The Ballard neighborhood of Seattle is lucky to have two quality bakeries. Café Besalu may have what many people deem the best croissants in the city, but at Honoré Artisan Bakery, you'll find a variety of great pastries from Kouign Amann to seasonal fruit tarts.
Honoré has a unique style—the pastries tend to have a darker color, more crackly texture, and noticable caramelization. In fact, salt and caramel are prominent here; popular items include sea salt caramel tarts and salted caramel macarons.
The overall selection at Honoré is a little smaller than what you'll find at Café Besalu, Bakery Nouveau, and Crumble & Flake, but the quality is high. You'll generally find two workers to greet you at the front counter, one ready at the espresso machine, and the other to help you with your food order. One showcase focuses primarily on pastries*, while another holds more of the cakes and desserts. Macarons are a colorful favorite here.
*We're focusing on the sweet side, but the savory items are good too, especially anything with gruyère, like leek & gruyère quiche or the onion and gruyère tart.
At first, seating seems limited to a counter that looks out the front window and some Adirondack chairs on the sidewalk. But walk the narrow hallway that goes back behind the kitchen and you'll find a quaint courtyard that holds eight tables for two—promising when the weather is nice.
What should you eat when you stop by Honoré? Check out the slideshow to see five top picks.
Honoré Artisan Bakery
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.