Birchwood Cafe

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Reviews


rating star

Birchwood offers a lot of yummy vegetarian options. I like that they have creative veg items like sandwiches with multiple spreads and a flavorful variety of veggies or salads with fruits and in season vegetables. They do have great vegan bread and the atmosphere is colorful and charming.
They often do not have multiple vegan options, which is a bummer. Known for their desserts and baked items, I am especially dissapointed that the seldom have more than a vegan crisp, which is not as creative or varied as the other non-vegan options.
I really enjoy this place overall.


rating star

this place is ok. the food was good but expensive and you don't get a lot for what you pay for. the atmosphere was nice, but they didn't have many vegan options and i wouldn't really go out of my way to go here, though it's a really cute place! slow service as well, unfortunately.

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rating star

Birchwood fits in the mold of Common Roots, another eco-friendly, local, sustainable cafe. This means rotating menus based on what's available from some farm in Wisconsin, composting all its waste, and offering various sorts of grass-fed animals on the menu, sadly (feeding livestock grass, while better than other alternatives, is still not sustainable).

Anyway, I found the food here to be mixed, on a whole. The black lentil soup was too watery and plain for my tastes, and its accompanying side bread was also too chewy (and, at $3.50, it was extremely expensive for the portion size). But the vegan burrito with tofu and local vegetables was delicious and extremely colorful (however, slightly pricey at $10). The thing that made it stand out was the sweet potato puree with chili, which acted like a cheesy-spicy salsa to add zing to the vegetables. Finally, the Mexican hot chocolate with soy was decent, but not properly mixed and not sweet enough for my tastes ($3.50).

Like Common Roots, there was only one vegan entree available, which is a shame, considering the place has an emphasis on local and sustainable food; unlike Common Roots, there were NO vegan desserts or baked goods, which was a major downer.

Prices are on the higher side. The service was friendly, but mostly do-it-yourself, which entails carrying hot liquids and soups to your own table in a crowded environment. Servers only bring out the main courses.

The place seems to get extremely packed on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., mostly by the brunch crowd of hung-over college students and uber-sober senior citizens. Strange bedfellows a brunch does attract. Get there early if you want an indoor table; I was able to eat outside only because it was fairly warm, if overcast and gloomy.

On a whole, if this place had more vegan food options, and slightly lower prices, it would be a wonderful, quaint, cozy neighborhood cafe. As it stands, it falls short of its full vegan potential.

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rating star

A reasonably nice coffee shop that is not particularly vegan friendly. Breakfast options were fruit or granola, both of which are fine food-items, but I was hoping for something more substantial. All things considered, I'd much rather go down the street and eat at the Seward Cafe.


rating star

Looking at previous reviews, what I notice is that the ratings have improved significantly in the past few years. I don't know if they have a different attitude, chef, or what, but I love this place. The food is fantastic and the ambiance is fun. Wait staff is generally very friendly. They always have some vegetarian options and some good salads--although I don't think their vegan selection is extensive. They serve locally roasted Peace Coffee--which is the best coffee in the universe. Plenty of outdoor seating when the weather is nice. Don't miss this place!


rating star

While the Birchwood has changed its menu considerably in the past few years, I truly believe that it is in an attempt to be a more inclusive restaurant in the community. The menu changes weekly and the vegetarian selection of food is wide and tasty. The willingness of the Birchwood kitchen to try new flavor combinations keeps me coming back for more! The recent change in the Veggie Lucy has my taste buds just dancing. Thank you to the Birchwood for your "Good Real Food."


rating star

Vegan selection is very poor and what they do have is overpriced. As others have mentioned, the food does seem to made to be artsy/pretentious rather than for flavor. This place is style over substance- not recommended.


rating star

I live by the Birchwood, and it's very popular among my friends. It's kind of an overpriced yuppie / former hippie thing.

Their food is good, but even though it looks "alternative" in a very safe way, and there are often vegetarian and vegan options, there seems no committment to such. Like it used to be quite often that one soup was veg and one vegan, now it seems that at least one is ALWAYS meat.

I hadn't heard that there's a new emphasis on meat, but I'm not surprised.

They are also, in my opinion into weird-as-artsy food. The vegetarian pizza is almost always like golden raisins, blue cheese, fennel and pineapple or something - like the more bizarre the combination, the better.

Not my thing, but it is VERY popular


rating star

I use to go to the Birchwood a lot, mostly because they had vegan soup (marked with a "V") on the menu. However, the last three times that I've gone there, the vegan options were very limited. I have also noticed a lot more meat on the menu. Whereas they use to have only one meat dish, now almost all of them are. They also seem to have stopped carrying vegan desserts.

I asked one of the employees about this and she said that they have a new "emphasis on meat". This is very disappointing.

I used to go there for lunch with co-workers, but now I suggest other restaurants instead.


rating star

After hearing that this shop had a lot of vegan options, I was suprised to see a very limited selection on their menu. The service was also very slow, however I did go on mother's day so maybe they were just exceptionally busy. It is in a nice neighborhood though and if the weather is nice, I recommend sitting outside.


rating star

I went here with my mom and sisters, and it wasn't great. They liked it, feeling that they were eating healthy food, but they generally don't eat that much "health food". They didn't have much of anything for vegans and I was disappointed. I had expected more from them. The staff was friendly enough, but that didn't really make up for the lack of variety/choices.


rating star

I'm not feeling this one either. I even got friends who work there. But the four times I've sampled their goods, I came away unimpressed and hungry. Good thing there is a Taco Bell close by. Peace Coffee makes a Birchwood Blend of coffee for them however, and it's a king blend in my coffee book.


rating star

Birchwood is an interestingly menued place. A favorite hangout for UofM faculty. Good pizzas and the reason it's special? The deserts. Yummy selection of cakes and pies, usually vegan options.


rating star

I don't get the hype. To be perfectly blunt, I think that this place is for the most part overpriced and unexceptional.

I ordered a bowl of veggie lentil soup. It was okay, but nothing outstanding. Basic soup. Came with bread. My husband ordered some sort of risotto cakes. They were good, but he was still hungry when he was done, and they were expensive. Definitely not worth the money spent. They had a mango crisp or something but we didn't try it. And that was all that was vegan.

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