The well-traveled pastry chef at Royale Cafe & Bakery's daily, scratch-made selection of pastries fits neatly beneath a small glass counter. The presentation, though, incorporates culinary techniques learned from across the globe via seven years of training and travel. The chef rises early each morning to bake everything from savory soufflé to mini chocolate cheesecake tarts and nutella-filled croissants. These treats come alongside homemade soups, hot paninis, and gourmet salads. Baristas also prepare artful espresso drinks to accompany them, such as mochas and lattes topped with foamy images of flowers, leaves, and hot milk in coffee.
At locations dotted all over the Pacific Northwest, Black Rock Coffee Bar’s baristas dazzle patrons' taste buds with their simple and elaborate coffee creations. Served in ink-black cups emblazoned with their understated lowercase logo and red stars, their hot drinks range from brewed coffee to chai-tea lattes to flavored mochas. The baristas infuse the mochas with extras—including white chocolate and caramel to create the caramel blondie and hazelnut to concoct the blackout mocha, which, unfortunately, will not make you black out for the entire workday. On the chilly side of the menu, their blended drinks include shake-like delights made sweeter with Oreos, mint chips, and chai, as well as smoothies and icy coffee granitas.
Cherry Street Coffee House displays local art, hosts live music, and holds events at each of its locations. Steam rises from blends of house coffees, forming the shape of perfume bottles that spritz the cafes with the aromas of Brazil nuts and dark cocoa. A medley of coffee beans from Papua New Guinea and Central and South America flavor the signature espresso, which guests can enjoy in between bites of house-made breakfast bagels, quiche, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Cherry Street's kitchen staff supplies a list of ingredients, highlighting which vibrant dishes are vegan, contain dairy and nuts, or plan to transform into dairy and nuts.
Each crowd-pleasing trio comes on a reusable platter that is handy for later serving B-list house guests. The Wandering Café asks that customers call 48 hours ahead. Home delivery costs extra (call for more information, as pricing varies by area), but The Wandering Café's highway-convenient location makes pick-up easy.
Cintli Latin Folklore's roots are in Zapopan, Mexico. That's where entrepreneurs Sergio Cueva and Beto Yarce discovered Cintli, a jewelry store they admired that sold silver pieces. Inspired by that store's bond with local artisans, the duo decided to open a Cintli branch in Pike Place Market, calling it Cintli by Beto Yarce.
But jewelry and knickknacks alone only convey so much culture, which is why Yarce and his business partner, Rafael Sanchez, branched out again and opened Cintli Latin Folklore, a cafe that works with local businesses such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Rapanui, El Chito, and Leticia to serve authentic Latin American food and drink. Their signature coffee drinks, such as the Mayan Mocha ,warm hands up on chilly afternoons and their empanadas and Oaxacan-style tamales are filled with ingredients such as chicken mole. The cafe's colorful walls are covered in crosses, figurines, and ornaments, and on some nights, Latin folk bands and singers come to perform.
William Leaman isn't a professional soccer player, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a World Cup champion. The baker served as the captain of Team USA for the 2005 Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie—also known as the World Cup of Baking. Before the final buzzer sounded on the oven timer, he had guided his team to victory, crafting more than 300 baguettes, pastries, and specialty loaves in just eight hours. The atmosphere is a bit less hurried inside the kitchen at Bakery Nouveau, but Leaman doesn’t sacrifice quality just because there isn’t a trophy on the line. Using traditional French techniques, he and his team of bakers craft flaky, twice-baked almond croissants and sugary brioche. They also bake Parisian baguettes throughout the day, but their most popular item may be the Oat & Date loaf, for which they rely on a recipe originally formulated for the World Cup. Another perennial favorite is the Phoenix cake, whose alternating layers of mousse, pecan dacquoise, and chocolate sponge cake won top honors at the 2005 National Pastry Championship.