Caribou Cafe
Caribou Cafe

Caribou Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cariboucafe.com/
  • Phone: 215-625-9535x
  • 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
See all photos
Caribou Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
160 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.8
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (65)great for lunch (53)great for outdoor dining (50)fit for foodies (45)great for brunch (32)vibrant bar scene (31)special occasion (30)romantic (25)hot spot (18)good for groups (17)late-night find (15)notable wine list (15)scenic view (11)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • Bland, Boring and Expensive
    TheLadiesWhoLunched
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The bread served n a French restaurant is usually a good indication of what's to follow. The bread we were presented with was stale, bland and boring Now to the wine. It's absolutely shocking that there are no bottles of wine available for under $50.00. Wines by the glass (the size of the glass and amount of wine in it, being greatly disproportionate) start at $9.50 The pasta of the day was "House Made Egg Tagliatelle in a Lamb Ragout" (market price). It's been days and I still can't get the texture and taste of that dish out of my memory, and I don't mean that in a good way. The lamb was gamey and tough, the pasta (cooked in unsalted water?) tasteless. Ahi Tuna over Ratatouille, Tuna unremarkable. Ratatouille? nursing home bland.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • bootsk
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    My sister and I enjoyed a delicious meal at the Caribou Cafe. The waiter was pleasant and the service was quick as we mentioned that we had a show to attend. We both have some dietary restrictions and the waiter checked with the kitchen to advise us of our options. We both started with cold ginger carrot soup, a real treat! I had a trout / salmon combination served over a seasonal salad. The salad consisted of spinach, lentils, greens beans, and sautéed cherry tomatoes in a light dressing. It was amazing! My sister had their daily special salad and was also happy with her meal. I would defiantly return. We were sat upstairs, which was a little more quiet and very comfortable. The bar downstairs was jammed and the patrons looked happy too!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • For Theater Goers
    Dinesallover
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Dinner before performance at The Forrest. Salmon & Trout entrée was very good, NY Strip was poor cut and tough. Starters and dessert average. Service was okay.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre-Theater Gem
    Soffy
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    We had tickets to the Forrest Theater and wanted to go somewhere close. Caribou Cafe did not disappoint. My daughter and I split the mussels in white wine sauce. The size of the mussels were small but not the taste. Delicious! And they came with great french fries. Really crispy!! We also shared the salmon/trout combo. Delicious as well. . We got seated right away. Looks like they have an extensive wine list but I am not a wine drinker so I can't comment. I would go back again. Very very close to Forres Theater
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A bad experience after a good one
    guestVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Our first experience at Caribou Cafe was wonderful with great food and service. But not this time. Perhaps it was a Sunday night in August, right after the theater crowd had left; but this was a different experience. Our server was engaging, but he admitted he was new. That may have been part of the issue. Our flammenkuche appetitizer was an excellent start to the dinner. It came out quickly and was very tasty; but it took nearly an hour for dinner to arrive. My wife's salade nicoise was to have come with dressing on the side...and the dressing was on the side and on the salad. My salmon salad special was also over dressed. My son's poulet roti was very good. We waited so long that we didn't want to ask about a missing appetitizer.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Convenient and Pleasant
    Susan
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Very convenient for after theatre dining. Close to both the Forrest and the Walnut Street Theatres.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • jepollock@aol.com
    Happywoman
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Food was excellent. The kitchen was accommodating to special needs and requests. Even though a little late reservation was honored.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I understand why it's crowded
    PhillyJim
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    My wife and I finally stopped here a few months ago. Because there was always a crowd, we wanted to see why. Good food at a French Bistro was the answer. I don't think the term Caribou Cafe suggests French. I didn't know what kind of food to expect that first time.Thought it might be Eskimo food. {Caribou? Reindeer? Did not sound appealing.) But it was appetizing, with good wine and good service. Caribou Cafe is a fun spot for an enjoyable meal, nice ambiance and tasty wine. We will be back. Again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sand
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I meet clients at this restaurant for lunch on a Saturday. The food was great and the waiter was attentive without being intrusive. The service was great!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just OK
    SteveL
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Skate dinner and mussels in curry cream sauce were very ordinary. Lacked seasoning. Pommes frites were the best part of the mussel dinner . Menu seems expensive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great prie-fixe for pre theater
    jb111342
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Definitely would go again--it is so convenient to Forrest Theater, and a very nice meal as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unfortunate Experience
    Dissapointed
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We were onetime at 5:45 for our reservation and told our server we had theater tickets for a 7:30 PM performance two minutes down the block. He was slow to take our drink orders and slow to take our dinner orders. As a result, we were most uncomfortable waiting to be served. So, if the dinner was any good, we were too anxious to enjoy it. The restaurant was full and because the show was a block away, management should have anticipated the crowd. As it turned out, we had two meals that included desert, but had to leave before they could be served. No accommodation on our bill was offered. The show was great, but what a lousy way to celebrate a wedding anniversary.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • people7000VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Near the Forest theater. Parking nearby. Good for people watching on Walnut.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good street scene
    snarefire
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We were seated at a small outdoor table but decided to move to an empty one adjacent to give us a little more leg room.Hostess,waiter and front end floating mgr were all very accommodating.Had a nice escargot app and a decent chicken sandwich very moist-appeared to be thigh meat; while my wife had a skate entree which was quite good.Not a destination place -but good for pre- theater fare.Outdoor table was great for people watching...
