Tatte Bakery Lattes and Pastries

Coffee Shop Review: Tatte Bakery and Cafe in Reston, Virginia

Xak and I have been excited for Tatte Bakery and Cafe to arrive at Reston Town Center since we first saw the “coming soon!” sign back in August 2023 during Pokemon Go Global Fest. Although the French bakery and cafe chain, La Madeleine, is located right across the street, we’ve been wanting to have more convenient locations directly in the center to drink coffee and spin pokestops!

During our December race in the Town Center with Regina, our designated meeting place was in front of the newly open Tatte Bakery and Cafe. As I waited for Regina and Xak to finish grabbing their snacks and drinks after the race, I peeked into the cafe and saw it was PACKED. Although we had pre-planned to go to a different restaurant for breakfast, Xak and I made plans to return very soon to Reston to check out how promising this new cafe would be. Would poached eggs and Pokestops be in our future soon? (Spoiler: yes)

Note: This visit took place on Saturday, December 16, 2023.

About Tatte Bakery and Reston Town Center

Tatte Bakery and Cafe is a limited restaurant chain with locations in Massachusetts and throughout the DC Metro area. It’s located directly next to the Mercury Fountain in the building previously occupied by the Chico’s women’s clothing store. The word tatte is a Hebrew word and a nod to the founder’s Israeli roots.

Throughout the year, Reston Town Center changes with the seasons: flowers are replaced, decorations are put up, the “lawn” area is transformed into a skating rink, etc. During the holiday season, Reston Town Center likes to make sure no one mistakes what month we’re in.

As we walked through the town center, we passed by Scrawl Books, the local book store that co-hosted the murder mystery tea event I had recently attended. Xak also insisted on posing with a nutcracker (typical) and we briefly admired some of the seasonal decor before finally heading towards Tatte.

Tatte Bakery on a Saturday morning was unsurprisingly packed. The moment we walked in, there were lines of people trying to order their food and drinks, people standing by the side waiting for their to-go orders, people staring into pastry counters, and others wandering around for a seat.

Xak and I grabbed two menus close to the door and tried to figure if we should get in line or get a table. We decided to split up and have Xak assess the pastry and dessert situation while I would try to find a table for us.

After some difficulty, I found a small table with shared bench seating along a wall next to some stairs leading to a back entrance. While some of the tables were not occupied with people, dirty dishes still remained on the table. There were also 2 tables that had seating available for 4 people, but I felt bad if Xak and I took them when there were probably larger parties that would need those seats.

Along the way to the table, I passed shelves holding to-go orders ready for pick up, coffee and tea for purchase, and a water station for guests. While the place was pretty full of people, the ceilings were quite high with exposed ductwork giving off an industrial feel.

The Food Menu

Since Xak and I were visiting on a Saturday, we knew we would be ordering from the all day brunch menu specifically served on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The menu was double sided with some traditional breakfast favorites like French Toast (made with homemade Challah), but also less common brunch items like shakshuka, a North African dish with eggs poached in a well seasoned tomato based sauce.

There were quite a bit of tempting options, such as the quiche lorraine and salad (we love quiche lorraines), the chickpea and fava plate, the lamb hash, and the short rib grilled cheese.

While I usually like checking out the standard “American breakfast” at new restaurants (2 scrambled eggs, bacon, toast or biscuit with butter, and crispy tater tots), I found something called the Meze Breakfast which was two eggs, cashew pepper spread, sunflower spread, whipped feta, za’atar, and tomato salad with a Jerusalem bagel. While not quite the same, this sounded yummy!

However… I am also easily swayed by croissants. Depending on what pastries Xak reported were in the front, I really wouldn’t mind having the Croissant Breakfast Sandwich which had eggs, cheese, tomato, avocado, and arugula on a croissant that was made in house. Why did everything on this menu look so good?

I tried casually looking around to see how ordering would work. Would we be ordering at our tables or do we go to the cash register in the front? I finally gave up and waited for Xak to return so I wouldn’t look like too much of a creep.

Eventually Xak came to the table to give his Pastry Report. He excitedly announced that there was monkey bread available. The website described the monkey bread as croissant dough with cinnamon spiced sugar and brown sugar caramel. Yeah, I could go for that.

For the second choice, he said he wanted to try out the gingerbread tile, a seasonal item which consisted of soft gingerbread dough and brushed with a lemon glaze. My face lit up because I love gingerbread, molasses, and of course, lemon. Even though we had just recently made (and consumed) homemade gingerbread houses, I will never turn down any ginger cake, bread, snap, or ale.

For his actual meal, Xak decided he wanted to Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich consisting of eggs on a biscuit with a side of tomato salad. For an extra $2, you can also add some bacon on the sandwich, which Xak chose to do.

The Drink Menu

Noticeably absent from the menus we grabbed were the list of drinks. The drink menu was actually located on a wall in the front of the restaurant. Unfortunately, it’s situated above a table where people sit to eat. Not an ideal location to sit unless you enjoy feeling as if you’re constantly being watched.

Tatte Bakery Drink Menu
The last thing I’d want while eating is for people to constantly be staring in my direction.

I knew I wanted the Mocha (my go-to) and Xak seemed interested in a Latte with Hazelnut syrup. There was an option for 12 oz and 16 oz, and both of us were eager to get the larger option.

