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The Corner Cafe

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Socially distanced dining tables
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Tables disinfected between guests
Updated 07/15/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from The Corner Cafe
Updated 07/15/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Ratings and reviews

Travelers' Choice

Food and ambience

Sponsored by: The Corner Cafe

Top 3 Reasons to Eat Here

1. Outstanding
1. Outstanding
"You can taste the freshness and love put into this food."
See reviews that mention Outstanding
2. Excellent Cuban
2. Excellent Cuban
"All four of us cleaned our plates, a rarity. My cuban was excellent."
Todd S
See reviews that mention rarity
3. You Can't Go Wrong
3. You Can't Go Wrong
"It's all good, that's all you need to know."
See reviews that mention salad
The Corner Cafe, rated one of the best restaurants in Sanford, FL, is located in Historic Downtown Sanford, Florida at the intersection of 1st & Park. This charming bistro specializes in unique and delicious, handmade fare at an affordable price. Known for their killer Cuban Sandwich, French Onion Soup in a toasted bread bowl and stunning Salads, The Corner Cafe serves a variety of Grilled Sandwiches, Fresh-Beautiful Salads & Scratch Made Soups (M-Sat) from 11:00 - 3:00. Delicious Smoothies, a full selection of Coffee Drinks, Freshly-Brewed Tea, Ice Cold Beer and California Wines are available as well. The Corner Cafe offers Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-free options as well. Sit at an outside
$9 - $16
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Cuban, American, Cafe, Healthy, Soups
Outdoor Seating, Free Wifi, Takeout, Seating, Street Parking, Free off-street parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Gift Cards Available
Reviews (736)
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All reviews lunch cuban sandwich french onion soup soups salad half sandwich muenster cheese corned beef tuna mini desserts bread chef michael cuban press auto train shot glass pressed sandwiches small dessert
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Reviewed 1 week ago

If you’re ever in downtown Sanford this is absolutely the best spot to eat lunch. They have gourmet food and you’ll feel welcome as soon as you walk in the door when you’re greeted typically by the owner. They give you a little run down...of the menu and show you your table. I get the Cobb salad and turkey bacon press. So good. You’ll also get a little dessert shot at the end of your meal which is just the right size if you don’t want to feel like you’ve eaten too much. An absolute must to experience whether you’re visiting or live in the area. 4 thumbs up.More

Date of visit: April 2021
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank You Mike! We are delighted that enjoy The Corner Café so much and even more that you would share these kind words with the TripAdvisor Community!! As we enter our 14th Year of Service to Historic Downtown Sanford we know its folks like you...More

Restaurant's Favorite
Reviewed March 12, 2020 via mobile

Arrived in Sanford famished and quickly googled restaurants, the reviews of this place were promising and I’m a sucker for good soup so we gave it a shot. This place literally set the vibe for our vacation at an excellent high. We walk in and...we’re quickly greeted by the owner who gave us the run down of the menu, our options, the favorites, and an iteration of the quality of freshness/made from scratch options. He spoke highly of his items and was entirely accurate. Down home feel of an establishment, yet completely adorable and clean but with the culinary offerings of an entirely fancy boutique restaurant. In case you were wondering... I had cream of mushroom and a turkey bacon sandwich with an A&W root beer, what a combo! My husband had a French onion bread bowl with the Reuben and and ice tea - all absolutely decadent and delicious. This place will be a must-visit whenever we are in the area! Thank y’all so much!More

Date of visit: March 2020
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2020

Thank You All So Much! It was an absolute pleasure to meet & serve you guys!! We just celebrated our 11th Anniversary at The Corner Cafe and its folks like you that keep us coming back day after day. If you get the chance to...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We stopped here for lunch today before boarding the auto train. As you walk in the staff asked if we’d been there before. We weren’t. They proceeded to tell us about the menu. They were professional and very friendly. After deciding what we wanted we...sat outside at a lovely table overlooking Sanford town. Before we ventured outside we were offered a taste of salmon soufflé deviled eggs. They were amazing. Our food arrived and was beautifully presented. Homemade soup and Cobb salad was delicious accompanied by homemade croutons . The whole meal was sensational! To top it all off next came a surprise desert..... fabulous tiny cup with graham crackers and cheesecake and whipped cream topping. Can’t wait to go back. Definitely worth many more visits. Thank you for sharing your talents with us . We will be back!More

Date of visit: March 2021
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank You Carol, We have been serving those who "Ride the Rails" for just about 13 years now and we couldn't be happier! Having one of the best seats in town doesn't hurt either. Please put us on your list of "Must Do's" the for...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My friend and I shared a fantastic lunch this week at The Corner Cafe. We both had the chicken salad press which was delicious! I had the tomato soup, and she had the mushroom soup. Both so tasty! We agreed it was the best lunch...we've had in many months! The staff is super friendly and accommodating.More

