In April, I said goodbye to Florida after calling it home for nearly 5 years. First, however, I had three things I wanted to do: visit the Dali Museum, visit the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, and eat at Cider Press Cafe one last time.
Cider Press Cafe is located at 601 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, FL 33701 and their phone number is (727) 914-7222.
Cider Press Cafe’s menu is completely vegan. I find I feel relief when I don’t have to ask a bunch of questions about menu items’ ingredients. There’s no self-consciousness about possibly irritating the server or others at the table.
Cider Press Cafe calls their food vegan comfort food. While some of it is that–they have plenty of burger options, fries, mac ‘n’ cheese–I’d consider other dishes of theirs more upscale.
Cider Press Cafe Appetizers
That said, I started with the most comforting of comfort foods. It doesn’t look like this appetizer is on their menu anymore. I ordered it because it was a sampler platter that contained fried pickles, but unfortunately, they were out of the fried pickles. I think what is on that plate is fried yuca, French fries, and fried zucchini.
Cider Press Cafe Drinks
I also started with a Mother Kombucha in Turmeric Ginger Lemonade flavor. I liked it. To be honest, I like almost all kombucha.
Mother Kombucha is a brand local to St. Petersburg, Florida, so this felt like an appropriate send-off drink. I believe the company is doing well because I’ve seen their product carried by many restaurants and even Publix, a mainstream grocery store.
My brother ordered a beer flight for his drink. Our day in St. Petersburg was the first day of a cross-country road trip, and our meal at Cider Press Cafe was the first of many delicious restaurant meals. (Hint, hint. Many restaurant reviews to come!)
Cider Press Cafe Main Course
I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie. I’d never had meat-containing Shepherd’s Pie much less a vegan version, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was great!
It reminded me of the chicken pot pie my mom used to make when I was a kid. Except, minus the pie part. It was served like a thick soup with bread rather than contained in a traditional pie form.
I Googled Shepherd’s Pie and it seems like this one wasn’t composed the traditional way (which is different pot pie, but has a crust on top). It didn’t matter. The food was delicious. The salad was fine too, but nothing special. I’d kind of wished it had avocado slices or a more exciting dressing to fancy it up.
My brother ordered a burger (I have no idea which one) and mac ‘n’ cheese. He is a dairy- and meat-eater and was impressed, especially by the mac ‘n’ cheese. As I ate my unremarkable salad, I eyed the mac ‘n’ cheese with envy. It was okay, though. By the time I ate my appetizer and all my food, I was very full. It was more than enough food.
So, goodbye, Florida! Goodbye, Cider Press Cafe!
Other Vegan-Friendly Tampa Bay Restaurants
When I first moved to Tampa Bay, I was disappointed with their restaurant scene (and I even ate a little meat and dairy at that time!). With time, I found the good spots, even those that had good vegetarian and vegan options. In addition to Cider Press Cafe, I want to recommend the following: