About 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!

1126 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
French, Wine Bar, Comfort Food

Hours of Operation:
Sunday - Thursday: 11:30am - 10:30pm;
Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 11:30pm;

Cross Street:
12th Street

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(215) 625-9535

Website:
http://www.cariboucafe.com/

Entertainment:
Friday and Saturday Night 8:30-11:30pm
Original Jazz trio

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Caribou Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (21)
Good for a Date (19)
Cozy (18)
See All
Authentic (17)
Quiet Conversation (17)
Casual (17)
Bar Seating (14)
Neighborhood Gem (12)
Romantic (12)
Fun (11)
Business Meals (11)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Great for Lunch (9)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Comfort Food (8)
Great for Outdoor Dining (8)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Special Occasion (7)
Afternoon Coffee (6)
Happy Hour (6)
Healthy (6)
People Watching (6)
Sunday Lunch (5)
Great for Brunch (4)
Afternoon Tea (3)
Great Beer (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Scenic View (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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678 reviews
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 (Philadelphia)·Dined 2 days ago

Had a great time taking my mom to one of her favorite restaurants in the city.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 5 days ago

This was my first visit to Caribou Cafe. It was recommended by the friend with whom I dined, and it did not disappoint. It's a cute place. The service was friendly and efficient. And the food is amazing. I had the beef bourguignon (tender and delicious) and creme brulee. I will definitely return.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined 6 days ago

We chose Caribou Cafe because of its proximity to a theater we were attending. The food was OK, nothing special. We were there early so it was quiet and service was good.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 12, 2017

The service was attentive without being overbearing. The mussels in the creme fraiche sauce were fantastic. Nice variety of house wines.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Great food and ambience - the evening we were there - they were short of staff.

Tags: Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Nice dinner. As usual, our meals were delicious. We would definitely return again.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 5, 2017

We sat outside on one of the last warm days of the season. The waiter was prompt and helpful. We liked the variety of choices on the Brunch menu. I thoroughly enjoyed the mushroom crepe and my friend liked his chicken hash. We recommend the Caribou.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Food ok - quality/price on expensive side.
Frisee salad with lardons and poached eggs did not taste bad, just that the presentation was aweful and non-classic. Would have been better with more greens, less of the rest. The cassoulet was good, the canard confit could have been a tad crispier.
No wine from Languedoc from list, but there was a juicy Chinon which paired well with the cassoulet. The noise level was deafening (primarily due to acoustic, as there were quite a few empty tables), which would have been OK if everything else (including the service) had a tad more French-touch. It is understood that the restaurant-cafe is informal, but part of the French restaurant experience (more so than any other cuisine) is the structured approach to the service. Too much loosey goosey maybe democratic but it ain’t French! But will return.

Tags: Comfort Food
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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Not only is the food delicious and appetizing, the staff makes you feel welcome and comfortable.
Definitely the place to go.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Why isn't this place more popular? I've been four times now over the past three years and find it always good and always fun. The place is a classic french bistro plunked down in Philly, complete with the dark wood, confortable booths, Lillet and Follies Bergere posters, gilt lettering on mirrors, and storefront that can be opened up for indoor/outdoor seating around bistro tables. A fairly eclectic menu with a core of bistro staples like Steak Frites, mussels, and Salade Nicoise. I've had both the steak and the salad and both were done very nicely (although they do the salad with a cold chunk of poached salmon rather than the more traditional tuna). There are just enough French wines to make it interesting. Their two Cotes de Rhone (Kermit-Lynch and Cornas) are great examples of CDR. No matter what time I've been there, the place is never more than half-full. I don't get it. Not world-class, but certainly better, more reliable, and less-stuffy than many, many trendy Philly restaurants. I'll be back - a go-to when I travel to Center City.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Casual, Quiet Conversation, Fun, Romantic, Business Meals, Happy Hour, Authentic, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Love this restaurant. Food was great. Atmosphere and staff wonderful. Great place to catch up with friends.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Afternoon Tea, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Casual, Good for Groups, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Great food, great atmosphere, great service.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Food, as always was very good, waiter was not. While very friendly, he would not check for the wine I prefer which is on again off again on the menu, but is usually available even when not on the menu. Took our order for appetizers but only my wife's soup arrived. When questioned about the status of my son's octopus and my escargot he realized that he forgot to write down my son's order and never placed mine. He offered to put in my order, but by that time our entrees were on their way. Bread is always provided, but the waiter had to be prompted to bring bread. I have always enjoyed my evenings at Caribou Cafe with a glass of Muscadet and light dinner fare. Usually the wait staff is wonderful, but obviously even the most delightful experiences can be tarnished.

Tags: Romantic, Authentic, Cozy, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service1
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Food as usual was excellent. Liked some changes to the menu. Seafood crepes was fantastic.
Wine also very good.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

Birthday dinner

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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 13, 2017

TOTALLY Enjoyed our Meal. The Lemon Drop was the best my wife has ever had - she ordered a second (which she seldom does). Onion Soup was excellent. Very Authentic French Casual fare. Service was outstanding, A perfect beginning to our evening - pre-performance meal then on to the Walnut Street Theater to se.e A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Business Meals, Healthy, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 29, 2017

I wasn't displeased with anything really: I wouldn't go out of my way to venture back anytime soon. Service was ok. Food ok, but not one of my top 10 Philly restaurants. It was convenient to the theatre and gave us a discount.

