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Thursday
Mar272008

Cakewalk in Queen Anne, Seattle

Cinnamon Roll, Nielsen's, Queen Anne, Seattle
Queen Anne is a neighborhood in Seattle which is defined by a few things: its killer views, its killer "Counterbalance" hill, and of course, the fact that it is the neighborhood in which the Cakespy Headquarters is located. And what a sweet 'hood to call home: from the lower part of the hill with its Danish-inspired pastries, to the top of the hill, where doughnuts and carbohydrates reign, there are plenty of places to get your dessert on in Queen Anne. Here are some of our personal favorites:


Caffe Ladro: Though mostly known for its coffee, Ladro is an established bakery in its own right: they have their own commercial bakery in West Seattle, at which baked goods are made daily for all of their Seattle locations. Ranging from dense vegan oat bars with a tart rhubarb layer to buttery scones and a gorgeously crumbly cardamom coffee cake, it's worth a visit even for non coffee drinkers. Two Queen Anne Locations: 600 Queen Anne Ave. No., and 2205 Queen Anne Ave. No.; online at caffeladro.com.
Crow: Though we don't frequently feature restaurants (we don't feel as comfortable talking about the meal before dessert), this one is an exception. When Head Spy Jessie moved to Seattle on a whim and found herself jobless, she waited tables at Crow in lower Queen Anne. Though no longer waiting tables there, we all still enjoy their house-made desserts which will range seasonally--offerings might include a house-made strawberry ice cream, rustic cobbler à la mode or a sinfully rich chocolate cake. We like to sit at the bar where it's OK to order dessert only! 823 5th Ave. No., (206) 283-8800.
Eat Local: Desserts made with no artificial sweeteners, no refined sugar, and all-local ingredients? Sounds suspect, we know, but as proven by our recent week-long Eat Local Challenge, sometimes local is a good thing: ranging from the surprisingly light honey-lemon cheesecake to crumbly shortbread and toe-curlingly delicious chocolate decadence in their "takeaway" dessert case, Eat Local offers some treasures on Upper Queen Anne. 2400 Queen Anne Ave. No., (206) 328-3663; online at eatlocalonline.com.

El Diablo Coffee Co.: Aside from serving a spicy mocha made with Mexican chocolate that would make even a black coffee drinker a believer, they've got some killer desserts--Tres Leches Cake, Red Velvet, and a rotating cast of tarts, pots de creme, and other delectable treats. The desserts are supplied by another Seattle Bakery, Bella Dolce, but the ambiance is far better at El Diablo, with a warm, lived-in interior and cute hipster employees. 1811 Queen Anne Avenue N.,  (206) 285-0693; online at eldiablocoffee.com.

Macrina Bakery: Macrina can be a strange beast, inspiring either fierce love or instense disdain amongst Seattleites. It's an acquired taste for certain--their cakes aren't as sweet as some of their other commercial counterparts,  and their "short" scones do tend to crumble differently than the sweet ones you'd find at say, Starbucks. And to put it bluntly, their coffee is...not good. But while our Cakespy crew doesn't love everything at Macrina, the good stuff is truly, genuinely good: rich cupcakes that blur the line between cake and truffle; beautiful iced shortbread, and perfect buttermilk biscuits with jam in the morning. Queen Anne Location, 615 W McGraw St., (206) 283-5900; online at macrinabakery.com.


Metropolitan Market: Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and Metro Market is that place for us. Located one block away from Cakespy Headquarters, this is the place that fuels our immediate sugar needs, with a surprisingly good on-site bakery, and also a large selection of pastries, ranging from local bakers like Alki Bakery, EATS Market, Essential Baking, Macrina--to baked goods and pastries from the likes of Poilâne Bakery and Cheesecake from Junior's in NYC. Swoon. Two Queen Anne Locations: 100 Mercer Street, and 1908 Queen Anne Ave. No.; online at metropolitan-market.com.
Morfey's Cake Shoppe: True, Morfey's is a special-order cake bakery (alas, no rows of cake slices or cupcakes for those just walking by), but is certainly worth mentioning. They've been around forever, and it shows, with light-as-air cakes topped with whipped buttercream frosting which invoke instant taste nostalgia. Just walking inside will give you a buzz--with just a tiny meeting area in front of the large commercial ovens, the air is thick with the smell of cakes baking. 110 Denny Way, (206) 283-8557; online at morfeyscake.com.


