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Imagine Vegan Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 39 reviews )
Contact 901-654-3455

2158 Young Ave, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 38104

Vegan restaurant operating since 2011. Offers classic American food using faux meats like chicken drumstick, savory grilled fish steak, grilled chicken, and turkey sandwich. Brunch on Sunday. Previously at 2299 Young Ave. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Pizza, Beer/Wine, Take-out

Reviews (39)

First Review by ohmylatte

frozen gardein products only - Edit

as a long time vegan, I recognized the menu as items that gardein sells frozen and prepackaged, so I asked the counter person if in fact the food was gardein, she informed me that it in fact, was all frozen food.
other customers complained of waiting over 30 minutes for a pizza, which even after I had finished eating what tasted like microwaved fries, they still had not received.
I went here solely because it was all vegan, but the food quality was incredibly horrible and disappointing.

Pros: near comic store, record store, book store

Cons: frozen prepackaged gardein food

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Good Food, Great Service!! - Edit

We are from Montreal and travel a lot for work, eat on the road often!

This place is a great choice for Vegans and Vegetarians alike in Memphis!

All our food was very fresh, tasty, and uniquely prepared. My only suggestion would be to work on the outside decor a little in order to attract more customers. It's not obviously a restaurant from the outside.

Pros: food quality, menu and choice, service

Cons: location, decorations/location presentation

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Great vegan spot - Edit

Our family stopped here on a recent trip through Memphis and loved our food and experience. The location was off the beaten path but easy to find. The staff was welcoming and fun. We enjoyed the sampler appetizer, the bbq plate (even though they were out of slaw), soup and more. Our daughter (7) loved the vegan dogs in blankets and the veggie soup. The shrimp po'boy had great flavor but the texture of the shrimp was a little hard to swallow. We would definitely return the next time we are in Memphis.

Pros: Great Food, Cozy location, Great Staff

Cons: Out of some items on the menu, "Shrimp" texture

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great vegan comfort food - Edit

If trying to eat healthy stay away, otherwise go! I had the The Big Smack and oh my, a vegan Big Mac thank you very much!! Quaint atmosphere with yummy food. Was sad that their blender was broken because I really wanted a shake since in my little vegan world is very hard to find.

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Delicious Southern Food - Edit

This place was great! We had the Chilli Fries, the Meatball Sub and the Chicken and Waffle. Good southern home style cooking. I wanted to try some Southern food and this place was great for it.

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Positive and Homey - Edit

I was travelling through Memphis and decided to stop for lunch. It wasn't too far off the main hwy. The area looked a little rough and was one in a row of houses that were now zoned for commercial use, but despite the bars on windows, I was hungry. Once I stepped inside I was greeted by a very nice lady and positive messages/art posted everywhere. The place had a very uplifting ambiance and was clean. I was dazzled by all of the desserts and snacks at the counter. The menu was a bit overwhelming as there were so many options! They were out of the ruben which is what I normally try first at any new vegan restaurant, so I ordered the BLT w/avacado, mac n' cheese, and the Savannah smoothie.It was all very tasty and brought back memories of my mom's cooking even though nothing on my plate was burnt. My only complaint about the dish is my "bacon" was a little more crispy than I would've liked. I'd still eat it again though. I got a brownie and a couple of candy bars to go. I ate the brownie while I was driving which was a bit difficult because it was actually a very moist cake and not a chewy brownie. It was still very yummy. I will stop by again the next time I travel through Memphis.

Pros: Homestyle cooking, Very positive, Many Menu Choices

Cons: Neighborhood looks rough

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Expected a lot more... - Edit

I really, really wanted to like this place. But right off the bat, I could tell that this food was pretty much just frozen food reheated and it tasted like I could easily make this food in my sleep. I will give it that the entire menu is vegan, so that's absolutely amazing. The restaurant was also really eclectic. It's essentially a house filled with pro animal and human rights memorabilia all over the place, which was awesome to see. I recommend going just to go, but just don't go in with as high expectations as I did.

Pros: Friendly staff, All vegan menu, Eclectic scenery

Cons: Reheated frozen food, Location

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Awesome place - Edit

The imagine vegan café is an oasis amongst a dreary suburb. I almost didn't believe that I was actually approaching and all vegan eatery. Seeing as I was on the road I showed up before their opening time; however, the friendly staff let me in anyways and serve me a delicious buffalo burger. He ambience of the restaurant was also very pleasing and reminiscent of southern soul.

