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Chef Brooke's Natural Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 23 reviews )
Contact 239-332-2433

1850 Boyscout Dr A106, Fort Myers, Florida, USA, 33907

Serves meat, vegan options available. Juice bar with wheatgrass, organic food, bakery with vegan and gluten-free items. No refined sugar used. Also selling a small section of grocery and bulk items. Casual artistic atmosphere. Mon-Sat 9:00am-4:00pm

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, International, Organic, Juice bar, Take-out, Bakery, Catering, Non-veg

Reviews (23)

First Review by melindashaw

Owner is Rude - Edit

Soup Nazi.....

It was bad enough for me to vow I will never go back

If you want great Vegan/Vegetarian food drive over to Sanibel. The island has a couple of amazing places with the most amazing owners and food.

This place has such negative energy from the owner, she's just a big bully

Cons: rude owner

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A good find - Edit

We are visiting town and found this place listed so thought we'd try it. The first impression with owner who took our order was that she was annoyed we were asking questions. Food was good and atmosphere was pleasant. The owner was so very nice and cheerful to obvious locals so we assumed it was a tourist thing. By the end of the check out she was better but it surprised us as we are usually welcomed by a vegan/ veg place.

Pros: Good food , Atmosphere, Price

Cons: Service, No clean tables

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THE BEST!!! - Edit

Let me start by saying my family are vegetarians, but my son has to avoid gluten & dairy, which makes it difficult to find places to eat locally with more than 1 option for him to eat, he was SO EXCITED to see all the options they had on their online menu - & then even happier to find there were even more options on the board in the cafe! We loved the atmosphere & the food! It was SO good! The staff was super friendly & happy to help my son find something vegan & gluten free! He LOVED the GF vegan lasagna & the salad that came with it (he is normally a picky eater)! I had the sweet potato pecan patty with potato salad & coleslaw - it was all SO good. I didn't find the portions small - we both left full :)

Pros: Atmosphere, friendly helpful staff, EXCELLENT FOOD

Cons: None!!!

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Left full- but bummed - Edit

We visited on Christmas Eve for lunch. The owner waited on us at the counter and was very unfriendly and actually belittling when we asked questions about the menu. It was such a disappointment because we were having a fun day and were looking forward to a nice lunch. The food was truly delicious, but we will not go back and that feels sad because we are vegan and love to support small businesses.

Pros: Vegan options, Gluten free options, Delicious

Cons: Unfriendly, Food took unusually long time , Not able to ask questions re. menu

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Food was ok, Service was bad. - Edit

I will never return to this establishment due to the curtness of the owner. She was rude to both the customers and her own staff. Very off-putting. If the food was wonderful I could probably look past it, but the food is just ok. The salad dressing was the best thing I had (it was really good)!!

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Amazing!! - Edit

We found this place on a vacation to the Ft. Myers. We loved everything about this place! Great service, atmosphere and food. I had some of the best soup I have ever eaten! I also had a vegan ruben that was yummy! The best part was the vegan fairy cakes. I bought 2 to go and after trying one, I was sorry I didn't buy them all. They were that good! I will be back there again when I am in the area!!

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Delicious, friendly, and killer desserts - Edit

My mom is a very picky eater, so finding a veg/vegan-centered place she actually enjoys is rare. She liked this one - kudos to the restaurant.

There are a lot of options, everything is fresh & delicious, the service was friendly (though a bit slow), and the desserts were AMAZING.

Go here!

Pros: Friendly, Delicious

Cons: Serves meat

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Chef Brooke's Food Is Magical! - Edit

I have been following Chef Brooke since she was at Ada's. It was the first time I had tofu and loved it! I was so sad when Ada's closed and then so thrilled that Chef Brooke opened her own cafe! I go there as often as I can. Yes it does take awhile to get your food but everything is freshly made, nothing microwaved, you just go there on days when you have a little time or call in and order it to go. She has free wifi as well. Yes it is more expensive than some but the quality is exceptional. I think her portions are more than ample. I feel Fort Myers is blessed to have Chef Brooke here and cannot imagine not having her food! I am addicted to: Mardi Gras Salad, any of her soups, veggie pizza, Tempeh Reuben, veggie burger, fairie cakes. Pretty much everything I have had is delicious!!! I have read some of the bad reviews about how Chef Brooke is rude and sometimes she is super busy, but she has never been anything but nice to me and I hope you don't let this stop you from going there to try her deliciousl food, teas, coffees and juices! You will be glad you did!

