Caribou Cafe
Caribou Cafe

Caribou Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cariboucafe.com/
  • Phone: (215) 625-9535
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday - Thursday: 11:30am - 10:30pm;
    Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 11:30pm;
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Wine Bar, Comfort Food, French
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: Friday and Saturday Night 8:30-11:30pm
    Original Jazz trio

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 12th Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Caribou Cafe
Step into the vibrant world of Paris. This 25 year old landmark has brought Philadelphia and its visitors a taste of France in a relaxed atmosphere.
The art deco bar, leather banquettes, warm orange walls, and antique mirrors make Caribou Café your destination for Lunch, Dinner and Brunch.
Live music Fri and Sat.
Best True French Bistro in town!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Caribou Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
187 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.8
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (89)fit for foodies (60)great for outdoor dining (58)great for lunch (51)great for brunch (37)vibrant bar scene (33)special occasion (33)romantic (27)good for groups (21)hot spot (20)notable wine list (18)late-night find (13)scenic view (9)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Wonderful
    sundaybruncher
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    We celebrated my sister's birthday there and it was a great brunch. We are definitely coming back to Caribou in the near future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Return customer
    EatOuttalot
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We are theater season ticket holders and like to try new restaurants, but always end up coming back to Caribou. No matter what we order - from burgers to Amish chicken to flat iron steak or pate, we are never disappointed. Love taking friends here to impress them with this gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not impressed
    DSteinberg
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Our server was incredibly rude. I understand her two tables were sat at the same time but the manner in which she handled her stress made us uncomfortable not sympathetic. In addition, this is not a family friendly restaurant. We felt as if our well-behaved children, on of which dropped a fork, were a big inconvenience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Parentvisit
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    A pub like feel but with excellent authentic French food. Got covered with lint from the cloth napkin but the food and wine was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    I had a wine tasting menu. Escargot, steak and crepe were good. But I didn't enjoy matched wine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing outing
    PhillyByChoiceVIP
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We are regulars at Caribou Cafe so it brings me no pleasure to write of a disappointing outing at brunch last Sunday. The food was the sole problem - a salade aux lardons in which the frisée salad was all white/yellow (not a speck of green); an omelet with salmon where a large, thick unappetizing slab of fish was covering the omelet instead of small pieces inside as is typical and preferable; a side order of Fench bacon - absolutelutely delicious but served as three literally bite-sized pieces (we ordered a second helping to just get enough). We will return to Caribou to make sure that this outing was an aberration but our guard is up.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Caribou Cafe Never Disapoints
    Magpie
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Having spent many happy hours over the years, with family and friends, colleagues and clients at the Caribou Café we've found the food to be dependably excellent - with that secret recipe for the fluffiest egg custard the quiche-of-the-day is the best in town! The servers are always solicitous, gracious and charming. The décor has a comfortable old world élan without pretention. I always feel welcome at the Caribou Café.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Reliable Choice in Center City
    PhillyByChoiceVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    One of many meals at Caribou Cafe - the pork chop paillard w/ greens garnish was terrific. The salads are very generous - you can definitely share one to start. Some of the wines by the glass are good, some not so good - worth asking for tasting samples. Our waiter did not seem well versed in fine dining protocol but he was competant. We come here often, and they seem to have turnover in the wait staff so I suppose that's inevitable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always good, and underrated
    yougetwhatyoupayforVIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I've had both good and really good meals here. Love the ambiance. It doesn't feel contrived.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always fun and consistent.
    CynthiaVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We are regular visitors to Philadelphia and love this small intimate French bistro. The wine list is very good, surprising for a small café. The chef has always been accommodating, as my fiancé is a pescetarian. I had the chicken and she had the skate special, which was excellent. The salad special with gorgonzola cheese and crisp applies was a really was a nice fall addition. However, as good as food is, the service makes or breaks an evening before the theatre. Our service was excellent and attentive. This is why we return to this restaurant again and again for a casual dinner/bite in Philadelphia.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • You will be delighted!
    lizacamdines
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The Caribou Café is a wonderful place for an elegant lunch with beautiful service. The menu is unique and staff are charming and attentive! Quiche and salad were well prepared. The crepes equaled any found in Paris.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Comfortable local french bistro
    J3hophouse
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Food is predictably tasty. Sometimes can be too noisy but this time was fine. Dessert was very good. Prices are fair.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Personalized Service
    dapper
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Our waiter gave us excellent personalized service. He made suggestions and really paid attention to us and our progress. The food was very good too.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A real gem!
