Serves meat, veg options available. Features local and sustainable food. Has veg options. Popular for breakfast and brunch. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, American, Non-veg


First Review by jekter

Cute and chic…for carnivores

2 Posted on 08 / 13 / 2014

A neighborhood cafe with butterfly-friendly floral designs and the butterflies to match on a sunny day with outdoor seating, iced beverages and friends, what more could one want? Well…. if you're a vegan, how about more than just 3 options for food.

As another reviewer stated… there are display cases with food: bakery items and salads. Of the 2-3 dozen items, I saw 2 that were vegan. The salads were not vegan… so, what's up with that? Of the 5-6 salads to choose from for the Deli Sampler, none were vegan? Ok.

Among the soups available, one was vegan, and it was delicious. It was piping hot beautifully pureed cauliflower with olive oil and pistachios atop. Fabulous. After that, though…. not much else to write home about.

The espresso drinks can be made with soy milk as the nondairy option. Ok. Not that delicious, but ok.

The entrees: 1 sandwich or veggies and rice. Ok. So, the veggies with the rice/ quinoa blend were bland and boring. It's like what happens when you go to a restaurant with nothing vegan on the menu, and then you ask for just some veggies with rice… well, that's exactly what this felt like. Not too satiating.

Cute decor and the ambiance seems chill, but… for vegans, it's not recommended.

Pros: Decor, Flowers outside, Outdoor seating
Cons: Vegan is not a popular menu choice

Faded Glory

1 Posted on 06 / 26 / 2014

The Birchwood has evolved from a once-pleasant, veg-friendly neighborhood cafe with great food and earnest, (albeit mediocre), service, that was always tops on my list for dining out with omnivore friends or reviving myself with a mid-afternoon coffee and dessert. No more, and disappointingly so. Although I'd love to patronize a neighborhood establishment, I have been consistently disappointed over several years now, and have basically taken it off my list. Owner Tracey Singleton has developed a Jim Jones-like influence over her staff who function as adoring cult members. Their loyalty is a more important requisite than any culinary talent, and it shows in the final product. Food is mediocre to poor at best, often of such inventive contrivance as to be ridiculous rather than appetizing. Servers are haughty and inattentive; they impress upon me their awareness that I am (no longer) a 'regular' and serve me with disdain. The atmosphere is marginally dirty, and unpleasantly loud. Vegetarian choices are poor or absent on any given day. Sure, there are meatless salads and desserts, but if you're looking for a veg "meal" you may not find it here. Tables are small and in too close proximity for private conversation, especially over the ambient noise level. Desserts, salads and other items from the display case sometimes appear old, and often have that stale, too-long refrigerated texture and taste. Guests place their order at a central buffet counter, and have an overview of the kitchen staff at work. Regrettably, this only serves to make the diner more aware of the sanitation breaches that seem ubiquitous. Yes, these things probably happen in more private kitchens, and I'm glad not to know about these transgressions. To so boldly and flagrantly disregard standard sanitary practices in full view of clientele is an unappetizing amount of hubris. My review is strongly worded because my experience is has been strongly negative. I can't imagine dining at this place unless you're a Singleton groupie, or a member or her cafe-sponsored bike team. There are so many really good choices these days, that this faded glory bears no consideration.

Pros: sponsors a bike team, convenient to a bike share rack, frequented by biking illuminati
Cons: food quality/preparation, service/atmosphere, price/value

Fabulous Food!

4 Posted on 09 / 29 / 2013

Vegan options were great! Creative and tasty!
Gluten-free options for people on a restricted diet.
Can't wait to try the breakfast menu!

Pros: Creative, Tasty, Fun Family Place
Cons: Noisy, No reservations

Great Breakfast/Brunch

4 Posted on 09 / 07 / 2012

Had a really excellent breakfast/brunch at Birchwood. I was surprised, actually, at how good their tofu scramble is. I've had some really mediocre and bad tofu scrambles. But Birchwood knows how to do it right. I'd definitely recommend it, if you're in the area or neighborhood. It's a really nice neighborhood cafe, that deserves more acclaim for its good (and veg-friendly) food!

Pros: Neighborhood Cafe, Well-prepared Veg options, Beverage selection +

Great gluten free, vegetarian options

4 Posted on 09 / 06 / 2012

This cafe has a little bit for everyone. There were meat options available for my husband and vegetarian for me. I had the best gluten free, carrot cake donut there I've ever had in my life. It was a force of will to not buy a dozen of them. They have outdoor and indoor seating and many bike racks for the cyclists.

Pros: Gluten free baked goods, meat and veggie options, Tasty food


Fantastic Meals

4 Posted on 10 / 22 / 2011

I've been here a few times with my husband and EVERY time the meals have been amazing! Today I tried their quinoa pumpkin gruyere waffles and they were seriously to die for. There food is fresh, healthy, and delicious. It's probably necessary to point out that it is clean too. I've been to other places like this in Minneapolis and they are mostly dirty. This place was clean and all the staff is very nice. I too agree that this would do great as a chain. However, I like the local feel of it. If you haven't tried it, give it a shot!

**Deserves 5 stars, but happy cow only allows 4 for non-veg restaurants**

Pros: Many Choices, Delicious meals, Organic/Vegan/Vegetarian/Meat
Cons: None!

Everything Done Right

4 Posted on 08 / 24 / 2011

This is the perfect place for a vegan to go with vegetarian or meat-eating friends. There's something for everyone.

This place has it all! Vegan delights on the menu, as much as possible made from organic ingredients, tons of bicycle racks out front to park yours if you brought one or you can rent a bicycle here for $5. Urban garden out front has won awards, they keep a bowl of water out for dogs, they recycle, they compost, this place thinks of everything and does it all.

You go inside, place your order at the counter, pay, they give you a number, you find a table and they bring it out to you.

Wait staff is friendly and insanely efficient. They are busy bees always buzzing around attending to something but doing it in the friendliest manner. One heard me say to my partner "Oh I'd wished we'd found a spot outside" and she hunted out a secret side table for us. The table was full she said to hold on, she was going to get the next open table for us. VIP treatment.

The food is outstanding, soy lattes are fantastic, baked goods are a delight. Located in a wonderful neighborhood. If I lived in the area and was a vegetarian, I would come here all the time. As a vegan, I'd probably only come here occasionally simply because there's not a big enough variety of vegan options on the menu.

The owners should think about turning this into a nation-wide chain. I think it would be successful anywhere.

Cons: need more vegan items on menu, need more vegan baked goods

Seriously...I'm the first to review?

4 Posted on 05 / 11 / 2009

Too bad I can't give it 5 cows... it really deserves it. Menu changes weekly. Fantastic food. Supports fair trade and local business.

Pros: excellent food, menu changes often, amazing staff
  • cmporter4 cmporter4

    I was thinking the same thing! Only 3 reviews?? This is ridiculous!!



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Last updated: 2009/06/21


Added: 2008/09/29


Added by: condekedar