Pros: Deliciousl , Fresh!, Unique!

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Fantastic Food in a relaxing atmosphere - Edit

I have been a fan of Chef Brooke since her days at Ada's, and frequent her restaurant as often as possible. She is passionate about her cooking, creative and always changing things up. And her baked goods are THE BEST! You can't be in a rush when you dine there... it's my favorite place to go when I have time to take my foot off the gas a smidge, want to share a delicious / healthy meal with a friend, and want to be torn between soooo many dishes that I want to eat! Can't imagine SWFL without her, she is unique and a true gem, we are incredibly lucky she calls Fort Myers her home!

Pros: tons of vegan options, food is delicious, constantly offering unique specials

Cons: service can be slow, not open for dinner or on Sunday's

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Scary attitude, Overpriced food - Edit

I've tried her food 3 or 4 times (once at her previous cooking job.) The food is basic, nothing special, and portion sizes are very, very small. Unless you're into sugary, desserts (which are huge), stay away.
The owner has been so rude, it's a shame. The first time, I chalked it up to her having a bad day. To be generous, over the past few years that I've tried her restauro, she's displays an unsettling moodiness.
With all due respect, she should hire someone else to interact with her clientele.

Pros: Vegetarian food available, Organic Food

Cons: Dark, funky dining room, Bad Attitude, Mediocre food

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Stay away - Edit

Aside from the curious smell, the food was not very good. The portions were small and took FOREVER to be served. Both my husband and could not finish the food and felt sick afterwards.

Pros: The root beer was good

Cons: Bad tasting, Slow service, Small portions

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I visited Brooke's about three years ago. I live in the area and we have very limited vegan/raw food so I was very excited to find her. I brought my daughter for lunch. The food was ok, portions were a bit small, and the ambience was ok. But the most discouraging experience was the bad energy that the owner Brooke herself displayed. She is obviously very unhappy. I would have probably tried the place again but would rather eat food that is prepared with love and feel as though my patronage was welcomed.

Pros: vegan options in a city with few

Cons: extremely negative behavior, lack of knowledge , small portions

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Insulting, Offensive, and Not Worth It - Edit

I will never again visit Chef Brooke's Natural Cafe. Allow me to begin by stating that I love vegetarian and vegan food, and Brooke's is no exception. The food is great. Seriously. Brooke makes a delicious veggie burger, and her smoothies are sweet and filling. Her customer service, however, is virtually nonexistent. Chef Brooke is not only moody and unprofessional, she is viciously abusive towards both her customers and her staff. Ask too many questions about her menu, and she'll yell at you and walk away. Some poor employee makes a mistake, and she'll scream at him in front of her entire restaurant. I'm surprised no one has sued her yet. Unless you want to be insulted by this reincarnation of the Soup Nazi, I suggest staying away from Chef Brooke and her poor excuse for a restaurant.

1 Response

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One Of My Favorites! - Edit

I don't get to eat here often, as it is too far from my work and home, but I treat myself on occasion. While they have some standard dishes to offer, they always have a board listing the specials for the day. They serve lots of vegetarian dishes, some raw, and also chicken and fish. Fresh food, exotic flavors. Her homemade dressing is one of my favorites. She's always helpful and answers my questions, and is passionate about her craft. I have enjoyed the couple of cooking classes I have attended, and love her tuna and tabouli sandwich. I am not a big fan of some of the gluten free cupcakes, but the frosting is soooo good! The prices can be high, but worth it to me for an occasional treat. I just couldn't afford it everyday.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday August 14, 2013

Pros: Delicious, Exotic Food, Options For Veg & Carnivores Alike, Lovely Cafe And Local Artwork On Display

Cons: A Little Pricy

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OK food. Poor service experience - Edit

I found this restaurant on Happy Cow while looking for vegan-friendly places on my vacation.

The food was OK. Smaller portions than I would have liked for the money, but everything was fresh and the taste was decent.

