207 E. Main St. (Rt. 42)
Mason Ohio 45040United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Tucked in a residential neighborhood, Wildflower Cafe serves delicious, locally sourced food in a century-old house.
Glancing at Wildflower Cafe's menu online, you might be tempted to dismiss this quaint house-turned-restaurant as the sort of place you can drop into spontaneously. Don't. The secret is out, and the tiny dining rooms fill up for lunch and dinner every day. You will be grateful for your reservation.Why all the fuss? Because this family-owned cafe serves absolutely delicious (yet totally unpretentious) sandwiches, soups, salads and entrees made with locally sourced veggies and cheese, naturally raised meats and wild-caught seafood. Every dish has a special something that makes it tastier than the versions you've had elsewhere. The burger (which "Cincinnati Magazine" named best in the city) includes double-smoked bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and a chewy pretzel roll. The house potato salad has a kick of horseradish. Lemongrass flavors the breading on the fried catfish sandwich. Barely baked fresh raspberries ooze sweet-tart juice in a warm chocolate clafoutis.The atmosphere is friendly and intimate, with tables crammed in two tiny rooms of a 100-year-old house and an additional wine bar on the second floor up a steep flight of stairs. The postage-stamp kitchen is right between those two rooms, so you can hear the clatter of pans and squirt of the sink nozzle as you eat. If the food weren't so fabulous, that would be annoying, but a big part of Wildflower's charm is its cobbled-together feel. The passion here is food, not fancy decor. (In case you ever forget that, newspaper clippings about food and environmental issues paper a bulletin board in the dining area.) Locals who think of Mason as the epitome of suburban sprawl will be surprised to find that Wildflower's historic neighborhood even exists. Sandwiches run around $9; dinner entrees cost upwards of $20 but vary depending on market prices. Soft drink addicts should be aware that name-brand sodas aren't available. But the organic lemonade is delish.