    Caribou
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Caribou Cafe is one of my faves and I always always get a great meal. We usually go for lunch and get the special which is always decadent. Excellent and attentive staff. Can't go wrong.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very good experience
    Theatergoer
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    My wife and i had dinner at caribou cafe before a show at walnut theater. We arrived early at 530. Wehad cocktails and the escargot appetizer. They were very good. Entrees were the trout special and the skate. The trout was very good as was the skate. The only disappointment was the skate was in too much butter. It needed to be drained.otherwise very nice. Dessert and coffee followed. The service was prompt and courteous. Dinner lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. We had plenty of time to make the show.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • mimi
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    On a perfect evening for eating outside...excellent
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Skip that trip to France
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Eating at the Caribou Cafe is like strolling into a cafe in Paris; lovely, cozy bar, intimate seating, and an exceptional menu with daily specials. Try the French Onion Soup or the Escargot as a first course, the skate comes highly recommended, and no one should miss their bread pudding with white chocolate and caramel. An excellent selection of wines by the glass, aperitifs, a best-in-class beer list, and excellent coffees round out the beverage offerings. Finally, Caribou Cafe is a fairly short walk from Avenue of the Arts, and the waitstaff is used to pre-dinner serving to get you fed and out the door in time to make your concert or performance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious and Beautiful
    SarajevoVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Although the beautiful statue on OpenTable's picture of the restaurant is a little misleading, the food here is absolutely to die for. Try the steak with goat cheese, egg, spinach, and lobster inside of a puff pasty for brunch. An adventurous choice that is definitely worth the risk.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is why bistros were invented
    CrustyCurmudgeonVIP
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    There's no better place for a casual lunch - great soups, innovative salads with that extra something only the French put into them, and several delightful main courses. With comfortable seating and an attentive staff, it's great for any meal......even a business lunch was enjoyable. I just wish they didn't list wines on the menus used at lunch, because it was very hard to say "no" (a necessary sacrifice when returning to the office afterward).
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food. Reasonable prices.
    luv2dine
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We had a bunch of classic french food, all of which was delicious. The escargot and steak au poivre were particularly good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bistro on Walnut St.
    sable
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Great location, ambiance, and food. You can make a theater presentation with time to spare. Attentive service, good food choices nice bar. You will think that you are in France.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love to eat here on sidewalk.
    SuzegalVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    This was not our first time eating here. They. Have a lively bar. Up and down stairs eating. Extremely knowledgeable waitstaff and plenty of people delivering food and busing tables. I had Steak Tartare for dinner. Not for everyone, but I love it. Single malt scotch is also a favorite. They have a very generous pour. Fair. Weather dining means opening front of restaurant so patrons can eat on sidewalk. I love this. Menu is small plus specials. I love this. Everything is so fresh. This is within walking distance of theaters. Be sure to make reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • C'est Bon!
    DrmissannVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Always a Go-To restaurant that never disappoints. The food is always good, and service is excellent.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Restaurant Week Weakness
    Optimist
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Caribou Cafe was not kind to Restaurant Week. It should rise to the occasion or not participate. Tired ingredients were overcooked in a still energetic bistro setting.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Joyful
    archVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    The long high narrow room, deep colored wood paneling and terracotta painted walls made for an intimate, cozy atmosphere. It had just the right amount of ware that gave it a nice petina. The service was excellent, friendly without being intrusive. The food was very good if not gourmet. It is also in a very lively neighborhood with lots of nice restaurants and bars.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    fabulous food, outstanding service and great atmosphere-- a totally wonderful experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food okay, service could be better
    MidtownVillagerVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    I've eaten here several times because it's close to home and have always had a decent. My visit this week was definitely less than stellar..... I had a steak which was flavorful but extremely tough to the point I had trouble cutting it with the steak knife. The fries were good but since I'm trying to watch the calories I only ate a few. My biggest issue was the service. The waiter had an attitude like he really didn't want to be there and I doubt it's because it's a French restaurant but it was very off putting. I ususally tip 20%+ but I only gave this guy 15% and probably shouldn't have even given him that much. I'm sure I"ll be back to Caribou at some time but I won't be rushing to go anytime soon.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • After show dinner
    Seadog
