Cheap Eats—La Boulange Bakery & Café
This San Francisco-based mini-chain brings a French cafe vibe to Danville (and Lafayette).
Opened in August, La Boulange in Danville has the look of a Parisian bistro, only suburban-size. Everything from the wickerwork outdoor furniture to the wooden holders for the newspapers makes you feel as if you’ve taken a vacation to the French capital. Adding to the Francophile vibe, the condiments include Euro-fave Nutella, and the numbers given to customers after ordering are spelled out in French.
The menu features freshly baked pastries and breads, a full range of coffee and tea selections, sandwiches ($8.75–$10), salads ($6.50–$10), soup ($3–$5), and brunch food ($6–$7). The store also has a case of mini sandwiches, desserts, cheese plates, and quiche for those who want to grab a quick bite to go. The roasted chicken sandwich (open-faced on organic wheat bread with chicken, bacon, Swiss cheese, and a Dijon sauce) for $8.50 came with a choice of chips or side salad—a delightful serving of leafy greens dressed with a light vinaigrette. A slice of chocolate ganache was a steal at $3.50.
Brunch All Day: It’s always time for brunch at La Boulange, so go ahead and order a fantastic French toast ($6) for lunch, or the hearty baker’s breakfast pizza ($6.50), with tomato, Swiss, egg, herbs, and your choice of bacon, smoked salmon, or asparagus, for dinner.
Neighborhood Bakery: Started in San Francisco in 1999 by French expat Pascal Rigo, La Boulange has locations across San Francisco and in Marin County, and now two in the East Bay (a Lafayette location also opened in August).
Green to Go: Two of La Boulange’s 13 cafés have been officially green certified, and all of its locations have bins for compostable napkins, packaging, and food scraps.La Boulange Bakery & Café, 405 Railroad Ave., Danville, (925) 838-1200; 3597 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 284-1001, laboulangebakery.com. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily; closes at 7p.m.