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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 23, 2017

I love this place. Staff is friendly. So accommodating. Great place!

Tags: Business Meals, Afternoon Coffee, Kid-friendly, Sunday Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Great Beer, Great for Lunch, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Romantic, People Watching, Scenic View, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 22, 2017

Always a favorite for Center City. The escargot are the best! The Restaurant Week Menu was a steel and I always enjoy everything I have here. And don't miss the happy hour!

Tags: Happy Hour, Romantic, Good for a Date, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 19, 2017

Lamb shank was delicious but not a regular menu item. I did enjoy the ham & cheese sandwich, escargot and the chocolate souffle. I will be back.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on September 17, 2017

I went for Restaurant Week and enjoyed the four course meal that they offered and it was simply delicious... from the escargot, to the lamb shank, and the chocolate souffle... I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will come back again

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 16, 2017

We had a very disappointing dining experience Saturday night. The food wasn't good at all. Everything was beyond well fine and difficult to eat and enjoy. They cooked everything to death including all the flavor out if our meal.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 16, 2017

I love French and Belgian food and salads! This place feels so comfortable and laid back too! It was restaurant week so very good value as well.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Fun, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service3
value5

 
·Dined on September 15, 2017

Very good pre-theatre dining experience. Service and food were both excellent.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 15, 2017

this place is amasing. great food. great atmosphere. great service. I will be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 12, 2017

Always wanted to try this place, and finally got a chance when we were running some errands nearby, so we stopped in for an early dinner. Didn't even know it was Restaurant Week, or I might not have gone in. (In my experience, many restaurants are so busy and hassled during Restaurant Week that they aren't on their best game.) Not the case here. They offered a choice of the regular menu or the Restaurant Week menu (which most places don't anymore), and everything was great. I might not have given all 5 stars if it weren't restaurant week, but if they could accomplish this food and service when it WAS, then I can only imagine what it's like on regular nights.
The only thing I can fault is that "Absinthe fountain service" isn't a fountain - it's a carafe of ice water. The resulting drink is the same, but the experience is very different than using a true fountain to drip the water over the sugar. A minor quibble, I know, but they should update the menu if they don't have the fountain.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 11, 2017

Big fan of French bistro food. Caribou Cafe doesn't disappoint. Great ambience along with attentive and professional staff make for a great dining experience.

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 6, 2017

Food is very fresh and presented beautifully. Lovely little French bistro.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Bar Seating, Cozy, Afternoon Coffee, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 2, 2017

Neither posh, nor "the happening place", but a congenial place that was quiet enough to dine and chat with friends. The service was unobtrusive but still attentive. The menu was varied enough for anyone to find something and the offerings were well crafted, inventive, and tasty. I would trade a "wow" menu for a solid, but quiet, dining experience any time.

Tags: Casual, Gluten Free Options, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 23, 2017

Fresh food, beautiful delivery, great service. A perfect place to meet a friend and have quiet conversation.

Tags: Casual, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on August 16, 2017

In town for a visit. Food was excellent, as was service. Love the atmosphere. Just wish it had more extensive food selection.

Tags: Cozy, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 14, 2017

So I hadn't been to this restaurant in years. When I went before I was really impressed with the food. This time, not so much. I ordered a steak "medium". It came out well done and was WAY too salty. I only ate a few bites and lost my appetite. I don't think I'll be going back to this restaurant any time soon.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 30, 2017

Food was excellent. Server was nice but we had to ask what the specials were. Sat outside which was very nice but the tables are REALLY small if you are getting more than a drink and snack.

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food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 24, 2017

Great prices and service!

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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 16, 2017

One of my absolute favorite restaurants. It feels like you walk into an authentic French bistro. The escargot is the best I have ever had.

Tags: Happy Hour, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 15, 2017

First time eating here and it was excellent!! Service was superb and the waiter suggestions were just great! We were going to the Walnut Street Theatre and they took that into consideration so they took care of us so we will not be late for the theatre. I really recommend it and the good is amazing! Can't wait to go back 😊

Tags: People Watching, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Late-night Find, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 8, 2017

We had a theater performance that began at 8 - we arrived before 6:15 and received our check at 7:50 - too close for comfort. We also felt that the bill was a bit stiff for a sandwich, two salads and 2 glasses of wine.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Disappointing experience. Went for Saturday brunch. The eggs Benedict portions were very small. Lots of potatoes but very small portions for actual eggs Benedict. Husband's beer tasted stale. Bread pudding was gluey...maybe defrosted, not sure. Waitress was a bit snarky throughout. Wouldn't go back.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 4, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The cheese plate had quite a few excellent choices, and the seafood crepe was amazing. We're definitely adding this restaurant to our "must go to again" list.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on July 1, 2017

French onion soup was good, but had too much cheese. Escargots in puff pastry were very good. Art Deco interior felt very Parisienne.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

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