Gluten Free Cafe: Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe in Davis, Ca

Natural Food Works
Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe
624 4th Street
Davis, CA, 95616
(530) 756 1862
Monday-Sat 11am-8pm

One of my favorite gluten-free California destinations is the Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe in Davis, California. I’d heard that change was afoot over at the Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe from one of my message boards. Apparently they’d been expanding their offerings to include frozen, sealed packages of many of their specialty items. Half of the Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe has always been an herb and supplement store, but it was exciting to hear that they had frozen foods as well as more gluten-free mixes. I was very intrigued and couldn’t wait to see the changes. So, one recent Saturday DH and I hopped in our car, put in a book on CD and made the long drive to Davis, California from Mountain View. I was happy to see the cafe buzzing when we got there. It’s always fun to read the menu, both the print version and the daily specials written on the board. That day, green beans in Rellano batter and heirloom apricot gallette sounded intriguing, but it was too hard to pass up the main dish items. Rose Anne told us that they had developed a new gluten-free panko bread coating for new dishes like Tonkatsu (a popular Japanese dish where pork is covered in panko crumbs and deep fried) and their crab cakes. I wish there had been a vegetarian version of the tonkatsu, because I always wondered what it was like. Tofu tonkatsu, anyone? DH was intrigued by the crab cake sandwich, and ordered it. Photo of GF Crab Cake sandwich, non-veg Meanwhile, I wanted to try the Local Organic Soup au Pistou, a hearty all-organic veggie soup with basil pistou sauce. For my main dish I chose the CF Local Organic Green Garlic Ravioli w/ Organic Marinara Sauce. We would have liked to get the blackberry or apricot gallette for dessert but we were just too full after all our food, unfortunately. If only I’d thought of getting a slice to go!

But how was the food? I love the basil pistou sauce- it melts in the mouth and has just the right balance of flavors. I also love that everything in it is organic. Granted, some of the veggies involved are not my favorite, but still, it was a very tasty soup. I also enjoyed the green garlic ravioli with marinara sauce. The ravioli pasta was tasty (although slightly watery) and I thought the chunky marinara sauce was excellent and well flavored. If I were to buy the ravioli myself, I’d probably serve it in a flavorful garlic olive oil sauce or even better, a strong green pesto with nuts and carefully steamed broccoli because somehow its “green” flavor cries out for a green accompaniment. DH thought the garlic was a little strong, but it was fine for me. I think I would order something different next time, but you know, I think I might have to take some of that tasty marinara home for some plain, non-ravioli pasta. And the DH? Well, let’s just say he was not inclined to share that crabcake sandwich! Apparently it was made with their new panko breadcrumbs and it was a HUGE hit. I tried just one bite, and just about swooned over the delicious, creamy, basil infused sauce- it was the perfect accompaniment, and their gluten-free sourdough bread worked well. I can see that the DH has a new favorite on the menu- he said he’d give it a 9/10, and I have to agree. Rose Anne’s chef has created a flavorful masterpiece with that sandwich, and I hope they’re able to keep it on the menu full time. YUM!

While we were waiting for our food, I wandered around the shop side of the site with my little red camera in tow. Rose Anne had put in brightly lit refrigerator and freezer cases in the back of the store, and it looked fantastic. Apparently there are more changes to come, so stay tuned! I know many gluten-free folks say they would love to do all their gluten-free shopping at the same place where they can get a restaurant meal or fresh baked goods, and Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe seems to be headed in that direction. You can buy all kinds of their frozen meals, including pizza, ravioli, tamale (including vegan), and even baked goods. Personally, I was eying the yummy pizzas, both CF and vegetarian, as well as those vegan tamales. They just all looked so good!

There were changes in other parts of the store as well. Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe is now carrying Namaste and Authentic Foods mixes, as well as boxes of their own gluten-free cookies (chocolate chip and sugar cookie), along with packages of their in-house gluten-free pasta. The check-out area had an extensive selection of snack bars. However, the most popular area seemed to be their fresh baked gluten-free food bin, which only had (delicious) gluten-free brownies and their very reasonably priced and popular rosemary hamburger buns (not vegetarian due to gelatin) that other customers were snapping up like [gluten-free] hotcakes.

