It’s a tiny place off of Fern Creek and Colonial, just behind the Chevron gas station – but The Sanctum Cafe, a new vegan and vegetarian cafe, packs a lot of flavor in its dishes.
As owner Chelsie Savage tells us, “Ain’t no sissy salads here, yall.”
No sissy salads, indeed – their plates are piled high with healthy greens, nuts, fruits, and other flavorful combinations to make for a very satisfying meal.
The cubed, spiced tempeh, a fermented and cultured soy product (think – firm tofu) with cultural origins in Indonesia, gives an additional wonderfully “meaty” texture and taste to round out the dishes we tried on our recent visit.
Chelsie explained to us why she started The Sanctum, “Pretty simply I’m a health advocate with particular foodie tastebuds. Staying healthy and taking care of myself, my family and teaching others to do the same is one of the things most near and dear to my heart.”
“And along with that, I’ve always grown up being a lover of good food and I want to show people you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health. The best food comes from the best ingredients, prepared mindfully by someone who cares.”
“There is this misconception that food is something that needs to be restricted, counted and measured to achieve good health and if you’re enjoying it it must not be good for you but food is community. It brings people together and nourishes and heals.”
“There is a reason why every single culture has foods and cuisines that are associated with it.”
“My mission with The Sanctum is to bring people back to this with good for you food and to create a menu that made people fall in love with health promoting foods.”
Chelsie Savage, The Sanctum Cafe – I have run a nutrition consulting business the last 5 years in Orlando where I taught integrative nutrition and cooking lessons that evolved over the years. It started as just nutrition and I quickly found it wasn’t that more often than not, it wasn’t that people didn’t know how to eat healthy, it was they didn’t know how to make healthy food that also tasted great. I started teaching nutrition lessons and courses paired with cooking classes and the feedback I kept getting was “will you just open up a restaurant so I can eat your food everyday”. After hearing this feedback client after client, year after year, you start to think – “maybe I should open a restaurant so people can eat my food every day”. My husband and I put our heads together and we created The Sanctum!
Most Popular dishes so far?
Chelsie: All of our bowls have been getting a lot of love but The Sassy Thai has definitely been a crowd favorite as well as the Sedona Bowl. The Mo’Rockin blows peoples mind because of the complexity of flavors and there has also been a lot of love for the Shiva Salad. The Savage Salad is my personal favorite – my slightly spicy rosemary vinaigrette and tons of veggies – cooked and raw – is my definition of the perfect meal.
What do you do outside of The Sanctum?
Chelsie: Along with running my health coaching business, I’ve been teaching yoga all over Orlando since 2010. I’m taking a short hiatus from teaching to get The Sanctum up and running but plan on returning soon – on a smaller caliber of what I used to teach – but returning nonetheless. I’ve got a dedicated yoga practice and also like running with my dogs. By nature I’m an introvert and really just love spending time with my family. My husband (and also co-owner of The Sanctum) love to travel, eat & practice yoga and we make a habit to do so often!
Massaged kale, roasted butternut squash & house spiced tempeh tossed with pink lady apples, celery, carrots and raisins. Tossed in our curried peanut dressing and finished with candied walnuts, toasted chickpeas and coconut shreds. Full Salad $13 | Half Salad $8
KABBAGE KRUNCH SLAW
Shredded kale, red & purple cabbages, mint, cilantro, carrot, beet & finely chopped red onion. Topped with shelled edamame, grape tomatoes, dried cherries, sunflower greens, avocado, slivered almonds & tossed in our ginger-miso dressing. Full Salad | $10.5 Half Salad | $7 | Add Maple Miso Tempeh $2.5
The Sanctum Cafe’s Philosophy
“Food made with real ingredients, because we care just as much about health as we care about about indulging in life’s greatest pleasure— a damn good meal.”
“We love everything about meal time— the cooking, the community and even the clean up (as long as we’re doing it together). But our REAL mission is debunking the myth that if food tastes good it can’t be good for us. With every coffee we serve and every mouth we feed, that mission is further accomplished.
We are health advocates with foodie tastebuds committed to redefining the way people think about healthy food. We are educated about nutrition, skilled in the kitchen, sassy in attitude and conscious in the way we live our lives and conduct business.
We put health promoting foods front and center and make people fall in love with them.
If we wouldn’t serve it to our family, we won’t serve it to you. We do plant-based, sustainable, gourmet food, not because it’s a trendy, but because it’s a conscious way of living. It’s good for this body, good for this planet—everyone wins.”
The Sanctum Cafe
715 N Fern Creek Ave, Unit D.
Orlando, FL 32803