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Thursday
May152008

Cakewalk in Wallingford, Seattle

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Closeup
Never have we come across a neighborhood more in love with its name than Wallingford, a neighborhood with a low-key hippie persona in Seattle. In fact, on a recent trip there we noted all of the below "W" word references...all within a half-block.

 
However, strangely, just a few blocks from the main drag, the boundaries get blurred; according to some sources Wallingford's boundaries are thought of as Stone Way N to the west, Lake Union to the south; Interstate 5 to the east, and Woodland Park and NE 60th St. to the north. While some call the retail stretch along North 55th street "Tanglewood", we're counting it as Wallingford for added deliciousness in this Cakewalk; however, we have not included any bakeries south of 36th Street, because to us that just feels more like Fremont.
 But boundaries and name obsession aside, we're happy to say that sweetness abounds in Wallingford; here are some of our Cakewalking favorites:

Pastries in Wallingford 
Boulangerie: Pining for pithiviers? Craving a croissant? Jonesing for--ok, we'll stop. The pastry here is buttery, flaky, and sweet--but like most French pastry, it's best enjoyed fresh; a good stop for the morning hours. Plus, we can't confirm, but we expect, that this bakery served as inspiration for the one in the book Pastries by Bharti Kirchner. Cakespy Note: for what it's worth, we far prefer their flaky items (croissant, pain au chocolat) to their choux pastry items (éclairs, etc) here. 2200 N 45th St.; (206) 634-2211.

 

Custom Request, Undressed CuppieThe Erotic Bakery 

The Erotic Bakery: Everyone in Seattle knows about this place, and if they say they don't they're lying. Their name pretty much says it all--cakes, cupcakes, cookies and candies are all erotically charged here, decorated with naughty bits built to order. While we thought that places like this were more about shock value than fine baking, we must say we were amazed at the meticulous amount of detail that goes into their fondant "sculpture" pieces--and naughtiness aside, the quality of the baking surprised us as well; the cookie we sampled was actually quite toothsome. Not life-changing, but pleasantly surprising nonetheless. 2323 N 45th St; (206) 545-6969.

Love that logoPastries at Fuel (Muffins by Fresh Flours)
Fuel: We love a good logo, but it's even better if, like Fuel, your products are just as good. Our friendly barista made a killer Americano, and the pastry case was stacked with goodies from Fresh Flours (we approve of the Green Tea muffins) and Mighty-O Donuts; what's not to love? We went to the 1705 N. 45th St. location; online at fuelcoffeeseattle.com.
Hiroki: Hiroki is rather unassuming from the outside, but inside there's some magic being cooked up: signature desserts include Green Tea Tiramisu, Gâteau Basque, and chocolate-orange cookies. The standard is clearly very high in Chef Hiroki's kitchen; everything is exceedingly well-made and precise. If we must be completely honest though, sometimes we feel unsophisticated when faced with elegant desserts like these; so to us, this would be more of an after-dinner place than an everyday haunt. Then again, nobody's ever going to accuse us of having too much class--you know how common our tastes can be2224 North 56th St., (206) 547-4128; online at hiroki.us.
Marionberry Scone from Irwin's
Irwin's: Situated in an unlikely residential area, Irwin's boasts a case full of gorgeously carbohydrate rich treats, many of which (muffins, scones and cookies) are made in-house. We hear it's not a good choice for the morning rush, as service can be slow--but in the early afternoon, we couldn't imagine anything nicer than spending some quality time with one of those shortbready-rich little fruit-studded scones. We've not sampled their savory fare, but have heard mixed reviews. 2123 N 40th St; (206) 675-1484.

This is a really big macaroon.Julia's in Wallingford 
Julia's of Wallingford: Julia's seems to be one of those places that people either love or hate. To us, the retail bakery feels like a portal to 1993--with cases full of hippie-ish cookies, oat bars, and hearty treats like the coconut macaroons the size of your fist, it gives us memories of a time when it was cool to wear "Save the Whales" t-shirts, stirrup leggings, and Birkenstocks--all at the same time. Perhaps it's the memory of these awkward years that scares off some. But moreover we like Julia's, what with their hearty, mostly beige-hued baked goods; we don't like their cakes quite as much, but think they're worth a visit. 4401 Wallingford Avenue N., 206-633-1175; eatatjulias.com.

Mighty-O, Mighty Pleasure!Mighty-O Donuts, Seattle 
Mighty-O Donuts: We didn't even know that these donuts were vegan the first time we tried them, but we did know that we liked them. These donuts are not for the feint of heart--none of that light-as-air business here. These donuts are seriously dense, cakey, and seriously tasty. While you can get Mighty-O Donuts at coffee shops and grocery stores throughout the city, the flagship is worth a visit: seasonal flavors and a full variety of flavors you won't see in other stores are here, plus all those vegan employees are just so freakin' cute. 2110 N. 55th St., 206.547.0335; online at mightyo.com.

Trophy CupcakesRed Velvet Cupcakes, Trophy Cupcakes
Trophy Cupcakes: You've heard us rhapsodize about Trophy Cupcakes before, and we'll do it again. Tucked away from street view in the Wallingford Center (a renovated former schoolhouse), Trophy embodies the full spirit of celebration, with impeccable decor, cute party products...but of course, most importantly--beautifully crafted, and toe-curlingly good cupcakes (read our interview with owner Jennifer Shea here!). Our favorites? The Chai Cardamom, Hummingbird, and of course, the one that Martha made famous. 1815 N. 45th Street, in the Wallingford Center; online at trophycupcakes.com.

