Cafe Vanille is a quintessential French patisserie and cafe located on Charles Street, the main thoroughfare in one of the most charming and historic neighborhoods of Boston: Beacon Hill. In the summer there are outdoor tables and it’s one of the nicer places in the city to sit and take in the colonial architecture — few tourists mucking about, just almond croissants to be enjoyed while sitting beneath an old steeple.
“Chamomile tea and a Hurricane, please.” That’s how I started my day when I lived on Beacon Hill, right around the corner on Irving Street. Now, I love the Fall in Boston. It is without a doubt a magical time, and not just because this is when the city starts looking like Hocus Pocus. The air gets a chill and the leaves start to crunch underfoot, and it’s the perfect weather for a sweater and stop in at a cafe for a warm pastry and a hot drink. Even better when it’s a daily routine and Cafe Vanille is your local go-to.
“Hey now, what’s a Hurricane?” you ask. Well, picture, more or less, a pain aux raisin, but instead of cinnamon and raisins, it’s cranberry and walnut. Um, Yeah. Seriously, delicious AND ever-so-slightly New Englandly with that cranberry shout out. (Side note: I think you’re obligated to choose one if you’re from out of town.) If the fruit/nut combo isn’t your thing, then the almond croissant is imperative, although my college friend swears by the Typhoons, which are apple and cinnamon.