Ordering the Food and Drinks

While Xak had been scoping out the pastries, he discovered that ordering took place in the front of the restaurant. After we confirmed exactly what we wanted, he went to the front (our order typed up in the Notes app), and I held down the fort (aka our precious two person bistro table) as I watched other guests wander around the restaurant looking for a place to sit.

After a few minutes, Xak returned carrying something on a plate and a sign that said “16.” Since Xak is certainly not 16, it was clear that this was our table number and a server would be coming by with our food soon. One mystery solved.

As Xak settled in on the table, I excitedly looked at the monkey bread on a plate but was a little disappointed that the gingerbread tile was packaged. I was hoping it would be warmed up and on a plate ready for me to gobble down. Perhaps it’s a good thing it was packaged.

Eating and Drinking (at last!)

Xak reported that we would have to wait for our drinks, so we could either eat the monkey bread and gingerbread tile now, or wait for our drinks. I always like eating and drinking together so I opted to wait, as did Xak. Our drinks were ready after about ten minutes, served in two to-go cups.

Tatte Bakery Lattes and Pastries
Our respective lattes (mocha and hazelnut) with a coffee sleeve reading “Tatte like Latte” along with our plated monkey bread

Ooooh, that’s how you pronounce it.

-Me, after reading the “tatte like latte” coffee sleeve

I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed that my coffee was in a to go cup. On the website, I saw drinks served in coffee cups along with latte art. However, this was likely only for 12 oz orders. πŸ˜’ Out of curiosity, I took off the lid to see if maybe I would be surprised by some latte art like Misha’s in Alexandria did. There wasn’t latte art, but that’s ok. You can’t have everything.

As we took sips of our drinks, I worked frantically to remove the wrapper around our monkey bread. Unfortunately the brown sugar caramel was causing some issues. There’s probably some art and finesse to removing paper wrappers from sticky pastries, but I don’t know this skill. I ended up ripping up pieces of paper from the monkey bread which unfortunately also took off most of the caramel. Overall it tasted ok, but not spectacular. I think it would have been better if the caramel wasn’t ripped off. Xak and I discussed adding monkey bread (without paper wrappers) to our future baking list.

At some point, a server came out with two plates searching for our table. As he put our respective orders down in front of us, I quickly asked him what we should do with our dishes when we finished: bring them to a designated bin or leave them where they are? He said either was fine, told us to enjoy our meal, and then walked away. Hm…

My breakfast croissant looked pretty good, however it tasted like a fresh salad in a sandwich. Not bad by any means, but I wish I had gotten the bacon for an extra $2.

Xak’s biscuit seemed pretty small to me which is why I guess it comes with a “side salad”… which really seemed more like a few extra tomatoes.

While the place was buzzing with conversation, orders, and people trying to find a seat, Xak and I took our time to eat the rest of our food and finish our lattes. We were discussing our big plans with our friend Pablo the next day, since there was plenty we needed to prepare when we got home. But first…

The Restrooms

There are four single occupant restrooms located in the back of the cafe. They are locked with a number pad where you must enter a code. When I unsuccessfully tried to enter the first bathroom, I wondered how to get the code.

  • Was it on my receipt?
  • Do I have to ask someone in the front?
  • Was it something easy like “0000”? (It wasn’t)

Luckily the next bathroom I tried had the code located near by for me to punch in. πŸ˜… This seems to defeat the purpose of a code, but that’s fine. Overall the bathrooms are clean, and it’s always nice to have an entire room to yourself versus stalls with high walls.

Heading Out

Since Xak had already paid at the front when he ordered, I knew the servers wouldn’t be coming back to give us a check. This is the type of restaurant where the servers don’t really interact with you except to give you your food. Xak and I cleaned up our area as best as we could and then headed out through the front, stopping briefly to take one more look at the pastry counter. Off to play Pokemon Go and then head home!

Final Thoughts

Tatte Bakery and Cafe was…. interesting. I really like the idea of having more breakfast options, particularly items that you can’t find at other nearby restaurants. Since the cafe opened right after Thanksgiving and we visited right before Christmas, it’s understandable that the place was packed. However, while the decor is nice and modern, it definitely was not a place where i would want to hang out for longer than I needed to, due to the volume in the room and also because seating is a hot commodity.

I would advise taking a look at the ordering menu online since you can see professional photos of all the menu entrees. Just keep in mind the biscuits in those pictures seem a lot bigger than in person!

I wouldn’t mine returning to Tatte Bakery in the future once the hype settles down and it’s less busy. I would definitely order one of the more interesting items (like the shakshuka) and I can also say with certainty that I would definitely not re-order the monkey bread!

Bonus: Later that Night

Since we went out for breakfast that morning, we decided to do our weekly Coffee and Trek later that night. For this special occasion, we decided to (literally) break into our gingerbread tile!

Gingerbread Tile
The gingerbread tile easily broke into two fairly even pieces

It was dynamite! I admit I am extremely biased towards ginger and molasses desserts, but this was certainly something special. The tile is soft but not like a cake or a bread. Almost like a softer version of a gingerbread wall, maintaining some structure without breaking your teeth. I could have eaten like four of these. Unfortunately, this seems to be a seasonal item, so in the mean time, Xak and I are going to have to see if we can recreate this on our own… and go back to Tatte Bakery next December (to make sure we did a good job πŸ˜„).

Have you been to Tatte Bakery and Cafe? If so, what did you think?

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