New Cafe del Soul opens with unique, mostly vegetarian menu in NSB

NEW SMYRNA BEACH – With a rich and diverse restaurant scene, this town can satisfy the taste buds of almost any foodie.

But a restaurant that offers a mostly vegetarian menu that the owners themselves struggle to categorize promises to be a new and unique addition.

Open for nearly a month, the new Cafe del Soul restaurant at 105 Magnolia St. is the third of its kind, but the first in Florida.

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Co-owners Reggie Hunter and Chyna Kennedy Honey opened the first location in California in 2004, where they managed two Cafe del Soul locations for 17 years.

“Much of what we started with our love for food,” Hunter said.

Honey knew she enjoyed working with food after she started working at a friend’s Miami smoothie store baking bananas.

“Something broke in my heart, and I just knew I had to work in food,” Honey said.

She was a vegetarian while working in Florida and felt that she wanted to have a place of her own that offered that option to others.

“I wanted to create a place that everyone would be excited about,” she said.

Hunter was working at an Italian deli before meeting Honey, when she told him about the restaurant idea and asked him to join her in the business.

The decision to come to New Smyrna came somewhat unexpectedly. After years of running Cafe del Soul in California, Honey developed health problems from the effect of the state’s wildfires on the quality of the air in which she lived.

“I got to this place where I knew I needed a change, but I didn’t know what it would be,” she said.

She came to South Florida to visit family members and her symptoms improved dramatically. But it was back in California crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco that she knew she would come back to Florida.

“I didn’t even know we were going to do the restaurant right away, but everything went well,” she said.

After spending five months planning the business, she and Hunter opened the new site in New Smyrna on September 23.

Unique menu, mainly vegetarian

Cafe del Soul offers a menu of organic, mostly vegetarian options. Customers can order soups, nachos, quesadillas, wraps, salads, and rice and quinoa dishes with the option to add protein, including non-GMO chicken (the only animal protein on the menu).

“We take a long time to get everything ready,” Honey said. “Everything we do is fresh every day. “

Nachos, quesadillas and wraps include a mix of vegetables, cheeses and different kinds of dressings. Customers have the option of having all the ingredients of the dish vegan for an additional $ 3, or adding chicken for an additional $ 2. The prices of these dishes vary between $ 7.25 and $ 12.

Café del Soul in New Smyrna Beach, Wednesday November 10, 2021.

Local Caroline Connell said she was struggling to find restaurants with herbal options in town. She and her husband went to Café del Soul and ordered the Quinoa Quesadilla, which she said was “perfectly made.”

“The vegan cheese was perfectly melted over the avocado and the quinoa inside,” Connell said. “The vegan chipotle sauce was tasty too.”

She also tried a ginger lime which she said was “to die for”.

“The food we ate was beyond delicious, and I’m glad we now have a new place to go in New Smyrna Beach where we can feel right at home when asking for herbal options,” he said. said Connell.

Dawn Wilbur also went to a restaurant with her husband and said she recommended the nacho dishes.

Café del Soul in New Smyrna Beach, Wednesday November 10, 2021.

“I turned to plants because I can’t eat dairy, and it was so good,” Wilbur said, also praising the pumpkin soup and berry smoothie. “I will definitely be back.”

“We are an organic coffee”

Customers have the choice of taking the food home or sitting down to eat at the restaurant.

“I wanted to create a place that made some really great food that you could grab and take out, or you could sit and enjoy,” Honey said.

Although the menu draws inspiration from different cuisines, such as Mexican and Indian, the restaurant, according to the owners, is difficult to categorize.

“If you just say vegetarian, you’re removing a whole bunch of people, so that’s a challenge,” Honey said. “I always say we’re organic coffee, because I think it could be anything.”

Cafe del Soul co-owners Reggie Hunter and Chyna Honey at their new restaurant in New Smyrna Beach on Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Honey said the hospitality from the community had been “great”, with guests saying Cafe del Soul met a need in New Smyrna Beach.

And if you’re unfamiliar with vegetarian dishes, the owners are quick to offer you samples.

“And when they try it, if they try, they’re in it,” Hunter said.

Offering samples and taking the time to discuss the menu with customers and answer their food questions is also essential for co-owners, Honey added.

The restaurant already offers delivery services and hopes to expand the menu, such as offering new desserts, as the business grows.

“We’ve really been doing this for 17 years, and it’s really working with what we’ve got,” Honey said.


WHAT: Café del Soul

W: 105 Magnolia St., New Smyrna Beach

OPENING HOURS: from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday

INFORMATION: or 386-957-3597

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