Cider Press was a St. Pete powerhouse back when it was a café. Every Sunday night, my dad and I used to stand on Central Ave waiting for a spot in what was—at the time—our go-to family restaurant. Sometimes the masses were many, but the food was always worth the delay.
For the past year, that tradition has changed. When Cider Press Café shut its doors in 2021, the ‘Burg mourned its loss. New vegan restaurants opened, my dad and I found other dinner spots. The name Cider Press, however, always evoked bittersweet memories in longtime St. Pete locals.
Fast forward to today, and that veil of sadness has been lifted. Cider Press is officially back—but this time it’s a gastropub.
My dad and I have already visited. And, like all the weekend dinners we used to stand in line for, the new concept was entirely worth the wait.
An “edgy” new vibe at Cider Press Vegan Gastropub
When owners Roland Strobel and Johan Everstijn decided to transform the old Cider Press, their goal was to create an “edgy, fun” spot in which “the food—and the fact that it’s vegan—is secondary to the experience.”
The problem with that, though, is that the food at Cider Press could never actually be secondary to the experience. It’s just too damn good.
Instead, I’d say that the new nightclub-reminiscent space complements the food. The interior, which was designed by Zazoo’d’s David Fischer (and engineered by architect Ron Miller), is moody and posh. The dishes are still the star of the show, but now they’re enhanced by stages and spotlights that seem to make them taste even better.
So, between the new space, new vibe, and new mission, there’s a lot of novelty going on in Cider Press Gastropub. That covered, though, I now turn to what I know most of you are here for: the new menu.
Because, let’s be real—St. Pete is a food city.
Us ‘Burg-ers love to eat.
The (new) sensational menu
Hailing from the appetizer section, the Jambalaya Balls are loaded with rice, panko and good old New Orleans flavor before being deep-fried to perfection.
Dunk them in a side of the restaurant’s creamy Cajun dipping sauce and these Big Easy-inspired treats are the perfect way to start your Cider Press meal.
Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese
No pub experience would be complete without pretzels and cheese, so it makes sense that we would see them pop up on Johan and Roland’s new menu. The amazing thing about this dish, though, is that it doesn’t actually contain any cheese (because, you know, it’s a vegan restaurant).
With a smoky, almost gouda-like taste, the restaurant’s “beer cheese” dip is just as good—if not better—than any I’ve had in a traditional pub.
Phish and Chips
Playing on another classic pub favorite, Cider Press has nailed the art of creating delicate pollock fillets from banana blossom flowers.
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and served with seasoned chips and malt vinegar, a plate of these will transport you right to the lively bars of London.
Buffalo Chick’n Sandwich
This slaw covered sandwich is divine. the fried Beyond chick’n tenders are tossed in a Buffalo sauce that offers a resplendent kick to the taste buds.
For those who used to love the burgers at the old Cider Press (AKA, my dad), don’t worry. They’ve still got one on the menu.
Oh, and for those wondering (AKA, me): yes. They also still have the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.
French Quarter “Shrimp” Poboy
Johan’s favorite dish on the menu, both owners believe this hoagie—which comes covered in spicy sauce, crispy shrimp and more—is going to be the new restaurant’s best seller.
The reason for their confidence? Authentic, fresh-made Poboy bread that the pub ships in directly from New Orleans.
Ready to visit?
Does that menu sneak peek already have your mouth watering? Then head over to 3118 3rd Ave N, because Cider Press Gastropub is officially open for business.
Oh, and PS: bring a picture of your pet.
Roland is doing a thing.
Cider Press Vegan Gastropub’s current hours are Wed-Thurs 5-9 p.m., Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m. and Sunday 12-4 p.m. Seating is first come first serve. Grand opening and full hours TBA.
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