The Cambridge area boasts a plethora of viable options on the breakfast front, so we've taken the liberty of compiling a list of our favorite pastries. Ranging from flakey, buttery croissants to Middle Eastern-inspired brioche to slightly spicy scones, there are options for every palate.
'Boston' on Serious Eats
When Tim Maslow opened Ribelle, his first solo concept last fall, it was a boon to Brookline's Washington Square neighborhood. Now he's started brunch, and the sweet offerings are right on point.
Though it's more commonly sought out for its decadent offering of hot chocolates, bonbons, and chocolate bars, I recently made a visit to L.A. Burdick in Boston in pursuit of one thing: the Mocha Cake ($4).
I can't speak for anyone else out there, but Boston's recent onslaught of blizzards and polar vortexes have left me pining for some citrusy, delicate, reminiscent-of-summertime sweets. Darwin's Ltd. came to the rescue this week with their Lemon Blueberry Tart ($5).
The Executive Pastry Chef at Harvest, (and nominee for Food & Wine's 2013 "The People's Best New Pastry Chef" award) fills us in on his favorite places to relax with a hot beverage and something sweet.
I cherish a bowl of mini Twix and baby Reese's cups as much as the next person, but Halloween also presents a good excuse to splurge on high-quality candy. Here are some of the Hub's best picks for artisan sweets, a number of which are all dressed up for the holiday.
We're big fans of the butter-laden, brilliantly spiced pastries at Sofra Bakery and Cafe, but the Boston area's most celebrated Middle Eastern bakery is also its youngest. There's a cluster of traditional Levantine sweets shops that have been pedaling gorgeously flaky baklava and nutty-rich ma'amoul for decades with an equally loyal following.
This spring, a sweet new food truck hit the streets: the Batch ice cream truck. Yup, this is the same small batch (get it?), high quality ice cream that burst out of Jamaica Plain's Crop Circle Kitchen in 2010 and has been winning awards—and fans—ever since.
You're familiar with fro-yo. This is fro-ho*. Frozen Hoagies, if we're being formal. The ice cream sandwich truck shuttles between the Charlestown Naval Yard and Cleveland Circle, making several downtown stops in between where it sells homemade cookies (available large or small, called "sliders") packed around thick scoops of Chilly Cow frozen custard. A home run concept, to say the least.
It's a three day process to make this bread pudding, but each caramel-y, salty, creamy bite is worth it.
Like most everything I've had at Sofra, the coffeecake exceeded my expectations, and not just because there were exotic flavors in the mix.
Coffee rolls are what would happen if a cinnamon roll, an apple cider donut, and a coffee cake had a baby. An enormous, super sugary baby. The version at Kane's is tops.
Union Square Donuts is definitely not a mom-and-pop doughnut joint. It's housed in Kitchen, Inc., the shared commercial cooking space in Union Square. There's a folding table instead of a counter and though it all looks a little impermanent, the place is buzzing with energy. The staff, almost all of whom are wearing beanies and plaid, are friendly and look like they might just glaze doughnuts to the beat of Sam Cooke and French love songs even when they're not working.
This Boston area boulangerie is best known for its textbook-perfect baguettes, butter-laden brioche (weekends only), and heavy German ryes, but frankly the shop's sweets deserve their own post. Behold, a survey of just a few of their rustic, mostly French wares—all of which justify standing in the usual around-the-block line.
What do you get when you transport the bold colors, inventive flavors, and exotic spices of the well-loved Cambridge restaurant Oleana into a cozy bakery and cafe? Sofra, the popular spot created by James Beard Award-winner Ana Sortun and 5-time "Best of Boston" pasty chef Maura Kilpatrick.
Between her butter-laden pastries, stunning cakes, and inspired (and well-crafted) sandwiches and salads, it's no wonder that Joanne Chang's Flour Bakery is turning into a mini Boston enterprise. (Flour4 is due to open any time now.) Here are a few reasons why—all of which are Chang's personal favorites.
Bostonians, this year you might want to skip the battle over oven space and opt for a pie you can buy. Here are three of our favorites.
The lemon-ginger mousse at Myers and Chang is silky, rich, and light all at once. I quickly became addicted, so luckily chef Joanne Chang was willing to share the recipe.
This Asian spin on a sundae is the star item on Foumami's short dessert menu.
The brunch at Craigie on Main has a lot to commend it. Not in the least are these cake doughnuts, which are fried to order to ensure a thick, even, and golden brown crust.