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Reservations are certainly needed as the place got very crowded pre and post show. The crowd was lively and the service appropriate for such a busy evening. The meal was good, but not spectacular, and drinks were quite expensive $$$. We did enjoy the evening, however, because of the convenient location to the Forrest Theater and the friendly atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • average meal
    digilator
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    nothing to write home about. restaurant week menu featured multi course prix fixe at $35. tiny shrimp and small portions. braised short rib was ok but not great. we were on second floor in the back...it was really hot...must have been over the kitchen. convenient to the Forrest theatre but would not make a special trip. two people with wine bill was $145... the chocolate soufflé was tasty. stingy appetizers were better than entrees. maybe we should have ordered off the menu instead off the special menu for restaurant week... I got the feeling that they really weren't supporting restaurant week because I had to request the menu and if I didn't ask it probably would not have been offered. service was good but waiters don't cook.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • poor service=wrong order
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    after waiting I hour for our food, one of the 3 plates was not correct. the waiter offered to exchange it, but since we had theater tickets, my friend was concerned about the time element. What we had was good, but we were so rushed that we couldn't enjoy it. the location for the theater is good and since 2 of the 3 of us are limited walkers, we hoped that the Carabou would be perfect for us. too bad
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Very busy with the Pre-theater crowd which left us unattended most of the meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK for pre theater
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We were going to see the hit show Book of Mormon and it was restaurant week. The Caribou did not have enough servers to handle the early dinner rush.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre-theater delight
    BingDing
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner before hitting the Forrest Theater. Service was great, quick and pleasant. I had the daily pasta which was more than enough and very tasty. My friend had one of the crepes from the menu which she loved.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Near Theater but leave time
    BucksCodiner
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Having read this site before going I knew enough not to sit up in the loft. That is exactly where they would have placed us had I not insisted on someplace cooler. We ate on the sidewalk, a boxwood on my right shoulder. The pate' appe. was good, the mustard was excellent. Asked for bread.(nice, thinly sliced French baguette) My guest had pea and ginger soup which was reported" flavorful". My PEI mussels-tender and delicious. The white wine broth needed more butter/ less lemon. overall-enjoyable My guest's steak tartar featured a hit of hot pepper. We found the street hustle bustle exciting. Convenient to the Forrest theater. I'd call the table service "unrushed".
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great restaurant pre-theatre
    Rudy3
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Perfect location to adjacent theaters. Decor of a French bistro, pleasant atmosphere and busy clientele even at 5pm. There are a few outside tables which is ideal for great weather days. The food portions are moderate which I preferred. Pre-theatre includes soup or salad, entree with side vegetable and a dessert. The cream brûlée was exceptional. Give yourself at least 1 1/2 hrs since, it does take time to get check. Waiter was very pleasant but super busy with manta tables to accommodate.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    1Viv
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Everything was entirely perfect. The upstairs seating area is perfect for when you're not into the whole constant bustle thing around you downstairs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Horrible Experience
    DanaVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    When we arrived for our 6pm reservation, we communicated that we had tickets to a 7:30 show at the Forest and asked for ordering advice. We finally received a RAW steak at 7:10. This, after twice rejecting a "dirty" martini with no dirty. I'm fine with rare beef, but this was actually raw. Service was terrible; we were completely ignored all night. One in our party ordered onion soup, which was marginal at best. Trout dish was fine, but I'll never return, and will dissuade others from going.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nothing spectacular
    DfreedVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Was tree before a show at the Forrest Theater. Server was attentive that we did not have much time. However, found the food just average with no real flair. Restaurant was crowded and noise level was energetic . Sat upstairs and had no problem hearing each other.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Noisy and hot!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    While the food was very good, we were seated in a tiny spot on the balcony where all the heat and extreme noise from the room rose. It was uncomfortable on both counts. Could not even engage in reasonable conversation and the heat made it hard to enjoy anything. We had made a reservation and when finding where our table was asked to be re-seated but there was no other place. Service was spotty -- had to ask several times for two things, a drink was spilled on my food, the bill was wrong. Will not be going there again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pre-theatre Dinner
    GMan
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We've dined at the Caribou many times, usually having a pre-theatre dinner. The food has been consistently good over the years, and it remains so. The home made pasta special was outstanding; the wine and beer drinks were a decent size for their prices; the service this time was a bit slow, and our opening drink order seemed to take forever to arrive. We did get to the theatre well on time for curtain. We will no doubt return again for dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.