CLOSED: Vardo Cafe

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 7 Reviews
Gypsy inspired cafe and wine bistro, offering a variety of beer and wine from around the world and gypsy style cocktails. Menu features Turkish coffee, vegan ice cream, a small menu of Indian style dishes plus falafel and a small assortment of desserts displayed on the counter. Intimate dining room and sidewalk seating. Only accepts American Express or cash. Currently closed, may re-open at a later date. Feb 2013. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Indian, American, Mediterranean, Beer/Wine, Take-out
235 Main St (Rose, next to Exhale Yoga)
Venice, California 90291
310-664-9696

Open Mon-Thur 5:30-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 3:30-11:30pm, Sun 3:30-10pm.

more-less
  • Outdoor seating
  • Wheelchair accessible
reviews

Reviews

First Review by eric
Chia
Chia
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+3960

Nice ambiance and drinks

4 Posted on 09 / 09 / 2012

Had read about this place on happycow when it first opened a few years back, and I've eaten here several times. Was just here again in August 2012. Here's my Vardo review.

The word, Vardo, means the caravan on which gypsies travel. It's a beautifully decorated space with a relaxed ambiance and convenient location on Main Street Santa Monica. You can sit inside or out on the covered sidewalk.

I've had a couple different smoothies, a few different flavors of ice cream, and they've all been excellent.

The food, on the other hand, is hit or miss. The falafel sandwich and the mezza platter (hummus, roasted eggplant & peppers & grape leaves) are yummy. I've also had a couple of the salads, and they've been all right. The few selections of the day's Indian-style stew can either be tasty or too salty.

The seating inside is comfy with soft cushioned chairs. But outside, the wrought iron patio furniture is hard and not so comfy.

I love the ambiance and that's it's all vegetarian. My suggestions for improvement would be:
1. Food needs better quality control. On a couple occasions the stews have been way too salty.
2. Outside furniture needs to have cushions, otherwise too hard to sit comfortably.

Overall, a nice place to relax and meet with a friend for a drink and dessert.

Pros: beautiful space, good drinks and sweets
vtraveller
vtraveller
  • vegan
Contributions
+1555

trendy, so-so, over-priced

3 Posted on 08 / 18 / 2012

I ate here after not stopping in for a long while and was a bit disappointed. Previously it was a bit over-priced in my view, but since it's Main St it's to be expected. Seems like they cut down their portions a lot, and raised their prices a bit. Additionally, they're now offering a lot more dishes with diary cheese, like pizza, however they charge a whopping $2.50 for the daiya vegan options which irks me since one is not eating their mozzarella. So a pizza (which is actually just a little pita bread) is $14 plus $2.50 to make it vegan= $16.50, and hardly a full meal.
Although it's pricy, if you are eating there I suggest you try the vegan saffron ice cream, as it's quite good. Small serving is $4.50.

Pros: vegan ice cream, ambiance, location
Cons: price, Small portions
  • Chia Chia

    The prices are moderate (not expensive) considering that you are in a very nice part of the lovely Santa Monica/Venice, just one block from the ocean.

    more-less
gr8vegan
gr8vegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+1633

why did they have to get rid of the carob date shk

5 Posted on 01 / 25 / 2012

I went here at least once a month for the carob date shake, which was among the best date shakes in the entire universe. They have since got their liquor license and that has trumped the date shakes. Please bring them back!

Pros: cute cafe

SynthVegan
SynthVegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+2506

Vardo Cafe

4 Posted on 02 / 08 / 2011

Agreed, Vardo is a cute little café! I was looking for a healthy salad to take to the airport and this place definitely filled that need. I ordered the carnival salad, it comes with veggies, sunflower seeds, and their vegan feta (made with macadamia nuts). I will warn you, this salad is potent - it likely has a lot of garlic in it. The carnival salad was pretty amazing and kept me full for 7 hours... I attribute this to the mass amount of vegan feta they topped the salad with. The amount of feta was perfect yesterday because it kept me full, however, if I went back again I'd have them cut down the feta a bit. Overall, I loved the food and would definitely go back to try other things.


