Cafe Zola

4.5
372 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Brunch
  • Good for a Date
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. We accept reservations for parties of six or more for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. We accept reservations for groups of two or more for dinner and weekday brunch. We are also glad to accommodate large groups and special occasions. If you need a reservation for a large group or special event, please contact us directly.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Mediterranean, International
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Hours of Operation
Brunch
Daily 7:00 am–4:00 pm
Happy Hour
Daily 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Dinner
Daily 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(734) 769-2020
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Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
Main Street
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Parking Details
There are many locations to park nearby. Metered parking is available on the streets surrounding Cafe Zola. Parking is free on Sundays. The closest public lots are on West Washington between 4th Street and Main Street and on the corner of Ashley and West Washington.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 372 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.4
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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c
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Service was great. It’s rather cramped & noisy, but it was a Saturday evening & the place was packed. Food is imaginative. I’d call it more Mediterranean than French. I know owner is Turkish & I like experiencing the Turkish dishes. The lamb is always very good. We did small plates giving more of a chance to sample more dishes. We were very satisfied with quality & quantity - every but as much as a very reputable tapa place nearby (Adventura). We were plenty satisfied with 4 small plates for the 2 of us with one plate being a delicious kale salad. We had no room for the great sounding desserts. We always enjoy Cafe Zola as long as we don’t get stuck at the table right near the dining room entrance. They really should eliminate that table because it is so uncomfortable with people bumping into you & costs hanging right in your face. I always say to not sit at that table when I make a reservation. We should thinking about going there more often. It is so much better than their east side restaurant. Plus I’d rather be downtown.

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OT
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great place

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m
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 4

We ate at Cafe Zola the night before the Univ Michigan vs. Wisconsin game and it was very good. We came back the 4 of us returned thennext day for brunch. The 2 meatball sandwiches took so long 2 of us had finished eating while the other 2 drummed their fingers waiting. When they finally came, they were room temp or darn near cold. Granted it was crowded, but jeez?!

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RS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 4Ambience 2

Not worth the price. Expensive entrees and side dishes - and food was not prepared as requested.

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JK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We went with four adults and a 3 ½ year old and a nearly 6 year old. Our reserved table was ready when we arrived, the server was amazingly accommodating and responsive to the children (making a suggestion for the 6 year old (since there is no children's menu) that was reluctantly accepted but wholeheartedly devoured), and all the food was excellent.

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m
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a fine time here catching up with family from out of state. The service was wonderful.

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RS
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Good food in a fun, loud and energetic atmosphere. Phoebe, the manager is AWESOME, and very personable. Luckily, two seats opened up at the bar when we arrived because we had an 8:00 PM reservation, and were told that they were running behind by at least 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. That's our only gripe, if you take reservations, you need to try to keep closely to them. Otherwise, food is very good and presented well. Phoebe, the manager, was our server, at the bar, and she is as good as you can get. Extremely accommodating, as well as friendly and nice, always with a smile.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great birthday dinner

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NS
Detroit
13 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

The staff and the owner paid attention to food allergies and every detail of the meal. It was a wonderful experience.

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RV
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 3

Second time to Cafe Zola in a month, and it continues to be one of our top choices in Ann Arbor. We're from New York City visiting our student son at U-Michigan, so we tend to be a little snobby when it comes to food. But Cafe Zola continues to impress. From the Zingerman's bread and warmed olives to the charred eggplant on crostini to the other creative appetizers and entrees, the food is truly exciting and delicious and at prices 5-10% less than competitors, so it is a value. The steak frites was perfectly cooked and excellent. The chicken under brick was also flawless. The decor and ambience is just okay, not thrilling, and unfortunately the service can be uneven with long waits between server stop-and-checks for no apparent reason. But overall, highly recommend Cafe Zola.

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AN
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

I've been several times. This was the best experience to date. The food was really good, the service even better. We arrived on time, were seated right away and not rushed throughout our time there. Our server was amazing with suggestions and timing. She even helped with our surprise presentation of a cake we brought in to celebrate a birthday.

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S
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

Our server was very rude and spoke with so much attitude. She changed one of our orders from the Penne to spaghetti and marinara sauce. If I wanted to eat a meal like a five year old, I would have stayed home. The water glasses smelled like fish and the wings had way too much salt.

