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Permanently Closed - Cafe Levain

585 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion

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This restaurant is permanently closed.

Café Levain offers both French and American cuisine. Its menu includes homemade pasta dishes along with duck confit, braised short rib and grilled fish entrées. Each entrée comes with fresh bread and your choice of sides such as a root vegetable salad, white beans, kale or seasoned fries. Because the chef seeks to use fresh ingredients from local farmers, the menu at Café Levain changes seasonally. Its menu also includes a variety of beers and wines to pair with your meal.

At Café Levain, you'll enjoy fine dining in a casual environment. Its homey ambience features wooden tables and chairs, soft lighting and fresh linens covering each table. This restaurant is open for dinner only.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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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 ($30, or $25 for vegetarian option) along with a selection of a la carte items. Our regular menu is not available that evening.
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Phone number
(612) 823-7111
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Payment options
MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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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.
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Private party contact
Harvey McLain: (612) 823-7111
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Cross street
48th St E
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Special events & promotions
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.
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wine
What 585 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BettyCrocker (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on July 16, 2016

Celebrating date night with my husband. I thought the shortribs were fantastic and I'm a fish gal. My husband really enjoyed the chicken, wonderful roast flavor. I also enjoyed the red wine that was featured on saturday, 7/16. Our waiter said he would jot it down for me but he forgot. It was from bordeaux. My husband enjoyed the different beer selection. Smaller. regional breweries.

Dale123114 (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on July 9, 2016

Never disappointed either with the quality of food or the level of service. The menu is not huge (that's a good thing) yet it's modified frequently so as not to be boring or predictable. My wife and I are most appreciative of the well informed wait staff whose level of service is second to none.

PastorLoci (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on July 7, 2016

A favorite spot, but haven't visited in some time. Everything about the experience was just fine, great food, great service, price level we expected. We had made a reservation as a celebration of our wedding anniversary, and we got a lovely corner table and our server, a great, experienced guy, was aware of my wife's gluten free needs. The only mild downer was to see such a small crowd out to a great place. Thursday night and all that, but very few people.

vipLacsi (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on June 11, 2016

A great way to enjoy good food with great wine or beer. They bring farm to table to the next level with their own creative creations of meat and fish dishes. Certainly worth a try if you're a foodie and you may be surprised and become a regular! I'm certainly coming back!

vipjulie (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on May 19, 2016

My husband and I were on vacation and staying in the southwest section of Minneapolis. Having no idea where to eat, I checked OpenTable. The reviews for Cafe Levain were very good. We were a little concerned by the repeated comment that only a few tables were occupied. But the menu looked interesting and the prices were reasonable, so we tried it. We were so happy we did. The food was outstanding! The menu is limited, but there were a couple of entrees that appealed to us. We both ended up ordering the barramundi; it was delicious. The woman who waited on us could not do enough to please us. When asked why the restaurant was so empty, she said that in the warm months people are looking for outdoor dining, which they did not have. The only negative was the ambiance. The dining area opens up to the kitchen.

vipceej (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on May 15, 2016

Cafe Levain lost its chef several months ago and we were curious about how they were doing without Chef Adam Vickerman at the helm. Have to say the food was still delicious. I had the crispy skin chicken breast which was mouth watering. My husband had the beef tips and a side of potatoes. He practically licked the plate! Our server, Brad was knowledgeable and helpful with suggestions. We did overhear the table behind us had some issues with receiving the wrong food. They made a bit of a deal about it which is unfortunate. But all in all, in my opinion Cafe Levain hasn't really missed a step. We love the fact that it resides in our neighborhood and will be back again for sure.

vipfrequentdiner (Minneapolis)
4.0  Dined on May 6, 2016

Amazing food and great service. But there are 20+ tables and only 3 were full at 7:30 on a Friday night. Not much buzz or ambience as a result.

