Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Inn Season Cafe, Royal Oak, Michigan

Music: Sunday Baroque, on WQED

Back home in Michigan, I lived in Royal Oak, and my favorite restaurant happened to be a vegetarian restaurant. (Notice I didn't say vegan, as they do serve dairy). The Inn Season Cafe (or just the Inn Season for short) has been in the same location in Royal Oak since 1981(tucked in a residential neighborhood a few blocks from the bustling downtown) and is one of the gems of the metro Detroit area. I've been eating here since I first moved to Royal Oak in 1993 and every time I go home again, I make sure I make time to savor a meal there.

This is what we enjoyed on our last visit:

Hummus with greens (mixed in!), pitas with herbs on top,
marinated mushroom salad, beets, olives and more greens 

Quinoa salad with fresh sprouts, greens, & avocado

It's gourmet in that it's all original, fresh, and delicious, but it's not pretentious or expensive. It's just plain good whole food that's good for you. Everyone I've recommended it to has raved about it and visited again, even my meat eating friends. My favorite feature of the menu is the Chef's Specials where they create special seasonal dishes (like the ones we enjoyed pictured above).

I have not found a restaurant like this here in Pittsburgh; Zenith in South Side* and Quiet Storm in Friendship* are more like diners that serve good but unspectacular food. My restaurant of choice here is a Middle Eastern place in South Side called Kassab's which, while not vegetarian, serves delicious vegan options.

The Inn Season's gardens, along the side of the restaurant

The service at the Inn Season is wonderful and everyone is very friendly and accommodating. The atmosphere is elegant and cozy, with wood antique tables, unique and one-of-a-kind china tea cups for coffee and tea, and cloth napkins. And their homemade chai tea (hot or cold) is to die for. The last time I was here they softly played Motown music that just seemed right as I'm still terribly homesick. 

It's located off a side street in downtown Royal Oak, which is about 12 miles north of Detroit. If you're ever in southeast Michigan, I highly recommend you make the Inn Season Cafe a stop for lunch or dinner whether you're a vegetarian or not. You won't be disappointed.

*These are neighborhoods within the city limits of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh is known geographically by its neighborhoods.


  1. Nice. The hummus and pitas look exceptionally good. I'm a fellow Michigander, too!

  2. We need a veg/vegan restaurant like this in Pittsburgh!