Crusty Tasty Bistro's artisanal bakers and sandwich constructors craft a menu of Hungarian-American fusion fare and fresh baked goods. Steamy Hungarian goulash ($7.99) dazzles palates with a spicy paprika swirl, and fried dough sings under a shower of sour cream and garlic ($3). Sandwiches ($7.29) swaddle a variety of hearty, just-cut meats, and are available au naturel or grilled, and pastries ($1.39–$3.50), such as linzers, burst with sweet almonds and fruit. Bread loaves ($3.60), ranging from pumpernickel to challah to sandwich rolls, donate a just-baked smell to the atmosphere, giving noses a glimpse of the old country without the inconvenience of attending Renaissance fairs or ceasing to pay the electric bill.
Blue Heart Art's passionate staffers hand-select every locally created treasure that they stock, which includes photo-enhancing picture frames ($5.99–$15) and fruit-themed towels, ideal for making soaps salivate and subsequently lather themselves ($6.99–$7.99). Like early morning office hours and turtle races, viewing the shop's art and home furnishings may be enhanced by the consumption of coffee. Blue Heart Art's on-site coffee lounge brews fair-trade, Seattle-roasted beans, and head barista Jordan crafts creative potables such as the smooth and sweet raspberry truffle latte ($3.95 for 16 oz.). The café's warm, lounge-like décor—replete with a couch and club chairs—encourages patrons to relax and hug throw pillows.
Occasionally, the ground shakes at Karl's Bakery & Cafe, sending ripples through cups of coffee. These trembles occur throughout the day, but they're not the result of an earthquake or a T. rex playing hopscotch. Rather, they originate from the Everett train tunnel, located just below the café.
Since its inception, Karl's Bakery & Cafe has had a unique relationship with transportation. In the 1960s, it found a permanent home at Wetmore Avenue, earning the nickname "drive-through bakery" courtesy of a driver who crashed through the front window.
Perhaps the driver had a hankering for the café's glazed cake donuts or tightly coiled cinnamon rolls—they're freshly prepared daily according to time-honored recipes. Customers can peruse these baked goods as well as apple fritters, cherry danish, and other buttery delicacies in the bakery's display cases.
In addition to baking sweets, cooks prepare hearty breakfasts and lunches. Stacks of pancakes measure about three fingers tall, and four strips of bacon add a second deck to saucy cheeseburgers. Cooks bundle theses entrees with sweets for well-rounded meals, served in the café or catered to designated locales.
Hailing from an Italian clan that expressed adoration via edibles, Bellacelli Cupcakery's head baker whips together fresh local eggs, fruits, and dairy products to create desserts that land on doorsteps in recyclable packaging. Lollicakes emulate the makeup of their cupcake cousins, flaunting bite-size morsels speared on a stick to facilitate jabbing competitors at community bake sales. Peanut-butter filling bursts from the heart of Ted dark-chocolate lollicakes, topped with semisweet chocolate buttercream. Emilia confections mimic citrusy summer sips by marrying strawberry buttercream with lemon cake and candy, and white-russian fixings spike the adult-oriented Thad lollicakes, which are perfect for celebrating 21st birthdays or throwing at the ghosts of prohibition enforcers.
Serving direct-trade beans from Seattle's Kuma Coffee microroasters, Starling fuels bustling bodies with the energy needed to tackle mornings and beyond. Traditional brewed coffee ($1.25–$2.00) awakens senses with a no-frills wallop, and the rich whip of a café mocha melds milk, espresso, and actual whips ($2.85–$3.60). Add yummy flavor shots ($0.50 each) such as toasted marshmallow, caramel, and blueberry to brews, or summon the spritely mouth-tickle of an italian soda ($2.65–$3.75). Starling Coffee also boasts an array of teas ($1.50–$2.25) and smoothies ($3.75–$4.30) that coat throat canals with viscous fruit serums. When inner rumbles beckon, pair drinks with breakfast sandwiches ($1.95–$3.95), grilled turkey sandwiches ($4), or bagels ($2.95) smothered in ham, cheese, and East Coast regrets.
Before they became business partners, the owners of Frost Doughnuts were just three best friends who shared a passion for loving and eating donuts. Following what must rank among the most productive hangout sessions ever, the trio decided their beloved breakfast staple was worthy of elevation alongside other resurrected sweet treats such as the cupcake, and so they got to work crafting a concept that would revamp its reputation from greasy to gourmet. Today, while customers still sink their teeth into a roster of exquisitely baked classics such as a chocolate glazed or bavarian-cream filled, it’s the shop's evolved flavors that really turn morning munch-a-thons upside down. Available on a rotating schedule due to their gourmet preparations and forgivable diva complexes are favorites such as a smoky bacon maple bar or an aztec chocolate donut iced with cinnamon-cayenne chocolate. Inside the charming shop, diners can watch as chefs whip up batches of banana split fritters or peaches and crème bismarcks in their exhibition-style kitchen, but should take care to break their hypnotic gaze before closing time, as all leftover donuts depart for local food shelters at the end of each day.