Nielsen's Pastries: Though this one can be hard to hit due to their bankers hours (7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mondays,  7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. the rest of the week, 8:00 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, and closed on Sunday ). Nonetheless, if you find yourself here during a trip or if you're local taking a "mental health day" from work, it's worth a visit, with rich, cream filled pastries, Danish specialties and cookies like mom made--but better. Our picks are the oozy, glazey, fantastic cinnamon rolls (picture top), and the "Potato"--think of a creamy, rich, custardy eclair, then top it with a marzipan jacket and a dusting of cocoa. One Sweet Potato indeed. 520 2nd Ave W, (206) 282-3004; online at nielsenspastries.com

Pasta + Co.: When you see the the gorgeous pasta displays and splendid array of olive oils just keep on walking--they'll only divert you from the wonderful (made in-house!) lemon tarts, as well as creamy, dreamy cupcakes and sweets supplied by excellent local baker T.M. Dessert Works. 2109 Queen Anne Ave. No., (206) 283-1182; online at pastaco.com
QFC: Yes, QFC is a grocery store chain and part of the Kroger family. But we're not scared to admit that their bakery has what in our opinion is a surprisingly toothsome and tasty nanaimo bar. You'll also always be able to find a pink frosted cookie here, but not much else in their baked goods case is worth a mention in our opinion. Queen Anne Location, 500 Mercer St., (206) 352-4020; online at qfconline.com.
Teacup: This bulk tea shop is a mecca for tea lovers, ranging from tame Northwest Mint to exotic (and expensive) Pu'Erh blends and exquisite green teas. However, tea isn't the only thing that keeps us coming back--we also love their tiny tea cookies and homemade scones--supplied by Blue Dog Baking; biscotti from Dilettante is also on hand. 2207 Queen Anne Ave No.,
(206) 283-5931; online at seattleteacup.com.

Top Pot Doughnuts: Continuing their slow but steady quest in taking over the doughnut world, Top Pot just opened a new location on Upper Queen Anne, which can be teeming with families on the weekends, but is rather pleasant on weekday afternoons. While we won't say they're the best we've ever tasted, they are very, solidly good, and very dependable; also, their displays, with doughnuts like the "Pink Feather Boa", never fail to brighten our mood. But if you prefer Mighty-O's vegan donuts, they have them across the street at Caffe Fiore325 West Galer St, (206) 728-1986; online at toppotdoughnuts.com.

Uptown Espresso: Like Ladro, Uptown Espresso's baked goods are their own creations. While we can take or leave their scones, we've had very good experiences with their iced "loaf" cakes (try the pumpkin if it's available) and with their buttery, shortbready sugar cookies. Good Americano too--in the mornings, barista Kelly (on the right side) always makes us smile. 525 Queen Anne Ave No., (206) 285-5663; online at uptownespresso.net.

 

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Reader Comments (51)

I love Top Pot - and I'm even more excited that they're opening in Queen Anne. We're hoping to open our next Otion Soap Bar in the Queen Anne area (fingers crossed). =)

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

I want to have a threesome w/carbs and coffee. That cinnamon roll looks soooo good. I am in hungry mode today so I want to make and eat everything.

So what exactly is a Pink Feather Boa donut?

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterEB

I could almost smell that cinnamon bun at the beginning of this post...and I think my stomach is growling...so many great photos and places...I am hungry now!!!

Cheers,
Diana

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Evans

Clearly, I need to diversify, because all my time in Queen Anne is spent at the 5 Spot!

March 28 | Unregistered Commentersurcie

oh! i have such fond memories of queen anne. i lived there long ago. i had my first egg nog latte at cafe ladro. at first i was like, eggnog latte? ick. then i tasted it. sublime.

i'd have been totally sunk if that donut shop was there back then.

March 28 | Unregistered Commenterkate

I would love to come visit and have you give me an eating tour of Seattle. I would probably be as big as a house when we were done, but we'd have a blast!