Egprzytarski (Minneapolis)
2.0  Dined on April 29, 2016

My husband and I went for a birthday celebration and hearin friends rave about their burgers. When we arrived, on a Friday night, there was one other table occupied. The server immediately told us that they had a new chef and the menu was completely different. They didn't even had the old burger on the menu, which was replaced with a patty melt. My husband decided to go with the patty melt, me with the shortrib dish. We started with a green tomato tartare which was different and quite tasty. Next the food.. The burger was pretty good, albeit extremely greasy and cheesy. A gut bomb if you will. Served on a mountain of delicious fries. The short rib was subpar. The strangest presentation, with whole peas and peanuts on it. It tasted like a rookie crockpot pot roast. The service was good, the atmosphere... Left much to be desired. Needless to say, a disappointing dinner. We will sadly not be returning.

OpenTable Diner (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on April 24, 2016

The Sunday dinner is a stunningly good deal

vipLacsi (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on April 23, 2016

Very casual place but great food! Service was impeccable and if you want to be adventurous, ask the Sous Chef, Maggie! She's a great add to the team.

OpenTable Diner (Minneapolis)
2.0  Dined on April 9, 2016

I always tell people they should go here and order the beef short ribs. It's a hidden gem. Now with the departure of the chef and our last meal being a disaster we will not be returning again. So sad. The french onion soup and service was good but that's it.

Diamondlakegirl (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on April 8, 2016

This restaurant is in my neighborhood and I had no idea how great it was. I thought it was too expensive but they proved me wrong! I also thought it was too much of a foodie place but it's not. A small menu but enough to choose from. Great for an impressive date night!

I had the barramundi (white fish) and my husband had the grilled ribeye and they both were delicious! His was huge and done perfectly and those frites with bernaise dipping sauce are my favorite! So good.... I had never had barramundi before and it was tender and flaky, not fishy at all... beautifully plated and I ate every bite. We had the creme brulee for dessert and it was one of the best I'd ever had! Super smooth with a crusty top.... everything we had there was really good and I was surprised at how reasonable the prices were! I think they've changed and gotten more reasonable as I was there a long time ago and it seemed more expensive. It wasn't that busy either so it wasn't super loud. Great cozy neighborhood restaurant with lots of charm and excellent food. I will definitely go back!

vipOpenTable Diner (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on March 26, 2016

Overtime we have ever been to Levain it is outstanding! Great, creative food, wonderful service. EVERY TIME. I cannot believe more people have not caught on this great neighborhood gem!

vipGwitz (Minneapolis)
3.0  Dined on March 20, 2016

We stopped in after the opera for Sunday supper package.
We ordered both choices for each part of the meal. The accompanying wines selected by staff were quite nice. The bolognaise pasta was lovely and rich. The Veg pasta left something to be desired. Not much more than mac n cheese with fresh peas.
Green tomato appetizer/salad was excellent, fresh and tart. Mussels appetizer broth sauce was very good with large succulent mussels.

OpenTable Diner (Minneapolis)
4.0  Dined on March 19, 2016

Elegant and small French style restaurant in south Minneapolis neighborhood .
So nice to be at a restaurant that doesn't equate size with quality. The server was experienced, attentive but not overbearing.
There were 4 of us celebrating a birthday so we shared a number of entre s and appetizers. All very well prepared and presented. Only negatives would be that it is a bit loud but that does contribute to the overall ambience. Also beef tip appetizers- a bit too heavy on the bread. But I would still recommend this lovely spot.

Elvis (Minneapolis)
4.0  Dined on March 19, 2016

The noise level was surprising for Levain, interfering with our hard of hearing member's
good time. The food was very good when it arrived.

vipregular (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on March 18, 2016

Our favorite neighborhood spot happens to have AMAZING food in a cozy and comfortable is an under the radar MUST !!!

vipOpenTable Diner (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on March 18, 2016

The food is amazing, the servers are amazing. Try the 5 bean salad, the green tomato tartare, the chicken, the short ribs. You can't go wrong with what you order.

shhh (Minneapolis)
4.0  Dined on March 5, 2016

We were looking for fresh food, simply prepared and found it at Cafe Levain.
Everything we enjoyed was up to our standards and came with creative touches.
My husband requested the spicy peppers be omitted from his scallop dish and was
given that courtesy graciously. Overall, in spite of the noise level being somewhat difficult for us, we will likely return.

OpenTable Diner (Minneapolis)
5.0  Dined on March 4, 2016

One of our favorite spots especially is we can sit at the bar and watch "the action" in the kitchen.