Seattle >Food & Dining > Cafe Besalu
5909 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810747.671982 -122.387774
Neighborhoods: Ballard, Adams
To get a better croissant, you're going to have to book a flight to Paris. The beautiful crackle of the golden crust giving way to the soft inside that's a perfect vehicle for the excellent homemade jams. The cozy cafe is forever busy, especially on weekends, yet there always seems to be room to squeeze in.
There are no better croissants this side of Paris! And the seasonal fruit pastries are always amazing as well!
No Laptops here, please. – I agree about the laptops. There are plenty of bigger coffee shops around who want laptop users: Java Bean, Caffe Fiore, Herkimer's. Besalu is not big enough for every customer to hang out for an hour hogging the table. The only problem with Besalu is everyone knows about it now and the lines are incredible. I've never seen children and babies anything but fully welcomed. Sometimes if babies are crying the parents, who are doing their best to survive, don't realize how it's affecting others. Usually Besalu is a nice lively mix of younger and older people from all neighborhoods. That one dude who got stared at probably didn't realize he had a large marmot on his head.
Pain au chocolat from heaven – I have been going to Besalu for the past six years. I have never once felt like the staff were inconsiderate or rude. The person who thinks that the food is QFC quality obviously has no taste whatsoever. Seriously - you're a moron. Do you know how long it takes to make an authentic croissant? DAYS! And you can't part with 2 bucks? I'm pleased that you're no longer coming because that will make the line that much shorter.
Also, Besalu is not a laptop cafe. In such a tiny place, clear out after 1/2 hour. Be sensible. Go to the library.
Melt-in-your-mouth fresh French pastries and rich coffee draw locals to this cozy Ballard bakery. – In Short
North End residents, newspaper in hand, park themselves at this friendly bakery's shabby-chic assortment of tables on weekend mornings, taking in the aroma of fresh pastries and coffee. Sweet and savory croissants, shortbread, quiche, brioche, Danishes and other buttery delights are among the treats in the glass display counter. The pain au chocolate, ginger biscuit and caramelized onion and gruyere pastry are the stuff of local legend.
Must Eat Here! – Ever since I found the place I can't stay away. My favorites are Quiche Lorraine, Gruyere and onion torte, ginger bisquit... I also agree that the place is very welcoming to kids and the staff is friendly, always! My Saturday mornings ritual is a walk to Cafe Besalu, don't know what I would do without it!
Well worth the trek by bus (#18) from downtown! – Cafe Besalu is an absolute gem. The pain au chocolat make life worth living. In fact, everything I have had from their bakery is delicious. I have never been disappointed. I go whenever I get the chance!
My only complaint is that no business downtown sells such quality pastries! I'll pay any price for baked goods that taste high quality and homemade. But I can't find any downtown without going to a restaurant. Open a shop downtown, Please! :)
THANK YOU for respecting others – Cafe' Besalu is a wonderful cafe and bakery I wish were more common in Seattle. And if the staff do in fact make the very difficult decision to ask rude customers with screaming children to have some manners, be neighborly, and stop selfishly tyrannizing other patrons with their kids' bad behaviour, then I like the place even more. Hooray for a place that respects quiet conversation!
Best Croissants Outside of Paris... – The croissants and pastries are simply superlative, and I'd compare them favorably with any that I've had in Paris. The quiches are also good (although not always ready when we visit, which is usually early), and Lighthouse coffee is there to round-out a great coffee-and-pastry experience.
I love this place – This place is Mecca for pastry lovers. I especially love the danishes. I've always found the service to be fantastic. I live nearby and have been there many, many of times, with my squirmy toddler (and earlier, when she was a SCREAMING BABY) -- nothing but smiles and helpfulness from the staff. The only downside is it's become so popular that the line sometimes goes out the door. I strongly disagree with the reviews that claim it's not a kid-friendly place.
From a regular: reviews unfair – The pastries at Besalu are the best in Seattle and the chocolate croissant is the best I've ever had (incl. Paris, London, NY, SF). Given the craftmanship the food is a great value! There is no attitude. The staff are great. I'm shocked by the accusation that Besalu isn't kid-friendly. To the contrary it's full of kids and I often see the staff interact warmly with children and their parents. Once they made a special drink for my visiting nephew who has many allergies and can't eat much of what others enjoy. I have never seen anyone asked to leave (although sometimes I wish they would clear out those who camp out for long periods as seats are at a premium). I suspect the negative posts are from those who know that they were in the wrong and are mad that their lack of consideration was highlighted.
Very accomodating to kids with allergies – We were so impressed when we went there with our adult children and 2 grandchildren, one of whom has peanut and dairy allergies. They actually made hot chocolate for him with rice milk! What a treat for him to be able to order like anyone else! The owner and staff were all considerate and tried to make him feel included.
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