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good enough for pre show dinner
    Jbsmoothie
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We got seated right away with our reservation. Our server was extremely rude. It took her 10 min just to come and take our drink order. Later I had to get her and let her know we were ready to order since we had a show to see. As soon as I was done ordering she literally grabbed the menu out of my hand and stormed away. How rude is that? Our food was on the slow side and when we did get it, it was just alright. If u want to just get a quick bite to eat, this place is alright.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun french Bistro
    mike
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    The food was excellent. The waiters very nice and knowledgeable. There were a couple of small mistakes with the side order/drink/dessert. but were fixed very quickly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not from Philly
    Yummy
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    I am not from Philadelphia, so found this little gem on Open Table, it's a great little café. We went for a business lunch, great atmosphere and good food. Our waiter was very nice as well. Yummy, and would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will not return
    SammySoapsuds2
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Only two of us for dinner before theatre. Waited 40 minutes for entrees - received mussels in curry instead of white wine as ordered - waited another 10 minutes for mussels. Received wrong dessert. Waited again. Had to gulp down desserts to get to theater on time. Will not go again, for sure.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service
    Service
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Waitress was not all there. Forgot to write down one of the orders and the guest had to wait while everyone else ate. The forgetfulness was she was to busy! We love your food but you service must get better or we won't be back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food but slow service
    Debragene
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The food was very good, but be prepared to wait for it.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • C ' est merveilleux
    bibliochef
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Delicious, inspired food that is authentically French. Exemplary wine list and cocktails. Wait staff great; hosts a tad aloof.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • after show early dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Food was OK but overall experience was mediocre. When we arrived at 4:30 after seeing a show at the Forrest theater we were ushered to a table on the 2nd floor in a back corner even though there were very few dining patrons. That didn't make sense to me. We would have been the only customers to be seated on the 2nd floor when we arrived. We did have reservations. Only after complaining were we then given a small table on the main floor where the ambiance was better. While there was nothing bad I could point out I left feeling that this was not a restaurant I would ever recommend to a friend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bill
    Bill
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Enjoyed the setting and the food. However, need to pay a bit more attention to the customer order. My soup did not arrive and my desert was not what I ordered. Waiter said he was sorry both times but this should not happen.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely meal
    Dgwyumm
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We chose Caribou Cafe because it was close to the Market East, making it a perfect place to meet a friend in town for a conference. The staff was very friendly and the food was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very busy evening
    xoxoVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    This is a good pre theatre spot if going to The walnut or better yet, the Forrest which is A few steps away esp if u have to fight a huge waiting theatre crowd as was on this evening for "book of mormon" Food was pretty good but it got rather noisy as the dinner progressed and the ALL WORKED UP LOUD CROWD tried to eat and scream at the same time in anticipation of the show! It was sort of a relief to get done and out the door will try it again on a calmer nite Menu is very nice
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good for Theatre
    cheymadVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Its really a bar serving food. To accommodate people they put tables in every nook and cranny. On the second floor it's so dark you can barely see menu. We stuck to sandwiches and appetizers and food came quickly and was very flavorful. However even on 2nd floor it was hard to hear other person at table. Fine if you are going to the Forrest and want a quick bite...not worth it for a relaxing dinner.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • a favorite spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Caribou is our favorite spot in Philadelphia. We have been going there for years and have never been disappointed in the food or service. There was one time that it got a lot noisier than we would have liked, however, that was because there was a group there and that was understandable.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good for Pre-Theatre Meal
    PBV1VIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The restaurant is very convenient to Forrest Theater which is why we choose it. The first table we were taken to was a very small bistro table so we asked to move. The food was good and our waiter was okay. We had a bus boy who acted like he would rather be somewhere else. There was also a group of 6 nearby who were extremely loud. Another patron actually went over to them to ask them to tone it down! I would try it again but choose my seating area a bit more carefully.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't Car(ibou) to return...ever
    Ironmom2