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wonderful! - Edit

so glad we stopped here on our trip through Memphis! i dont have one complaint except that i wish i could come back soon and try everything! the staff was wonderful...very friendly and welcoming. the food was great,the portions you get for price are really decent,and the restaurant itself is really groovy! this is a MUST stop if you're in the Memphis area!!!

Pros: everything is vegan, great atmosphere , price

Cons: none

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Hit or Miss - Depends on the Staff - Edit

My wife and I have eaten here twice in the last couple months and both times have been absolutely the opposite of each other.

1st: Waiter let us sit where we wanted, so we chose a private back room with 3 tables in it, and we were by ourselves. The food was amazing, although they didn't have everything on the menu we wanted, and the waiter was very attentive and made sure we left happy.
2nd: We were in a hurry, but figured the service was so great the first time we could make it. We arrived at 1:15 PM on a Sunday afternoon, and were told to sit right by the front door even though there was plenty of available seating. Our waitress brought our menus about 5 minutes later. We ordered our food, a couple sandwiches and simple appetizers, and waited. 15 minutes later the waitress remembered she'd left the menus at our table and retrieved them. Then we waited. And waited. At 2:20 my wife started complaining. The waitress finally refilled our empty waters. "Let's go!" my wife not-so-quietly whispered to me. I assured her that the kitchen girl was quite busy as I could see into the kitchen from my chair. So we waited. "We have to determine a time when we are getting up, walking out that door, and going to Taco Bell." Using the power of persuasion, I got her to agree to wait until 1:40.

At 1:37 part of our order arrived, including the cold french fries that were left on the plate for an hour or so.

Yes, it took an hour and a half to get our food. By then the food tasted as bad as the service.

Pros: Food , Variety, Support Animal Rescue Corps

Cons: Service, Bathroom is wonky, Don't have everything on the menu.

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Absolutely delicious food! - Edit

Passing through on a road trip and we ordered literally every appetizer on the menu! It was so worth it, the food kept us going state-by-state and made every mile delicious! Love the groovy feel of the restaurant. Would definitely come back!

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Great - Edit

This place is great. I had the portabello hoagie, and it was delicious; though a bit greasy. If you have a nut allergy, you will have to ask as they don't label this allergen on their menu. After you finish your dinner, they also have a great selection of fresh desserts.

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Outstanding Food - Edit

Don't let the outside of this place fool you this is a serious vegan food place. My Memphis Platter which is BBQ sandwich with coleslaw on it was great and my daughter's shrimp poor boy sandwich was one of the best vegan or real in New Orleans. We ended with the cookie cake which was unbelievable. Anytime I'm in Memphis I'm going here.

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Vegan Southern Comfort Food - Edit

Prepare yourself for some serious southern comfort food. I got the waffles and chicken. I was bummed because they didn't have real maple syrup and I wasn't about to pour gmo corn syrup on my waffles. Fortunately I was traveling with a bottle of Michigan maple syrup so it was all good. I also had a couple desserts, tried my girls burger, pigs in blanket, beans and rice with greens... all pretty good, very heavy, food coma for sure.

Pros: comfort food, all vegan, variety

Cons: heavy, gmo ingredients, no maple syrup

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Delicious - Edit

A super cute, family run restaurant. The food is fake-meat heavy, but that is fine by me. Everything was delicious and the dessert case was breathtaking. So many options! The staff could not have been more friendly. A wonderful, casual eating experience

Pros: Variety of options, Dessert options, Ambiance

Cons: None

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Awesome place! - Edit

We went up to Memphis last May to see Morrissey (how could you pass up Morrissey in Memphis in May?) Anyway, we totally loved this place!

Great atmosphere and delicious starters, mains and desserts. Wonderful staff too! They didn't have some of the dishes we asked for - but that didn't matter. I loved the potato skins to start, followed by the southern greens and beans on rice (melt in your mouth good!). We had a hard time picking out a dessert though as they were all out on display - so we had to get a few! Would definitely go here again!

Pros: Great food , Nice staff , Fun atmosphere

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great food, great price! - Edit

I am so glad I called when I arrived in Memphis. Happy Cow had not yet updated the new hours to 7 days a week, but they are open!! Thank goodness, I would have hated to miss such great totally vegan food for such reasonable prices. Most sandwiches are around $7, and they are delicious. I had the BBQ sandwich (when in Rome...). My mom had the eggplant Parmesan entree and it was super tasty too. We also got the app sampler, which had mozzarella sticks that were sooo good as well as buffalo wings and more... and a cheesecake for dessert. The owners were there and were super friendly. I would be there all the time if I lived in Memphis!

