When I was younger, I referred to Home Grown Cafe as “that hippie place” on Main Street. Now well into my adult years, I view Home Grown Cafe as more hipster than hippie. Home Grown does things on its own terms. It is culturally aware and upholds certain food values. Vegan options abound on the menu and local bands play often. I can’t label Home Grown as completely hipster, because the owners obviously care about the food and the restaurant environment. (Hipsters, on the other hand, are supposed to NOT care, or at least act like it. Isn’t that why they let their facial hair grow, wear old t-shirts, and drink Blue Ribbon?)
When you walk inside Home Grown Cafe, the vibe is slick, well-planned, and mellow. I could bring my parents here for lunch and also enjoy a beer (even local beer like Dogfish Head and Yards!) with friends while listening to a band on a Saturday night. On this particular day I was with my husband. We sat outside to enjoy the gorgeous Spring sunshine.
I’ve been here before, but I never really took the time to study the menu. Like I said, most dishes can be prepared vegan. Or if you prefer a steak, you can get that too. The menu has a lot to offer, from Crab Fondue (served with green apples and warm bread. Bomb.) to a Southwestern Burger (or Veggie Burger!). My husband ordered the Falafel. It is garlicky and fresh; I love the bean sprouts!
I ordered the green apple salad with grilled chicken. I could have ordered my salad with salmon, hangar steak, tofu, grilled shrimp, or a number of other proteins. The real star of this salad was the apple vinaigrette. Perfectly balanced and tangy.
I talked to manager, Elizabeth, for the local scoop. Elizabeth says that the menu specials change based on the seasons and what’s available locally. During the growing season, the restaurant’s produce is sourced from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. Lucky for us, Home Grown is also a pick-up location for the Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA. Every Monday from May until October, if you are a member of the CSA, you can pick up your produce, fruit, or medicinal herbs, at the restaurant. Elizabeth says there’s a swap box available for members that want to trade something out (last year everyone traded dandilion greens. A lot of dandilion greens.). In addition to the local produce, Home Grown also sources mushrooms from the Kennett area and goat cheese from a local farm. Local farmer’s markets, like the Newark Farmer’s Market, are used whenever possible.
A restaurant with a cool hipster vibe that cares about local food, local arts, and the local community? I’ll be back! Home Grown Cafe definitely has a local flavor all its own.
Home Grown Cafe
126 E. Main Street
Newark, DE 19711