 

Some ridiculously huge pie at Zoka"Zoka" Bar 

Zoka Coffee: The pastry case here is an absolute feast for the eyes, overflowing with deep-dish pies in flavors from a vaguely virtuous blueberry to an absolutely sinful chocolate peanut butter; cookies ranging from vegan thumbprints to dense chocolate truffle cookies, to the decadent "Zoka Bar"-- a multilayer confection of coconut, chocolate, butterscotch and walnuts cradled on a graham cracker crust (reminiscent of the Magic Cookie bar from Magnolia Bakery, or the Bakedbar of Brooklyn). We love it all, and everything (except for a few bread items like bagels) is made in-house at their own commercial bakery. Sweet. A few different locations, but we visited 2200 N. 56th St.; online at zokacoffee.com.

Any other Wallingford favorites? Let us know!

 

Also, we've not yet been to brand-new ice creamery Molly Moon in the Wallingford Center--has anyone else? We'd love to hear your thoughts!



 

Reader Comments (39)

Trophy Cupcakes and Mighty-O are two of my favorite Seattle sweet spots! I'll have to head over to Wallingford this weekend to check out the rest and the new Molly Moon ice cream shop.

Oh how fun! I'll have to convince my cousin to do a cakewalk of our own next time I'm up there!

May 15 | Unregistered CommenterHilary

Just another reason why I must visit Seattle. The Erotic Barkery sounds like something fun to check out just for its name but vegan doughnuts?! That's pretty rare... AND they taste good? Wow, very nice. Definitely want to stop by Mighty-Donuts =)

May 15 | Unregistered CommenterSusanna

cakespy! i love your blog! it's too cool for school. totally dig the pictures and all your drawings too. i'm hooked.

x

May 15 | Unregistered Commenterdiva

I went to high school in Wallingford, Connecticut! Those cupcakes look much better than what we had -- although there was a candy store where my best friend and I would each buy 1/4 lb of jellybeans every day...

Oh! I also have to say that the "undressed cuppie" drawing is HILARIOUS! And adorable!

May 15 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

When my friend moved to Seattle the first thing he did was send me a link to The Erotic Bakery. It was in his neighborhood.
All the bakeries look really nice.

May 15 | Unregistered Commenterglamah16

That first photo--!! I think I feel faint. . . .

May 15 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

I go to school at Garfield at Lincoln, about half a block from any of these places. Fuel is close enough to run to between your bus pulling up and school, which is great.

I haven't tried Molly moon yet - I went in on Monday but the paint fumes gave me a headache and I left. Looking at the weather tomorrow, I'm thinking a visit is in order.

MY frield did get a scoop of their honey lavender on wednesday, and aside from pissing off our hardass teacher when she brought it in, she gave me a lick. I've never tried lavender ice cream before - one visit to a lavender farm chock full of bees pretty much turned me off everything lavender - but the ice cream was amazing. Truly fantastic. I think I'm going to go try some salted caramel tomorrow at lunch, and I can't wait.

Kinda sucks that we're moving back to the Garfield building after the three (!) more weeks of school left. Ezell's? No thanks. The line is, I'm told, miles long at lunchtime.

Too bad I'm leaving Wallingford. I'll miss it. The food. Though the baked good I've probably had most at lunchtime is, erm, QFC doughnuts. A girl on babysitting money needing a sugar high before math class can only do so much...

May 15 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

This is an extra-delicious post. I want to go cake-spying with you someday.

Where are the pictures of the naughty baked goods???

May 15 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

Fresh Flours! Love the name that's almost as good as when Ellen had her sit-cm and owned Buy the Book.

Looks like you had a delicious day. My buttercream loving self would love one of those Trophy Cupcakes.Yum!

I will take a dozen penis cookies and one vag cupcake to go please!

this is one of my favorite cakespying job of yours..this cakewalk thing..i'll add this up on my places to go to eat this yummy sweet stuffs :-)

btw, the Zoka coffee looks an absolute heaven for me..i love all the sound of their pastries yum...

May 15 | Unregistered CommenterDhanggit

Oh oh oh, I love the Mighty Mighty O!

oh my, I can't decide which cake I'd bite into first - I keep changing my mind!
Great photos!

i've said it before and i'll say it again: you have the best. job. ever. the green-eyed monster has taken up residence in my pocket. :)

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Wow... how big is this neighborhood? It's packed with bakeries! I want to move there. How come there are no bakeries in Florida? Is it because people walk the streets half naked and they don't want to have Michelin tires for bellies? tell me, is it? Maybe we could have an erotic bakery if that's all we could get. I'd settle for that.

Hiroki sounds very interesting. of course I must visit Trophy Cupcakes when I go to Seattle and my favorite from this entire post... Wearing "Save the Whales" t-shirts, stirrup leggings, and Birkenstocks--all at the same time!!! Yes, it did happen!!! geneius!!!

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterAran

Ahh, Wallingford is such a lovely town!! Can't pass up Mighty-O Donuts, for sure. The Erotic Bakery sounds... interesting, haha ;0)

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

Perhaps this is indelicate, in light of how pretty they are, but I surely would like to be cramming one of those pink swirly cupcakes into my mouth right this instant!

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

everything looks sooooo good! it just makes you wanna be on a sugar high for days!!

May 16 | Unregistered Commenterbunny

Those places look really good! I really want to try the green tea muffins.

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

If I only could travel to Seattle area. You guys have some happenin' bake spaces!

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterCupCakeGirl

hmmm, sounds like a great travel destination, at least if you're into food.

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterJerri

What a gorgeous post!!

May 16 | Unregistered Commenterbazu

yum yum yum!!!! I love all of your cute drawings! :)

May 16 | Unregistered CommenterLina

That first pic is sheer torture...never heard of the place, but would be glad to land up there SOON!!! Another great post...with delicious stuff!! YUM!!

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