Cruda Cafe: St Lawrence Market

by Lauren Ching on January 18, 2011

Cruda Cafe has got to be one of the most revolutionary cafes that I’ve been to. It’s not the decor or space that astounds me; it’s because it’s not often that you find a menu that is fresh, totally vegan, and utterly delicious. The small space tucked away on the bottom floor of St. Lawrence Market is loaded with vegan and raw food that will delight even the most skeptical meat eater.

Their menu includes fresh soups ($4.50/cup) flourless wraps ($6.50-$9) salads ($6.50-$9.50), entrees such as a wild mushroom nut burger ($9.00), and even desserts. Changing daily specials ensure that all items in stock are used and everything is kept fresh. Lunch is made right infront of your eyes, within an open glass display, which is second hand to keep consistent with their commitment to being fully ‘green’. Wholsome, organic ingredients are used in every meal to fire up your taste buds (and your digestive system!)

I had the gypsy sandwich for lunch, which consisted of 2 slices of dehydrated sprouted bread, filled with sprouts, homemade vegan mayonnaise, avocado, tomatoes, arugula, carrots, and beets. ($10) To some this might sound a bit off-putting, but I can reassure you that it was DIVINE. (I actually saved some of it for dinner because it was so delicious.) Cruda cafe has 3 dehydrators, a food processor, and a vita mix, as well as on ice cream machine on the way, so they are able to process all their raw foods here on site.

I’ve been to vegan cafes before, but there is something different about Cruda Cafe. After a moment I realized that the warmth of Claudia, proud creator and owner, and her passion for healthy living that make all the difference. Sitting down with her for a moment, she reveals that used to teach nutrition classes, but after a while she realized that opening a franchise of raw food chains would be much more effective at sharing and spreading the raw food lifestyle. It’s her dream to make raw and vegan food mainstream and available to the masses. She believes in self-sustainability within the community, and it reflects all throughout all aspects of her business; she buys her fruits and vegetables from local farmers, as well as from vendors in St. Lawrence Market. Even the take out containers, napkins and cutlery are eco-friendly.

A steady stream of customers seemed to be regulars at Cruda Cafe, and both the owner and staff working were friendly and remembered what each customer had ordered previously. Customers seemed undeterred by the fact that there is no private seating – they are very happy to use the public St. Lawrence market bench seating.

While Cruda Cafe does not serve coffee or tea, they have juices and green smoothies to satisfy the cleanse worthy and have been created by Claudia herself. Try the Very Berry smoothie when you go, which has blueberry, Udo’s oil, raw vegan protein, maca powder, and greens. There are also mouthwatering whole coconuts from Thailand, served right in their shells, and Kombucha, a sparkling, fermented tea which is gluten free and organic.

Head down to Cruda Cafe for fresh and tasty meal options, and open your tummy up to a world of healthy, vibrant living.

Cruda Cafe, 92 Front Street, Saint Lawrence Market, Lower level Northwest corner.

Open from 9 to 5pm from Tuesday to Friday, Saturday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

note: their phone number on google has not been updated, so for inquiries, please call (647) 919-5721.


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