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Very loud restaurant, and we were seated right next to a server station. So, in addition to the noise of the restaurant, we were treated to the loud clatter of plates and silverware being dumped into a bin next to us every two minutes. Took 20 minutes to get drinks (white wine barely chilled) and 40 minutes to get entrees (even after ordering from the express/theater menu). Salad arrived first, drowning in dressing (inedible), followed by bread (?). I ordered my steak medium rare and it was still moo-ing (had to be sent back). Had to ask for salt/pepper...another 5 minutes. Food was just average. Dessert (runny creme brûlée) arrived with no utensils. Server was absent and less than friendly. I hope our experience was the exception.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, poor service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Recently had dinner at Caribou Cafe. We enjoyed the food, but the service was poor enough to probably prevent us from returning. They had significant problems getting food out in a reasonable time. During these delays, the wait staff never came over to check or see if they could do anything to help. It was all very disorganized. When we asked to speak to a manager, we were told that she "was busy in the back." Ultimately, we just finished and left without speaking to anyone in charge. It's a shame because the food was good, but the overall experience was ruined by the service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good food, very poor service
    ljk123
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    food was,very good and reasonably priced. the atmosphere was very pleasant and not that crowded. however, the service was very poor. the waiter basically ignored us and spent his time looking over the balcony. anytime we wanted anything, we had to go over and ask him. it really put a damper on the celebration.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worst dish of 2014
    RWoodBVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The trout-salmon duo consisted of fish that was overcooked despite the fact that medium rare had been specified. The two fillets were atop mashed potatoes that lacked flavor. All of that floated on a bed of mixed vegetables and sauce that were also lacking in character. Very good service cannot overcome food that is so disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fine French bistro food and drink
    robespierre
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The lists of snacks and main dishes would not be out of place in most any French bistro. The special feature, that is usually lacking in the US, is that the food tastes like French cuisine! Food seems prepared with imagination and elan. Also, reasonably priced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Adolpne
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    I have been to the Caribou Cafe for lunch numerous times, and it never disappoints. The food is very good, and there is quite a variety of dishes to choose from. The service is fine and very professional. We sat in a booth in the back, and it was very quiet, and no one rushed us to leave.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Leo222
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    I was very happy with our dinner , it was our second time there and we did enjoy every thing about this place, we started with the curry mussles and a salad , it was great I loved the sauce of the mussles , for dinner I had a french pepper steak that I enjoyed a lot. Was perfectly cooked with excellent pepper sauce , my wife ordered a salmon dish that she liked as well, our server was very nice and very knowledgable . We will be back soon for another french fun night
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid Neighborhood Go To
    Netherfield1
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    One of my favorite lunch spots in Center City. Love the ambiance and nice selection of meals. The food is nicely prepared and a good value.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely place for lunch
    SilverQueenVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    I enjoyed the quiche and salad combo. Quiche is the lightest ever. My friend enjoyed her burger. I have been lunching at this place for many years. I love the French bistro ambiance. The servers are courteous and helpful. This place is a little oasis of charm to brighten your day.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    This was not our first time at Caribou, but it was certainly the best. The staff was professional and friendly. We started with red wine (I forget the name, but it was delicious), then ordered a cheese plate and an escargots. The sauce had us asking for more bread to soak it up with. The entrees were excellent and the dessert du jour, a warm berry tart with ice cream, finished the meal out well. We cannot wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Paris in Philly
    FinedinerVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    An outstanding restaurant in every way! I dine here at least once a month, and the food is always spectacular. The specials change daily and are excellent and the menu is outstanding as well. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Caribou Cafe blew me away
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We stumbled across Caribou during a romantic walk in center city when we noticed the quaint outside seating area and decided to try it out. We made a reservation and it was a great decision. The cocktail list offered interesting concoctions and the wines were excellent, as well. The onion soup was better than Paris and the steak tartare is to die for. The salmon and trout duo was seared to perfection. The meal was brought to its zenith with the melt-in-your-mouth bread pudding that has to be tasted to be believed. The atmosphere reminded us of France. This is an excellent restaurant for a romantic date, or even just to have some delicious beers and watch a game. I highly recommend Caribou to anyone, and we will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.