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DT
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food. This is the first time that I ate here for dinner-I usually go here for brunch. I had a salmon burger which was delicious. Our waitress Rachel was very pleasant and efficient.I will be back for dinner!

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D
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

The first time I went to Café Zola I had a great experience. I was there for brunch. It was shortly after they opened. Service was attentive, the restaurant was relatively quiet, and the food delicious. This time the service was absolutely awful (the restaurant was crowded and it seemed as though staff couldn't handle things effectively). After being seated we sat for almost 25 minutes before being addressed. The hostess came over, asked "has anyone come over?" When we said "No," she responded, "well, I'll find someone, I don't want to take your order." She asked a waiter to take care of us and he arrived 10 or so minutes later. After ordering things were a little smoother, until entrees came out (brunch). All entrees arrived except one. After about 10 more minutes we finally got the attention of the hostess who was seating another table and told her we were missing a dish. She asked what it was and said she would check. Five minutes later the wrong dish arrived. The person at the table told her, and she proceeded to state: 'No, this is what you ordered." WRONG!
Actually waiter was pleasant enough, but couldn't keep up with volume of restaurant.
Food was mediocre. Obviously, the kitchen couldn't handle the crowd either.
Overall, a very disappointing experience. And, very expensive for nothing special.

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SA
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

It used to be a great place for dinner in AA with the family or by ourselves but, this time it was just not right. It was way too Noisy and the tables were gathered around way too tight. The waitress was nice but seemed very busy and preoccupied with serving a whole lot of other people. The food was passé and they never got around to bringing us a dessert menu. The atmosphere was rushed and noisy and honestly not worth it.

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MM
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

The food is good, typical Ann Arbor fare, with a bit of Turkish thrown in. Unfortunately, meals are marred by atrocious acoustics. Brick walls make sound reverberate, and people have to talk over loud music. The result is cacophony. I can recommend the restaurant only during times when outdoor seating is available. The noise of passing cars and seating immediately next to parked cars are much more enjoyable than the roar inside.

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A
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We came here for date night and had a great time! The service was attentive and friendly and the food was delicious! I would definitely dine there again.

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OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great everything!!!

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R
Detroit
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

Good but food was cold. Had Belgian waffle and it was cold.

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OT
Detroit
12 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor. Very good food, good service and appearance, and fair price for the meals.

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SM
New England
9 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic food and sublime service are the hallmarks of Cafe Zola. In my many visits, I've never ceased to be amazed by the food.

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JG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 1Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

I was told when I showed up for my scheduled reservation that I would have to wait at least 40 minutes before we could get sat. The host blamed the OpenTable app for this, but I asked who setup the app for the restaurant. He said the manager, so I asked the host to talk to a manager. The host was reluctant to talk to them, but after my insisting, he walked away for under 30 seconds and promptly came back to tell me the same thing again, as if he didn't actually talk to management. There were 3 other reservations that were told the same thing. Finally after 20 min, someone came out and informed us that they were understaffed. This could have been a good experience, but the lack of communication could not be overcome.

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AH
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

First visit to downtown location. Food was good and atmosphere was nice once we moved from main dining space to table near bar. Noise level was quite high in main dining section.

The menu offering should appeal to all appetites -- large and small.

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B
Columbus
16 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Atmosphere was fun -crepes were good but not stuffed real well. But nice experience!!

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F
Cleveland
10 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

We had a relaxing, tasty meal. It was low key. Just what we were looking for. The service was a bit stressed, but other than that we had a good meal.

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JC
Detroit
23 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Jordan was an excellent waitress, great recommendations and appropriately attentive.

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E
Detroit
14 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

A wonderful Sunday brunch menu! Hard to choose just one dish! Can't wait to go back!

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D
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Terrific, as always, pleasant server, tasty, flavorful food. Zola is always reliable!

