Newport, Oregon: The Quirky and Yummy Cafe Mundo

A series of fortunate (or un- depending on your perspective) events in our quest for places to eat in Newport, Oregon this evening led us to a quirky, healthy, and wonderful surprise in the form of dinner at Cafe Mundo.  And, as a result, it became my must-stop restaurant in town!

Newport, Oregon's Cafe Mundo for delicious food in a quirky, entertaining location.

We wanted to go to this other restaurant in Newport that is advertised as the best food, and all the locals go there… blah, blah, blah.  Problem?  For the second day in a row, we arrived at that place during the google travel-site advertised open hours, only to find the sign in the window that they are closed.  I’m not sure what kind of secret signalling device is used to notify locals that this super-secret place to eat in Newport is actually open for business, but clearly they’re not letting visitors in on it!

So, we all looked at each other, whipped out the phones and googled, again, where we should eat.  Newport, Oregon isn’t a big town, I didn’t think this would be such a challenge!  There was another fairly well-rated place to eat not far away.  We get ourselves turned around, double back, and pull up in front of this second choice, get out of the car, and find that it is ALSO closed.  At this point, we’re being to think a global event has taken place, and we JUST STINKIN’ WANT FOOD!!  (Seriously, don’t mess with our family when hunger sets in!)


The Place to Eat in Newport Because It’s Open and Literally Inviting!!

So, instead of getting in the car, we walk down the street – clearly Google is not up to this task, and our own eight (combined) eyeballs are needed to find any place to stop to eat.

That’s when we came around the corner and found this:

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
See that? “Really Good Food” and Yes, We’re OPEN! How could we refuse an offer like that?


See that?  It says Yes, We’re OPEN and REALLY GOOD FOOD right there!  I mean, it’s like they knew what we were looking for.  Spooky.  So… we all stopped and read the signs, looked at each other and shrugged, and it was unanimous.


The Place to Eat in Newport for Funky Outdoor Seating

First, we came to the outdoor area, It isn’t often that the outdoor seating area of a restaurant stops all of us and get the kids exclaiming.  But Katie decided this is what she wants her yard to look like one day.  Outdoor, partially sheltered, rustic seating.  Random oddities spread throughout the yard.  I, of course, started taking pictures, and the family had to nudge (ok, maybe it was the sighing and ‘I’m hungry!’) me inside.

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
Unfortunately it was a little chilly for us to use the outdoor seating. But how cool is this?



The Place to Eat in Newport for Quirky Decor

But that yard was only the start.  Stepping into the Café Mundo, is a feast for the senses.  The restaurant is decorated in an eclectic collection of quirky art that kept us pointing, exclaiming and laughing throughout our meal.

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
This is what you see when entering the restaurant. Through the open windows there is the kitchen.

Each table was an individually painted in different styles, and different skill levels:

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
This was our table, isn’t it cute?

The items on the walls were, all together, a colorful backdrop.  But, you really have examine them more closely to get the full impact.  Like this Hotel California themed project:

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
Yep, Hotel California. Kids don’t get it, proving I’m old.

And this picture, take a minute until you get what’s going on here:

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
Get it? See what’s happening in this photo?

As we watched more of the goings on in the restaurant, we also realized the unique ordering and food delivery system.  The kitchen is in open view on the first floor, but most patrons are seated upstairs where the servers have a bar and cash register.  However, once we placed our food order, our server went over behind the upstairs bar, opened the top of a PVC pipe, and recited our order into the pipe where, I assume, someone in the kitchen was listening!  Then, when our order was ready, a large dumb waiter was used to crank our meals up from the kitchen.  When I exclaimed over this oddity, I discovered my daughters had never even heard of a “dumb waiter” and were absolutely aghast at my rudeness.

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
See the purple cabinet-looking thing behind the bar there? That’s the dumb waiter!


The Place to Eat in Newport for Responsible Sourcing

Here we are, paragraphs and paragraphs into my happiness with Café Mundo, and I still haven’t mentioned the food! So, let me assure you, it gets better.

Café Mundo strives “to cook for our community and visitors in a manner which is local, seasonal, and sustainable.”  Everything was fresh, much was organic, even my diet soda was Stevia sweetened – which our server made sure I knew before he brought it to me, in case that was a problem (it wasn’t!).


