Chef Sara's Raw Vegan Academy and Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 27 reviews )
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480-760-3387
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6602 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, Arizona, USA, 85331

Fully raw, gluten-free, soy-free, nightshade-free, nut-free cafe surrounded by mountains, cactus, and hiking trails, 30-minute drive from Phoenix airport. Open Mon 12:00pm-8:00pm, Thu-Sun 12:00pm-8:00pm. Closed Jul-Aug.

Category: Vegan, American, Organic, Raw, Juice bar, Fusion

Reviews (27)

First Review by MerrillKay

YOU HAVE TO GO HERE - Edit

Ok so basically this is the besttttttt vegan food you will ever eat, I take that back, it's the best food period. Not only is the food amazing but Sara and her chefs are so sweet and have the best energy. Everything about the place made my boyfriend and I happy and satisfied. Also you definitely have to try the coffee cake it is no joke.

Cons: absolutely none 👌

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Tops! - Edit

I've eaten at Chef Sara's Raw Vegan Academy and Cafe twice, and both times the meal was better than any other I've eaten. Not only is the food delicious, but, at the end I couldn't help notice how 'happily' the food was sitting in my stomach. No desire for more to eat, no cravings and no 'unease'.

Plus Chef Sara is a wonderful guide to your meal, which is superbly prepared.

Pros: Great food, extremely satisfying and tasty.

Cons: A bit pricey - it's an 'occasion' restaurant., Hard to spot - look for the Janey's Coffee sign.

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Sometimes You Need It Raw - Edit

TURMERIC/CILANTRO/HIMALAYAN PINK SALT $4.50 - I started my meal with this hot, caffeine-free, herbal drink. I couldn’t decide between this drink and the Cayenne drink, so Sara added cayenne to my turmeric drink and it was amazing. The menu lists all of the active properties and benefits of each ingredient. (See photos for details.)

SPINACH PATE $9.95 - A very tasty appetizer made up of spinach, various nuts, garlic, and black pepper. You get one medium-sized scoop, and it is served with raw crackers. The pate didn’t taste nutty, which was pleasant; the raw crackers do have a nutty taste. Served cold.

PESTO PASTA w/ ZUCCHINI NOODLES $16.95 - The menu pairs the Pesto Pasta with cucumber noodles, but Sara graciously allowed me to get zucchini noodles instead. I received a large bowl filled with fresh raw zucchini noodles, arugula, spinach, walnuts, and Himalayan Pink Salt. It was very satisfying and very filling. I ended up taking 1/2 of it home. Served cold.

Chef Sara brought out a dessert tray and explained each dessert option in detail.

CHOCOLATE CANNOLI @ $13 - 2 chocolate crepes filled with banana ice cream and what seemed to be a date-based caramel. My dish was missing the chocolate drizzle that they show on the picture, but it was delicious nonetheless. The chocolate crepes were very rich and sweet. It was like biting into pure cacao. I’m not a banana fan, so I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the banana ice cream was inside the crepe. Excellent dish, and it’s unbelievable that it’s raw.

KEY LIME PIE $9.95 - It was creamy and the key lime flavor was very strong. It was a little too tart for my liking, but if you are into desserts that aren’t too sweet, this one’s perfect.

Chef Sara is also Dr. Sara. She is a kind, sweet soul who is passionate about the vegan lifestyle, promoting healthy eating choices, and “nursing” people back to health the natural, holistic way. You can read about her story in the cafe, where you’ll also find advertisements for her Back to Health Program, which if I over-heard correctly, is $5000. Contact her directly to inquire about the price and program details. I hope that in the future she offers a detox retreat or camp. I’d totally join that!

I left this cafe feeling full without the drowsy “itis” that typically follows a meal. I felt energized and didn’t get hungry for the rest of the day.

I won’t always eat raw, but when I do, it will be at Chef Sara’s Raw Vegan Academy & Cafe.

Pros: healthy food, good desserts, excellent service

Cons: pricey

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A must visit place for the best raw vegan meal! - Edit

Wow! Best raw vegan meal ever! Chef Sara rocks!

Pros: Raw vegan!

Cons: None!

