Finding fine French bakery goods beyond the borders of France would seem unlikely in this NW corner of the United States. St. Honoré has transformed a little shop in NW Portland into a cultural escapade you'd normally have to get on a plane to experience. This bakery has been a mainstay for the French community in PDX for years and now has a fanatic following that has forged two other locations. The original is a cozy cafe with French influences that make it impossible to drive by when the fresh bread aromas drift out onto Thurman Street. The space is open and inviting with a staff that loves to share their expertise about the whole St Honoré process.
This was one of the only places open early for live Tour de France coverage accompanied with fine coffee and pastries. Rolling up in the dark on my bike back in the days of Lance (c'est dommage) to find the place already packed was Franco-fantastic. The restaurant is designed to get patrons to be part of the scene. With the baking close and the big banquet vibe, you instantly feel part of the Honoré table.
The menu goes beyond pastries and desserts. Lunch or dinner at Honoré is a trip to Paris or Provence for under $20. Try the panini or manager's special to light things up. Hang around for sweets with a tart or gateau, and wash it down with a cafe au lait. Don't forget something for the home front—a baguette at the very least. C'est somptueux!