Cafe Evolution

Northhampton, Massachusetts


rating star

I'm from out of town and my boyfriend's family lives here, and we were looking for a good spot for vegan brunch in northampton. This place sounded great, and one of the only places to get vegan brunch in the city, so we gave it a try. The sign on the door said closed, though they were in fact open. there was a long line at the register, and no overhead menu, so you had to wait a long time to even get to see a menu, and also to see a small "cash only" sign, after seeing which, we had to leave to get cash and then come back and wait again. We came at 11am for sunday brunch, and we each ordered the brunch special, which was tofu scramble, potatoes, pancakes, and tempeh sausage. They'd only been open for about an hour, and they said "we're out of tofu scramble." This blew my mind, because it's kind of the main ingredient for brunch for vegans and I would have thought they could at least say, "it'll be a few minutes on the scramble." We ordered and waited over 30 minutes for the food, and they have kind of a weird set-up, where the cook just puts some plates down on the counter on the other side of the restaurant and you kind of have to guess if it's yours. We finally got all our plates, and had no maple syrup for our pancakes or tempeh sausage, and so my boyfriend's mom went up to ask for syrup, and the girl working behind the counter told her to "grab it off someone else's table." I think maybe they should have enough bottles of syrup for each table during the hours of Sunday brunch, because pretty much everyone is going to want it, and I'm certainly not going to go to another guest's table and take their syrup from them. The food was pretty good, although I didn't get to try the scramble, but what I did have was tasty enough to go back a second time, but I was just so appalled at the service and set-up and the way the cook and "server" handled their guests requests. It's sad really, that the only place to get good vegan brunch in Northampton seems so uninterested in pleasing their customers and making them feel too unwelcome to return.

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

This is a solid vegan cafe with a respectable brunch. It's a cozy spot and I appreciate that it's removed from the hustle of Northampton proper; this is a great place to get a cup of tea and hang around with friends on a lazy Sunday, in short.

I had their mixed breakfast plate (~$10) which consisted of tofu scramble, veggie sausage, potatoes, and two small pancakes. All of the food was decent, but didn't stand out in any way. I do think the pancakes could have used more chocolate chips, and the tofu scramble could have benefited with the addition of more garam masala.

The brunch plates come with a cup of coffee or tea included, which makes the meal an even better value.

I also tried a bunch of their desserts, but wasn't so impressed with any of them. I think the chocolate peanut butter bar was probably the best thing I tasted, but the cupcakes and the cinnabon were either too dry or too sweet for my likes.

Image for Unny Nambudiripad

rating star

The food was excellent! I had a pasta dish that was very filling. It was inexpensive, the service was nice, and the atmosphere bright and welcoming. The dessert I shared with my friend was ok.

rating star

The only true vegan restaurant in the Happy Valley.

Food is good and (obviously) plenty of vegan choices. Sunday brunch menu has some great food on it. Baked goods here are fantastic. Coffee--not very good.

Dining area is pleasantly retro funky. No table service. You place your order at the counter and pick it up when your name is called. Service can be slow when its busy. Kind of clubby. Regulars get slightly more civil service but this isn't a warm and friendly place. I get the impression that the staff regards customers as an annoying necessity. Because I like the food I choose to regard the somewhat sullen staff as part of the charm of Evolution.

Minimal, inconvenient parking. If the parking lot is full there isn't much nearby on street parking.

rating star

Good choice for vegans due to it being completely vegan. My gripe is,howeve, that the service sucks. The staff are not very friendly or even polite really. The food is edible and you know for certain it's all vegan, home made, and going to be a decent meal that one can be pleased with.

Image for Lola

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I have to go to Evolution every time I'm in the Northampton area. They have an incredible selection of vegan baked goods (from Oh Sweet Mama's vegan bakery), not to mention sinfully delicious vegan nachos. Evolution also has a brunch menu, with mouth-watering options like lemon corn waffles with blueberry sauce and a vegan shiitake mushroom omelet.

Evolution can make your coffee with 7 different types of milk substitutes: Oat Milk, Hemp Milk, Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Soy Milk, Soy Creamer. They also sell blocks of Sheese (which can't be found in most of the local grocery stores). This place is a fabulous resource for vegans!

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