Caribou Cafe

4.3
964 reviews
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$30 and under
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French
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!
What 964 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
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AM
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The ambiance and service is first rate. The food was disappointing. The Salmon came out in an oily mess of a sauce that was most unappealing. The salmon was very good without being drowned in the unpalatable sauce. The lamb shanks were a little small for the price, but very well done the veggie/ couscous mix was a "different" presentation, but very tasty. The Hericote vert almandine was overcooked and very oily, making it unpalatable. The desserts were first rate, and well worth both the monetary and the caloric one expense. The espresso was bland and did not look like it was handmade.
All in all, I remembered Caribou as being much better restaurant. As it was on this visit, I would not be inclined to return.

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s
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was excellent. I chose from the prefix menu and had the soup of the day, fish of the day, and the caramel crepe. Our waiter was attentive and food arrived not too quickly but not too slowly. I will definitely eat here again or stop by and have a drink at the bar.

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L
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

This was a very convenient pre theater restaurant for the Forest theater. Atmosphere was fun and food was good. Service was inconsistent. Overall ok dining. Indoor and outdoor seating and bar available.

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food & service

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ES
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

the french fries served with the steak were like McDonald's. I would expect something more upscale in a place like this.

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c
Philadelphia
30 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was fantastic. The appetizer, Shrimp and Avocado "Bellevue" alone made the visit worth while. I will definitely go again just for this starter! It is only one block from the Forrest Theater, so perfect for a meal before a show.

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HC
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for pre or post theatre.
Just as delicious as it always is.

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OT
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Other than the fact they canceled our open table reservation with no notice and we had to rebook at the last minute our expectations where met as always overall a great place.

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OT
Philadelphia
150 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

i have eaten here in the past and it has remained a good place to dine if Forrest theater is in the picture. It's a block away, food is good, atmosphere very close to being in Paris, in my opinion! I luv to find a place with a croque monsieur "close" to what you would find in Paris...this is a good option!

If you have a problem walking steps then definitely request seating on first level.

go and enjoy!

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J
Philadelphia
42 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food....Friendly and efficient service. Located conveniently near all the major theaters.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Show after dinner

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EL
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Loved this bistro but was very disappointed with the quality of meat served on the dinner menu. The pork chop was very tough and honestly were I not there with a casual friend and heading for the theatre, I would have sent it back. Had to request butter for bread twice to accompany the soup but by the time it arrived, the main dish was served ; I was past bread! Sorry but the meal was not commensurate with the check!

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DW
Philadelphia
70 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Susan started off the evening with a lovely greeting and table. Food was tasty. Drinks out of the ordinary. Atmosphere was vibrant on a very busy nite before CATS at the Forrest theater.

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b
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We were there pre theater-with reservations. Understaffed. Our waiter was running around a lot. Never got bread. Eventually got water. Meal and appetizer came at once 45 minutes later. Canceled the appetizer-the fish of the day was delicious-dropped off check and didn’t remove appetizer from bill- enjoy the place but would avoid during the pre theater rush

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M
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice bistro. Loved my lamb burger.

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l
Philadelphia
98 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we had a varied selection.Hamburger was delicious,beet salad with spinach was fresh and well presented. Two had the mussels and said they were expertly seasoned and well cleaned. No complaints and from this bunch that is saying something. Best waiter too. Friendly informative and watchful for our needs.

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P
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

It was OK. Not a bad experience, but menu online didn't match menu at the restaurant. While the noise level and environment was impacted by the Gay Pride Parade Festivities, the restaurant was still not busy. There is a LOT of competition in Philadelphia right now and while they were good, there are some that are better.

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E
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A favorite for years. Always an excellent meal with great service. Portion sizes a perfect for leaving a clean plate and not feeling too full or hungry.

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TC
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I've reviewed this restaurant before and given it high marks, but this time it did not hold up. Our entree orders were 'lost' and therefore delivered very late. The seafood crepes which I have enjoyed in prior visits had large pieces of shrimp shells folded inside - not very pleasant and sharp edges too. Usually a nice place for dinner prior to attending the Theaters close by, it was not so at this visit as we were rushed due to the late service and could not enjoy a dessert or coffee before leaving. So, I'll be trying some other establishments in the area before returning here. Sorry about that.

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p
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Food was average at best.

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JL
Cambridge
2 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

My entre (seafood crepe) was smothered in sauce and the components were not readily distingushable. Taste was pretty good, although not the greatest. My colleague’s entree was below average, steak having a lot of untrimmed gristle. Decent beer list.
Dessert very slid, but did not knock our socks off.
Service was outstanding, really quite solicitous despite it being a fairly busy lunch.

