5586 Drake Rd., West Bloomfield Twp; 248-788-7400; friendshipcircle.org/soul/cafe
Soul Cafe has been building a loyal following since it opened in 2016 — for both its food and its mission. Part of Friendship Circle's Soul Projects, the café provides work opportunities for adults with special needs, teaching trainees skills like food prep, dishwashing, hosting, and serving, and enabling them to go on to get full-time jobs. But its food is equally as outstanding as the service it provides.
Soul Cafe serves up wholesome vegetarian and vegan favorites for breakfast and lunch, and is also kosher, with several Jewish items on the menu. Its Mediterranean bowl is a delicious blend of energy-boosting foods like eggplant, cauliflower, avocado, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and green tahini. Another plate that will make you feel as good as it tastes is the ancient grain salad, which features dates, green apples, seeds, caramelized onions, sweet potatoes, greens, and vinaigrette. Its veggie shakshuka recipe lends a hint of sweetness to the Middle Eastern favorite, with sweet potato, cauliflower, and feta added. Sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, and Jewish specialties like blintzes and lox plates help round out the menu. A small wine list helps elevate the dining experience. Items range from $5 to $25. —Violet Ikonomova