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The Columbian Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 5 reviews )
Contact 503-325-2233

1114 Marine Dr (at downtown), Astoria, Oregon, USA, 97103

Serves meat, vegan options available. The chef at this cafe likes to cook with lots of chili and spicy flavors. Menu changes and is primarily meats but do call ahead to see what the day's vegetarian offering is (uses dairy, egg).

Category: Lacto, American, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

Reviews (5)

First Review by marla5575

cool little place! - Edit

We were able to sit outside (thank goodness because it was about 100 degrees inside the place!!) and ordered a vegan chefs mercy for 2. The chef made us some nice brocolli and cauliflower tacos with black beans and rice. The food was pretty darn good and was quite spivey. Kind of a crazy little spot, but I'd go back for sure because a decent vegan meal is kind of a rarity in coast towns.
Astoria is coming up in the vegan world, but it's got a long way to go. For now, Columbian cafe is a solid option! Just be sure to go when you aren't in a rush.. They can be slow.

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Good Option in Astoria for Vegans - Edit

My husband and I travel full time in our RV, and one of the first things we look for in a new town is where to get good vegan food. Although the Columbian Cafe (named for the Columbia River near Astoria, not Columbian style food) is not a vegan or even vegetarian restaurant per se, it does have both options on the menu. My husband ordered the vegan chili and enjoyed it very much. I ordered "Chef's Mercy", which is a dish made up on the spot at the whim of the chef that day, and the customer's specification of either vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise. I ended up with a wonderful plate of black beans, Thai coconut rice, and grilled locally fresh veggies piled atop a flour tortilla. Both our meals came with toasted bread and an assortment of spicy jams. The setting is friendly, and small. Just 4 or 5 booths and seating at the counter. We sat at the counter and chatted with our waiter and watched the chef prepare our meal. It was a pleasant experience and very good food. Vegan restaurants in small towns are hard to come by, so we really appreciate finding even a non-vegan place that accommodates our preference.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, nice beach town atmosphere

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Ridiculous service! - Edit

Was looking forward to a nice vegan meal in what seemed to be the only restaurant in Astoria to offer some vegan options, but after waiting for over an hour for a simple potatoe and tofu scramble dish, and being given attitude from our server dude, it was outrageous! To make things worse, he seemed to find this quite normal and even amusing...unfortunately, we were hungry and didn't have 2 hours to kill, so that was a really bad experience. And no, it wasn't worth the wait as some customers at the bar told us. We almost left the place, it was that bad and I have never done this before. I am pretty patient and understanding and the place wasn't full either. It was just ridiculous! Don't bother. Maybe one day they will care to read the reviews and start to respect their customers.

Pros: Good bread

Cons: waited 1.30 mn to be served, Only takes cash, food wasn't great

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Great atmosphere - Edit

This is the only truly veg-friendly eatery in town. Uriah (owner and chef) is bursting at the seams with personality. He is so much fun to watch and listen to. He is the only chef so the food takes a good 45 minutes when he's busy, but the entertainment of listening to Uriah talk to everyone else around makes the time fly. During the wait we were fed beer bread with olive oil to dip in (YUM!) and then came out the garlic bread with Uriah's famous St. Diablo jellies - garlic, jalapeno and cayenne. Delicious!!! We bought 2 jars to take home. Most of the dishes are made with homemade fetuccini which is cut and cooked to order. The main courses we had were disappointing (and expensive). I had the vegetarian Chef's Mercy - I was at the chef's mercy for whatever he was in the mood to make. This night it was ratatouille which I found bland and odd. My husband had the pasta with some kind of gorgonzola cream sauce. It was pretty good, but again I found it lacked flavor. By the reputation The Columbian has around town, I expected the main courses to be memorably good. But all in all it was a great time and I will definitely return when in town. I also recommend T. Paul Urban cafe for lunch (sandwiches, quesadillas).

Pros: Uriah's personality, jellies & breads

Cons: bland entrees

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