Would I return — absolutely.

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n
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

We went there for brunch. Service was terrible. There were only 2-3 tables with costumers but it still took them over an hour to come get our order. Food was not good. Very overpriced for the quality of food and the service provided.

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HD
Philadelphia
61 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Consistency explains why Caribou has remained in business for somewhere around 30 years ( I can't remember when it was not open). Food is good, reasonably priced, wine and liquor selections are plentiful, the menu has a French flair but the kitchen can adjust ingredients if the customer does not want butter or other sauces... this is a good location for lunch, a light dinner pre-theatre or just a nice place to sit outside on a spring evening (on the night we dined, the entire front of the restaurant was open and the light breeze inside was absolutely lovely). Service is professional and attentive. Dine with friends, with business associates or sit at the bar and enjoy the ambience.

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RS
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A nice little well appointed cafe. Good food, good service, great bread pudding. Open seating and open air or more private booths and upstairs.

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f
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Ordered the specials of the day and was pleased. Salad was delicious and fish entree was outstanding.

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T
Philadelphia
57 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I get there about once a month, sometimes I binge a few times a month. They always have my favorite booth waiting for me and remember that I love a little glass of Lilet Blanc as an aperitif. The food is classic Parisian and simply wonderful every time. I fear for this little slice of independent heaven in a city that is quickly becoming suburbanized. I hope Caribou lasts forever.

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e
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Unfortunately, our notice on Open Table that we had an 8:00 theater reservation did not get from Open Table to our waitress. We waited 10 minutes for a maitre d', even though there were several open booths, including the one we selected after being told to do so. The restaurant seemed understaffed. Drinks came out slowly, the bread basket was late, and our entrees were very late. Sadly, there was no time for dessert: our loss and the restaurant's loss. I left a lower tip than normal to show my displeasure, although the waitress was probably not at fault. Next time I will tell the waitress of our deadline, but will the restaurant be sufficiently staffed? It was a Saturday evening, after all.

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OT
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific food and service. Closing the eyes, one could be in Paris.

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L
Philadelphia
36 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had not been to the Caribou Cafe in a couple years, but the experience was as we remembered it. The food was good, the service was good, and the noise level was tolerable. We were there on a Friday night. We sat upstairs - the downstairs bar area is a little more noisy. The butterfish special was outstanding. The onion soup was very cheesy, but not very tasty. Salads were large and very good. It's a good place if you're going to the theater practically next door.

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MO
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delightful authentic French bistro cuisine and ambiance. Excellent food and drink, decent prices, comfortable and easy.

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T
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful Saturday evening at Caribou Cafe - and we were able to sit outside since the weather cooperated! Food and server were both excellent!

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y
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

They are consistent. The meals echo a bistro in France, as does the ambience. The table adjacent to us was unusually loud, thus my rating of noise level.

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R
Philadelphia
48 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Hopefully it was just a bad day but the food was not great. Everything had too much salt in/on it.

we have eaten here many times for Saturday Brunch and this was our first disappointment

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NT
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Caribou Cafe is a "go to" prior to our Matinee show. This visit we were presented with the first day of their spring menu. One in the party ordered the always superb quiche of the day and salad. Two of us opted for a new offering "Shrimp and Avocado Bellvue." The description of the dish by the wait staff was a bit off.....but no problem......it was delicious. Listed as an appetizer, but we found it sufficient for our needs......add a salad and you're set. The raspberry sorbet was special as well. Wait staff and overall personel are super attentive and friendly. We like it.......can you tell?

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m
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service! Third time we have eaten at Caribou Cafe. Never disappoints.

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G
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good French Bistro food in Washington Square. Our go to place for theater night.

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JW
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I go to Caribou for the quiche. It’s delicious- light and custardy. I love the way the place looks and the service is excellent.

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J
Philadelphia
43 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible food -- the salmon salad was outstanding!!
Excellent and friendly service.
The location is perfect for theater - goers.

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OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my first time there and it was wonderful! Our waiter was awesome, the food was delicious and we lucked out because it was a beautiful afternoon and they opened the wall to outside seating! Definitely going back and would love to do dinner next time!

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J
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We were going to a performance at the Walnut Street Theatre and this is always a good choice, either before or after the show. This time we went to Brunch, which was enjoyable. There were a variety of choices, either breakfast or lunch. There were 5 of us. A couple had the Quiche of the day, a few had the seafood crepe and another had the Croque Monseur. Everything was good and our server was excellent. You also get a discount if you are attending the Walnut.

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