The Place to Eat in Newport for Delicious Variety

Then menu (and website) also boasts “World Beat Cuisine” and features a variety of food styles from Mexican to Greek to Asian.  We did all of the above at our table, including the Chicken Mole Quesadilla:

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
Cafe Mundo’s Chicken Mole Quesadilla

Greek Chicken Pita and Clam Chowder:

Cafe Mundo Greek Pita
Cafe Mundo’s Greek Chicken Pita with a bowl of Clam Chowder

Chicken Teriyaki:

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
Cafe Mundo’s Chicken Teriyaki

And, for the girl who, I think, has set the goal of eating a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad in every state and every country:

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
Cafe Mundo’s Chicken Caesar Salad


All of it was delicious.  We sampled each other’s foods, husband and I ordered adult beverages from the well-stocked bar, and spent an entirely enjoyable evening there.  The kids still remember it fondly, bringing up weird decorations and the conversations they sparked (What’s Hotel California?).

If you find yourself in Newport, Oregon, and have a hankering for locally sourced, sustainable, and really delicious food – with a side of quirky and entertaining surroundings – I highly recommend Cafe Mundo.

Places to eat in Newport Oregon Cafe Mundo
Upstairs seating in Cafe Mundo


And if you are looking for a really unique and fun place to the stay with the kids, check out my blogger-friend’s stay at This Cool Hotel.  Wish I had known about it before we went!

26 thoughts on “Newport, Oregon: The Quirky and Yummy Cafe Mundo

  1. I grew up about two hours from Newport. I wish this place would have been there then. We used to go to Newport all the time for day trips. Glad you enjoyed the Oregon Coast. It is one of my favorite places.

    1. We really liked Newport. I didn’t know how much we would, because Oregon is not a spot I had really thought of for travel in the past. My one daughter actually brought it up in a discussion of where in the country she would like to live after our visit!

    1. Sarah, it was so much fun! I walked around after our meal taking pictures of things on the wall. I may have looked like a bit of a freak. (Or a travel blogger, same thing!) And yes, it’s right on the coast, near Nye Beach. We actually went to Oregon for the Eclipse – it’s been a dream of my husband’s to be in the path of totality for an eclipse (see some AMAZING photos our daughter got here: ) but then didn’t want to just turn around and head back home immediately. So I did some googling, and we spent a few days on the Oregon Coast. We really enjoyed it. It was such a great time, especially considering it was a kind of last minute add on. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Looks like you got lucky after the other places were closes you got to find this hidden gem! This place looks super cool! I love stylish restaurants like this! And the food looks fantastic as well! I hope I can visit Oregon one day!

  3. I think quirky is truly an understatement. The outside seating is great on the wooden stumps, and the instead is downright COOKY, FUNKY COOL. . . food looks great too. I miss Quesadillas in my life. Europe has such shit Tortillas 😦 !! Cheers!

  4. Wow! What a hip place to hang out and eat, I am loving the vibe! And the pictures of the food are making my stomach growl – guess I have to make a trip out to Newport now!

  5. I love it when I stumble across a restaurant that becomes one of my favorites! This place looks awesome! The outdoor seating and the decor are so neat. Ha ha your photo of a photo of the pipe and photo of the pipe (does that make sense?). That’s also hilarious about how they tell the kitchen the food orders. The food looks delicious, too. I wish I could eat that chicken mole quesadilla right now!

    1. Isn’t that whole pipe photo corner a hoot? Made me laugh right there in the restaurant, and, of course, I had to get a photo of my own!

      The place was delicious, if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it!

  6. Thank you so mich for the great review of our Cafe! We started 19 years ago in an 8×12 ft. camper converted into a kitchen and did an outdoor summer only Cafe for the first few years. Then we built the kitchen with a community fundraiser and then we built the big restaurant over the existing kitchen. All the while raising our four children next door. It has been an honor to serve our local Community and our out of town visitors!

    1. Laurie, I’m so happy to do so! As a mom, especially, I love your story of how you came to be, I had no idea. Makes me even happier to have gone, and to post about it, knowing the labor of love it has been and the challenge of doing so while raising 4 kids. You’ve created a unique and thoroughly enjoyable gem there in Newport. Thanks for the corner of signs out front that drew our family in!

      Mama hugs to you!

  7. I love the funky design, especially the outdoor area. It looks so pretty and inviting! The food looks yummy as well, especially the Chicken Mole Quesadilla.

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