Good food is love, they say, and artisan pastry is a particular form of love, I’d like to add. When someone offers you a warm loaf of bread or crunchy chocolate chip cookies, you can be sure that they have said “I love you” in a special way. If you are looking for artisanal pastry products to declare your love (including yourself), I’m happy to say that we have some great places in Iași with delicious sweet and salty goodies to share with your loved ones.
Frateria L’Artisan is the only Parisian-inspired café-patisserie that offers authentic croissants made from scratch, with so much butter that the taste is beyond compare. If you’ve eaten croissants with the perfect combination of soft layers and crispy crust in other places, they’re likely from them. The Frateria team has massive respect for quality ingredients and artisan pastry techniques, but it’s their inventiveness in tastes and textures that immediately wins you over.
Where else have you relished croissants with colivă, tiramisu, or feta and spinach? You can also find surprising combinations in their Belgian chocolate pralines, hand-painted sweet jewels created with an unusual passion for chocolate, and novel flavors such as red wine and a touch of smoked salt, ginger and mango or Matcha tea with strawberries. The best time to visit them is at their location on Str. Sf. Lazăr in the morning, so you can also enjoy a good specialty coffee.
Pan Artisan gets you hooked on their bread with natural wild sourdough, baked on a stone hearth, and fresh every day. Their specialty is artisanal bread, but they will surely tempt you with melt-in-your-mouth sărățele and ișlere or mini croissants with gouda, ideal as a snack on the road. What I like most about them is the variety – they always make special breads outside the regular menu, including durum wheat, butter, and chia bread, flax or all-seed millet, baked pumpkin, and more.
Every Saturday, you can discover a new Brutar Hoinar bread through which the Pan Artisan shares with us what new tastes of bread they have tested through their travels or learned about in their research, such as a centuries-old bread that belongs to the Maoris populations in New Zealand.
All varieties are slowly fermented for about 30 hours, and they have no supplements or other food additives, only flour from controlled cultures, water, and seeds. In 2020, their love for bread brought them the Taste of Choice award from ROAliment and the Research Institute for Food Bioresources IBA for the Spelta bread with plums and walnuts. In 2021, awards for the charcoal bread and gluten-free crackers in the GastroPan competition.
At Cuptorul Moldovencei you can always find goodies with that taste of childhood we’re always looking for. “With no margarine, no premixes, no-nonsense” is the mantra that has been faithfully respected since the opening of their first pastry store more than ten years ago. Pies (with potatoes, beef, cabbage, or cheese and dill) are a good idea for lunch on the run on a busy day, you can’t go wrong with their cakes on birthday occasions, and I would never say no to a Smetanic or Albinuța cake. Nor do their classic eclairs or priconuci.
Their homemade recipes originate from all over Moldova, and the ingredients are from mostly local suppliers, so the products are as fresh as possible. And the good part is that you don’t have to cross the whole city to buy two, three, let’s say five carefully crafted goodies because you’ll come across a Cuptorul Moldovencei in almost every neighborhood of Iași, or you can order them online.
Bisou has been feeding “ideas, foodies, and flavor enthusiasts” since 2015 when you couldn’t find French baguettes or artisan pastries that combine international recipes with local ingredients in many places in Iași. All products are made by their hard-working hands with a dedication that has helped them endure the market without compromises. Paradise smells like biscuits fresh out of the oven, say the people from Bisou, and I approve this every time I enter their brasserie.
You might find it tricky to spot their location on Sf. Lazăr the first time, but once you locate them, you’ll surely make your way there often to enjoy a healthy snack in silence in their lovely intimate venue. And when you don’t get in-person to Bisou, look for their packaged products in stores such as Meat Concept Store, Băcănia Nouă, Roade and Merinde or even outside Iași – their products reach four cities in the region through partners and across the country, through online orders.
A must try: the fisherman’s crackers with walnut, raisins, and turkey delight when you need an energy boost, the almond marshmallows when you feel like you deserve a treat, and the onion breadsticks anytime.