The reason for the two stars is the attitude of the chef/owner. My 72 year old father was eating with me and was surprised when she told us the veggie burger wasn't vegan. So he dared to ask why it wasn't vegan and the owner snapped back at him with a long, angry, nonsensical answer about how she is the only one working there (there were three other staff members). WHY on earth would be it be harder to make it vegan than not if you were making it from scratch? And if you aren't making it from scratch, just buy vegan burgers!

Not my favorite dining experience and I won't be returning due to the attitude of the owner. I read some reviews on another website after we left and about half talked about having to cope with a caustic interaction with the Chef Brooks. I can see why.

Pros: Fresh food, Several vegan options

Cons: The owner was rude, Expensive

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Great baked goods - Edit

I love Brooke's; it's got great vegan options like tofu scramble, hummus, every type of nondairy milk, and wonderful pumpkin spice muffins. Yeah Brooke might be a bit crazy, but she's not scary or mean. I typically spend $10-$20 there, which is hardly outrageous either.

Pros: great food, lots of vegan options, cute cafe

Cons: slow service

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Great Food, Very Expensive. - Edit

I've been there several times with my 2 children. Chef Brooke usually makes us feel uncomfortable but her food is so good, it's almost magical. Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode with the 'Soup Nazi'? It's a little like that. We've finally had enough though. On our last visit, we ordered a simple lunch. When she tallied the bill, it was so over the top expensive that I just stood there in shock. (I had dinner at Art Smith's new restaurant in Atlanta for less money).

I didn't argue... I didn't do anything.. I just paid it. She asked me if I needed a receipt and when I said, "yes", she just handed me a copy of my credit card receipt. (My blood pressure rises just thinking about it.) I should have asked for a print out, but to be honest, she scares me. Her food is fantastic and her little cafe is adorable, but we will NEVER go back. I feel like I was ripped-off.

Pros: Delicious Food, Very healthy, Beautiful dishes

Cons: Extremely expensive, Chef Brooke is mean, No prices, it's a surprise

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Awesome!!! - Edit

was in town fro NY visiting my family for Easter. I usually cook at least one dish for the buffet so i have something to eat in the sea of meat eaters (My mom and I are vegan and my sister, brother-in-law and niece are vegetarian) but I didn't have time to get it together. I ended up ordering a vegan lasagne, roasted veggies and some soup from the cafe. They were so fantastic that I plan to order again when I return this week. I have to say that the lasagne was GONE (i was bummed) cause everyone was trying it and loved it (Even my non-veg aunts and uncles. Everyone was raving about it. OH! and I ordered a dozen gluten-free vegan cupcakes. You were right Brooke. They were better than the carrot cake at Babycakes NYC!!! I wanted to rate it 5 stars but Happy cow wont let me.

Pros: food ready when promised, Chef was helpful

Cons: far from South Fort Myers

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Very nice meal - Edit

I travel a lot and am happy to find resturants like Chef Brooke's Natural Cafe. It is local, authentic natural food with an owner who is active in the business and interacts with the patrons. No pretence but a lot of care in each plate. There is a health choice on the menu to fit any most any diet I can think of. The menu is not expensive as compared to most any resturant other than Taco Bell or Burger King so I do not understand the reviews that show concern for the value that this resturant offers. Would strongly recomend that the local community support this resturant. There are not many like it.

Pros: Wide Selection, Diet types easliy recognized on menu, Great care in making each item

