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We are now an ticketed events-based restaurant offering a wide variety of experiences for our guests. We also offer an inspired list of cooking classes and wine education. Please check out our reservations page to see what events are coming up.

Our Beginnings

We opened our doors on August 29th, 2008 in the midst of the toughest recession in recent decades. Now in our 10th year, we are as strong as ever and fully committed to our pledge of thoughtful sourcing, supporting local farmers, and drawing inspirations from all over the world.

Our Concept

On Tuesday, August 29th, 2017, Cress Restaurant ushered into a decade of creative, thoughtfully-sourced, globally-inspired culinary and hospitality excellence. In our current incarnation, we will continue to offer the amazing value you’ve come to expect from us, but our hours of operation will be limited to only ticketed events.
Check out our events
More information about our concept.

Cress in the Media

We are a small-town restaurant with a big footprint. We appreciate all of the positive press we have received over the years. We don't take our successes for granted and are continually challenging ourselves to deliver the best possible experience for our guests while mainatainng our values and sustainable practices. Here is a brief list of media pieces and accolades.

Welcome to Cress 386.734.3740

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Would You Like To Receive Weekly Updates?
Every week, Chef Pulapaka personally sends an update to all subscribers about special events, weekend specials, and recipes. If you are interested, please sign-up for the Cress Newsletter.

Beets and Carrots

About Us
Cress Restaurant is an exciting independent restaurant that debuted in Historic Downtown DeLand, FL in August 2008. Cress is owned and operated by Hari and Jenneffer Pulapaka and supported by a dedicated and talented staff. Chef Hari Pulapaka is a four-time (2015, 2014, 2013, 2011) James Beard Semifinalist for Best Chef-South, a two-time (2013 and 2012) Food & Wine Magazine's nominee for the top 100 People's Best New Chef, and is also an active, tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics at Stetson University and Dr. Jenneffer Pulapaka (General Manager and Wine Director) is also a podiatric surgeon who owns her own private medical practice The DeLand Foot and Leg Center. Hari, Jenneffer, and the entire Cress Staff are tirelessly re-inventing the cuisine, service, and overall dining experience at Cress.

Wine at CressWine at Cress
Follow our exciting new feature where we offer great midweek specials on wine and celebrate the enoyment of pairing them with food! Follow Wine At Cress

Our Food Stamp Challenges
Jenneffer and Hari Pulapaka have taken the Food Stamp Challenge on multiple occasions. Here is a link to our daily posts during this challenge: Food Stamp Challenge Blog.

Upcoming Events

(Respectfully, we do not accept gift cards for charitable fundraisers)

An Evening of Tapas
Friday, April 27thth, 5:30-8:30 pm
Join us for an evening of tasty TAPAS featuring a wide variety of artisan meats and local vegetables. Wine pairings are also available.
Friday, April 27th: An Evening of Tapas Tickets

Cooking Classes by Chef Hari
Changing Cuisines and Themes
SOLD-OUT (Please check back for more dates)

Past Events (Examples)

Solidarity Sunday: Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa
Sunday, March 25th, 4-6:30 pm
Street Event on West Indiana Avenue, DeLand
Considering that immigrants have historically and continue to make America great, we stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti, El Salvador, and the continent of Africa. We showcased a family-style meal inspired by these regions and served almost 400 guests on West Indiana Avenue outside Cress. A portion of the funds were donated to Florida Immigrant Coalition. MENU (subject to minor changes based on ingredients availability and quality): Ayamese, Doro Wat, Kelewele, Sukumi Wiki, Nafaqo, Jollof, Ndole, Diri ak Pwa, Pupusa.

April 10-11: Flavors of PERU
TWO Nights, April 10-11, 5:30-8:30 pm
An exciting four course menu inspired by our recent visit to Lima, Peru consisting of traditional and contemporary flavors, with optional wine pairings. Additionally, a vegetarian menu is also available with prior request.

Flavors of the Mediterranean
Friday, March 30th, 5:30-8:30 pm
A thoughtfully curated 4-course meal featuring the fresh, bright, and herbaceous flavors of the Mediterranean. The menu will include fresh sustainable seafood and in-season vegetables from our local farms.

