St. Pete is becoming quite the hub for places to eat, events to enjoy & waterfront views to gaze upon. Cider Press Cafe takes the gluten-free cake for a delicious raw & vegan experience.
And to add to my visit, I was able to sit with Johan Everstijn, their Culinary Director. Along side Roland Strobel, their Business Director, both decided to eat solely raw and vegan for two weeks. After a rewarding experience with bouts of energy, clear minds & just feeling goooood, Johan took a challenge upon himself; create 30 different meals — all raw — all vegan. He made it happen –> a well known chef noticed –> Johan took to studying professionally and the idea of Cider Press Cafe was born! The original Cider Press Cafe resides in Naples, but you can find both Johan & Roland at the St Pete location.
Their kitchen is one-of-a-kind. And don’t take that lightly… There is no can opener, nothing is every fried, no food is heated over 117 degrees (kills the nutrients), there is no oven or stove. But, there is a lot of labor, a lot of love, & a decent amount of time that goes into every meal. Cider Press Cafe takes ultimate measures to keep every meal meat free, gluten free, raw, purely vegan, and nutrient dense.
Besides the apparent reasons to add Cider Press Cafe to your list, here is why you should pay them a visit:
happy hour. Cider Press Cafe has an extensive list of 40+ wines to enjoy — they even hand select them based on their growing practices & how they are bottled. Plus you can enjoy hand crafted cocktails, beers & ciders; enjoy happy hour specials daily from 3PM to 7PM.
lunch & dinner. Having never experienced a raw & vegan restaurant, I had the vague mindset of bland meals & few options. And boy, was I wrong!! I enjoyed the House-Made Kale Chips as an appetizer, their Three Amigos dish (a trio of not-too-spicy dehydrated corn tortillas filled with a sweet potato & walnut picadillo, topped with cabbage, guacamole, pico de gallo, poblano cream & pickled jalapeños and a side of corn mace choux, and the grand finale with a slice of their White Chocolate Lavender Cake. I was amazed by the amount of taste each dish had — I loved the kale (and I’m a picky eater!) — I wanted three more platters of tacos — and devoured the entire slice of cake. Honestly, to put into words the exuberant about of tastes and how each ingredient was perfectly paired to match the next… I’m at a loss of words. Cider Press Cafe’s plate creations are award winning, and I’m not joking!
smoothies. cold pressed juices. local coffee. kombucha. Freshly made smoothies with real & raw ingredients; in-house made cold pressed juices (packed with all the nutrients your little hear desires, with even the option of a juice cleanse). Local, Kahwa coffee — get the Cold Brew, you won’t be disappointed. And Kombucha — it is even on draft!
local artwork. Not only can you enjoy a raw vegan meal, but you can gaze upon exhibits from local artists. During my visit, the art theme was whimsical as though floating in rich colors of the ocean — but it changes to create a new feel for every visit! Previously they have showcased LGBT art, photography, you name it!
Do yourself a favor, pay them a visit this weekend — just promise me to visit in the next two weeks! And a special thanks to Johan for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit & chat with me! It really was a special treat to hear the story one-on-one, your energy so apparent and your passion creating a St Pete staple to visit — and return to again & again!