Cafe Zola

4.3
781 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Café Zola is an independently owned and operated restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in downtown Ann Arbor. Our menus are inspired by flavors and recipes borrowed from European and Mediterranean cultures and cuisine, including some Turkish recipes. We are committed to sourcing the freshest and highest quality ingredients available and supporting local businesses, farms, and suppliers. Café Zola’s seasonal menus emphasize organic and local produce, dairy, eggs, poultry, meat and seafood. Our full service bar features artisanal cocktails, happy hour specials, and a rotating wine selection chosen from various small production vineyards throughout the world.

Reservations move you to the top of the list.
You may still wait 10-30 minutes.
We may use more than one table for large groups.
If you are interested in a reservation for a large group or special event, please contact us directly.
What 781 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
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JS
vipJeanneS
Detroit
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They took great care of us!

JO
JOHNV
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, drinks and service. Nice quiet setting.

JD
JasonD
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Everything was great EXECPT for one thing. I found it really annoying to be charged $3.50 for another tiny cup of syrup for my French toast. It wasn’t enough syrup in the first place, but another 3.50 for an extra tiny cup of syrup? Really? Pretty much my only complaint

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Service was beyond terrible.

AN
AmyN
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall2food2service3ambience5

Coffee was very weak, entrees were cold. Not planning on returning.

SN
SusanN
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2022
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Uninspired food and service for the second time in a row... the menu sounds a whole lot better than the food actually comes out of the kitchen. Warm ambiance.

Y
Yooper
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2022
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Good food, there was confusion between the server and the kitchen and meal was ordered with no mushrooms and plain bagel, but came with extra mushrooms and everything bagel. Server apologized once she noticed and seemed frustrated with the kitchen, but our daughter’s meal was disappointing and the server did nothing to remedy the situation.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Detroit
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Service wasn’t great and messed up food.

T
Tnemitch
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall5food5service2ambience3

Food was fantastic! However, our server was not very attentive… he never came back to the table to ask if we needed drinks refilled or to ask if everything was okay.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
9 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience3

We’ve been to Cafe Zola many times, but moved out of the area 3 years ago. I get it: covid, the weird week between Christmas and New Years, but they’d have done better to just be closed, because now I’m not sure we’ll ever go back. Both the front is the house and kitchen were a disaster. Service was comically bad, my beef was raw in the middle and the sides were room temperature. (To be fair, she did bring out hot sides for me.) The mashed potatoes were scooped with a large ice cream style scooper and put on the plate, middle school cafeteria style. We had to beg for water refills, and we sat with dirty plates in front of us for over 30 minutes. It took forever to get cocktails and a bottle of wine. This wasn’t just the B-team staff, it was C or D. It makes me so sad; I’ve always loved this place.

a
anonymous
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Overall I left with a feeling of a five star experience. The only reason I gave it four stars as one of our three entrées came somewhat later but otherwise very good experience wonderful waitress very very responsive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Honestly, it was extremely overpriced. I ordered the Americana Breakfast and it came with probably a quarter of a potato and a quarter of a sausage. Also the waiter did not bring out toast. When I go to the Zola bistro the portion size is larger and the bread options are so much better. Orange juice just looked sad, and tasted average.

This meal should not have cost me almost 30 dollars.

Would not recommend for breakfast since this was the cheapest option as well.

G
Girl45
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall3food1service5ambience4

Food was incredibly bland, almost no flavour at all

JR
vipJohnR
Detroit
44 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great neighborhood spot. Flat iron steak with chimichurri sauce was cooked to perfection. Cappuccino is great.

HH
HopeHayworth
Detroit
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2021
Overall1food4service1ambience3

we had a 10 am reservation...arrived at 9:50 and were seated immediately. Unfortunately, we sat there for a full 15 minutes, and despite our server walking past our table 3 times without so much as a smile to acknowlege our existence (they removed plates, gave the table next to us their bill, and returned to take their payment).

Ten minutes after we arrived, another couple was seated at the bar and given water (we did not get water when we were seated). The woman who appeared to be the owner/manager spent the whole time we were there chatting with a different couple at the bar, never looking to see what was happening in the restaurant or even glancing up to see more customers at the bar.

Finally, my husband was able to make eye contact with the hostess, who was clearly confused as to why he'd want her attention. When he told her we had been ignored for 15 minutes and asked for water, she acted as if his request was surprising, but issued an insincere smile and sauntered away, never to return with water (or a server). If they'd been busy, we would have understood, but there were 8 tables of customers in a place that is usually jammed packed, so there was no excuse. While we love the food at Zola, the service has never been great, but this experience will be our last there - the lack of focus on serving customers has become abysmal so we won't be back. Perhaps the lack of diners when we arrived should have been a red flag that the formerly wonderful restaurant is in decline.