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so amazing, I had to get a duplicate order to go! - Edit

First is the beautiful setting with precious indoor and outdoor seating. From the moment we arrived Chef Jose was all smiles and welcoming. He explained the entire menu and was wonderfully patient even though we took forever to decide. Everything looked that good! Chef Sara prepared our entrees and was so enthusiastic and feels passionate about what she does. The meals are so innovative and flavorful--and the presentation is beautiful!
We got 2 apps, the burger and ravioli. My husband loved his burger (yay! Since he's not into raw as much as I am). My ravioli was so delicious, that I actually ordered another to take on the plane home! We just finished 2 desserts and are taking 3 to go. Who knows when we can get back again?

Pros: unique flavors & nice portion size, awesome staff & owner, precious seating areas

Cons: none

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Fantastic fresh raw cuisine. - Edit

We have now been living in Phoenix for about 3 years, and finally got out to Chef Sara's in Cave Creek, and the long wait was worth it.

As long-term vegans, we aren't really into eating fried vegan food, or prepackaged vegan meat products accompanied with some actual cooking, and to our delight, none of that was present on the menu.

What we did get was a wonderful raw meal starting with the Rawgasmic Sandwich, this was fantastic. My partner and I ate it up instantly, and would have shared another one easily. The gluten-free raw vegan bread they make is wonderful, and the combination of seasonings and fresh ingredients including sprouts, bell peppers, zucchini, etc...worked very well in this dish.

We also ordered two cold teas, not sweetened, I had the ginger tea and it was fantastic, the perfect brew for a warm October day.

Then we shared a serving of the Ravioli meal, stuffed with pesto and spinach in young coconut crepes, these were also fantastic. I can't pick a winner, between the Ravioli and Rawgasmic Sandwich, try or share both when you go.

After that we shared the Happy Cow Burger, 3 on pumpernickel bread and 3 on onion bread. We did 3 served Italian style and 3 served Mediterranean style. These were similar to the Rawgasmic Sandwich, but I enjoyed the seasonings and ingredients used in the Rawgasmic Sandwich more, and enjoyed the Italian style more. I did love the pumpernickel and onion breads, they were also fantastic.

We took home some desserts, wasn't thrilled with the desserts, I think there are others in the Phoenix metro-area doing better tasting desserts at the moment, but if you enjoy raw, healthy, slightly sweetened desserts, then you'll be pleased.

Outside of the great food, Chef Sara herself is a great host, wonderful energy, full of knowledge and passion, and the restaurant is located in Cave Creek. A very beautiful town, nestled among hills and small mountains. The outdoor patio in the back of Chef's Sara is a wonderful place to enjoy the view on a nice day.

Pros: Great raw real vegan food, Great atmosphere, Good variety

Cons: Desserts aren't my favorite, Could be pricey for some

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Chef's Passion Shines' - Edit

Chef Sara's passion for helping people to embrace a healthy lifestyle is expressed through her delicious preparation and beautiful presentation of her broad vegan menu choices. What a jewel of a restaurant! The portions are generous, the food is local, fresh and delicious and the atmosphere permeates good energy. The time she spends preparing EVERYTHING from scratch is apparent from the first bite. In all my travels, I have never tasted such wonderfully prepared food. From appetizer to dessert, you will not be disappointed!

Pros: Stellar food/amazing chef, Great energy with positive vibe, Generous portions

Cons: Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

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very good but not great? - Edit

I really liked the atmosphere of this academy and cafe. I was very excited for my first raw restaurant experience. Obviously I was expecting the food to be expensive, but for the price I paid I would've preferred the meal to be great not just very good. I ordered the pizza and wasn't wow-ed. I think the ravioli and lasagna are better. I was also disappointed with the cheesecake - they use coconut (instead of cashews) and the texture was off, even after letting it thaw (as the waiter recommended). It didn't taste like lavender either - the flavor we ordered. It also kind of stinks that you are given this huge, magnificent menu and then a lot of items aren't available. It makes sense, since raw gourmet food requires a lot of work, but then maybe they should have a daily menu instead.

Pros: healthy, quality, good atmosphere, good info, staff

Cons: expensive, lacks wow for $

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AMAZING! - Edit

I can't put into words how amazing my first time was eating here! I will definitely be back and cannot wait to take a cooking course to learn all of Sara's wonderful recipes! She is full of so much knowledge and is such a shining light of joy! You will definitely not leave disappointed!

