Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Crumble & Flake is melting Capitol Hill's croissant hearts

Neil Robertson's beloved Capitol Hill bakeshop lives up to the hype.

Maybe your family has perfected the art of waiting in line for pastries at Besalu in Ballard or Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle. Until a couple of years ago, Capitol Hill kids were unaccustomed to staring down scones from a distance while waiting for their turn at the front of the pastry case. That's changing, thanks to a growing number of popular bakeries that have filled the neighborhood in the past couple of years, including Bakery Nouveau's John St. outpost, gluten-free Nu:flours on 15th Ave, and Crumble & Flake.

A tiny, table-free space nestled at the corner of Olive Way between Denny and Summit, Crumble & Flake unlocked its doors in 2012 and became an instant weekend ritual for neighbors. Owned by ex-Canlis and Mistral Kitchen chef Neil Robertson, it's not unusual for the French-inspired bakery to sell out before its 3 p.m. closing time. 

The daily rotation of pastries strikes a balance between savory and sweet, with a plate of chocolate croissants resting in a glass case next to a row of the smoked paprika and cheddar variety. Macaroons in rainbow shades and coffee-infused cheweos, Crumble & Flake’s sans-shortening take on Oreos, will keep kids buzzing. 

Cinnamon rolls with flaky, caramelized rims pop with butter. The rolls are refined—instead of weighed down—by a thin layer of cream frosting on top. Each bite of apricot lavender scone is livelier than the next, calling out flavors that hover between herbal, sweet, and tart. 

If you get stuck in line during peak hours, remind your kids how, like magic, the anticipation of their first buttery bite will make the baked goods taste better. If your family will do better avoiding lines, arrive close to the 7 a.m. opening on weekdays or be there when doors unlock at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.