Pros: great food, good prices, super friendly staff

Cons: none that I saw on my first visit!

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Memphis BBQ - Edit

I was on a road trip in August 2013 and I knew this place had to be one of the places I ate at (mainly because it was vegan and served Southern Comfort food.
Nice owner and comfortable place to eat. I wish i had more opportunities to eat here!
The Memphis BBQ Sandwich was great as was the Spinach dip

Pros: Vegan, Southern Comfort Food

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Food is too good, I couldn't stop eating! - Edit

Seriously, the menu has everything you can dream of, and they have many types of desserts. The food, UNREAL... Plus they couldn't get much more friendly.

The restaurant is run out of what feels like a home, and you are a traveler or a friend they really want to take care of. I was so blessed to find this place, and to experience the love here.


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Great vegan comfort food! - Edit

We went here at lunch time and were excited by how big the menu was! They have so many things that we loved before we went vegan, it was hard to pick what to get! The menu is definitely all junk food, so if you're not into that, avoid this place.
We started with the Dogs n' blankets which we both loved! I got the vegan memphis for my meal. The beans were really sweet, which I didn't like, but the bbq sandwich was so good! My husband got the chicken fried steak. He liked the mashed potatoes and the corn casserole, but the mac and cheese was just ok. We wanted to get dessert too, but we were so stuffed!
When we arrived there were two other tables that were already eating, so I was a little confused by how long it took us to get our food. It wasn't a terrible wait, but I bet if it was packed it would be terrible. A guy who came in a little after us waited almost 20 minutes for a sandwich.
All in all we had a good experience and will be back next time we're in Memphis!

Pros: lots of choices, good food, dogs n' blankets

Cons: wait can be long

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Totally amazing :D - Edit

I was so excited about finding a vegan restaurant in Memphis. This place is basically how vegan restaurants need to be to stand any reasonable chance of perpetuating the cause. I would say that some more vegetable options would have made the menu more balanced, but I was really impressed with the amount of stuff on offer. I had a banana split for desert which was totally delicious, I can die happy now. Just IMAGINE if all restaurants could be this good!

Pros: Amazing selection, Incredible deserts, Friendly staff

Cons: Bit out of the way, Children running around

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They were moving! - Edit

I took my non-vegan friend here for a meal, both our first times, though. The place was a disaster pretty much, but that was only due to the fact that they were in the process of moving. Apart from that, I could see the laid back atmosphere they were striving for. It took over an hour for us to get our appetizer -- again, I don't know if this is because they were moving or what.

The food: For an app, I ordered the sampler. My friend really liked the dogs-n-blankets, and so did I! The buffalo wings were nice, as were the cheese sticks and hush puppies. The chicken nuggets tasted a little sweet, which was odd to me. Next, I ordered the gumbo -- it definitely wasn't what I expected, but it was terrible. I wouldn't order that again. For an entree I ordered the fried shrimp with mac n' cheese and mashed potatoes. It was decent, but I wish I'd gotten the country fried steak. My friend got the stuffed bell peppers. They were the best thing I tried!

It's still worth a visit as Memphis first all vegan eatery, and my review may have been different if they were settled in their new place.

Pros: decent food, decent price

Cons: food slow to come out

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cool place, tasty food, super nice staff, gothere! - Edit

Thank you IMAGINE VEGAN CAFE! We had a lovely time!

We ordered the fried shrimp plate with 2 sides (mac'n'cheese + corn casserole) as well as the spinach ravioli in marinara sauce with garlic bread plus a side salad.

Everything tasted really really good!
The salad was super fresh, the pasta delicious and the shrimp plate as yummy as comfort food can get. Tasty garlic bread!
Everything on the menu sounded great.

A real treat were the fantastic cakes - we had a cookies'n'creme chocolate cake and a mardi gras king cake.

The Imagine Vegan Cafe has a hand selected variety of microbrew beers and is really top notch for any beer lover.

The staff were the friendliest people ever - it sounds like an exaggeration but it is just plain and simply the truth.

The neighborhood is a cool place to go and is worth a stroll around the block.

We really were happy with our choice and we hope that Imagine Vegan Cafe will live a long and prosper life!

Updated from previous review on Wednesday February 06, 2013

Pros: delicious food, very friendly staff, kid friendly

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Not the Best - Edit

I was very disappointed in this place. Almost all the food was frozen food and nothing was healthy, to my standards. I'm not a junk-food vegan so this place is not somewhere i would go again.

