A few things become apparent after you've settled into a new city. The first is that finding a go-to local cafe or bakery in your neighborhood is priceless. The second is that traveling out of your neighborhood for one means your standards for service and product are all that much higher.
Floriole Cafe and Bakery, located in one of the many quaint sections of Lincoln Park off Webster Avenue, was promising and promised delicious, rustic food; the tantalizing Instagram tags are what prompted a Saturday excursion.
Floriole is owned by Sandra and Mathieu Holl, both of whom have impressive culinary backgrounds (you can read more here, but Sandra is Bon Appetit contributor and worked as a baker at Tartine in San Francisco). They started out selling their pastries at a tent at Chicago's Green City Market until they opened their location in Lincoln Park.
They strive to use organic and locally-sourced products, so their menu is subject to change depending on season and availability. They offer a range of their quintessential pastries (croissants, scones, cakes, and galettes) in addition to quiche, sandwiches, soups, and oatmeal.
Their storefront has outdoor seating, tall windows that let in sunlight, neutral brick walls, and a cheery interior with chalkboards for the menu. They were bustling with what appeared to be frequent patrons and those on their way back from yoga or the park.
Their arugula and cheddar quiche with a drip coffee sounded perfect on a windy, sunny April day. While the coffee was good (after I managed to get it to my table; it was so overfilled that it spilled over) the quiche was a bit disappointing. The crust was difficult to cut and seemed to be missing the delicate crustiness you expect; the custard filling was better but the top was over-baked and not as appetizing. The menu timing of their dayparts was a little confusing as my dining partner ordered their breakfast sandwich on a baquette, which they are famous for, but "Breakfast" ends at 11, even though quiche is often considered more of a brunch item as well.
In summary, Floriole is a lovely bakery and cafe that is known for what it does best: rustic baked goods and desserts that are a perfect accompaniment for coffee. If it were in my particular neighborhood, I'd find myself stopping in more frequently for them, so I'll most likely seek out their pastries at Intelligentsia Coffee shops around town where I can experience what they do best.