You are my sunshine: Cafe Sunflower

IMG_0847Cafe Sunflower is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with a family style setting in Sandy Springs, GA and the Buckhead, GA location has more of a city feel to it. Cafe Sunflower has been around since the 1990’s when owners Edward and Lin Sun became vegetarians which resulted in many health benefits. I had the pleasure of dining with Jenny, the owner’s daughter, to learn move about Cafe Sunflower. IMG_0854The menu at Cafe Sunflower is constantly changing, but the one thing that  remains the same is that they are completely vegetarian and most dishes are vegan as well. They incorporate a plethora of cuisines including Italian, Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, American, Mexican and Spanish. The above is the sunflower box that I had the honor of trying. The spaghetti squash cakes were to die for along with the hummus which became a favorite and the eggless pita is outsourced from a local Jewish bakery.
IMG_0862Their most popular dishes at the Sandy Spring location are the spicy pad thai noodles (gluten-free and coconut base rather than tomato base with many more veggies than other places), sweet and sour soy chicken and the gluten-free quinoa bowl. Of course I had to try the quinoa bowl shown above and it was de-licous, extremely filling and had so many ingredients! What’s even better is that Cafe Sunflower will be switching to grapeseed oil for all of their plates for an even healthier recipe.
IMG_0859I was super excited because I happened to be at Cafe Sunflower during taco week and these looked extremely nutritious, healthy and tasteful! The tacos above are filled with soy crumbles, tofu, soy chicken and shiitake, button and portabella mushrooms. Jenny said the goal is to not isolate anyone and make meat-eaters realize that you can get the same satisfying taste in a healthy way that can be very filling. Also, they have replaced cheese with daiya cheese (gluten and dairy free) and cashew cheese (vegan) at the Buckhead location and has an amazing taste.
IMG_0858My Mom was ecstatic when she saw samosas on the menu and had to try them. They were extremely different than what she had ever had as they are baked with fillo dough and are filled with an amazing blend of spicy potatoes with a side of biriyani. I had to ask Jenny how they have such creative menu ideas and she said her parents actually travel around the world looking for inspiration and her Mom is the master mind behind it all. Lin Sun wrote a Cafe Sunflower cookbook which can be bought at the restaurant with many delicious and healthy recipes!
IMG_0860And of course at the end came the dessert (alas)! The tray was filled with rich desserts- carrot cake, coconut cake, chocolate layer cake, ganache torte, brownie and chocolate raspberry mouse cake. My Mom got the carrot cake and I got the chocolate layer cake. I actually don’t even like chocolate cake, but this was was surprisingly amazing and the best part was that it is vegan. Apparently the cakes are what they are known for and now I absolutely agree! So delicious and healthier than other cakes (eggless)! IMG_0849I definitely learned that it is actually not hard to eat vegan nowadays with such delicious options, but most people just don’t realize how tasty and healthy it can be. The chances of developing many health disorders can be lowered by eating vegan. We are so fortunate to have a completely vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Atlanta as most people know it can be expensive and very time consuming to eat healthy. Cafe Sunflower is definitely on my list of favorite restaurants- stay tuned for more things to come such as cauliflower steak and vegan paneer!

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