Tartine Bakery opened a much-anticipated location in the Graduate Berkeley Hotel last week. I set an alarm for 6:30 a.m. in order to ensure that I beat the line and snag one of Tartine’s famous morning buns. When I arrived, I was surprised to see that there was only one customer, an older woman wearing a bike helmet, ordering a savory scone. When I went up to order, the case of pastries was still being filled.
The location is small and has a simple, white aesthetic. There is limited seating in an adjacent “sun room,” which is visible in the bakery, but in order to get to it you must exit the bakery and enter through the Graduate building. It follows the white theme of the bakery and is accented with pink- and blue-hued modern artwork. A variety of music ranging from classical, upbeat instrumental and Mac DeMarco played.
I ordered a sweet scone and a morning bun. Both were on the pricey side, costing $5 each. The scone and morning bun were both still warm from their delivery from the manufactory in San Francisco. The sweet scone was hearty with chunks of fruit and a sweet crunchy bottom. The morning bun lived up to its reputation; it was covered in chunky sugar and the flavor stood out due to the orange rind in the sticky layer between the folds. This pastry is the perfect balance of flakey and buttery and avoids being too doughy. I highly recommend the morning bun to any pastry lover. I look forward to going back and sampling all the pastries they offer! Unfortunately, the bread doesn’t come into the Berkeley location until around 8-8:30 a.m., so I was unable to try it.
The only other customers I crossed paths with were a hotel guest who just ordered a coffee, a mom-esque woman who ordered one of every pastry, the aforementioned biker woman and one other college-aged man who ordered a morning bun. Both the college-aged man and hotel guest set up their laptops in the sun room and got to work. I was surprised to see the broad range of people coming in, considering the bakery’s close proximity to campus.
I recommend that UC Berkeley students looking to connect to Bay Area food culture or wanting to splurge on a delicious pastry check out Tartine Bakery, but they should not feel the need to arrive as early as I did!
Contact Elena Cavender at [email protected].