The Vegan
The Vegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+33

Very enjoyable experience

4 Posted on 01 / 21 / 2011

I tried Vardo today for the first time. It was a very good experience. It's a good location with a very pleasant ambiance. I had the Mezza plate which included Falafel, Hummus, Eggplant and Dolma along with pita bread. The Eggplant was good, as was the hummus. The Falafel I really didn't care for though(maybe it was just an off day). And the Dolma, which is a dish I have never liked at other restaurants was delicious! I also had the Coco Sea Gypsy Soup. The soup is in a coconut base with broccoli, cabbage, carrot and mushroom. Now this soup is to die for. I could not love it more. I am very eager to make my second trip back to Vardo to try other entrees along with the soup again. And although I didn't try it I hear their vegan ice creams are quite good.

Pros: ambiance, best soup in town
Cons: a little loud
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk
  • vegan
Contributions
+3094

good, but limited availability that day

4 Posted on 01 / 10 / 2011

I went to lunch today at Vardo with two non-vegan co-workers who told me to choose a place that had something for me to eat. After checking Happy Cow, this cafe was only a block away from our current client, so I was excited. However, when we got there, we were told that they were out of most dishes as their food delivery had not arrived that day. We had all wanted a different stew, but only the cauliflower was available. Also, only one soup, the Coco Sea Gypsy, was made that day. We all ended up ordering the The Falafel with two of us having soup and the third having a side of the cauliflower stew. The Falafel was baked and had a different twist being a wrap, but we all enjoyed it. The soup was very tasty as well and reminded me of Thai soups with all the coconut and lemongrass. The highlight definitely was the saffron vegan ice cream. It was so delicate and not too sweet. Both of the non-vegans were impressed and said they would have never guessed it wasn't dairy. We also had the Turkish coffees. We were the only ones in the restaurant for lunch, so we picked the largest table as the others looked rather small, but the place is cozy. We were all disappointed about the limited availability, but all agreed that the food was good. I'd like to come back and get the jackfruit stew that I originally wanted. Lastly, be forewarned that they charge 4% to use a credit card.

Pros: tasty food, saffron vegan ice cream, cozy
Cons: out of many dishes, charge for credit card
eric
eric
  • vegan
Contributions
+9146

A new option on Main Street

4 Posted on 11 / 13 / 2009

This cute little cafe is a great surprise to the neighborhood which was previously seriously lacking in veg places to eat. The owners have done an excellent job creating a themed space and cozy hangout. Their menu is rotating, currently Indian style cuisine. I had the combo lunch, and all 4 of the options included were clean/light tasting and delicious (note: lightly spiced, but not spicy Indian if that's what you're looking for). Rice was prepared just right. I didn't get to try their coffee or smoothies yet, which is what most people go there for.
Because this space is tiny, they don't have a full kitchen on-site and their food is brought in daily. Thankfully they don't use microwaves and keep the food heated in back.
I sampled their vegan chocolate mint ice cream which they make themselves, and it was awesome. My lunch was $13, which for Main street was reasonable. I'll definitely be going back soon.

Pros: Great space, Tasty clean food, Nice people
Cons: Kitchen off-site

 

This business supports the service that HappyCow provides :o)

 

If you are the Owner of a listing on this site, we invite you to join our highly successful Priority Friend program today. click for details >>

 

Close

Dear Owner and Manager of CLOSED: Vardo Cafe:


While your business is currently a free listing on HappyCow, there is so much more we can do to further promote your business to the millions who visit this site every year.

Enjoy more...

Here's how you can take advantage of HappyCow's Internet popularity:

Your sponsorship will keep the HappyCow service strong on the Internet. Thank you.

Close

 

Last updated: 2014/02/28

 

Added: 2009/10/28

 

Added by: Guest

 

Close