Neil’s Cuisine: Huckleberry Bakery and Café

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Located in the heart of Santa Monica between Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard, Huckleberry Bakery and Café is minutes away from the beach and just blocks away from the Metro stop. If you happen to drive, there is a parking lot behind the restaurant; however, the spots are compact. The café and bakery is only open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. all days of the week and serves breakfast and brunch.

Opened in 2009, Huckleberry is committed to using organic and GMO-free ingredients. Most of the ingredients used are also almost exclusively bought from local farms, artisan producers and farmers markets.

Walking into the restaurant through the back door, one is greeted with short lines and a friendly staff. As you walk past the counter, view the savory and sweet pastries of the bakery and gaze at the specials on the walls to view items that are not on the menu. I recommend taking advantage of the baked goods that change day-to-day.

The all-day menu boasts a broad range of international meals and local specialities. Pairing the meal with a savory or sweet pastry from the bakery completes the experience. I recommend trying one of their cinnamon or coconut donuts and the country breakfast priced at $15.50. The meal comes with Niman Ranch bacon, soft scrambled eggs, roast Weiser Farms potatoes, arugula and a warm buttermilk biscuit. Another recommendation is the breakfast burrito. This meal item is only featured on the menu wall, not on the everyday menu.

The menu also features an artisan coffee bar that uses locally roasted coffee and Clover milk and other beverages. I recommend the housemade caramel or vanilla latte priced at $5.50, paired with a sweet pastry. If you do not drink coffee, I recommend the Arnold Palmer priced at $3.25.

Huckleberry’s table layout is cramped and often crowded. Outside seating is also limited. Huckleberry combines the natural taste of expensive organic food with inexpensive prices to present a well-rounded and healthy meal. However, the compact parking lot, cramped floor layout and hectic Santa Monica parking laws diminish the ambiance of what would be an otherwise delicious meal.

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