Pros: Vegan

Cons: Unhealthy options, Frozen food

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Vegan Cafe - Edit

This is a great family owned restaurant. The menu is expansive (lots of choices) and the food is great. The owners are very nice. please visit if you are in the memphis area.

Pros: excellent food, healthy, good value

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Delicious - Edit

Ate here when I was in town for business. Food was great, had the Vegan Memphis sandwich which was awesome, buffalo wings which were awesome, pretty good chicken legs, and an awesome chocolate chip cookie sandwich. Very friendly too and in a cool location.

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Reviewer Avatar

Mmmmmm good... - Edit

Well, I just felt fortunate to find this outstanding vegan restaurant.
I inhaled their gumbo which just kicked of
Memphis flavor and then chose the veggie plate and yum yum again.
Everything home cooked, fresh and extremely
flavorful.. The Mac n Cheese was just right on while being smooth, soft and creamy and again fresh. BBQ beans and mashed potatoes all just on the button.
Yeah, I ate and ate and savored every bite.
And the portions were plentiful and the price
more than reasonable if not an actual bargain.
As I write this I am contemplating what dessert to
sin bye.
Mmmmmm good...Lip smacking!!!!!!!

Pros: excellent food, affordable, plentiful portions

Cons: not close to LA

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Not what I expected - Edit

To Start, my wife and i had high expectations. I should have read into the reviews more. Our first clue should have been when the order taker brought out a frozen package of raviolis after my wife asked how many on an order. this was the first sign of frozen then heated food served here. she had the Eggplant Parmigiana, i had the 3 drum sticks with corn and steamed broccoli. It was awful. the presentation of the food was like something at grade school. the broccoli looked like it had been sitting in the Memphis heat for days. it was very rubbery and chewy. the drumsticks were like frozen fish sticks in a cafeteria. My wifes food tasted like pre-packaged food. it was very disappointing to say the least. [edit by staff].
As for Imagine Vegan Cafe. I give it 1 star only because i ate the food because i was so hungry. i waited all day and it was a date night with my wife and we both went a way VERY hungry and had a bad after taste in our mouth. I'm sorry, i don't see how they will stay open much longer. By the way, my water was a cup of ice from an iglo ice chest and water right from the sink behind the counter. GROSS

Pros: Parking, order taker freindly

Cons: food, atmosphere, food

1 Response

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bclarktn 22 Feb 2013 - I'm sorry, there was 1 good thing. We had the "mozzarella cheese sticks" vegan style. They were pretty good.

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Solid. - Edit

We had two different chicken sandwiches - both were great. The hush puppies were awesome, but the mac and cheese was so-so: much more edible with pepper. Plus you can't beat $3 bottles of Abita. Definitely worth a trip if you're vegan/vegan-friendly. Afterward, take a walk across the street to visit the House of Mews!

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Exactly what they said it would be! - Edit

Wow! This place was EXACTLY what they said they would be, and we LOVED it!!! It was inexpensive comfort food that tasted great and wasn't fancy. The atmosphere was laid-back with great music and random decor. It was a very family friendly place... kids were playing and having a blast while parents did not have to worry about what everyone else around them thought. The staff was friendly and helpful (even though they were very busy and seemed a bit overwhelmed by the rush). The food was what we expected it to be... vegan comfort food... and this is the main reason I loved it so much! For a semi-vegetarian who is trying hard to make the transition, this place is HEAVEN!!! Most of the time I try to eat out, all I can find is fancy, culinary schooled creations that I can't even pronounce. I always end up eating a salad, some fruit, or (at best) some variation of tofu. No wonder so many people give up on this vegetarian thing here in the south!
Imagine, however, has corn dogs, burgers and fries, pizza, various sandwiches (Philly, Beer Brat, French Dip, etc.), country fried "steak", "chicken" drumsticks and southern style veggies (to name a few) on the menu. My friends and I ordered the "appetizer sampler", the "Chicken" drumstick meal, the philly, and various sides. It all tasted SO good!
We highly recommend this place, especially to those who are looking for good, vegetarian/vegan comfort food. If you are looking for gourmet dishes, table service, and overall "presentation", you should probably go somewhere else. Imagine seems to have been designed for those of us who are a little more down to Earth!

Pros: Great vegan food, Friendly staff, Big menu (lots of options)

Cons: New restaurant, Small staff

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..Eh - Edit

So, I went here with two other people, with high hopes. This place has been talked up on vegan blogs and people have generally been super excited about Memphis's first all-vegan locale. But, well, I found it wanting for a lot. Sadly. I really wanted this place to be awesome.

