Wisdom, whether from age or experience, teaches us many simple lessons. Topping the list is learning to appreciate the masterful few among us who can understand, teach and create things beyond our everyday talents. On Olympia’s west side, culinary masters stand ready to take you on a decadent journey celebrating not only delicious food but local farmers, plant-based specialties and organic dining thanks to the Park Side Café’s new dinner menu.

More than just a meal, dinners at the Café are gourmet explorations. A five-course, two-hour, gluten-free experience changes with the seasons and includes a charcuterie plate, soup, salad or veggie dish, main course and dessert. The menu is designed to be as nourishing as it is beautiful so reserve your spot today.

plant-based cheese with a sauce drizzled over it
The dinner experience takes place every Saturday night for now, but staff hope to expand service in 2024. Photo courtesy: The Park Side Café

Park Side Café Dinners are Immersive, Organic, Plant-Based and Beautiful

Manager Victoria Kantargis explains that Park Side staff planned to start dinner service from day one but only began offering the experience in July 2023. “We love the farm-to-table dining we’ve experienced at other destinations and wanted to put our own spin on it,” she says.

Five course, prix fixe dinners take place every Saturday night between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The menu changes seasonally and is posted at the Café as well as on Facebook and Instagram. Guests with food allergies should leave a note with their online reservation or call staff directly at 360.352.8344 for accommodation.

“Our chefs know how to turn ordinary ingredients into something truly outstanding,” promises Kantargis. “They also like to incorporate ingredients and cooking techniques that a lot of people may not know about so the experience is an adventure in itself. Our chef’s extensive knowledge and quality service turns the meal into a highly nutritious and luxurious experience that everyone can enjoy. We strongly believe that everyone will love the dishes that come out, no matter the dietary preferences you have. You will leave full, nourished and have special memories to share.”

Meals include a charcuterie plate, soup, salad or veggie dish, main course and dessert. Save room for Covabrelli coffee or handcrafted lattes afterwards. Photo courtesy: The Park Side Café

Vegan and Gluten Free Restaurant in Olympia Feeds Body, Mind and Soul

The majority of Park Side’s ingredients come from farms and foragers across the area. Since day one, the Café has included produce from Wobbly Cart Farms on the banks of the Chehalis River. They grow a variety of seasonal veggies, herbs, flowers and heirloom products for the Olympia Farmer’s Market, CSA and direct sale, restaurants and more.

Kantargis and the team hope to add pop-up dinners with menus designed around holidays like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, increase reservations to multiple nights per week and expand rooftop balcony seating in warmer weather. They also have specialty non-alcoholic drinks as well as wine and beer so there’s truly something for everyone.

If your Saturday nights are booked, consider visiting for breakfast, lunch or brunch. The Park Side Café is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. for dine-in, take-out and delivery. With a menu including savory warm hand pies, breakfast burritos, soups, salads and mix plates (go ahead, try a little of everything), the only trouble will be leaving enough room for dessert.

Alongside Covabrelli coffee, lattes and specialty drinks, there are warm baked goods, creamy cheesecakes, fruity spiced hand pies and classics like coconut cream pie. Then head upstairs to the Rolling Pin for all the culinary tools and toys you’ll need to express your inner chef. Or step outside to the West Central Park Saturday Market, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from May through September.

Dinner items rotate seasonally. Find the latest menu on Facebook, Instagram or at the Park Side Café. Dietary restrictions can often be accomodated, simply speak with staff beforehand. Photo courtesy: The Park Side Café

Food is Love at the Park Side Café

Both the Rolling Pin and Park Side Café are happy to answer questions about products and arrange curbside pick-up of online orders. Swing by for a pick-me-up treat or warm hug-in-a-mug coffee. Breakfast, lunch and now dinner await, and you’ll be glad you stopped by.

Winter’s cold and the chaos of the holidays can leave us a little run down. Next time you need some physical, emotional and nutritional pampering, reserve a spot for dinner at the Park Side Café. Bring friends, family, coworkers and loved ones and be cheered by wholesome food with a luxurious twist.

Just don’t forget to grab a slice of cheesecake for later…that’s advice which comes from experience, trust me.

The Park Side Café
1909 Harrison Avenue NW Floor 2, Olympia


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