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterEllo

i love the queen anne area. next time i'm there i've got to check out Teacup. i'm an avid tea drinker and always on the hunt for crazy tea blends. thanks for the great tips, as always....

the cinnamon roll looks beautiful.. you have a great blog...

March 28 | Unregistered Commentersandhya

Yummy post, as usual. That cinnamon roll is calling my name!

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

That one on the top looks so good! You review so many pastry shops with so many tasty looking things. I have only ever been in one pastry shop, I needed to taste compare some professionally made baklava. I will have to make an effort to stop by some pastry shops to see what wonders they offer.

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Sweet mercy...pleaase! Just keeps getting better with each stop!! Those cookies with stars on top are adoreable...YUM!!

You had me at "dense vegan oat bars with a tart rhubarb layer". Rhubarb... Drool...

March 29 | Unregistered CommenterRural Vegan

yummy,yummy,yummy are wonderful!!! Gloria (I love all)

March 29 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

I don't know that I could function with all this goodness in my neighborhood. Your descriptions only confirm what I already knew -- our "village" is sorely lacking in the baked goods area. We have a couple of good shops, but nothing like this. Very nice!

March 29 | Unregistered Commenterkellypea

I wish that i could live in an area with such cool places!

I've been eyeing a Seattle trip for the fall. Thanks for planning my itinerary! Now I'm excited. What a great collection of reviews!

March 29 | Unregistered CommenterGP

ahhh, thank you for virtually taking me to all of those scrumptious bakeries in Queen Anne - now I'm full and content with baked goods :0)

March 29 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

OMG, I want to paint that cinnamon roll! It is gorgeous. Great photography!

Based on these reviews, Cakespy, I have got to visit Seattle! haha

March 30 | Unregistered CommenterCupcakeLady

Anne-Marie: Yeah! We went on opening day, naturally. Can't wait to see if you get to open there! How cool!

Obsessive Foodie: You and me both. And it was that good!

EB: It is pink frosted with coconut flakes--cute and garish and delectable. All at once.

Diana: That means we're doing our job!

Surcie: And the good thing is, Queen Anne isn't too huge, so they're all within walking distance! (well, might be a healthy walk, but you'll have plenty of sugary energy!)

Kate: Ah, yes. Ladro makes a mean latte, don't they? I have never tried their eggnog one but love their drinks a lot.

Ello: Please do come--together we'd be as big as two houses!

Octavine: Then you'd love this place! You might also like Remedy Teas in Capitol Hill!

Sandhya: Thank you! And it was.

RecipeGirl: Sorry, it's been eaten!

Kevin: Oh, it was. Can't believe you've only ever been in one pastry shop--get out there!!!

Passionate Baker: Adorable and delicious!

Rural Vegan: Yes, those are Mr. Cakespy's favorite thing, like ever! They're super tasty.

Gloria: You said it!

KellyPea: It's a sweet life indeed.

Jessy: We are pretty lucky, geographically speaking!

GP: Yep, and this is just one neighborhood. Cakewalk in Belltown / Downtown coming soon!

VeggieGirl: Virtually speaking, anyway! :-)

Nancy: Thanks! It was a fine cinnamon roll indeed.
I cannot believe that adorable painting of the boy with the cakes you just did! incredible!

Cupcaklady: Duh! Come visit soon!

March 30 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Macrina was featured on a Food Network show recently. The owner was showing how to bake their lemon sour cherry coffee cake. Have y'all tried it in the store? Just wondered if it's worth the effort to make it.

March 31 | Unregistered CommenterSurcie

mm the top pot donuts look good! and the cinnamon bun at the top. should not be browsing cake blogs at night!

April 1 | Unregistered Commenterjoanh

How did I miss this great post on my last visit huh??

Gosh you are so lucky to visit all these wonderful bakers shops. I have heard of Macrina Bakery before. Gosh I'd love to be over the pond trying out some of these wonderful bakes!!

Rosie x

April 1 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

Surcie: Oooh, I hadn't seen that! I have had that coffee cake, and I think it is fantastic. It is not a crumb cake type, but it's very good. Worth a try I think!

Joanh: You're right, a bad idea even if you don't think you're hungry--late night snack attack!

Rosie: But you've got a lot of good ones too! We'd love to hear some of your favorites. :-)

April 1 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy
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