Cafe Sunflower is a must for vegetarians and vegans visiting the Atlanta area. The restaurant has two locations and they have been serving up cruelty-free food since 1994. Cafe Sunflower has a great selection of food that is a mixture of American, Mexican, Asian, and even Caribbean.
The first thing you notice when you walk into Cafe Sunflower is how attractive the employees are. This is no joke. Every human I saw in this place was beautiful and well-spoken. Anyone I’ve talked to about this place mentions how good-looking the staff is before they even mention the food. Once you get past all the gorgeous people, you can get a feel of the whole restaurant environment. It has a go-green decor theme to it; they used burlap sacks as curtains and repurposed pallets as dividers. It was a warm, welcoming place to be.
If you have been vegan for years like myself, the menu is a little overwhelming. Even though the restaurant is considered vegetarian cuisine, everything on the menu can be veganized. That’s right. Everything. I’m amazed I am not still sitting at that restaurant deciding what I want to eat. Being able to order anything on the menu is a rare experience for a vegan.
To start I got their Soy Chai Latte. It was like a Starbucks drink on crack. The chai had a really satisfying presence in the latte and this place has perfected how to foam soy. I mean, Starbucks does an okay job but this place makes the foam more of a creamed texture. It seemed like they had made chai cream to top my drink with. I literally licked the inside of my cup when I was finished.
The appetizer I chose was their Fried Avocado Tacos. Let me go ahead and type that again. Fried Avocado Tacos. What they did was slice avocados, pan fry them, then roasted sliced tomatoes and put them on a corn tortilla along with chipotle salsa and lettuce. But wait! There’s more. They also melted Daiya cheese on top. I have never had a pan-fried avocado before but I highly recommend it. The frying of it brought out the flavor more. It also paired well with the Daiya cheese, which, if you’re vegan, is a gift from the gods.
The entree I went with was the Roasted Portabella Mushroom Melt. And they meant melt. My legs melted in pure vegan bliss. What Cafe Sunflower did was roast an entire portabella mushroom and put it on a bun along with lightly cooked spinach, tomatoes, Daiya cheese, caramelized onions, and tahini sauce. The sauce-caramelized onion-cheese combo is what made this mushroom pop. For those of you who don’t know, tahini is the ingredient in hummus that turns chickpeas into vegan crack. The mixture of tahini sauce and caramelized onions was really rich in flavor and then the warm melty texture of the cheese just brought it all together.
For sides, I had the sweet potato fries and mixed greens. The fries and greens were quite bland compared to my sandwich, so I asked for some vegan ranch on the side. The vegan ranch did not disappoint. Now I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what regular ranch tastes like because I’ve been vegan for so long. But I don’t care. Because there is no way it was as good as this stuff. It was clearly made in-house. All of the ingredients in the dip tasted fresh and were blended perfectly. It was exactly what my boring sides needed. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I did dip my sandwich in the ranch once. I had to go to the bathroom for a minute after. The foodgasm was real.
So at this point I thought I was going to die from overeating. Then the waiter comes over with an entire tray of cakes. I looked at him like he was insane. Then he said the four magical words every herbivore lady wants to hear, “They are all vegan.” I was taken back. In Atlanta you can’t even get vegan cake at Whole Foods without special ordering it and now this waiter was standing in front of me with an entire tray of them. I got a piece to go. I honestly can’t tell you what the cake I ordered was called. No idea. I was in such a food coma that the next two hours were a blur. Later that evening I ate the cake with a cup of coffee. The top layer was a solid bitter dark chocolate, followed by a mousse, then a thin raspberry filling, and the base was chocolate cake. Perfection. The bitterness of the hard chocolate paired well with the sweetness of the mousse. The cake was moist and fluffy, which is rare for a vegan cake. Usually it’s either one or the other.
Overall I recommend the Sunflower Cafe to vegans and omnivores alike. The restaurant has a lot of options that are not just fake meat but legitimate plant-based meals that anyone will love. You can find their menu online–they change it up for brunch, lunch, and even dinner. In addition to this, their menu items change seasonally.
Silver Spork News rates this restaurant a nine out of ten. The cuisine was all vegan-friendly and that is hard to find. The wait staff was on point. The only issues are that their alcohol selection is poor and the restaurant has weird hours (they close between meal times).
Post and Photos by Kylie Torres.