Date of visit: March 2021
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My wife and I were on our way back from a trip to Mt. Dora. It was getting near lunchtime, so we thought we would stop in Sanford to get a bite. We had been to Sanford before, but it seemed to lack some of...the excitement from pre COVID days, and it seemed quiet for a Friday afternoon. I had read about The Corner Cafe from other TripAdvisors' reviews, and it sounded like it would be a good experience for us. We were greeted warmly by Jody, and her first question to us was: "Have you been here before?" That's quite a switch from most places that we have been to! Usually they just sit you down and hand you a menu. Well, she explained everything to us, showed us the posted and printed menu and gave us time to decide before we sat at a nice table by the window. The place is quite cozy, and we were within earshot of the other side of the counter, so we exchanged some pleasant facts about us back and forth before other customers came in. I enjoyed watching her interact with newcomers and return customers. Hey, this lady really likes her job and cares about her customers! It wasn't very long when our orders arrived. My corned beef and my wife's Cuban were in a panni type sandwich with a side of mac salad for me and blue cheese coleslaw for my wife. Now, I really, really like corned beef. That and smoked corned beef (aka pastrami) rank high on the food pyramid for me, and since my favorite Irish restaurant was closed this may be my only crack at corned beef before St. Patrick's day! Well, it was wonderful. If any of you have bought corned beef and cooked it you learn quickly that getting the "cheaper" cut is false economy. This corned beef was top shelf! It actually tasted unique to me because it was ground a bit finer than I have had before, but taste wise it was exactly where it was supposed to be. I tasted my wife's Cuban as well. Actually, we each had half of each others sandwich. It was excellent as well!. After we finished we were given just a small flan that would tickle anyone's sweet tooth. Unique and tasty as well! Watching Jody work the customers and the care she took to make sure everyone had a great experience was fun to watch. Good food for us is a must when we go to a restaurant, and good service is almost as important! This place had it all plus the prices were quite reasonable for the quality of food. If you have never tried this place it would be a mistake to pass it by!More

Date of visit: March 2021
Jody H, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Awww! Ben, how kind of you to take the time to write such a lovely review. I enjoyed meeting you and your wife, and love the fact that you decided to visit Sanford. We strive very hard to make sure our customers have a wonderful...More

Reviewed March 6, 2021 via mobile

We were running a little early for the auto train and decided to stop in for lunch. Chef Michael walked us through all the menu options and while we were tempted by the homemade soups, the Cuban and Reuben press sandwiches were too tempting to...pass up. Lunch was wonderful, with fabulous personal service. The sandwiches were delicious and came with a little mini dessert to finish it off. We will be back!More

Date of visit: March 2021
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2021

Thank You & Jeff so mush for these kind words of praise. We are delighted that you took our advice and got a good hot meal in you before your overnight trip on the Auto Train! It was a pleasure to meet and serve you...More

Reviewed February 5, 2021 via mobile

I’ve heard really good things about The Corner Cafe and was pretty excited when I had the opportunity to have lunch there today. Upon entering we were immediately greeted by the chef who was extremely inviting and informative. He broke down the menu and explained...how things there worked. He provided some recommendations and allowed us some time to decide. It was nice to see social distancing enforced as well as the staff wearing masks. We decided to go with a couple of half sandwich with soup combos. I got the Asian infused sandwich with his highly recommended French onion soup. We also ordered the Cuban sandwich with a chili bowl. Everything tasted fresh and was very good. My Asian sandwich was very similar to the Cuban but with an Asian flavored sauce which tasted a bit strange to me. I didn’t hate it but would never order it again. The Cuban was better but both were very very small. My French onion soup was the hit of the meal. It tasted very good and had a lathe slice of Muenster cheese on top and it was inside of a round bread with a hole cut out on top. It was pretty amazing. The chili was good but not great. The chef even gave us 2 free mini cups of triple chocolate cake which was outstanding. Overall, it was a cute little spot with great customer service and good food. My only gripe was how pricey it was.More

Date of visit: February 2021
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2021

Thank You Brother, We appreciate your kind words and even though the Asian B-B-Q didn't hit the Bull's Eye we applaud your adventurous spirit! Price -Wise we try to stay competitive while still paying a living wage to our dedicated employees and covering the cost...More

Reviewed January 29, 2021

Just to place to go for FrenchOnion soup in a bread bowl. Quick and very friendly service. Cant believe the negative stuff I read. Only complaint I have if the limited hours. But its worth it to go for lunch and get there before 3....Chef Michael recommended a fine purchase from the adjacent business as well. A credit to Sanford.. Other things people had looked good too.More

