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Best of Seattle Sweets

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Will be in Seattle this weekend visiting and need to satiate my sweet tooth...
What is the best bakery to sit and have an afternoon pastry with a stellar latte?
Macrina, LeFounil, Dahlia, Le Panier?
I am looking for fine pastries, cakes & tarts. Nothing too sweet or too big.
Subtle is better in my book.
NOT looking for oatmeal cookies or lemon bars.
(not that I have anything against a great cookie, I'm just craving a fine pastry)

Also, are there any local artisan chocolatiers making fresh ganaches and truffles?

Specifics are appreciated. Many thanks in advance!

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  1. Dahlia Bakery has lovely stuff (a mix of pastry and cookies) but they are take out only-no tables. Macrina has the same sort of selection (some pastry, lots of American style goods) and is good-it can be hard to find a seat on weekends when they serve brunch, fyi. Le Fournil is the most pastry oriented place I can think of in Seattle-the only true French style bakery-and it has always been steller when I've been but I haven't stopped in in quite a while (maybe someone else can say if it's still excellent). Cafe Besalu is also excellent and has the best croissants in the city, and they have a mix of other pastry and American style stuff. The best stuff sells out in the morning though. I don't generally like Le Panier though it has good ambiance.

    Fran's in University Village should have fresh truffles.

    1. Frans Chocolates! Her bars are divine!! I mail order her products to Boston.

      1. just checked out fran's website-loooks goood. definitely makes the list. thank you.

        1. dilletante (broadway, westlake, sheraton, central) makes all their qwn excellent chocolates and pastries. their house-made cocoa is orgasmic. the location on 1st avenue is confectionary only.

          1. Theo Chocolate, in Fremont, offers tours (much like Scharffenberger factory tours) http://www.theochocolate.com/about-th...

            Also try Rose's Chocolate Treasures for fresh truffles.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ssusu

              Here is a review of Theo's bread and chocolate bar from a user of yelp.com:

              You MUST try the BREAD and CHOCOLATE. Theo's is more of a chocolate factory than a cute little shop, so don't expect anything fancy. But remember you can buy their chocolate bars in stores. Their branding is a little confusing though, it might look like 3400Phinney on the bar of chocolate so I think this makes people confused.

              Let me talk more about the bread and chocolate bar because I have EVERYONE OBSESSED with it. This is not for the weak, but rather is for the TRUE CHOCOLATE LOVER. It has actually pieces of salty french bread in the chocolate bar but these are so finely ground that they really melt in the way your crunches do in a nestle crunch bar- but it is so much more refined. The salt really activates and enhances the fine chocolately flavor and allows you to really taste the DARK chocolate. BLISS.

            2. Steak and Shake RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              1. Cafe Besalu
                just above Market Street, on 24th

                5909 24th Ave NW
                Seattle, WA 98107-3207
                206 789 1463

                I don't know why citysearch says "Romantic: No" - I proposed to my wife there one sunny spring day.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mrnelso

                  Awww...well, that's just another reason why the Citysearch site is completely off-base and unreliable.

                2. Try Belle Epicurean in the Fairmont Olympic Downtown. They have the best sweet rolls I've ever had. Not too big, not cloyingly sweet. The chocolate buns and the ones with various fruit flavors are the best.

                  1. This thread got me thinking about how long it's been since I've been to Le Fournil, so I went there yesterday. My almond croissant was not that great. Of the eclairs/choux pastries, I asked which was filled with vanilla pastry cream (as opposed to chocolate or coffee). She pointed me toward a huge round choux. It turned out to be filled with WHIPPED cream, which was weird (it might have been okay if it was bite sized, but there was about a cup of whipped cream inside this thing). It was really hard to eat due to its size, too. So I was not that impressed with those things, though some of the tartes looked quite good.

                    1. Great taste on the board, I agree with everybody!

                      My favorites are:

                      Cafe Besalu
                      Il Fournil (on a good day)
                      La Boulangerie, why does no one talk about this delicious sleeper?
                      Belle Epicurean
                      Dahlia Bakery

                      not so much, La Panier...I've had one too many soggy-bottom almond croissants to call this place a favorite. Although, I would buy a ham and butter baguette or a jambon-mornay again. They are consistently yummy. The bread is good too, just don't go for the pastries.