Cons: Did not notice any

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THE BEST!!! - Edit

I absolutely LOVE Chef Brooks!!! It's a Godsend for people who really want to enjoy healthy cuisine in a world of fast, fried, rich and heavy foods. First, the atmosphere: I always relax and enjoy the good energy, wonderful food and sweet little touches at this secret Vegetarian paradise. My husband and I are native Californians and moved from Santa Barbara over a year and a half ago, and we've been to many vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the US and frequented many in Santa Barbara. Chef Brooks is among the best, if not my FAVORITE. Her delectable menu (which is always changing as she's always inventing), the unique combinations of flavors and personal touches, and her fabulous personality keep us coming back. (We travel an hour each way, I might add).
Today, for example, I had the MOST AMAZING stuffed cabbages with a side of fresh squash and lentil soup (one of my favs) and an almond vanilla muffin for dessert (we took 4 to go). Chef Brook and her staff, including her lovely mother, were an absolute delight as usual. And
considering the types of high quality ingredients, the time, thought and preparation that goes into this kind of food, the pricing is VERY fair...in fact, i would pay more, (but don't tell her that!).
My husband is allergic to gluten so we especially appreciate the gluten-free items on the menu.
I've been to Chef Brook's many, many times and never waited more than 5 minutes, but maybe I've just have a streak of good luck...though I tend to think what we put out in life we get back : )
I'll end with this: The first time my husband and I came to the cafe we commented on how much we liked the music; Chef Brook made us a CD to take home with us... now that experience alone, is worth writing about, especially considering the hard times we're in, when it's way easier to be crabby. After frequenting Chef Brooks Cafe many times I've come to know this is just the kind of person Chef Brook is.
I highly recommend Chef Brooks Cafe. She's a wonderful chef and a pretty wonderful person. Fort Myers is lucky to have her.

Pros: healthy cuisine, excellent food, friendly staff

Cons: She's not in California

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Excellent - The Best Healthy Option in Fort Myers - Edit

We first went to Chef Brooke's after reading about it in the News-Press. This restaurant is exactly what Fort Myers needs in a market filled with un-healthy alternatives and big chains that focus on quantity rather than quality.

First, Chef Brooke is a warm, wonderful owner/operator and the food does not leave the kitchen without her approval. In fact in the dozens of times we have been there, she has hand-delivered it a majority or come by to make sure everything is okay - and it has always been spectacular, creative and delicious.

Some of the lunch selections I have gotten include vegan lasagna, vegan pizza, falafel, wraps and nori rolls with the most creative salads that can include a variety of nuts and fresh fruit.

We don't eat any dairy and the great thing about Chef Brooke's there is no need for us to customize anything. My favorite part of walking into Chef Brook's is looking at the specials board and seeing what creative option I have to look forward to!

This is also one of the few places where I can get a vegan or gluten free dessert. With all due respect to the previous review, you can pay for high quality organic food now or you can pay for it later in medical bills.

This is one of maybe four places which cater to healthy minded individuals and I vote with my dollars. I would rather spend $12-15 here than $1.99 in a drive-through which is laden with chemicals and high fructose corn syrup.

Chef Brooke's is a blessing to this SAD (standard American diet) community and needs our support!!

Pros: creative specials, delicious and healthy food, friendly staff

Cons: could be in a larger location, only 1 location

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Decent, but expensive and poor service - Edit

I recently visited Brooke's cafe and was disappointed overall by my experience. There was a decent selection of vegan items on their menu, but the food was definitely overpriced. I order the Tofu Egg Salad and Tofu scramble dishes. They were tasty but nothing special. My mother (not a vegetarian) ordered the burrito and said it was the best she's ever had. The service was extremely poor and the owner and her mother that worked there made us feel like we were bothering them but eating at their restaurant. Brooke was very impatient with answering any questions about the vegan food, and her mother who was the waitress I presume didn't want to get up from eating her lunch at the counter to seat us or wait on us. Brooke offers a cooking lesson and dinner for $25 (too expensive in my opinion) and when I asked what we would be learning to make and if it was vegan, her answer was something to the effect that it was an impromptu lesson and we would learn whatever she wanted to make that evening. I have always wanted to take a vegan cooking class, but her personality and response completely turned me off so I decided not to take it. When it came time to pay the bill, I never received an itemized bill with our food order. As I watched her Mom ring us up on the register I noticed a few unusual charges. They charged me .$75 for using my credit card and were never going to tell me, even though we had a conversation about using cash vs. credit, and they charged an extra fee with a tiny amount of extra salad dressing, as well as overcharged me for the Tofu Egg Salad (as a special instead of a regular item on the menu.) I felt it was borderline unethical the way in which she overcharged me, and tried to get away with it without my knowledge. I had to ask her about the random charges as I saw her ring them up quickly on the cash register. They did have good vegan cupcakes, and the Fairy cake was actually better than the chocolate one. Although at $4 for one cupcake, it really wasn't worth it.

Pros: Vegan Food, Tasty

Cons: Expensive, Poor Customer Service, Overcharged without customer's knowledge

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