While Capitol Hill has no shortage of coffee shops and bakeries, Amandine Bakeshop stands out from the rest with high-quality pastries that have a surprising but delicious twist.
Located in the Chophouse Row building on 11th Avenue, Amandine is only a short walk from campus, making it the perfect place to grab a snack and study or just catch up with friends over coffee. Although seemingly small, the bakery has upstairs mezzanine seating to accommodate groups.
A warm aroma of baking bread and freshly ground coffee greets you as you walk into the quaint bakeshop. Spread across the main counter are French pastries such as delicate madeleines and flaky croissants. Along with an assortment of French treats, Amandine does offer classic English desserts, such as buttery scones and a gingerbread pudding cake.
Amandine Bakery offers a variety of croissants, macarons and coffee by Empire Espresso.
While bakery selections change daily, Amandine always has an assortment of generously sized yeast based pastries called viennoiseries and macarons that are almost too pretty to eat. All of the macarons are gluten free and are made with unrefined sugars and natural dyes.
The ingredient combinations range from savory to eclectic. If you are looking for something exotic, the blood orange and black pepper macaron is an interesting mix of sweet and tangy with a spicy aftertaste from the pepper. With its rich, creamy ganache filling that will satisfy every craving, the brownie macaron is every chocolate lover’s dream.
If you are not feeling as adventurous, Amandine does offer more traditional cookies, cakes and croissants that are just as fresh and delicious as some of the fancier choices. The chocolate chip cookie has the perfect ratio of crunchy-to-gooey and even features a touch of salt to compliment the sweet chocolate.
Amandine’s French influences come from Chef Sara Naftaly. After travelling around Europe, Naftaly studied at New York’s French Culinary Institute. The bakery is open-kitchen, so you can see the chefs prepare and bake the pastries while you smell their enticing aromas. Along with using natural dyes and sugars, Amandine is also committed to using locally-sourced ingredients; fruit and nuts used in the pastries are from farms in the state.
The atmosphere of the bakery is tranquil and relatively quiet, making it a good place to study; quiet guitar strums from the speakers and clattering keyboards are all that can be heard. However, Amandine becomes a social hub on Saturday’s from 2 to 4 p.m. as Seattle Disk Jockey Bean One plays live.
Amandine also has your caffeine fix with drinks from Empire Espresso. Offering traditional espresso drinks like lattes and mochas, the frothy drinks compliment the pastries. Empire also has options for lactose-free drinks using house made cashew milk.
The bakeshop is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, making it the perfect spot to grab a quick breakfast bread or croissant before class.
The almond croissant with an orange blossom glaze is a breakfast treat that will start your day on a sweet note; crunchy almonds on top of a sugary orange glaze nicely compliment the buttery
For a night-time dessert, be sure to indulge in the chocolate, honey and walnut tart. Rich chocolate filling with a handful of walnuts offer a classic nutty taste. However, it is the flaky, light crust of the tart that makes this dessert delectable; it is also big enough to split with a friend.
While the treats at Amandine are on the pricier side, the quality and portion of the food are definitely worth paying a little extra for.
Whether you are looking for a quiet place to study and drink a coffee or are just indulging your sweet tooth, Amandine Bakeshop has something to offer everyone.
Callie may be reached at [email protected]