                      Also:: Gelatimo on union and 4th I believe. AMAZING gelato and Italian pastries. Also the gelato place on first avenue about a block south of the entrance...name escapes me at the moment. Delicious gelato as well, and their drinking chocolate is soo good.

                      Fran's for chocolates. Get the ganache filled fig...ooooh, soo good. And of course, her famous salt-caramels. I believe she was one of the first to really promote the idea with a product.

                      DiLaurenti's for Italian sweets, like panforte- NOT the crap you get at european import shops, but real, orange-blossom infused, hand-candied, almondy heaven.

                      Rose's in Post Alley @ Pike Place. Delicious handmade chocolates and Rose even roasts her own beans! You can get whole cocoa beans there as well, for those of you looking to fulfill any Chocolat fantasies. You know who you are!

                      Also, those in Tacoma must go to the old Train Station down by the Tacoma dome. At the end of the station, you'll find the BEST cake shop in all of Tacoma and it rivals some of Seattle's places as well. The entrance is on the outside. Get a birthday cake there- it won't disappoint. Real butter and flour used. The best, rich butter frosting in the world. Beautiful frosting work. And it all tastes the best. Cookies and pastries too.

                      Macrina bakery in Belltown has some AMAZING pastries as well. Yum.

                      I liked Cupcake Royale- particularly because of the FROSTING and not the cake, which somehow tasted faintly of cornbread- and then the last time I was in, my brother and I saw one of the cupcake frosters' licking his fingers as he frosted away. That's gross. Cute doesn't outrule clean in my book.

                      Whole Foods has a good selection of baked goods, gluten-free as well. Flying Apron in the U-dist is gluten-free/vegan as well.

                      Mighty-O vegan doughnuts! Top Pot GIANT doughnuts! Hip hip horray for luscious fried dough.

                      Mix Ice Cream- because I like to pick.

                      In Bothell, Hillcrest Bakery. As a child, their crunchy caramel-almond thins were my favorite. I'm not sure of their 'proper' name but you'd see what I mean.

                      Hey, does anyone know whether the Colombia Bakery has good sweets? Their bread- walnut wheat especially- is redicusoly good.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: allkinds

                        Big second to Gelatiamo pastry.
                        We had her do cakes for our wedding and they were amazing. Light, not too sweet, delicious, delightful, beautiful. Something special for sure.
                        Thank you Maria.

                      2. Many thanks to all chowhounds!
                        Made my rounds, but did not get to try all of the above (will save for my next visit)
                        The exceptional highlights were:

                        MACRINA BAKERY:
                        pumpkin muffin (fantastic! perfect texture with wonderful hint of ginger and toasted pumpkin seeds on top)
                        plum spiral danish (good chewiness w/ ever so slight saltiness and sweet plum preserve in center-yum)
                        cherry scone, dill/cheese scone, apple tartlett, and lemon cake-all great!

                        I so appreciated that nothing was overly sweet. Wonderful rustic-style pastries! WOW! I would be in serious trouble if I lived close to this place.
                        I did not have a chance to carefully look at the Macrina cookbook, but it looks good! has anyone baked/cooked from it?? Will definitely check it out.

                        DAHLIA
                        Excellent lemon tart. Lemon curd smooth and fresh, pastry shell nice and crisp. Fresh cranberries on top gave the pastry an added dimension of tartness.
                        chocolate tart -dense, smooth and delicious.

                        Bought some theo chocolates at Dahlia. very good. yes, the chocolate/bread bar is not only delicious, but just plain fun! bought 6 of them to bring home.

                        LE FOURNIL
                        very good fresh berry tart! other items that I tried were o.k.

                        LE PANIER (wasn't planning to stop here, but had to seek shelter from the downpour for a few minutes and since I was here...)
                        disappointing almond croissant -gummy and too sweet, but apricot custard tart was surpringly good.

                        oh yes, and those delicious little salt caramels at FRAN's -killer.
                        thanks again everyone!