Yellow Magnolia Café

4.3
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195 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Admission to the Garden is required to dine at Yellow Magnolia Café; see bbg.org/visit for directions and details. Exclusively for visitors to Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Yellow Magnolia Café is devoted to modern, vegetable-focused cuisine. Located within the Garden’s serene landscape, Yellow Magnolia Café offers daily service. Select produce will be harvested from Brooklyn Botanic Garden itself, appearing on menus as items come into season. The restaurant has been designed by David Rockwell, taking inspiration from its garden setting, and is named for the collection of distinctive yellow-flowered magnolias introduced by Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
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What 195 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
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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V
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fresh and healthy meal options with very attentive service!

KP
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was fabulous. Loved the view of the garden from my table and the food delicious. Must order the biscuits! 😋

MF
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So glad to discover that the old BBG store has been converted to a wonderful cafe! Drinks, brunch menu and service were outstanding! Tables were not cramped and with the skylights, had natural light and view of the garden. Highly recommended!

m
New York Area
134 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was delicious - there were four of us, and we shared two biscuits (excellent) and each had the carrot soup (also excellent) as well as sharing mushroom tacos; the tacos come in there’s but two per person was more than enough so we were happy we shared. The only downside was that it was a cold, rainy day and the A/C was on! We were told the Garden controls the temperature and that the heat doesn’t come on until Nov. 15, which is when the A/C goes off! The waiter said he couldn’t even adjust the A/C so that it wasn’t so cold. Also, there was a leak from one of the windows overhead which was a problem, but the waiter did offer to move us.

OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Perfect location to enjoy friends; new guests complimented the menu. Service was near-perfect. Will look forward to next visit.

AK
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My brother’s birthday. Lovely. Perfect. So relaxing. Wonderful food and decor. Unsurpassed view of the lily ponds. Amazing place to bring out of town visitors. Loved it.

TE
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

I had the Reuben sandwich and it was delicious and the biscuit appetizer was perfect. Friendly staff, pretty room, and good portions of food. Only disappointment was don't expect Open Table to return your phone call. I have a special pique about businesses who won't let you talk to a human being.

RM
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely restaurant in Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Nice choices on menu. Charming waitstaff.

DA
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wait staff was wonderful! Really lovely brunch experience. Delicious food. Thank you, Magnolia, for helping make a visit to BBG even more memorable!

AP
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was an outstanding experience. I was meeting a former colleague and wanted something close to home. This was my first visit to Yellow Magnolia so I was a little unsure of what we would find. Well, we were both very impressed with the ambiance, the food, the service. You are a winner!

MB
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

This place was so cute, I loved it. A great little part of our day at the gardens.

IP
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

We had no idea you couldn't visit this restaurant without paying for admission to the botanical gardens. we talked to them on the phone 3 times changing the reservation and no one said a thing. So the cost was unexpected and significant. VERY frustrating.
Service is quite slow but ambiance is great.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic brunch with our family this weekend. The food was delicious and ambience wonderful. Great vegetarian options. The restaurant was not only tolerant but seemed supportive of our two toddlers joining us. We will return.

HW
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch here. I love the menu; Food and drinks were delicious and gourmet. I would visit again and would recommend to all. Service 5 star!

DB
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Gorgeous restaurant, beautiful ambiance, fresh, flavorful food, and exquisite service. It was perfect for my birthday brunch!

CL
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

What a treasure! Delicious food with a view of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

SG
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely menu, fresh food brilliantly prepared. Prices affordable. Requested quiet table for business in a cool part of the café. Wait service was pleasant.

T
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Have been several times and never disappoints with inventive fare utilizing seasonal fare prepared with creative flair. And of course have to have the polenta fries. Perfect whether at the BBG or sought out on it's own.

SG
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My daughter and I enjoyed everything about our lunch. The space is lovely and our meal was delicious. We ordered the fire-roasted broccoli, the red dent polenta fries, the fried chicken plate, and the baby purple mustard green salad with steak. The spritz and a glass of rose, too. Everything was well prepared and served to us in a reasonable amount of time by a lovely young man. My only suggestion is to change up the menu every so often--maybe "seasonally?--as it is a challenge to dine at the Cafe on a regular basis because the menu never seems to change. That said, I do like your veggie-centric offerings. Thank you.

LZ
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My only real problem is that we had reservations for a 4:45pm table and the kitchen closes at 5pm. The Hostess very unfriendly and stressed this. Then why do they have a 4:45pm option if you must sit, decide and eat in 15 minutes? Just have a 4:30pm option only then. Our waiter was outstanding though he made up for the hostess bad customer service attitude.