Heritage Pork and Wagyu Beef
Friday, March 16th, 5:30-8:30 pm
A decadent 4-course meal featuring primal cuts of locally sourced heritage pork and ultra marbled Wagyu Beef. High-end wine pairings are available

Sinfully Vegan
Thursday, March 1st, 5:30-8:30 pm
A decadent 4-course 100% vegan dinner

Mumbai Street Food
Friday, February 9th, 5-9 pm
Chef Hari Pulapaka grew up in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai (formerly, Bombay). He lived there for 21 years before coming to America. Hari and Jenneffer visit Mumbai frequently and this menu represents some of Hari's favourite dishes growing up and every time he visits.

Winter Seafood Fest
Friday, January 19th

Caribbean Soul
Thursday, January 18th

Soul Supper
A fundraiser at the Spring Hill Community Garden
Sunday, January 14th, 2-4 pm
$25 per person
Read about this event

Fundraiser for Puerto Rico (2 nights)
Friday, December 1st & Saturday, December 2nd
Menu & Flyer

Fundraiser for California (2 nights)
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Sonoma County
Thursday, December 14th & Friday, December 15th
Menu & Flyer

Fundraiser for The Barefoot Farmer
Sunday, December 17th: Brunch on Tomazn Farm
Menu & Flyer

WICCD Table Talks: Native American Dinner on West Indiana Avenue
Saturday, September 16th, 6-8 pm
A Family Style meal outside Cress Restaurant on West Indiana Avenue; tickets required, $40/pp. Table Talks are where we spark new ideas and inspirations for the future. This gathering takes place on the Trail of Tears Commemoration Day, giving us a chance to celebrate the rich heritage of Native Americans, to socialize with old friends and make new ones, to eat food inspired by centuries-old tradition, and to learn from mistakes while accepting each other as we are and walk together in peace.
Menu & Flyer

7 Courses - Countries
Sunday, February 26, 2017, 4-6 pm
"7 Courses 7 Countries" was a family-style meal presented by Cress Restaurant featuring the amazing cuisines of IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, and YEMEN. About 330 guests enjoyed a spectacular day in DeLand and were treated to a soulful meal. The event raised $10,000 for the International Rescue Committe (IRC). Here are two of many media pieces that covered the event:
Dinner raises funds for immigration and refugee charity
by Joe Crews, West Volusia Beacon

300 Dine on Meal in DeLand Inspired by Trump’s Travel Ban
by Austin Fuller, Daytona Beach News Journal

Cress Restaurant at James Beard House (NYC)
Monday, April 4th
"Global Table, Sunshine State", James Beard House
167 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011
We were the featured restaurant at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.
Click Here for the Menu

What Our Customers Say

Good food and service. Great place for special occasions. Check to see availability and reservations. Award-winning dining.

Barbara G

Lovely restaurant in downtown DeLand. Food plated well and service was top notch. Great wine places within walking distance for an after dinner drink.


I have been wanting to go to The Cress Restaurant and finally went. I had the best fish I have ever had. The flavors of the sauces, spices and the presentation were amazing. The appetizers and desserts are also amazing. If you want to experience an unique blend of flavors don't miss this upscale restaurant.


Our group of four had the three course offering with wine parings. Everything about the experience was wonderful. The food and service were excellent and reasonably priced for an all-inclusive dinner.


Great food. Nice place for our staff meetings. The restored pew is perfect. Wonderful flavors Chef. We loved our holiday party at Cress, and look forward to our next meeting. Fab team.

Three Dfalc

Wonderful staff and great friendly casual service. The chef - Hari Pulapaka is fabulous and is a master of spice and bold flavors. The wine list is extensive from nice simple house wines to a beautiful Jarvis. Seasonal menu that changes. Currently the carrots & beets course is to die for and the herb crusted fish of the days is Golden Tile from Port Orange. This is a place to relax, eat, wine, and enjoy our friends.

Foodie Nosh