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Vegan cantina coming to North Lime with sweet, savory options

FIKA’s spicy ZENpanadas are made with black beans, organic veggies and FIKA’s vegan cheese, in a gluten-free flour shell and garnished with house-made vegan sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. A lettuce wrap version will be available, too.
FIKA’s spicy ZENpanadas are made with black beans, organic veggies and FIKA’s vegan cheese, in a gluten-free flour shell and garnished with house-made vegan sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. A lettuce wrap version will be available, too. Dana Rogers Photography

A new cafe with meat- and dairy-free options, FIKA Vegan Cantina, is opening Saturday inside Granola Culture, a yoga studio at 804 North Limestone.

The cafe and studio, which also sells natural beauty products, is above the Broomwagon coffee house and bike shop.

The cafe, co-owned by Melinda “Min” Johnson with her partner Brandon Rexach, will have a grand opening on Saturday at 6 p.m. with donation-based yoga, live music and giveaways; at 7 p.m., there will be a party with a dj and free champagne.

Beginning Sunday, hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. For more information, go to FIKAvegancantina.com or call 859-363-6008.

The cafe will have a limited menu, to test the waters, but it will include a veggie lasagna, jackfruit carnitas, black bean empanadas, guacamole, sweets and beer. A meal will be about $9 to $12, Johnson said.

“We want to see if it works, then if it does, we’ll expand,” she said. Besides the sweet, savory and spicy entree options, she plans to have three sweet options, including a peanut butter choco stout made with house-made vegan ice cream mousse, topped with cacao nibs and crushed cinnamon plantain chips. She adds a drizzle of syrup made from a reduced stout for extra richness.

The noodles in the lasagna are from Lexington Pasta, which is making a gluten-free, vegan pasta for FIKA with aquafaba, the brine from chickpeas, Johnson said.

The name FIKA is from the Swedish custom of stopping in the middle of the day to enjoy life over a cup of coffee or a snack, said Johnson, who spent time in Sweden as an exchange student.

“We’re going to stop and enjoy life over vegan food, good beer with good friends,” she said.

They will serve mostly tropical beers, often imported from the Caribbean, she said, “because we love the islands. We wanted to offer something little unique.”

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