16 November 2021
Some establishments hide in plain sight, and when your main mode of transportation is a bicycle, there are little pockets you pass near all the time but never quite by. And then one day, you happen to be going for a walk and look in the window and absolutely cannot resist.
I have known Farina Bakery was here for many years — they opened the Hawthorne storefront in 2014, having begun as a farmer’s market stand in Wilsonville — but have only visited once or twice until this fall, when we became regulars for their huge variety of beautifully executed pastries. They’re locally known for their macarons, which lined up in gorgeous hues while the bakers behind the counter hum about their work, but we have quickly become enamored with their savory pastries, cupcakes and fruit hand pies.
On a recent visit, it was the light, satisfying and very flavorful “everything bagel galette” which drew us in, topped with a jewel-like assortment of seeds and chopped tomatoes, with a savory cream cheese filling. It was the ideal balance of texture and flavor, perfect for an on-the-go morning or for putting in your backpack for a hike. Our other savory favorite was a sweet potato and chickpea handpie, nourishing and just flavorful enough to fulfill that desire we all have for comfort whenever a flaky crust surrounds a filling.
The other pastries are delicious but the poptart analog is the star, filled with marionberry jam and spread with a marionberry frosting. Other pastries include sweet and savory scones, and at least a few vegan options, including vegan coffee cake and a vegan marionberry danish. We’re especially partial to the fudgy oat walnut bar, the perfect afternoon treat.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the cupcakes and layer cakes. We’ve started to make our way through the offerings, provided by partners and former employees. Petal Bakery is so far the best cupcake we’ve had in Portland, with absolutely perfect moist and light texture, a delicious balance of sweetness, and amazingly fresh and light buttercream. The pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting is rich enough to feel like a dessert but also flavorful enough to feel like you are eating your veggies (pumpkin’s a veggie, right?). The salted caramel chocolate cupcake was an absolute surprise, including a caramel core, and I can’t wait to feel like it’s time to go have another.
Farina Bakery, 1852 SE Hawthorne, is open generous hours every day but Monday, opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. weekends. They do a lot of work in events and weddings, but we’re here just for the walk-up pastry counter.