What: A pastry paradise in Glenwood South
Where: 911 N West St Suite 107, Raleigh, NC 27603
When: Tues - Fri, 7a-2p; Sat - Sun, 8a-2p
Why we love them:
**Psst! Layered Croissanterie is one of our Premium partners for Raleigh, so we headed over there to get the DL on how to have the best experience possible. Not in Premium (or not even sure what we're talking about)? Learn more here about this monthly subscription for exploring your city and ask one of your Premium friends for a referral to score a free month.**
A light-filled cafe with whitewashed walls and pops of pastel color that rival the most ‘gram-worthy spots? Check. An adorable backstory involving a husband and wife team following their passions and building something to make Raleigh a cooler place? Check. Oh, and one of the best darned pastries you’ve likely eaten in your life? Abso-freakin-lutely.
Layered Croissanterie opened in a tucked-away area of Glenwood South earlier this year, and they quickly raised the pastry bar in Raleigh. They’ve taken the “do one thing and do it well” mentality to the extreme, painstakingly perfecting their pastry dough and using that as the base of everything they create.
For proof of their meticulous process, all you need to do is watch the bakers at work—which you can do through a gorgeous, geometric glass wall that separates the kitchen from the cafe. But here are a few more fun facts that show off their stuff: their classic pastry takes three days to make and involves tons of quality control to make sure there are enough layers of butter in every bite to make each one as good as the last.
Speaking of butter, they wouldn’t settle for the grocery store stuff, instead searching far and wide for a distributor who could get them special “extra dry” butter straight from France (which basically means it’s higher in fat than your average butter). Oh, and they go through 175+ pounds of it a week.
This commitment to the minutiae of their craft doesn’t mean their menu is basic—far from it, in fact. They see pastry as a vessel and are looking for creative ways to fill it. Their genius baking team are constantly dreaming extra inventive new ideas and putting them into their “flavor flav” spreadsheet to play with until they get it just right. The result? Anything and everything, including a croissant-muffin hybrid to a savory danish inspired by the everything bagel. It’s like the Willy Wonka of pastries up in here, y’all. So while you can (and absolutely should) enjoy your fave standard flavors (called “Homies” on the Layered menu), you’ll also want to pay special attention to the constantly-rotating “Flakies.”
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the geniuses behind this operation. Co-owner and head baker Kaswar was an elementary school teacher who would spend hours after work diving into the baking process, even going so far as to adjust the temperature of their home to make sure everything was just so for the ideal outcome. Her hubby/partner in crime, Mark was a general contractor who’s luckily a pro at making large scale projects happen and, admiring her talent in the kitchen, wanted to help her turn her passion into something bigger. And thus Layered was born—just months after the birth of their twin sons. (Queue major heart eyes.)
Now, onto the layers of buttery goodness that you’re about to enjoy...
With so many off-the-wall options (which we’ll get to in a minute), you may feel like you should pass the classics by, but they’re actually some of Layered’s most popular pastries. Options here include the fan-fave Pain au Chocolat, the surprise frontrunner Ham and Cheese, the lesser-known but amazing Kougin Amann (basically a croissant coated in caramelized sugar), and the good ole’, can't-go-wrong Croissant. We recommend getting at least one of these—go with your favorite and know it’s gonna be good.
Okay, now onto Layered’s more unique options, a chance to try a pastry like you’ve never had before. You definitely should get at least one of these, and pros know to bring friends so you can taste your way through as many as possible. You’ll find hybrids of your favorite sweet treats (cruffin, anyone?), croissants cut in half, filled with goodies, and baked again, and more mind-blowing buttery goods.
Some stand-outs in this category have included the Brown Butter Crookie (a croissant stuffed with brown butter cookie dough, baked, then drizzled with dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt) and the double-stuffed Chocolate Raspberry Cruffin. It’s important to note that these flavors are constantly changing—some may be around for a few months, some just for a few days until they run out of a particular ingredient, so don't get your heart set on one in particular but know you'll always have something fun to try.
Sure, when you think of pastries you might think it’s just a sweet breakfast treat, but Layered has gone deep into the realm of savory options and elevated them into a full-on meal. On their current menu you can get options like the Egg Danish (with cheese, caramelized onions, and a whole egg cracked into it) or the Popeye (packed with spinach so it’s basically like eating a salad, right?). Soon they’ll be adding even more lunch-like options, from a Margarita Danish complete with roasted tomatoes, garlic confit, mozzarella, and herb-infused oil to a Reuben-inspired pastry with pastrami, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Russian dressing. In other words, this should be your fave morning AND midday spot.
Layered knows that pastries and coffee are a natural pairing, so they’ve developed a DL coffee game that’s just as high-quality as their baked goods. Expect Counter Culture coffee, in-house syrups, and just enough craft to complement the food you’re eating.
As we mentioned, the team here is always experimenting, introducing new flavors, and swapping out menu options. Check their IG every morning to see the flavors they’ll have that day.
Once something’s sold out, it’s gone for the day—so if you’ve got your eye on a particular flavor don’t delay! The earlier you come the more pastries you’ll have to pick from, especially on the weekends when these flaky treats are flying. (Usually by 11a on Saturday and Sunday your choices thin out quite a bit.)
Buying in bulk? While you can always come in and buy a bunch from whatever they’ve got available, if you know you want certain pastries for a large order it’s best to order ahead of time online.