When you’re so used to eating french favorites like a pain au chocolat for tea time or a fresh baguette every day during meal times, it’s super comforting to find the comparable options in the city of Portland and its surroundings.
La Provence: This restaurant has been a local favorite for many years. The food is excellent, from their exquisite French bakery items to their dinners and desserts. There's a great marriage between the beautiful atmosphere and exceptionally great food. What's all the more tempting are the rows of pastry adorned cases that line the entrance when you first arrive. It appears quaint yet spacious, bright, and, simply put, somewhere you would want to spend time regardless of how mediocre the food could potentially be. They have 7 locations: Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, SE Division, NE Alberta, The Dalles, and one inside the PDX International Portland Airport.
Saint Honoré: The rival of la Provence, Saint Honoré happens to be next to my office on SE Division. I’ve eaten there a bunch of times already this year. It opened in 2003 and the Baker is Dominique Geulin, MOF. His passion for baking took root in the coastal Normandy town of Etretat. As a young boy, living above the family bakery, he learned the secrets to traditional bread baking from his father, Hubert. This place is perfect! They have canelés! Yes! My favorite when a place has canelés! Their croissants are amazingly crispy and flaky and the canelés are just yummmmm. Who would have thought that someone would come up with the idea of a portable creme brûlée -ish type dessert and make it look burnt and then it ends up tasting like a fancy dessert in your mouth?