on 6/11/2014I entertain a lot of out-of-town visitors who occupy important positions in academia and industry, and Levain is my favorite place to take them. Perfect balance of informal and elegant, great chef who relates to the diners, cool owner who is devoted to the place, superb staff who really know their menu (including superb wine list, which boasts many hard-to-beat wines below $50), compact menu that still manages to touch all the important bases, fair prices. And it has good capacity, so you can almost always get a table on short notice! I don't know another restaurant in the Twin Cities that matches the above description.Special Features:
- "Neighborhood gem" is rightCraigDined on 6/7/2014The steak wasn't great but everything else was. Melt-in-your-mouth plate of short ribs, and yummy chicken. Onion soup is good, but big enough for two. Neat ambiance and very pleasant service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dinnerFoodiefamilyDined on 5/30/2014Wife and child went early before the late night crowd. The food was excellent as always the the service team was great, especially attentive with a 18 month old at the tableSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 414 reviews are from the Cafe Levain reviews archive.
- Consistently excellentOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 5/24/2014Discovered Levain abt 28 months ago. Every visit, winter and summer, food/flavors have been a standout. Service is friendly and attentive, but not intrusive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently excellentPatti1Dined on 5/24/2014It never disappoints. The menu is small and does not vary a lot, but the food is pitch perfect, beautifully, deliciously prepared. We love the ambience as well - understated but sophisticated.Special Features:
- Very GoodNapoleonDined on 5/11/2014Levain is a very good restaurant. The food is interesting, well-prepared and very, very good. We have been twice lately to the Sunday evening prix-fixe. Great value and wonderful wine pairings.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- yum!birthdaygirlVIPDined on 5/10/2014the chicken was de-lish! i can't wait to go back soon!Special Features:
- cafe levaingdfd4Dined on 5/10/2014Cafe Levain is one of my favorite restaurants in town. i believe they have the best burger in town and the food is consistently very good. There may be better places and places by far more expensive but i would always recommend them.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great placeFrankDined on 5/9/2014It was quiet the evening we went. Our server was very good and our meal was too, however my wife's chicken was maybe a little over cooked. Small menu, I assume it changes regularly. Chef does have imagination! Open kitchen too. I would return!Special Features:
- Haute Comfort FoodLMKMDined on 5/3/2014Among the best, most consistently excellent comfort food in MSP.Special Features:
- Cafe Levain never disappointsceejVIPDined on 4/27/2014It was Sunday and what better than to do the Sunday Supper tasting menu! Our 2 friends had the vegetarian option for $20 and my husband and I had the scallops with butter beans and ham hock which was delicious. The scallops were perfectly seared on the outside and almost creamy and decadent on the inside! The menu comes with a first course (spring greens with poached egg or cream of asparagus soup), main course and dessert. The dessert was creme brulee also quite delicious! We decided on the wine pairing with each course and that topped off the meal. Chef Adam always has us coming back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cafe Levain - Still fabulousdx2aDined on 4/19/2014We so enjoyed an exquisite evening at Cafe Levain the other night. The staff was gracious, our food was fabulous and the ambience was lovely. With so many new great restaurants in Southwest Minneapolis, Cafe Levain is still at the top of our list.Special Features:
- Good food but loudLuvnotcookingDined on 4/19/2014Our party of 6 had a delicious meal even though the menu is very limited. We suggest looking at the online menu beforehand. Tables very close together in center part of restaurant (my chair almost touched the person behind me) and as the place got busier, it was too loud for us to hear each other.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Neighborhood RestaurantbirthdayguestsDined on 4/19/2014Café Levain is a favorite of ours, we go there often enough we know some of the staff by name ( Hola Kate!). The food is lovely with a changing seasonal menu, fresh ingredients and attention to local produce use. The staff is helpful and knows what they are selling. Although the atmosphere is casual, it is a restaurant where one can have a good conversation with table mates without having to shout.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Better the first timeHope1Dined on 4/18/2014This was our second time at Cafe Levain. The food was good. But the Short rib, could have been better. It was not super flavorful either. I still like the feel of this place and we will give them another try. Everyone is entitled a slightly off night..Special Features:
- Sunday Tasting MenuSchapesDined on 4/13/2014I always enjoy my time at Levain but the one thing that slightly bothered me this time around was that we ordered the wine pairings with the tasting menu but the server never told us what we were drinking.Special Features:
- Loved the onion soupJamaicanInMNDined on 4/11/2014Great spot for a quiet dinner. Food was great, service was great. Loved the onion soup with the onion rings on topSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our favorite place in South MPLSZiggystarrDined on 4/4/2014Comfort food done well. Good price. Nice space. What else could you want?Special Features:
- Well-done seasonal food, withepinastyDined on 4/4/2014Well-done seasonal food, with wonderful bread, of course. Nice and chill atmosphere, a great place for a small group where you can carry on a conversation along with a nice meal. Would have liked a little more variation on the menu (beyond ragu 4 ways), but everything was well made. Server could have been more attentive when we were wanting to order and pay, but otherwise was polite and competent. I would recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- EmptyfrequentdinerVIPDined on 4/4/2014My wife and I dined at Levain on a Friday night at 7:30 and it was EMPTY. At most, 5 of the 30 or so table were filled, the hosts were sitting by the coat racks bored, and it just had a very flat feel. Overall, our food was quite good, although we had the kale side dish (kale is one of our favorites) and it was inedible. We asked our server about it, and she said a number of guests have commented negatively about the smokey taste. She took it off the bill without our asking (nice), but it seems strange that Levain would have such a dish on its very short and limited menu. Our biggest issue was the emptiness; hard for a restaurant to control, but there was no buzz or warmth to our experience. I hope this was just an off night for Levain.