One of our favorite spots for great eats on St. Pete Beach is moving on to bigger and better. Cafe Soleil, the beloved French bakery and cafe, announced that it is moving half a mile down the road to the shopping plaza at 5501 Gulf Boulevard.
The best news, of course, is that the celebrated cafe found a new home after being told it would have to vacate its previous location due to contract issues with a new tenant. But the second best news is that this new location gives Cafe Soleil even more space to welcome guests and treat hungry diners to incredible croissant sandwiches and their wide range of pastries, coffees, quiches and more.
Cafe Soleil’s final day at 4695 Gulf Blvd was Tuesday, November 14, and while we don’t have an official opening date for the new location, we expect the bakery will move fast to have all the favorites back in no time. On facebook, ownership said they are hoping to be open as soon as the end of December or early January.
Cafe Soleil has been a St. Pete Beach staple for 10 years, and we’re thrilled to hear the locally-owned cafe found a great new location just down the road. I Love the Burg writer Kara Vandooijeweert profiled Cafe Soleil in 2022 in a story that will make you just as appreciative of the care owners put in as it will also make you hungry.
An excerpt from Kara’s story: “When I first walked through Café Soleil’s heavy glass doors, I was overwhelmed by the wafting scent of fresh-baked baguettes and the high-energy rush of a hungry lunch crowd. Behind the counter, owner, Lauren Chezaud-Diot, and manager, Mary Macrides, stood calm amongst the calamity. As the former masterfully swirled foam into multiple cappuccinos, the latter balanced glasses of Orangina in each hand and personally greeted every guest. Despite the crowd, it only took a few minutes for me to reach the register.
“The interplay between salty and sweet in the first croissant was delicious. As the cheese mixed with the fig, both were enhanced by the butter that oozed out from the pastry dough surrounding them. Everything inside the bread, therefore, kind of molded into one gooey, sticky filling, almost reminiscent of some sort of turnover or hand pie. The subtle bitterness of the arugula, though, definitely managed to keep this sandwich in the savory category.”