JR
vipJohnR
Detroit
45 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good for any occasion. Steak frites was delicious. Excellent cappuccino.

LS
LorieS
Detroit
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Brunch was delicious!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food overcomes all other issues. Just delicious. Unhurried European bistro atmoshrre

s
sol92
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Lovely brunch visit. Mixture of French, American, and Mediterranean options to suit all palates. Food was delightful, service was fine. Mens’ restrooms were out of order and the womens’ toilets were both dirty.

h
vipheatherm
Indiana
7 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Sadly like most places these days the restaurant was way under staffed. Honestly they should have put people on a wait rather than seating everyone and them not be able to serve them.
We waited 45 min just for our drinks . When the food finally arrived 1/2 of our parties food was cold.
What came warm was good but not great. Sadly as cute as it was we won’t be back.

KW
KellyW
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great desserts and coffee!
Best “all favorite” spot.

SG
SueG
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A friend and I made a meal out of a variety of small, shareable dishes that were each unique & delicious. Waitstaff was friendly & responsive.

s
slyder
Pittsburgh
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love this place..food is always amazing, along with the service. Great menu choices as well!

P
Phil
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Always an Ann Arbor favorite and consistently delicious!

CF
ChicFoodie
Detroit
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The restaurant accommodated a large group of us, and our waitress was the most patient, friendly person every. It took a long time to get drinks, but there was only one bartender, so the staffing issue was completely understood.

WB
WB123
Detroit
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best place in Ann Arbor for Brunch. Something for everyone, and you will not be disappointed!

G
Glaucia
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just perfect in everything!

HR
HRod10
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I have tried Cafe Zola and Zola Bistro multiple times. It's been my experience that Zola Bistro is just a better experience than Cafe Zola. Our poor waitress at Cafe Zola looked like she was waiting on 1/2 the restaurant. Not her fault, but it definitely deterred us from ordering more drinks/cocktails. The food was good, but not for the price. The plates seemed way too big for the amount of food we got.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Waited about an hour before someone took our order. Wasn’t busy, and lots of staff around so didn’t appear to be a short staffing issue.

Ordered the southwestern omelette-

Two eggs and dry chorizo was all that came on my plate 1.5 hours after I was seated. I had to take the chorizo off because it was so dry. $20 for two scrambled eggs.

Really disappointing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Cafe Zola was delicious! We were taken immediately with our reservation and we GREATLY appreciated that!! It was a little bit of a wait for our coffee and refill service, but the staff was friendly and accommodating. The food was excellent.

B
vipBunnyo
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience3

The meatball was moist but flavorless/bland. The marinara sauce was watery and bland. The pasta was also over cooked. My son’s chicken sandwich was dry and the the chicken was so small that they cut off half the bun. We ordered the bread plate and it came after our entrees. My husband ordered the salmon sandwich and they brought out the salmon plate. It was a complete waste of money and time to have lunch there. My tasteless spaghetti and one meatball was $25. I would not eat there again even if the meal is free.

RM
RobertM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Everything was just perfect. We were unable to make our original reservation time and they allowed us to come an hour later. The service is a little slow, but I think the fact that nobody is able to get staff nowadays makes this less of an issue. The servers were very pleasant and never appeared frazzled or rushed despite the fact that they were taking many tables. The food was excellent and a visit by the owner at the end of the meal was very nice. We have eaten here before, and will be here again.

DT
DeniseT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had an enjoyable evening with a quiet start, but quite "energetic" as a large table came in. Fun, delicious and and well served by Lauren. Thanks for a nice birthday dinner!

ND
vipNanDavid
Baltimore
26 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, wonderful night out. The flat iron steak was terrific. I had the salmon with a beurre blanc sauce -- wonderful!

l
ljs1313
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, Zola doesn’t disappoint!!

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M
Mzungu
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good food with interesting flavors and good drinks too. A bit expensive. Good atmosphere outside (downtown) or inside. I'm being a bit stingy with 4 stars, but I'm just a hard grader. I recommend and will return myself.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Indiana
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had Amanda as our server tonight and she was EXCELLENT!! Food was all delicious that she recommended from the coffees to the roasted vegetable salad to the swordfish and dessert! It was a delicious meal and I would definitely recommend this restaurant! We are visiting from another foodie town and I wish we could just move this place to our home town! Hope to get there for breakfast one morning.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

18 birthday

DD
DrDetroit
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Reservations at 6 pm. Dinner arrived about 715 pm. Four people ordered: whole fish 5 star, penne pasta 4 star, salmon 4 star, sushi tuna 5 star. Seemed like a long wait for drinks, meal and dessert. There were only two waitresses serving both inside and outside customers. Probably with more staff would have improved service and wait time. Skip the mock tails, not worth the money. Ice and sparkling water not much else.

FAQs

Cafe Zola offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (734) 769-2020.

Cafe Zola is rated 4.3 stars by 781 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.