Discover Cafe Sora

cafe sora svac
June 26, 2017

Café Sora Arrives at SVAC

The Southern Vermont Arts Center is situated on one hundred pristine acres of field and forest in Manchester Village. Its campus offers a first-class cultural experience in a traditional New England setting with a rotating calendar of member and guest exhibitions and a summer performing arts schedule that includes everything from classical music to modern dance.

summer southern vermont arts center

Visitors enjoy on-site walking trails, Vermont’s largest sculptural park, and two museums; the historic Yester House and the contemporary Wilson Museum. At home in the Yester House is a charming café that’s worth a trip for the atmosphere alone. Go for a midday meal and a self-guided gallery tour, or book a table for dinner before a show.

Homegrown Hospitality.

The restaurant, Café Sora, is a collaborative enterprise by friends Chie Addington and Katsuko Lord. The two hail from different parts of Japan — Hiroshima and Saitama — but have in common their families’ passions for cooking and community. Because of that, the menu is a personal introduction and loving tribute to homestyle Japanse cuisine.

cafe sora sushi roll

cafe sora ginger pork

Lunch is served.

We booked a table for their first seating. Selected fresh springs rolls, a sparkling Spanish wine, and lunch plates. These were elegant, manageable dishes served with miso soup and o-toushi, a petite Japanese treat. We said yes to Ginger Pork in a housemade sauce with perfect rice and an Asian Slaw. We said yes to tempura with shrimp from Earth & Sea Market and amazing Japanese Sweet Potatoes. We said yes to the Café Sora sushi roll filled with shiitake mushrooms, cucumbers, and carrots. Salmon teriyaki for the kiddos. And dessert — a scoop of Wilcox vanilla ice cream from a dairy farm down the street. No pretention here!

Everything works.

The Ikebana floral arrangements. The charming staff and outgoing chef. The excellent, unfussy dishes. We expected a nice, change of pace lunch date and were surprised with a complete sensory reset. Who knew?! And after the meal, a browse of the current shows and a stroll of the grounds had us plotting our return.


If you go.

Make reservations. Café Sora serves lunch from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm Thursday through Saturday and on Sunday, from 12:00 until 2:00. They serve dinner on performance nights so if you’ve got show tickets, call for a table.

Questions, comments, and suggestions welcome about anything and everything Manchester VT!

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