5. La Boulangerie
207 Broadway, (210) 223-0209, laboulangeriesa.com
Much like sister location Saveurs 209, La Boulangerie brings a bit of the French lifestyle to downtown San Antonio. Though we'd kill for patio seating, the modestly sized indoor space is just as inviting as al fresco dining would be. Pallet furniture is bestowed with bright tangerine and soft pink cushions and light fills the smallish space.
Come mornings, the heavenly scents of fresh-baked pastries fill the air (actually the aroma lasts throughout opening hours). Chef Caitline Nykiel, along with parents Sylvian and Sylvie pack in the Parisian delicacies. You'll find take-home bread loaves for tasty sandwiches and perfectly ornate pastries and tarts.
Fall for the thick and custardy Parisian flan with flaky crust or take in one of the Viennoiseries like the house croissant, chocolate croissant, raisin roll and apple turnover. Take a slightly less guilt-ridden route with the two-bite Madeleine or Financiers.
But the Francophile dream doesn't end at delicate desserts — La Boulangerie also serves as a quickie lunchtime stop for busy downtowners or quaint tea time café for ladies who lunch. Grab a quiche Lorraine or rotating quiche of the week or get down with the no-fuss sandwiches. The ham and creamy Comté cheese is a simplistic joy, while the chicken, tomato, basil iteration delivers more layers of flavor.
Don't let your so-so French pronunciations keep you from stopping by this Broadway gem. The Nykiels are ready to educate the masses inside their warm space that asks you to put down the phone and concentrate on the task at hand.