Saint-Honoré French Bakery opened up shop in April to the delight of just about everyone in Yinzhou. The shop itself is just around a corner and not super visible from the street (we’ve got the address below to help you out), but anyone walking within about 200 meters of the place will certainly recognize the intoxicating aroma of sugar, yeast and butter wafting through the air.
The shop offers just about everything you’d want from a true French pâtisserie. Flaky croissants that melt in your mouth, a variety of pastries made with real cream and butter, tarts and tartlettes; you get the idea.
The true test of a French bakery, however, is the almighty baguette. Despite what your more pretentious friends would have you believe, there’s no checklist to what makes a baguette. It’s either amazing or less than (pretty hard to have a bad baguette, though some places in Ningbo certainly seem to try). Saint Honoré passes this test with flying colors. Their particular baguette has a crunchy crust browned to perfection and a light but ever-so-slightly chewy center. It begs immediately for butter or cheese and perhaps a bottle of red wine. That being said, it’s probably best to wait until after lunch if a baguette is what you’re after.
Fortunately if it’s still a little early for a wine, bread and cheese session you’re in luck. This means that there’s actually somewhere other than Starbucks to go have a coffee and a pastry at the time of day that you want a coffee and pastry the most—the morning. Quelle surprise! That alone is enough of a reason to celebrate Saint Honoré’s entrance into Yinzhou, but pretty much everything about the place is worth celebrating.
Saint Honoré’s Yinzhou location is a godsend for what’s probably Ningbo’s most densely foreign-populated area. Simply having baguettes, Paris brest and tart au citron would be enough to win the hearts and stomachs of most, but there is palpable love and care into everything that comes out of the kitchen here. On top of that the owners and management couldn’t be more friendly, adding another place to the list of Yinzhou establishments where people actually bother to know your name and smile when they see you again.
Just try not to finish that baguette on your way home.