Restaurant Review: The National Cafe

The National Cafe is located at 839 W. National Ave. (National & 9th) in Walker’s Point. It’s a great little corner cafe in an old building that feels just great to walk into on a cold day, looking for comfort food.


I stopped in for lunch on a bitter cold day last week, and was greeted by great smells, nice music, warm staff, and an amazing meal. The cafe is open from 7:30-3:30 Tuesday-Friday and serves breakfast all day. The menu is extensive, with everything from Croque Madam to Huevos Rancheros to a Portobello Burger and Tonkotsu Ramen. When you walk in, you order at the counter (giving you a glimpse of some yummy-looking pastries and dessert) and find a table to wait for your food. There is limited seating, and when I was there, it felt really cozy and like the cool, secret hangout that I love to think I know about!

I asked for a recommendation between my two top (and yes, very traditional) choices: the Roast Beef Melt vs. the Meatloaf Sandwich. My helpful staff-person didn’t even flinch when she replied, “Meatloaf,” so I was confident with my order. I added on a cup of the soup-of-the-day (creamy chicken-mushroom) instead of my chips, and took a seat.


I was a very happy dude when my lunch came. Piping hot soup topped with chives, and a sandwich the size of my head waiting for me to demolish!


I started with the soup and enjoyed every bite. Nice chunks of chicken and flavorful mushrooms lived really nicely in the thick broth. The meatloaf sandwich was oh so Tall Guy. The meatloaf was moist, and seasoned well, topped with tons of caramelized onions, melted provolone, and BBQ sauce – all on a fresh, fluffy Kaiser roll. This is something I’d totally make at home, but never get around to it. Meatloaf is such an easy thing, and great for leftovers, yet it felt like such a treat at The National!

I can vouch for great food, comfortable ambiance, and kind service from my experience, but what I also really liked when I checked out The National’s website, was their core values listed right on the homepage: Peace, Flavor, and Community. I love places like this, and am proud to be part of a community of food people who live like this.