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Chef Saras Raw Vegan Academy and Cafe, health and flavor... what more can you ask? - Edit

Chef Sara is the real deal. Had huge health concerns including but not limited to: Total loss of my senses of smell and taste, unimaginable production of mucus on a constant basis, dyslexia and much more! Chef Sara suggested a total detox and presented me with a list of ailments and complaints and asked me to circle the appropriate maladies. I had quite a few items circled which she said her detox program would fix within two weeks or less. I must here and now make testimony and state that within 14 days on her detox program 90-95% of my complaints were completely gone AND by 21 days in addition to 100% recovery, I noticed that some life long problems I had given up on and was not seeking help with, also improved with some eliminated entirely!! Please keep up the good work Chef Sara. We all need you and your wonderful world of raw vegan foods. You are a shining example of living the raw life daily.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention her recipes are fantastic and (she has several books and supplies) the food Chef Sara serves at her Raw Vegan Academy & Cafe is outstanding!

Pros: Super healthy foods, Super tasty foods , Beautiful presentation

Cons: Can't get there often enough

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Fantastic! - Edit

I discovered Chef Sara's when visiting Cave Creek area for the first time. The menu is extensive and Chef explained the specific offerings for the day. The menu is also interesting to read, particularly the health risks of certain foods. The foods was exceptional! I had the Raw Gasmic Sandwich with "pumpernickel" bread and side of English peas. Perfectly prepared with complex and well combined flavors. This restaurant is in my top favorites in the Phoenix area. It is worth traveling to enjoy the menu!

Pros: Raw and vegan, Taste / flavors, Presentation / freshness of food

Cons: Relative only: convenient location

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great food warm reception - Edit

As soon as we walked in we were greeted warmly by chef Sara. What a sweet lady. She takes the time to explain everything on the menu. The food was great and the atmosphere was inspiring. A must go for vegans and raw vegans alike.

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Incredible and Amazing!!! - Edit

I have eaten here twice in the past few weeks. The food is amazing, fills you up, and is so healthy. It doesn't taste like raw food. It's some of the best food I have ever eaten. Even my 14 year old granddaughter loves it!. Sara is amazing! She is brilliant, knowledgeable, and so willing to share her knowledge with all her guests. If you're interested in learning about delicious, fabulous raw food and aren't afraid to experiment a bit, you absolutely must eat here!

Pros: Raw, Delicious, Sara is amazing!

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AMAZING & FRESH!!! - Edit

I just tried Chef Sara Raw Vegan Academy & Cafe today. The food, service, and atmosphere can be summed up in one word. Phenomenal! When you come in the door, chef Sara gives you a hardy "hello, and welcome!" She's behind the counter preparing food, but finds time to give each customer personal attention. Chef Sara really makes you feel welcomed. I tried the almond hummus, ravioli, and for dessert I had the tiramisu. Everything was fantastic and full of flavor. Even if you're not vegan or vegetarian, this is a must-try. I'll definitely be back for seconds.

Pros: Super Friendly Staff, Calming Vibe, Fresh Food

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Young Coconut Crepe Wrap was a wonderful lunch! - Edit

I had never been to Sara's Raw Vegan Academy and Cafe, but had been meaning to try it for the past year! It's a little off the beaten path - tucked behind another business (Big Bronco), but very worth the hunt. At another patron's suggestion, I tried the Young Coconut Crepe Wrap, and loved how deliciously fresh everything tasted. Also tried the tiramisu - and although vegan and raw, it was even more delicious that any other I'd ever tried! I will definitely be going back! (They are closed for July and August this summer, though.)

Pros: Chef Sara's personality, Fresh, healthy cuisine, Variety of items

Cons: A little on the expensive side

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excellent - Edit

my husband and I decided to give this a try for lunch and we're glad we did. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the food fresh, flavorful and beautifully presented. I would highly recommend.

Pros: healthy food, tasty food, wonderful presentation

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Great Food! - Edit

We ate here for the first time recently and loved the food. Chef Sara takes time to visit with her patrons, which is always nice. The pizza was my favorite dish, my husband loved the ravioli. And we all LOVED the desserts! :)

Pros: healthy, Delicious, Friendly staff

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AMAZING HEALING FOOD! - Edit

As someone who does research in nutrition I was blown away by the quality of each ingredient carefully selected by Chef Sara. The raw, organic dishes are a feast for all the senses. Great value for the quality of ingredients used. It is truly a treat to enjoy such delicious food with so many healing properties. Thank you Sara for the love, research and care that goes into preparation of you beautiful food!
Lucie Marlo, Ph.D

Pros: Healthy, Great value, Great Interior

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LIKE, LIKE, LIKE - Edit

Yes. I really do enjoy Chef Sara's dishes! everything she made was great!!

