This Bakery Chain Is So Much Better Than Whatever You're Eating

Don't let its French name fool you—it didn't start in Europe.

I'm not a big birthday person, but it's become a tradition that every year that I ask for a cake from a very specific bakery. I love this establishment so much that I'm getting excited just thinking about it, even though my birthday is in April. I'm a big proponent of supporting local bakeries and restaurants, but in the case of this very large bakery chain, I make an exception. No, I don't buy a Cookie Puss from Carvel. I pick up a cake from Tous Les Jours.

What is Tous Les Jours?

The name is French (it translates to "every day"), but Tous Les Jours was actually founded in South Korea, and currently has more than 1,650 locations worldwide. It sells a wide array of pastries, sandwiches, and coffee, and everything is made in-house every day, hence the name.

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I'm particularly enamored with Tous Les Jour's sweet-potato-flavored goods, such as buns and, yes, my beloved birthday cake. These items all feature a unique East Asian sweet potato with off-white flesh called goguma, which has a delicately sweet flavor. Though sweet potato might seem like an unusual and starchy flavoring for a cake filling, the light touch of its sweetness is, I'm telling you, out of this world.

The savory items are worth exploring, too. You can get sausage buns, chicken salad sandwiches, BLTs, lots of stuff that makes a quick and satisfying lunch. There are also loaves of bread if you're serving a crowd, as well as a mind-boggling array of buns and coffee drinks to pair with them. It's a far cry from the sad little vacuum-sealed offerings at those lunchtime grab-and-go-type spots scattered around most major American cities.

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If you've never had Asian pastries, be aware that they aren't tooth-achingly sweet (though there's plenty of sugar involved). The cakes, unlike the typical grocery store offerings, are more fluffy and spongy than they are dense. You usually won't find these items too cloying; they're just enough, and it leaves you craving more.

Where to find Tous Les Jours

As a chain, Tous Les Jours isn't quite as ubiquitous as the likes of Panera in the United States. Locations are mostly clustered around major metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta. So you urban dwellers have easier access than those in smaller towns—for now. If we all hype this chain, maybe it will have the chance to grow outward. Can you imagine a world free of sad sandwiches at lunch?

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If any of you have been to a Tous Les Jours, sound off in the comments. I could use a recommendation for what to grab the next time I'm in, because I have to make sure I don't cave and get the cake (gotta keep it special by only ordering it once a year).  

 

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