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AC
Detroit
15 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Too expensive for the quality of the waffles an crepes served

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AG
Detroit
11 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We sat outside on Sunday evening---hot but was very breezy so we braved the heat! Our server was Rachael (Rachel?) and she was fabulous! Friendly and attentive, she was definitely a complement to the food :). We had drinks to start---I had the Sleeping Beauty. If you like Prosecco-based cocktails, it's delish. We tried several things; from Apps/Starters, we shared a Lobster/Avocado Salad that was really fresh! We also shared the Crabcakes (small, 2) and 2 Shrimp Tacos---highly recommend any of these; the fresh peach strips on the tacos were fantastic with the spicy sauce---keep using those on the tacos, guys! We also had a 1/2 order of Spaghetti and Meatballs, and a Kobe Burger; the spaghetti dish was ok, but the Kobe Burger was great. I could only eat half of it b/c of the other goodies we had, so my husband ate the other half. Would definitely order it again. We love this place, esp for Sunday Brunch---we just couldn't make it for Brunch, that day. Will definitely return soon. Thanks, again, Rachael/Rachel---we know it was hot out there and you took great care of us!

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OT
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

The cafe was quaint and though full was not too cramped. The noise level was a bit too loud for normal conversation.
The selection as described on menu was appealing.
The coffee was delicious and the server provided refills on request.

The actual meal was less than expected based on the menus description. The grilled vegetable salad only had 3 half slices of eggplant, 1/2 of a red pepper, small amount onion and half a small tomato roasted. These seem prepared much earlier and plated on demand so the grilled flavoring was not present. The other vegetables like beets were pickled and was on a bed of spring mix lettuce. A meal of off the grill vegetables would have more appropriate given the price point for this dish.
My request for balsamic vinegar was never brought. The Turkish dressing was 40% oil and would not mix to be used as a dressing for the salad. An emulsion would have been preferred instead of the well separated and settled oil and herb in a 2 oz plastic cup.

The value of the meals seem artificially inflated 40% more than the quality of the meals delivered perhaps only due to the location.

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AS
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food. Slightly slow service but otherwise excellent- loved our waitress!! Had breakfast with a friend and she was thoroughly impressed!!! Me and Dad’s favorite breakfast spot.

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FJ
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Casual Friday evening meal - Mom, Dad, 19-year old son. All very much enjoyed our meals - mix of apps and entrees. Good drinks also. Loved interior design. Will definitely be returning. We were in town from Pittsburgh.

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A
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Cafe Zola was great - we really enjoyed the food and the server was super nice to our two little kids. Thanks!

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v
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Father’s Day breakfast, had an early reservation so it was quiet and not busy. Service and food were really good.

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P
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 2Food 1Service 4Ambience 5

Having eaten at and greatly enjoyed Cafe Zola a number of times over the years, my group was quite disappointed in the menu choices when we patronized the restaurant on June 16, 2018.
We walked in with a reservation for 4 at 6:00pm on a Saturday. The majority of empty tables sent up the first red flag. After being seated and looking over the menu - none of the four of us could actually say that anything sounded good enough to order - which was quite surprising, considering that we've always had fabulous meals in the past.
Our wait person was lovely and understanding when we decided not to stay. Sorry Cafe Zola - with an abundance of other great restaurants in Ann Arbor - we won't be coming back.

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KL
Detroit
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Food was very good, great special for shareable plates.

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F
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

My espresso beverage was delicious. Had whipped cream and orange zest.

However, I got the shakshuka and it was just some sautéed red and yellow peppers with two poached eggs placed on top. It was nontraditional and not what I was expecting. Quite pricey for what it was and bland as it was just peppers with minimal seasoning.

Other food I have gotten here has been great. Just don’t get the shakshuka.

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G
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

My friends and I went for their restaurant week special. I admit the special was of great value (two appetizers and an entree item for $28!) but all the food was just good. I got the half chicken. It was pretty tasty but the chicken was laying on the mashed potatoes. I thought that was odd. We basically had to yell to hear each other across the table. The service was pretty good considering how busy it was. Overall it was a good experience, but it was just “good”. The regular menu certainly seems a bit pricey for what you get and the taste, but the inside decor is fun and creates a fun and new atmosphere. If you are looking for fine dining with exceptional dinner, this is not the place. If you are looking for a nice date night location with a variety of food options, this is the place if you are feeling adventurous.

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D
Detroit
19 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Had a very enjoyable meal and great service. Love the Jalapeño martinis!

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