On Olympia’s west side, The Park Side Café offers plant-based dining year round and their latest springtime additions shouldn’t be missed. Whether a five-course, five-star, sit-down extravaganza, just picking up a decadent meal to-go or eating al fresco on their rooftop deck, it’s fresh, healthy dining.

The Park Side Café is located on Olympia’s west side and serves plant-based goodness that’s locally sourced, foraged, organic and delicious. Photo courtesy: The Park Side Cafe

The Park Side Café’s Plant-Based Multi-Course Meals Satisfy the Soul

Multi-course dinner service at The Park Side Café started in July 2023 to celebrate farm-to-table dining that showcased regional vendors. The freshest, seasonal, often local ingredients are brought in then converted into a two-hour, gluten free experience for the senses. “These gourmet dinners have been super popular, people who come leave in a fog of bliss!” shares Café owner Alicia Elliott.

The spring menu, which requires advanced reservations to attend, showcases humble produce in rarely seen ways. The meal opens with a charcuterie board of tofu misozuke, seasonal pickles, marinated olives, chestnut camembert, pistachio chevre, seeded crackers, mostarda and jam.

Join them for five-course dinners that celebrate spring’s finest fruit, veggies and hand-crafted delicacies. Photo courtesy: The Park Side Cafe

This is followed by a potato pave with preserved lemon cream, ras el hanout and petite greens. Beets and carrots are bedecked with peanut yogurt, horseradish, dill, pea shoots, parsnip, crisp wild rice, cipollini and gomasio.

Your main course is morel mushrooms with spring vegetables, dashi risotto, stinging nettle, fermented wild leek and kale chips. Dessert is a saffron poppy cake with Meyer lemon curd, rhubarb and elderflower ice cream.

Items are local, foraged and organic. Diners may add wine, cider, beer or other beverages to complete the evening.

Plant-Based Food Options in Olympia: Picnic, Delivery, Eat In or To-Go

The Park Side Café is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily and items can be ordered online or in-person for take-out. Spring means road trips, spontaneous picnics, trips to the park, afternoons antiquing or yard sale hunting and just sitting in the sun. Why cook or resort to lamp-warmed drive-through burgers when such delicious options are readily available?

Also try al fresco dining at The Park Side Café’s rooftop terrace that opens the end of May and serves a full menu of food, drinks and desserts. Photo courtesy: The Park Side Cafe

New to their menu is a seitan wrap mixing seasoned seitan, house-made pepper jack and rice for what Elliott calls “a spicy mouthful of happiness.” Seitan is a meat-substitute made from wheat gluten that’s high in protein. Chefs at the Food Network say it’s got an umami flavor that absorbs seasonings well and a chewy texture that mimics chicken.

But, Elliott continues, “we can make anything from our menu picnic ready” for your next outing. Consider a queso breakfast burrito, pizza hand pie, pesto pasta with chicken tofu and sun-dried tomatoes or a tofu and sesame ginger slaw wrap. There are savory sides like potato leek soup, dill radish potato salad and Italian bean salad to round out the meal.

Or reward yourself for sticking to those New Years Resolutions with a slice of matcha lavender cream pie, carrot cake cheesecake, rhubarb apple hand pies, cookies, parfaits and specialty coffee drinks.

Any of The Park Side Café’s menu items can be eaten on-site, packaged to go or delivered so you can skip cooking and enjoy the long, sunny spring afternoons. Photo courtesy: The Park Side Cafe

Vegan Restaurant Offers Rooftop Dining on Olympia’s West Side

Whatever the season, sometimes you just need to pause, sit for a minute and enjoy a peaceful break from the grind. Unless that grind is organic Covabrelli coffee, lovingly brewed and served on The Park Side Café’s rooftop deck. Because that cup is sure to be magical.

The roof opens at the end of May and keeps the same hours as the Café. It seats 34, which is more than indoors, and serves the entire menu to grateful al fresco diners. In warmer months, live music plays on the deck and Elliott and her team are working towards outdoor options for future five-course dinners.

While climbing to the roof, visit The Rolling Pin for all your favorite kitchen goodies. Open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. as well, they sell appliances, cutlery, cook- bake- and barware, food storage, cleaning supplies, cookbooks and so much more. Shop online and pick-up in-store when you come for lunch, dinner or the afternoon cookie that’s been calling your name.

While the kids are still in school and before the chaos of summer kicks in, enjoy spring’s bounty at The Park Side Café. From coffee to charcuterie, you’ll celebrate decadent, plant-based dining that’s good for body and soul.

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