From the bustling of staff moving throughout the restaurant, the sound of plates and silverware as it’s brought and placed gently on the table, and the sweet smells of everything from crepes to gelato, 407 Cafe reigns supreme in Lake Nona when it comes to the quality of service and the lavish cuisine it adds to the community. 407 Cafe is family-owned and operated and has a convenient location – just five miles from the Orlando International Airport and right down Narcoossee Road for all of us already in the Lake Nona area – that makes this restaurant a great stop for a quick bite to indulge in all your sweet and savory cravings.
When you first walk in, your senses will fill with a scent of sweetness, but it’s not overwhelming…it’s inviting. You’ll notice the bright LED lights and luxurious black and white theme as you’re greeted by the friendly staff and upscale, welcoming environment. Oh, and you will most definitely notice the beautiful case of different colors and flavors of rich, Italian gelato filled with 30 flavors ranging from fruity strawberry to creamy dulce de leche, all of them completely satisfying. Take a seat at one of the open tables, and someone will promptly greet you with a menu filled with options that are sure to satisfy every craving you could possibly have. Whether you’re looking for local favorites like 407’s notable sweet or savory crepes, a warm pressed panini, or even just a good cup of coffee, 407 has you covered. “Our sweet crepes are loved [by] kids and adults and with the gelato on the top,” said Antonio Rodriguez, CEO and owner of 407 Cafe.
Established by Rodriguez and his family in August 2011, the restaurant began with the idea of opening a shop that would focus on serving high quality, European gelato, as there were no other businesses in the area with a European touch capitalizing on the growth of Lake Nona. It was Rodriguez’s daughter who first suggested adding crepes to the menu as this was something else the local area was missing when it came to cuisine. Later on, the store added new items like flatbread, croissants and bagels. “I was thinking in some space where family and friends in our community come to enjoy good food, excellent service and an amazing environment,” said Rodriguez.
Fan favorites are photographed all throughout the restaurant, and those include:
-Caprese salad, an Italian staple of buffalo mozzarella cheese layered between sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, drizzled with Italian balsamic vinegar and herbs. The wondrous and mouth-watering surprise of housemade pesto with pine nuts really ties all of the flavors together.
-Prosciutto, salmon, or chicken marsala paninis. We tried the chicken marsala, and the grilled chicken breast is paired perfectly with mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella cheese, all topped off with golden raisins, walnuts and a marsala wine reduction (available in: ciabatta, baguette, focaccia basil cheese, pumpernickel, and multigrain bread).
-Nutella and strawberry crepe, an absolute classic of a freshly made crepe, created right in front of your eyes, adorned with ripened strawberry slices and smeared with the chocolatey, hazelnut goodness and dusted with powdered sugar. The warm crepe is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth (available in original or whole wheat flour crepes).
Gluten-free options are available on the menu, as well. Recent additions to the menu include gelato milkshakes – where customers can choose any of the 30 fresh flavors of gelato to be blended into a sippable, splendid beverage to cool you off in the Florida heat – to a savvy, state-of-the-art coffee machine, where customers can send photos and artwork to the machine to have brought to life right in front of their eyes through coffee beans. No ink is used.
407 Cafe is an all-around art experience, and you can witness firsthand the amount of love that goes into perfecting your meal. The fresh and light ingredients and perfectly-sized portions will leave you feeling satisfied with no bloat. However, there might be just a bit of guilt depending on how many sweets you indulge in. It can be difficult to stop with all of the delicious choices on the menu.
Not only is 407 a wonderful stop for lunch, dinner, or even an afternoon gelato or cup of coffee, the business is also dedicated to finding ways to give back to the local Lake Nona community. 407 Cafe is proud to host a variety of Spirit Days, where part of the profits go to support local schools here in the Lake Nona area, including NorthLake Park Elementary School, Eagle Creek Elementary School, Moss Park Elementary School, Sunblaze Elementary School, Innovation Middle School, Laureate Park Elementary School, Lake Nona Middle School, and Lake Nona High School. These spirit days are sponsored by Nemours Children’s Hospital and contribute in part to Rodriguez’s hope that 407 Cafe can not only provide the Lake Nona area with a higher quality of food but also contribute in giving back to the community in the way he hoped the business could. “I chose Lake Nona because it is the community with major growing expansion in Central Florida and we live here, it is our community and we want to contribute to make the area a better place,” said Rodriguez.
There are other big plans on the horizon for 407 Cafe in this coming year, including the expansion of the business to a brand new store in Oviedo, as well as the development of a new concept store in Maitland called 407 Gelato, which will focus on the restaurant’s popular gelato selection. 407 Cafe continues to impress people inside and out of the Lake Nona community with their exceptional, friendly service and fantastic food, and Rodriguez credits these aspects with keeping customers coming back time and time again. The store is certainly a Lake Nona favorite, and if you have not stopped in yet, it should definitely get put on your priority list.
Along with the expansion developments, 407 Cafe has plans to update a handful of its menu items based off of some customer recommendations and food trends, and they will not disappoint. It’s safe to say Rodriguez gave Nonahood News some of the SCOOP (of gelato), and Lake Nona residents should keep an eye on 407 Cafe.