Date of visit: January 2021
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2021

Thank You MJC, I agree with you on the French Onion Soup and don't worry about those Negative Nellies. Someone told me once that there are certain folks who just like to throw stones at pretty things! Also....let me get past this COVID Restrictive Period...More

Reviewed January 19, 2021

After reading all the positive reviews and being a soup lover, I really wanted to have lunch here for my birthday. Big mistake! The lasting memory will be how rude the owner was to us, and to his waitstaff. As soon as we walked in...the door, he yelled at us to "stay back on the footprints" (to maintain social distancing. Okay, I get that, but there were actually 2 sets of footprints (so we were 12' away.) When it was our turn to order, he asked if it was our 1st visit and proceeded to explain the menu and all of his "featured items" or maybe he used the term "world renowned" to describe the French onion soup. When a member of our party asked to order it in a regular bowl (not a bread bowl), he went on about how that would ruin the presentation they're known for, or something like that. Then we tried to order for the children (ages 2 and 4), and he offered PBJ, Grilled cheese or Pizza sandwich/bread and our kiddos don't eat any of that, which he couldn't believe,. We just wanted to share our food with them and add a side of fruit, (which the kids' meals offer), but he wouldn't allow us to buy a side of fruit as "it would disrupt all the prepared plates they had put together since 8am that morning." Want it or not, the meals are priced to include a beverage and a dessert shooter. We asked about the "Blue Cheese Cole Slaw" and he said we'd love it as he got the idea from a restaurant in Georgia he visited, that has since closed. Okay, we ordered it but tasted no blue cheese in it. We tried ordering the cucumber salad for the kids (who love cucumbers) and he said they wouldn't like it as it's too tart. We ended up ordering our meals and sharing them with the kids. When the waitress(who was very sweet, thank goodness), brought our food, the owner slammed two plates, and silverware/napkins on the counter and she asked him "what are those for?" and he just ignored her and walked away. I spoke up and said, those are for the kids. ( I guess he didn't want us to share our food with them since we didn't order (items they don't eat) off his kids menu.) The corned beef sandwich we ordered had maybe one slice of meat, the chicken laying on top of the salad was tough and chewy, but the mushroom soup saved the meal- it was really delicious! The Cuban sandwich was good too, but lacked filling. The onion soup was nothing special, I guess when he made a point of saying "other places make it salty, ours isn't that way", perhaps it just needed a little salt? HE certainly was salty, and our experience was less than enjoyable with him dictating what customers would/should like and all the rules customers have to follow just to place an order. It really felt like work on my day off! Near the end of our meal he came out from behind the counter to greet someone he knew, and they stood 2' from our table laughing and carrying on-(what happened to the 6' rule?) We never got our drinks refilled, but probably because the poor waitress was taking care of the whole restaurant while the owner was busy trying to control the minds of his customers. I would definitely order the mushroom soup again "to go" as long as that's not another issue for this guy, whew! I can just imagine him saying "that soup doesn't travel well, or won't be the same if you have to re-heat it." We needed a toothpick, but didn't see any on the counter and if you think I was going to ask for one, well think again. I used one I found in my purse. Sir, put a smile on your face and create an atmosphere where customers can come and enjoy good food and good service, and maybe you won't have to ask " is this your 1st visit, but rather, thanks for coming back!" Better yet, find your opinionated self a spot in the kitchen, and put a friendlier human at your front counter. Oh, and be nicer to your staff. I can't imagine needing a job so badly to have to work for someone like you!More

Date of visit: January 2021
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2021

Thank You for taking the time to express your opinions (all be they a touch personal). We will review your comments and see if there is anything we can do to improve our service and food quality. In the meantime, don't forget that Historic Downtown...More

Reviewed January 5, 2021

The Corner Cafe is a must go if you are seeking perfect soups & salads. (I haven't tried the sandwiches yet). The french onion soup accompanied with the cobb salad is a lunch perfection. Finish with a desert shooter completes an outstanding dining experience. Staff...is extremely friendly & attentive as well as the great music playing in the background creates the ultimate lunch experience. I started a new job nearby and just started visiting this establishment. This is a locally owned gem. I will likely visit this cafe weekly!! Excellent place!!!!More

Date of visit: January 2021
CHEFMICHAELOBRIEN, Owner at The Corner Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2021

Thank You Randy, We are so happy that you have come to be part of The Corner Café Community! I knew you got what we do from the get go and that you enjoy the food so much is icing on the cake!! See You...More

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Questions & Answers
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June 23, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ProudCestrian60 | Reviewed this property |
I would say it is about a 10 minute walk, on W 1st Street.
Kathleen M
December 13, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Kurt_on_the_go | Reviewed this property |
An easy 15 minute drive.
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