Birchwood Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 13 reviews )

3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 55406

Serves meat, vegan options available. Features local and sustainable food. Has vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Popular for breakfast and brunch. Has a community room. Open Mon-Fri 7:00am-9:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:00am-9:00pm.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, American, Organic, Non-veg

13 Reviews

First Review by jekter

beautiful restaurant, not very creative vegan options - Edit

Birchwood is a cute restaurant with great outdoor seating and a local/community feel. The downside is their attempts at vegan options border on pathetic and their propensity to add an extravagance of meat to dishes is very disappointing (ex. adding pork lard to their savory waffle which already has bacon and heaps of butter). They pose as an environmentally friendly establishment but their excessive use of meat and dairy demonstrates that they don't put their money where their mouth is. All in all I would steer clear besides a cup of coffee until they up their game.

Updated from previous review on 2018-03-24

Pros: great location, bike parking, outdoor seating

Cons: unnecessarily meat heavy, bad acoustics inside, expensive

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AWESOME Staff - Edit

I had such an amazing experience here. There is a little bit of a line but it goes fast. The staff were so incredibly kind. I ordered a bloody mary and didnt end up liking it. One of the staff noticed and came over and offered me a mimosa to replace it free of charge. The food itself is delicious. I ordered the biscuit and gravy dish and though spicy it was delicious. I must have had 3-4 glasses of water so if youre not good with spice like me it might be a little much! The presentation of the food was also really nice and did I mention the staff are awesome?!?!

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Wholesome Community Pillar - Edit

Birchwood Café employs extremely kind, creative, dedicated, and conscious people. They work incredibly hard to make all the food ethical, interesting, and fresh. Everything is locally sourced. Everything. They compost, recycle, support the community and treat their employees and farmers right.
The food is unique, and the menu changes for each season--8 times a year. They have staples that stay on the menu all year, but you'll be continuously finding new things to order.
The service is good and caring. I love Birchwood!

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Few vegan options but flavorful food - Edit

The restaurant itself is very cute and inviting, and the staff is friendly. I've only been here once, and there were very few vegan options for dinner which was unfortunate. I ended up getting the veggies and rice and was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful the meal was. I want to recommend this place, although I think you'd have to repeat the same orders due to lack of options.
Updated from previous review on Monday July 20, 2015

Pros: Nice vibe, Excellent food

Cons: Few vegan options

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Yuppies love this place - Edit

Birchwood has some really great food, and some of it is vegetarian. The patrons here can feel a trifle pretentious, but the workers are kind and some of the specialities are excellent.

If you're going out with meat-eaters who absolutely require flesh, this place will deliver. There aren't a lot of vegan options, but enough that everyone has a reasonable chance of being satisfied.

Pros: Tasty eats, lots of organic and free-range

Cons: clientele is all yuppies

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Cute and chic…for carnivores - Edit

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

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Reviewer Avatar

Faded Glory - Edit

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

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Fabulous Food! - Edit

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

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Great Breakfast/Brunch - Edit

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 +

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Great gluten free, vegetarian options - Edit

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

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Fantastic Meals - Edit

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!

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Everything Done Right - Edit

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

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

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

1 Response
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cmporter4 23 Oct 2011 - I was thinking the same thing! Only 3 reviews?? This is ridiculous!!  

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