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Spotlight on Sunflower Cafe: Comfort Food and Casual Vibes and in the Heart of Brooklyn

Opening its doors in December 1999, Sunflower Cafe has been bringing cheery service, delicious dairy-based kosher selections, and a family-friendly atmosphere to NYC’s Flatbush neighborhood for over 2 decades.

Bright-yellow walls create an uplifting backdrop for the eclectic cafe offering substantially-sized portions, homemade selections, and feel-good comfort food. Both the menu and the clientele contain a mix of beloved classic favorites and fresh modern additions.

“We have customers that have been coming to our restaurant since the day we opened,” Sunflower Cafe’s owner, Limor Shapira, shared.

“Guests that once came with their parents are now bringing their children and grandchildren for a meal every week.”

It’s the family-oriented vibe that Limor brings every day as an onsight, hands-on owner-operator that keeps customers coming back year after year. Guests of all ages find comfort in the food and the feelings that this restaurant/ community gathering place provides to the locals. But it’s the kids that give Limor the greatest joy.

“Families with small children love it here,” Limor shared, “so we always make sure that our menu has fun, kid-friendly offerings.”

Milkshakes, bagel pizzas, mozzarella sticks, and a complete kid’s menu are famous among the littlest locals.

Unlike other Brooklyn establishments that frequently change ownership and revise their menu offerings, like the list of loyal customers, the Sunflower Cafe’s menu has kept just about every menu item since day one.

“We’ve never taken anything off the menu, just added to it,” Limor added. “Our customers love our food, so why would we change it?”

The menu is filled with an array of sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, paninis, wraps, soups, fresh fish selections, and an all-day breakfast menu complete with specialty and classic omelets, french toast, and pastries.

Top Five Menu Items

#1 - Tuna Panini

#2 - Tel Aviv Salad

#3 - Sunflower Tomato Soup

#4 - Onion Soup

#5 - Salmon Teriyaki (pictured above)

Widely popular, a selection of homemade salad dressings are made on-sight and available to go, including Pesto, Honey Mustard, Thousand Island, and Balsamic—all cafe favorites.

Made-to-order handcrafted beverages are freshly made on-premise every day, and because customers can’t seem to get enough, the list of options keeps growing. From Heart Beet to Golden Glow and Super Green to the ever-popular, Lemonana (pictured above), the juices are always flowing at the Sunflower Cafe.

Parfaits with Israeli coffee and ice cream, including Caramel Latte, Cafe Frappe, and Sunflower Freezer Coffee, are also fan favorites.

When Sunflower Cafe expanded to its Lawrence location on New York’s Long Island, new offerings were added to the menu. Widely popular with the locals, the menu includes an array of salad, sushi, and sashimi favorites, including Tuna Pizza, Kani Salad, Tuna Tartare & Avocado Salad, and a kosher sushi bar.

Ahead of its time, the casual cafe offered free delivery to locals since the eatery opened its doors 23 years ago. To meet the growing demand, the restaurant began partnering with delivery services like Sauce.

And speaking of delivery, Limor shared her list of the Cafe’s top off-premise menu items.

#1 - Sandwiches

#2 - Paninis

#3 - Salads

#4 - Wraps

#5 - Sushi (Lawrence location)

Trays and family-sized menu selections are available and highly popular with the locals. A complete catering menu is available for pick-up and delivery at both locations.

And no matter how much things change, Limor is devoted to making sure some things stay the same.

“We have customers that still prefer to call in their orders. Some are from local businesses, but others are older customers that just like to hear a familiar, friendly voice on the other end of the line,” and Limor is one of those voices. Still taking orders and taking time to have a conversation with guests who just enjoy her “company,” Limor still believes in old-fashioned customer service.

“If I had one piece of advice to offer other restaurant owners,” she shared, “it would be that the customer always has to come first. Even if that means taking orders yourself and making sure that your loyal guests receive the friendly service they’ve come to know, I’ll do whatever it takes to provide them with that service.”

And that didn’t change in 2020, when most restaurants were forced to close.

“We never stopped offering delivery and take-out during lockdown, and we opened back up as soon as we could. I knew we had customers who needed us, so we made sure that we never stopped delivering meals free of charge.”

One of the first businesses to reopen as soon as restrictions were lifted, Limor kept in touch with each one of her staff members during the lockdown in 2020.

“I called my managers at least once a week to see how they were doing and assured them that as soon as we opened, they’d have a job to come back to.”

Not missing a beat, a majority of Sunflower’s staff is now back at the Cafe because the crew, like the customer base, was eagerly waiting and supporting Limor through it all.

“It was such an emotional experience the day we opened, “ Limor recalled, “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day - seeing my staff and my customers’ faces again was so amazing.”

A mix of tradition and innovation, the one constant at the Sunflower Cafe is Limor Shapira and her undying devotion to her customers and her staff. A testament to the impact that local businesses and neighborhood eateries can have on a community, no matter if it’s in a big city like Brooklyn or a small town like Lawrence, Sunflower Cafe is a shining example of a restaurant that isn’t just an eatery; it’s part of the community.

“I’d like to thank my team and all of my customers for sticking by me for the last 23 years.” – Limor Shapira


Brooklyn: 1223 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY

Long Island: 357 Central Ave, Lawrence, NY

By Eileen Strauss


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