Two local joints that have popped up since fall you may have missed are Social Cloth Cafe & Bakery and Sunshine Diner.
Sunshine Diner, located on South Pennsylvania Avenue, offers a conventional breakfast experience familiar to anyone who has graced the booths of Fleetwood or Good Truckin’. From bacon to biscuits, to pancakes and omelets, its menu samples of the cornerstones of American breakfast cuisine.
For diners visiting on their lunch breaks, Sunshine Diner’s menu also has a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches. Sunshine Diner also serves a variety of halal biryani rice dishes. But you’ve got to be an early bird, because the diner closes shop by 3 p.m.
Downtown, the family-owned artisanal shop Social Sloth Cafe & Bakery is serving up Turkish cuisine. Social Sloth dishes out breakfast, baked goods, desserts, plus a selection of special Turkish dishes, including köfte and pide.
Social Sloth’s menu is constantly evolving, and the food is made fresh every day. “People have been asking us why we came to Lansing. To that, we say, ‘Why not Lansing?’” said Burcay Gunguler, co-owner of the cafe along with her husband, Aybars. “There’s no other Turkish food around Lansing. Being unique is always good.”
Social Sloth’s owners explained that the cheeky name comes from an appreciation of the sloth’s lifestyle — one that is relaxed and cozy. “We want people to enjoy their goodies in a mindful way,” said Gunguler. “This country is so chaotic, especially nowadays. Everyone is so busy. We don’t want people to have to be quick.”
Staying afloat during the pandemic led the owners of Social Sloth to get creative. In addition to catering services and special holiday menus, the cafe offers virtual cooking classes for foodies stuck at home with nothing to do.
In the classes, which will begin later this month, the Gungulers will guide their students through the preparation of multiple Turkish dishes and share facts about the food culture in Turkey.
“Historically, lots of different nations have lived on the land that is now Turkey. So, there are many, many different kinds of food in Turkey, depending on what region you are in,” said Gunguler. “Also, you can find or grow everything over there. Vegetables, wheat, meats and cheeses.”
Social Sloth also stocks a variety of Turkish groceries, including canned goods, Turkish coffee, sauces and cheeses.
Opening a cafe in 2020 may not have been easy, but Gunguler said that it was definitely worth the trouble. She and her husband just wanted to share their knowledge and love of Turkish food with the community.
“It’s good mood food,” said Gunguler. “And people are enjoying it so far.”
1040 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing
Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily
(517) 574-5416, restaurantji.com/mi/lansing/sunshine-diner
Social Sloth Cafe & Bakery
301 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
(517) 515-0265, SocialSlothCafe.com