4.5 Rating
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  • Private Lot

🙂 = There is a changing table in the bathroom, a kids’ menu, kids eat free on Tuesdays, and its own parking lot.

🙁 = Service can be a bit slow if you need something in particular – may take a bit for someone to come around as it’s fairly large. Our lunch was about 2 hours, though it could have easily been our fault as we ordered several courses.

Note: Parking lot is easy to miss. The restaurant itself is right off of Byberry Road, on Bustleton Avenue, and if you’re coming from the direction of Byberry Road, there is a small entrance right before the restaurant on Bustleton. We are telling you this because this street is very busy, and (just like us), you may end up driving circles if you miss the restaurant. Oh, and its “BYOB.” Which means, tell mommy and daddy to grab their own wine, cognac, vodka, beer… or whatever makes them happy. Also, don’t expect super warm, fuzzy service – it’s just not that kind of place. Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11:00AM-11:00PM. Fri-Sat: 11:00AM-12:00AM.

We visited Café Lava with our family to celebrate our great-grandmas birthday! We arrived at noon, and the restaurant was still empty, but we had a reservation so we sat down quickly. They also brought us a highchair right away. The menu was long, and included their traditional menu and a brunch menu, as we came on a Sunday. This restaurant is definitely Eastern European influenced (just like us!), and the menu reflected this. While we looked over the menu, warm bread and butter arrived, and plastic cups with straws were delivered too – just for us. Toddlers pleased! We were also told there is a kids’ menu, which included mac and cheese, chicken tenders, grilled cheese, or the traditional Russian dumplings (vareniki or pelmeni). The supplemental brunch menu included omelets, French toast, and crepes, amongst other goodies. Many options!

kebabs, potatos, chicken kiev, and a view of the outside patio.

kebabs, potatos, chicken kiev, and a view of the outside patio.

Mommy chose to order off the regular menu and got a ton of things for us to share. We asked for calamari (which came as a HUGE portion), as well as vareniki (dumplings, steamed, and filled with either meat, potatoes, or cherries….. we got some with potatoes and some with cherries… they mentioned there were 6 in each order, but there was definitely more than that). Mommy also got a few salads for the adults to share (they were a good shareable portion, or each could have been a meal in and of itself), some fried potatoes, and some kebabs (mostly lamb… they seemed to be out of a few types on their menu, even though we were the first customers in that day). Mommy also got the Chicken Kiev – a breaded piece of chicken, stuffed with butter and herbs, and fried. It was on top of mashed potatoes, and while we liked the chicken sufficiently, we gobbled up the mashed potatoes.

Salads, and our dumplings (vareniki)

Salads, and our dumplings (vareniki)

For dessert, we shared the lava cake with our family. We asked for a few slices and asked them to cut it up so we can each have some, as our bellies were full. Overall, the food was fine – nothing amazing, but fine. We had mixed feelings about which vareniki we liked best – but we ate them all up happily.

13033 Bustleton Ave

Philadelphia, PA 19116

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