Kefi is more than just a coffee shop, it’s a place where working folks from downtown Bradenton gather to enjoy a morning coffee, an afternoon tea, or delicious sustenance inspired by traditional ancient Greek flavors.
Kefi’s unique space and creative menu have brought an exciting vibe to the downtown area. It’s located near 6th Ave. and 12th Street West, behind the Connect Central building in what used to be a bank drive-thru.
They’ve made the best use of the former bank’s driving aisles, placing the tables off the ground while using the covered lanes for shade. Plants, screens, and a very good music selection create a feeling of a beautiful oasis that you typically would not expect in the middle of the city.
A window in the side of the building, where you would once drop off bank deposits, still serves a similar purpose. Today, you use it to place your food and drink orders and pick up your tasty treats.
In Greek, the word “kefi” translates to “spirit of joy, passion, or enthusiasm,” and that’s what you’ll find each time you visit. From the friendly staff to the pleasant patrons, there seems to be nothing but good things happening here.
My initial plan was to visit Kefi a few times before writing a review, but I had some hesitations, since I’m not an outdoorsy eating or take-out kind of person. Despite my reservations, I made the commitment to at least try sitting outside and they won me over right away.
Once you get past that sidewalk gate, you’ll find that the ambiance is truly remarkable. Food, music, and a slight breeze in the shade made it just about perfect.
You always find Jason with a good attitude. He’s the “boss dude” at the window who remembers almost everyone’s name after the second visit. Plus, the weekly specials were tempting me on IG and I gave in.
What’s the food at Kefi like? It’s fantastic — and I’m going to tell you why. There’s also a “boss lady” named Eleni. She’s Greek and comes from a well-known restaurant family in Bradenton. Eleni’s family owned and ran Demetrio’s Pizza House for 46 years.
Today, she has taken her experience of growing up as a Greek-American child and put that knowledge into creating exciting foods for a new generation. She has reshuffled her Greek culinary heritage to create a menu that perfectly blends classics with a modern twist.
You can start your morning with a traditional Espresso, Latte, or Cappuccino or you can choose from a craft Matcha Latte, Matcha Tea, Grapefruit & Bee Pollen Kombucha, or Tsai Tou Vounou (Greek Mountain Tea).
Their regular breakfast menu offers The Kefi, a Greek version of avocado toast with avocado smash, greek-style cucumbers, arugula, evoo drizzle, and oregano on multigrain bread; The Soula, another unique version of avocado toast, is made with avocado smash, feta, sundried tomato, Kalamata olive, evoo drizzle, and oregano on multigrain bread.
The Apollo Pita is made with scrambled egg, bacon, cheddar, Monterey jack cheese, bacon jam, pickled red onion, and Mike’s hot honey. The Dimitra is a delicious blend of overnight rolled oats with chia seeds, walnuts, blueberries, pomegranate arils (covered seeds) and chocolate-pomegranate almond milk. You can also get a freshly baked Lemon-Blueberry Goat Cheese Muffin and Everything or Plain Bagels.
Kefi is also open for lunch and both the breakfast and lunch menus are available simultaneously between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. Lunch brings items like The Zeus Pita, with Greek-style shredded pork, bacon, tomato, white onion, tzatziki sauce, and, feta, or the Falafel Pita, with falafel, hummus, cucumbers, tomato, parsley, spring mix, and tahini-garlic sauce.
The Corinthian Cobb Salad is made with greens, hard-boiled egg, bacon, tomato, avocado smash, cheddar jack, and garlic ranch dressing. If you’re looking for a Greek classic, try the Spanakopita, made with wedges of Greek phyllo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta and served with house-made tzatziki or the Mezze Platter (several smaller bites) with mini spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves, pita chips, kalamata olives, tzatziki, and hummus.
I always make it a point to order one of the “weekly specials”. This section of the menu is greatly the responsibility of Chef Dalida. Every week, the specials include breakfast, lunch, and drink items.
So far, I have enjoyed The Farmer’s Daughter Pita, a Greek shredded pork with avocado crema, herbed tomatoes, and salad; The Fire & Ice Open Face Pita, which is pita bread topped with two soft-boiled eggs, tzatziki, harissa (red chile paste), and fresh herbs, and the Taste of Athens Bagel, made with sausage, egg, tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, feta and arugula (peppery greens). All three have been incredibly delicious and the flavors are mouthwatering.
We also have some EXCLUSIVE NEWS to share with you. Kefi’s Streetside Cafe will be relocating within the same property, Connect Central Building, and expanding their menu and hours. Eleni said that it will be a thoughtful process to make sure they don’t lose any of the character that has made the original concept successful. “It will take time, maybe up to a year, but we want to get it right.” said Eleni. There may even be other locations in the future. Discover Bradenton will always let you know first!
Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm