After walking around and exploring the historic section of St. Augustine and then meandering by some of its Gilded Age buildings like Flager College and the Lightner Museum, I kept going south to check out the more residential area south of King Street. It’s still very historic, but I was looking for something less touristy and more calm. Some friends had also recommended checking out the houses in the area.
Along the way I passed a little cafe and it’s actually a little remarkable that my eye caught what it did. On the front of a door angled towards me (so the front was not in my line of sight when approaching) was a menu. I just so happened to glace backwards after I passed and thus was able to see it. On this menu in not very big letters (I don’t have the best eyesight far away) were words along the lines of “all crepes are gluten-free.” Say what?!
Again quite some little coincidences/my-eyesight-somehow-stepping-up had to occur for me to see that. It did jog in my memory that I think I had read briefly about a place with gluten-free crepes in St. Augustine. At the time I think I had planned out my meals and disregarded the info. My plan for the next day was to forgo breakfast and catch an early lunch at Mantanzas Innlet Restaurant (with their gluten-free crab cakes) around 11 when they opened. Deciding that no breakfast until 11 AM was a bad idea and deciding to take advantage of this cafe with gluten-free crepes, I planned to stop by the next morning. I hadn’t stored the cafe’s name in my memory as I kept walking (assuming I had all my meals planned), but a quick Google search led me to find DOLCE Cafe.
This ended up being a great decision the next day because despite the gluttonous dinner I had the night before at The Floridian of fried chicken, pork and corn fitters, and a sea salt caramel brownie, I was pretty hungry when I woke up. I also was very hungry by the time lunch rolled around at Mantanzas Innlet Restaurant (even after stopping in for the crepes earlier). In hindsight it also gave me more time to explore the Castillo de San Marcos and walk around the historic district a bit more.
DOLCE Cafe is a quaint space with two or three little tables out on the sidewalk and then more tables inside and also a couch (if my memory serves me correctly). It appears to be run by a friendly couple (the friendly part is not in question, I’m just not sure if the man and woman who seemed like the owners are actually a couple).I was debating between two crepes- the Breakfast Crepe (bacon, eggs, and cheese) or the Sweet Little Princess (Nutella, strawberries, banana, chocolate drizzle, and whipped cream). Yes the Sweet Little Princess sounds pretty incredible, but after my slight regret the night before on getting the brownie, I decided to stay away from sweetness and go for the Breakfast Crepe. I also felt the Breakfast Crepe would be more of a new experience. Regular gluten crepes were never something I cheated on and tried and I’d only had one gluten-free crepe before (at an Original Pancake House in Minneapolis). That was a very sweet strawberry crepe.
The Breakfast Crepe came out and it was a little bit different than the crepe I had at the Original Pancake House. The one at OPH was more pancake-y and thicker. This was very thin, almost like a “wrapper” of dough. Taste wise it was savory instead of sweet. Given my decision to forgo the sweet, I think this crepe hit the spot perfectly. It also was the best choice I think for breakfast. One of my complaints about omelettes a lot of time is that there is too much egg and it’s too thick/heavy. This very thin crepe provides the perfect wrapper for the eggs, bacon, and cheese inside. It’s the perfect ratio of dough to fillings for a savory breakfast dish. I think in the future I’d go for a breakfast crepe over an omelette (my go-to breakfast dish besides corned beef hash) without much hesitation.
Now that I am writing this I am salivating a little bit thinking about the Sweet Little Princess Crepe. So a return visit might be in my future. It’s great that all of DOLCE’s crepes are gluten-free anyways. My gluten-free expectations were insanely exceeded the night before with The Floridian and after that I kind of expected the crepe to be nice, but nothing special (just from thinking of a crepe in theory). I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed mine. Crepe fans who found out they were gluten-free or gluten-frees just looking to experience a crepe for the first time should certainly check out DOLCE. Certainly non-gluten-frees will enjoy it as well and the owners/staff are very friendly and welcoming. They also have salads and sandwiches. It’s also in a great location to escape the crowds a little bit for some quiet and relaxation, but is just a few blocks from the main sights.
DOLCE Cafe- 210 St. George St. St. Augustine, FL, 32084