DH and I tried a few of the gluten-free samples on a table between the restaurant and the shop, paid our bill, and waddled off into the sunset secure in the knowledge that we’d celebrated the joys of organic, local dining. Not only that, but we got to prowl around the adorable college town of Davis, visit a few open houses, and did a little clothes shopping for the perpetually shopping-reluctant DH. Sometimes it’s just good to get away from our own sphere and enjoy a new place, along with some new and delicious food. So, the next time your gluten-free life in the Bay area (or Sacramento… or anywhere for that matter) is getting you down, why not try a holiday to Davis and sit down for a meal at Rose Anne’s organic bistro? Times are tight right now for everyone, including our favorite gluten-free entrepreneurs, and if we don’t show our support now, we may all lose out in the end..

Interested in my other posts about the Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe?

Read about my visit in June 27th, 2007 (pescatarian photo)
April 2, 2007 (all veg photos)

Can’t make it to Davis? Order Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe baked goods online, or try some of their recipes.

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9 Responses to “Gluten Free Cafe: Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe in Davis, Ca”

  1. Oh wow, how much would I love to see vegetarian Tonkatsu! It used to be my staple at Japanese restaurants….

  2. Hi Sea,

    I am curious to know how the prices were. I’ve been to this place before and it seemed prohibitively expensive especially with three kids and the fact that they don’t have any “kids” menu/proportions. The prices seemed to sour any delight.


  3. Hey there FL,
    Wouldn’t it be great? I think I may have to come up with a recipe…

    Prices are listed on their menu online. It’s not cheap, but I haven’t been to a cheap gluten-free bakery yet. Their simple baked goods (rolls, cookies) were reasonably priced. The pasta was a little steep for me, but it is time intensive to make. Unfortunately organic food just tends to be pricey, and it’s getting pricier all the time.

  4. We popped by this restaurant last summer and had a wonderful meal. It is probably my favorite thing about traveling, finding new gluten free places of interest. We live up near Seattle and travel south to California every summer. We are getting ready to eat gluten free on the journey there this July. Have you been to Cafe Yumm in Eugene? Very gluten free and vegetarian friendly menu.

  5. I’m a longtime vegetarian whose husband recently decided to try a gluten free diet. I’m so happy to have found your site! This place looks great (an hour away but still…)

  6. Hi Selena, Cool! Going on GF road trips is one of my favorite things to do. I haven’t been to Cafe Yumm, but I’m so excited to hear about it. The next time we drive up that way I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the tip!

    Hi Nancy, It’s nice to meet you! I do wish that the Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe had more vegetarian items, but the ones they do have are very tasty. Did you see their menu? It can be nice to check it out before you go up there, because they do change it every couple of days or so. The portobella mushroom sandwich is good (you can order it on regular bread if you want), and the salads have amazing variety. HOpe you like it!


  7. [...] week I posted a review of Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe GF restaurant and bakery (Davis, [...]

  8. I’m thinking of opening a GF cafe in WV… wondering if you could provide any tips…

  9. This place is incredible. The bread is real – not the Wonder Bread stuff of Udis, but textured, chewy with a lot of flavor. They have a whole wall of frozen foods and tremendous pastas (the pictures in the post are accurate but wow – the selection is amazing). And cinnamon rolls! Something I thought was forever in my pre-diagnosis life. The guy who showed us around was helpful and friendly. He cut taste slices of everything for us. I read the posts about prices, and while the no kid menu point is completely correct, I didn’t think the bakery prices were out of line, gluten free or otherwise. It’s a craft bakery, not a big production facility. (BTW: Udis bread is the same price and weights about a third as much per loaf.) I may leave clothes behind so I can take bread home in my suitcase.

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