Anyone who has been to the Lunchbox Cafe knows what an asset it is in the burg. This cozy little spot on Ruby street has a conscientious crew working hard to make sure there is a healthy and allergen safe lunch place in the heart of downtown. They prioritize being an ethical establishment and it shows in the way they support the local community.
Owner Margo has been in Ellensburg since 2002 and worked at the Yellow Church Cafe for a long time before taking over the Lunchbox Cafe in 2016. When you meet her, humble and kind energy invites you in with the wisdom of an old soul and the unassuming comfort of a close friend. The concept of the Lunchbox is so cute that the building where you dine is itself shaped like a lunchbox. If I could choose, I would always eat at a restaurant shaped like it’s namesake, but since my kitchen is shaped like a kitchen I guess that will have to do in between visits to this charming cafe.
The Lunchbox Cafe has just updated their menu so I was among the lucky first people to try the exciting new feature pictured above, the Organic Curry Tofu Salad Sandwich. I will pretty much always love any sandwich with tofu and sprouts, but Margo has absolutely nailed every quality in a good sandwich with this one. I have eaten it 3 different ways and now with authority can absolutely recommend that you order it on toasted rye bread. Go! Now! Or tomorrow, if it happens to be after 3:30 when you read this. The hours have just been updated too, so you can grab an after school snack with your kids without being in a rush.
Check out the adorable box lunch Jonas got on our visit! As a toddler mom, it’s refreshing to find a place that has vegetables on the kid’s menu. It seems like an obvious thing to do but I challenge you to look around and find another place that offers this. They are few and far between. I am usually performing some kind of mental gymnastics to make a small meal out of the sides menu at other restaurants, and then realizing I could have just ordered an adult entree for the same price.
Pro tip: the “Green” Blueberry smoothie is an excellent way to get some spinach into a kid that doesn’t eat very much salad. The smoothies are always gluten-free and vegan, and so are the soups. In fact, the staff is very helpful in showing you the many options on the menu that match your specific diet.
Another newly added menu item that I thoroughly enjoyed was this raspberry oat dessert bar. It tastes like everything you love about mom's homemade pie. Not to mention that it is HUGE, so you can really make it last. Or not. You won't find judgement here. Jonas got a little piece of one in his meal, and he basically looked at me like I have been doing him wrong his whole life by giving him other desserts. If this type of treat isn't your thing, you can rest assured that there will always be at least one vegan cookie option for your sweet tooth when you visit the cafe.
A special thank you to whoever doodled the adorable elephant on Jonas' lunchbox. He said, "aww, who's that cute little buddy?!" Jonas and I loved visiting the Lunchbox Cafe and even though we haven't yet, will probably try out the drive-thru at some point. #momlife
You can ask any and all questions you have about the menu at the Lunchbox Cafe. Everyone knows exactly how to help you order vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free.
All of the sides, soups, and smoothies are gluten-free and vegan.
There are always at least two vegan desserts, including the raspberry oat bar.
All photos featured on this blog are copyrighted images. © January Bear Photography, 2018