My husband and I just returned from a wonderful two-week long vacation in Sarasota, FL. After some initial sunshine that favored long walks on the beach, the weather turned cold and windy. Instead of sitting outdoors we found we spent more time visiting friends and dining inside at local restaurants and cafes. After my husband Julian did a bit of research online, two of the local eateries, Ionie Retreat & Café, and The Green Zebra Cafe, quickly became our “go to” places for ambience and amazing vegetarian food.
At Ionie Retreat & Café, we were immediately struck by the warm and inviting atmosphere in the cozy rooms. Specializing in raw food, the menu is extensive. Our favorites, which we ordered over and over again, were the taco salad, which was scrumptious, and the vegetable lasagna, which was out of this world.
In addition to their great food, the Ionie Retreat & Café offers a wide variety of classes in qi gong, yoga, and meditation. In fact, I was struck by how many of their course offerings were in fields that I have already studied in, including their upcoming workshop on Pranic Healing. As an avid fan of Qi Gong, I was gratified to see that they offered weekly classes, and at no charge for cancer patients. I only wish I could have stayed in Sarasota longer and attended all of their classes!
From breakfast through dinnertime, the family owned Green Zebra Cafe has a full menu of vegan, raw, and vegetarian offerings. Everything we tried was delicious, but we especially loved the Greek salads. All of the food is organic and sourced locally, and the kitchen and dining room are run with sustainable methods and products. The owner, Vasil, was tremendously accommodating and helpful in guiding us through our menu selections.
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