I'll start off by saying the food was at least decent. Nothing was horrible or made any of us want to stop eating or send things back. So, maybe that's something. And we each tried several things. We started off with the cheese sticks and dogs in a blanket apps, which were definitely the best part, ad those two items were very good. But then nothing else was anywhere near as good. I got the french dip, my friends got the mahi mahi and a grilled chicken sandwich. The sides we tried were the carrots, mac and cheese, and green beans. The sides were the worst in that they reminded us all so much of school cafeteria food... just really mushy, lukewarm, overcooked... ugh. I mean, again, not disgusting.. just like.. felt like we were eating reheated frozen tv dinner sides. The main courses left a lot to be desired... they were also just kinda mushy and not presented very well.. the sandwiches were just the bread and meat, you know... just not really impressive.

Then we had dessert, figuring dessert's pretty hard to mess up. And the dessert was more acceptable than the meal, I'd say. The chocolate ganache cake was actually really good. The cookies and cream cake was just okay... nothing special, but not bad. And we got a banana split, too, which had all the right ingredients, and I think with better presentation (and more banana) could have been a real winner, but it was just half a banana spliced in half covered in a mess of vanilla ice cream and some whip cream with some strawberry stuff plopped over that. It tasted okay, but like everything else, could have benefited a lot from effort on the presentation end.

So, all in all I was glad to support a vegan business. But I've been to many vegan eateries around the country, and this place hardly passed as acceptable.. I would not take non-vegans here unless they're very non-picky eaters who think cafeteria food/reheated tv dinners are lovely. But I do hope Imagine stays in business and maybe gets their shit together sooner than later.

Pros: all-vegan place in memphis?, they mean well, appetizers are good, and chocolate cake

Cons: rest of menu mushy and disappointing, loud kids/diaper changing where you eat

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Basic, good, vegan food - Edit

I was initially skeptical of Imagine, not because it is all vegan, but because its menu is so extensive. I wondered if a new restaurant with so many options would do justice to any one item. Happily, my experience at Imagine erased all doubts. The food isn't fancy, but is fundamental, basic, good vegan food. Everything I tried was prepared and flavored very well. We started with the spinach artichoke dip, which was very flavorful and not at all heavy. We also enjoyed vegan hot dogs in crescent rolls as an appetizer. My entree was a delicious veggie plate, with some amazing sweet potatoes and mac and cheese. I also tried the vegan pizza that another customer had ordered (it's that kind of place - very friendly!), and thought it was just outstanding. Delicious tomato sauce and spicy vegan sausage. I had the flying elvis cake for dessert, with banana and chocolate cake layered with peanut butter icing. Just heavenly. The prices are very reasonable, and the owners are kind and attentive. Imagine is a great place for everyone of all dietary persuasions.

Pros: reasonable price, friendly staff, lots of options

Cons: not many healthy options

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Pretty Good - Edit

So I went with a fellow veg friend to try out this new vegan place. I will say, it was nice to finally have as many options as other people. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted because I wasn't limited! We started off with an order of mozzarella sticks- we wanted to try something from every part of the menu. The mozzarella sticks were delicious and tasted pretty close to the real thing. My friend and I are not vegan, so we do have cheese. These were quite good. Next our meal came. I ordered the "Vegan Memphis" which was a barbecue sandwich with fries and beans, but I substituted the fries for macaroni and cheese. My friend ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with macaroni and cheese. the entree of both meals was absolutely delicious- I think my barbecue sandwich could rival any decent Memphis barbecue. The macaroni and cheese, however, was a definite miss. I would not order it again. Next, came the desserts. I got a piece of the Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake and my friend ordered a Brownie Sundae. Both dessert items were spectacular. They were chocolaty, moist, and generous portions. I bought a Cream Cheeze Brownie to go and took it with my lunch the next day. Throughout the course of the meal, my friend and I both had a Jones Cream Soda and a Chocolate Shake. Their Chocolate Shakes were very good, and obviously Jones Sodas are amazing! Overall, it was a very good experience! The store front does not have anything on the door to let you know that it is Imagine, and it is right next door to a pizza place, so that is slightly confusing. There's also not much parking, but that is to be expected in the Cooper-Young area! I would definitely return!

Pros: number of options, friendly staff, homey feel

Cons: not recognizable from street, not very spacious

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