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“Wow! Excellent Everything”
Review of Cafe Aroma

Cafe Aroma
Ranked #2 of 43 Restaurants in Idyllwild
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$30
Cuisines: American, Italian, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Lunch, Reservations, Takeout
Description: TripAdvisor's #1 Rated Restaurant in Idyllwild for 2014 Working in tandem with amazing culinary talent, some of which have gone on to The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY and Le Cordon Bleu, the Aroma kitchen team uses classic recipes infused with unique, original ingredients, to create beautiful dishes with French, Nuevo Latino, Asian and SoCal influences. Cafe Aroma proudly supports our local farmers, wineries and brewers and features fresh, organic, and sustainable products, along with vegetarian and gluten free options. A unique bistro-gallery experience, featuring some of Idyllwild's most well-known and accomplished artists, featured in two-month, rotating exhibits. Idyllwild's hippest and funkiest dining establishment, Cafe Aroma is the hot spot on "The Hill." Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, along with great snacks and desserts and an assortment of bottled micro-brews and local, artisan wines, indoors or out, on our free Wi-Fi enabled patio deck, the inspiration of Cafe Aroma's "accidental owner" for the last 12 years, Hubert Halkin. Hubert's list of deeds is long, including being an Idyllwild resident for many years, Professor Emeritus and Department Chair of Mathematics at UCSD, a mean bridge player, and all around groovy Frenchman. Not to mention...You won't believe what he can demonstrate table-side with a straw and your Osso Bucco bone! Music is one of the cafe's cornerstones, and features an amazing array of talented musicians, known locally, regionally and nationally. It's no wonder that, among musicians, Cafe Aroma's outdoor stage is known as the Madison Square Garden of Idyllwild! The community of Idyllwild is an eclectic collection of souls, comprised of entrepreneurs, artists of every flavor, hipsters and church-goers, authors and meditators, some really cool, old school jazz cats, and a few belly dancers and ballerinas. Cafe Aroma is the gathering place for everyone, the place to "see and be seen" and features the most dog-friendly patio around. Restaurant, Art Gallery, Social Club and a Home Away From Home...If your home was this cool!
Reviewed 16 February 2018

My girlfriend and I came here on her advice. She said she was here years ago and it was excellent, and she wanted me to experience the same culinary experience.

I can't say enough about the restaurant. It has a great rustic look to it. It's airy and there are a lot of places to sit that are private and romantic. There is a lot of art there as well. We spent half of our waiting time admiring the art. Some really nice pieces.

Our waitress was beyond good. She had a smile the entire time. Not one of those plastic smiles that scream "I'm a phony," but a real sincere smile. She was gracious and attentive our entire meal and was great about answering out questions.

I wasn't sure what kind of wine to order, so she brought me two different ones I could try, based on my penchant for sweeter wines. Classy move. My girlfriend and I ordered the same thing; this delicious pasta dish with pieces of chicken. Prior to our meal we enjoyed some excellent bread. Our dipping sauce was great. Olive oil with a ton of garlic.

We both were impressed with everything. It's a place to go to again and again.

Date of visit: February 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank LucianoLeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 26 of 513 reviews

Reviewed 30 January 2018

When you walk into this cozy multi bar dining area make sure you ask for Mikele so she can take care of you either as a waitress or bartender. She's the best.
We stopped by for lunch and enjoyed a nice glass of champagne to start our celebrating 45 years of marriage. Mikele really made us feel at home.
I ordered a caprese with some proscuito and it had to be the best ever. My wife had a great fresh from the garden salad. Just a perfect lunch together especially with the live band playing in the background on the patio.
Great for dinner too. so make it a full day. Ha Ha

Date of visit: January 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2018

We were checking out several places to have dinner in Idyllwild during our stay and parked quickly on the side of the road after seeing the "Cafe Aroma" sign. After checking out the menu we made a reservation but upon returning to our car a very grumpy, loud mouthed and extremely rude old man was parked behind our care blocking us from leaving. He proceeded to tell us "can't you read, it says NO PARKING at which we replied "so sorry, we've only been here less than 2 minutes" when he sped off. Low and behold at dinner that night, there he is in the dining area talking with a staff member. I was soooo tempted to walk up to hime and say "remember me? BTW, we're parked in YOUR parking lot, is that OK??" I can only imagine how he treats the poor people who work for him !! However, the food was good and the live music was a plus !!

Date of visit: January 2018
Thank itsmejude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2018 via mobile

Popped in for a cup of coffee and found a delightful, cozy place to have a little break. Delicious items and beverages.

Date of visit: November 2017
1  Thank Christie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2017 via mobile

Great for lunch or dinner outdoor patio and music in evenings. Friendly staff and full bar is available. Pet friendly.

Date of visit: December 2017
Thank tlcalive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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