K
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

our wait person (Evelyn???) was super my friend has a demanding diet and she was so patient including bringing her soup well into the order. the food was outstanding - i could not eat it all (chicken) so boxed it up only difficulty was it was brunch on sunday so lots of families most of whom had children and most of whom tolerated their children to run around the tables, banging into the back of my chair, screaming etc. while it is delightful that families now go out tous ensemble and there is nothing that you, as an establishment can do, realistically, to monitor this, , it does mitigate enjoyment for 89 year olds like me guess i will come again when school opens for lunch! otherwise - a real addition to brooklyn's table.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

So I went to celebrate my birthday and was looking forward to brunch. We both did the bottomless option , which provided an appetizer , main dish , and we did mimosa’s. The mimosa’s all though were fresh squeezed , were not strained . So it was not a pleasant drink and it took awhile just to receive it. Also speed of service was pretty slow , which is sad because they were not busy. Food was good , wish the biscuits were more buttery. But can’t complain to much, over all had a great brunch.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had such a great experience at the Yellow Magnolia Café! The service was great at the waiters were attentive. My boyfriend got the steak tacos (he loved them) and I had a burger with sweet potato chips. Would definitely go back again!

KM
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice causal cafe, great location and the only trouble we had was it didn’t seem to be on the map as clearly when we were trying to find it. The food was fine and pricing was very reasonable.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Father’s Day brunch! Exceptional food

L
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delish food with elegant presentation - They aim to please - and Dud!

CS
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Yellow Magnolia Cafe is on the grounds of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. To enter you must pay for admission to the Garden which is a gem and well worth a visit. The Cafe has an inventive menu and all of the dishes are beautifully presented. Try the polenta fries with heirloom tomato chutney and the fish tacos too. The service was excellent. The ambiance is minimalist in shades of white and yellow. We loved everything about this place.

GL
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing and the setting is beautiful, surrounded by flowers. Besides the great food, is very nice to be inside the Botanic Garden which you can visit after or before your meal.

JW
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

The food was not bad but for its price point was not worth it. Fish tacos had a tortilla super thick, burger was ok but they failed to separate the chips from one another so they were not completely fried. The polenta fries were overdone and the polenta itself was bland which was really apparent because the fries themselves were 2cm thick. Flavors were there for everything else, but execution fell very short. Room was nice but there was no air conditioning and on a hot day I was sweating. Server was nice and pleasant but service was slow

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I love the menu. The service is great.

OT
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is simply excellent. Perfect if you're visiting the gardens. Food is excellent and service is really good.

K
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Bright, if a little warm. Pleasant ambiance in the conservatory area of the BBG (garden charges admission except for Tuesadsys, so join and support the institution and get 10% off). Farm to table style menu (I don't know if they actually are or not). Everything is delicious. A little pricey but worth it.

p
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

It's a beautiful space. And the menu is interesting. If they had better-trained servers and/or more servers, the experience would be more pleasant.

p
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Botanical garden beautiful. Sunny dining room. Great food! Loved the Fried Chicken!

MB
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful Brunch and outstanding service!

D
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Who expects good food at a public institution? Whether at a zoo or a museum or a garden or any other kind of venue, the in-house restaurants tend to be mediocre at best, and downright terrible generally. But hold on! Here is something completely different. What a wonderful menu to read, and what a delicious repast we had. Every dish was fresh, organic, thoughtful, beautifully seasoned, and easy on the eyes. The ricotta was maybe the best we've ever had. The ramps and gruyere frittata was delicious. The grits with mushrooms--divine. The radishes--out of this world. Our group of four was ecstatic, we couldn't believe our luck in scoring such terrific food after a lovely couple of hours strolling through the Botanical Garden. Highly recommended, and I can't wait to return. I have to explore more of that fabulous menu!

BN
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Both the food and the ambiance was supurb, and the service was excellent. Each dish had it's own unique flavors that belied the name of the dish. Only downside is the price. For one appetizer, a soup, entre and dessert, price was $115 per person, for LUNCH!

R
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Delicious biscuits and frittata. Coffee could be better. Excellent service on a busy Mother's day.

M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

It was INCREDIBLY hot in the cafe. I’m well aware that the venue is inside a refurbished greenhouse, but I believe adding air conditioning would make a HUGE difference. To compensate for the low air circulation the service was STELLAR and ice water was abundantly offered. Lastly, both my sister and I opted for the same dish - the wild rice/fried chicken/collard slaw. She received white meat (juicy breast meat), and I received fatty thigh meat. This was extremely disappointed as I don’t usually eat dark meat. I didn’t send the dish back because I didn’t want to hold the Mother’s Day luncheon up. All and all - I would return as the ambiance was beautiful, but the aforementioned things put a damper on my experience.

PH
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

It was a busy day at the cafe but we were seated promptly at our reservation time. Our order was taken quickly enough but the food took a while to come. Our server was OK. Not particularly warm, friendly or efficient but did her job. The only problem was not giving me my BBG member discount on the bill, but I suppose I’m part to blame for not noticing until I left. The cafe was a bit too warm for comfort. Otherwise, the food was very good.

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