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Exceptionally tasty (and healthy) food! - Edit

Chef Sara is a true master at the art of creating mouth watering
meals. Her cafe offers 100% organic raw vegan dishes that are
also free from gluten, soy, peanuts, cashews and refined sugar.
Every bite explodes with flavor! You must try her famous
Rawgazmic sandwich and her tiramisu. Ooooh and the key lime pie is simply divine! I can't wait to go back!

It's a perfect place for a date or a group meetup. Chef Sara will welcome you with open arms! She's the best!!!

Updated from previous review on Monday March 28, 2011

Pros: Raw vegan & organic, Healthy, Spotless restaurant

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Best Veggie Wraps - Edit

Chef Sara's Root Vegetable Wraps are the best in the state. They are remarkably filling, tasty and nutritious. Chef Sara has a unique ability to combine flavors that will have you begging for more.
Kathleen Ames
Valley of the Sun, The Farmers Market Cookbook

Pros: Excellent fook

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Amazing attention to detail! - Edit

I was first introduced to Chef Sara via the Farmer's Market in Scottsdale one beautiful Saturday morning. She stood at her booth looking very professional as she engaged people in conversation and offering samples of some of her delicious, home-made products. I was so impressed! From there I went on to take several of her instructional raw food classes and was amazed at her attention to detail, including presentation, and the simply delicious end results! Now I juice regularly and enjoy making healthful dishes at home. I always look forward to visiting her Raw Food Cafe. I can't think of a more perfect way to treat myself! Chef Sara continues to amaze . . . Thank you, Chef Sara!

Pros: excellent food, artistic presentation, professional staff

Cons: exceptional dining atmosphere

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Best Raw Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurant Ever !!! - Edit

I had been losing my battle with diabetes for some time when I was introduced to Sara's restaurant by a friend. I was not well, in denial and addicted to sugar. Refusing the allopathic approach; I followed my intuition and decided to strictly adhere to Sara's raw organic vegan menu and green juices entirely. For several weeks I ate only at her restaurant - taking Sara's salad and green juices daily. My improvement has been remarkable.
Sara put's so much love into her food it's palpable....
Her food is the freshest purest most exquisitely combined and delicious I have ever tasted. My health began improving and within 5 days I was 25 % better overall and my improvement in energy and vitality has continued to rise ever since.
Her mantra "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food" rings in my mind regularly. The atmosphere in her restaurant is incredibly beautiful and is in itself a healing environment....don't waste any time....Sara's Organic Raw Vegan Academy is a world class destination!!!

Pros: Delicious, Pure, Healing Food

Cons: None, None, None

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Amazing food and what an education!! - Edit

I couldn't wait to try this cafe from the day I heard it had opened. We were not disappointed! The food was amazing and we learned so much. I can't wait to sign up for a class and come back soon when the live music starts.

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Great Food - Inspired Us to Buy a Dehydrator! - Edit

My lovely bride and I visited Chef Sara's a couple of months ago and absolutely loved our meal! Sara was about to close up shop for the season but still had plenty of great stories and vegan food to share with us. The vegan pizza and sushi were especially memorable. Because of our experience, we purchased a dehydrator and are making kale chips and onion bread regularly. We will definitely be back!!

Pros: Very friendly owner, super healthy, very clean

Cons: Pricey

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Raw - Edit

It is wonderful to have a raw place to dine so close to home! The ingredients used are of the highest quality. We love the food and enjoy the atmosphere. Chef Sarah is always warm and welcoming. The only sad part is that it is a bit costly for an active family of 4 or we would go more often though...

Pros: healthy cuisine, friendly staff, excellent food

Cons: costly

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Amazing Raw Food!! - Edit

I highly recommend Chef Sara's Raw Vegan Restaurant. A treasure of a restaurant not to be missed. The food is absolutely delicious...from juices, to entrees, to desserts! The atmosphere is inviting and cozy. You will want to meet Chef Sara herself...she is a vibrant soul and has a beautiful, warm welcome for everyone!

Pros: Falafel Wraps, Pies, Cacao Truffles

Cons: None

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