85 °C Bakery Cafe is a Taiwanese chain of coffee shops and self-serve bakeries and has over 800 branches located in Taiwan, Australia, and the United States. Known as the “Starbucks of Taiwan”, the company opened its first location in Taiwan in 2004 and their first US location in Irvine, California in 2009. Now, there’s over 17 locations in the United States, but only in California.
I went to the Buena Park, California location to pick up some pastries for an early flight. This store is located off Beach and La Mirada Blvd., inside a very busy Asian strip mall, hidden between a sushi restaurant and Paik’s (Korean) noodle shop. Parking is horrible, especially on weekends or at night, or when families go to the Korean market, H-mart to shop for their groceries.
Inside, the set up is similar to that of any 85°C store. On one side of the store is the self serve pastries and breads. Customers grab a tray and tongs, and hand pick the freshed baked bread item of their choice. There are variety of items from European multi-grain breads, Japanese style milk breads, Taiwanese style sweet and savory breads, to sweet and savory Danish style breads. The description and price are usually posted next to the bread, and when finished, you take it to the cashier to pay.
On the other side of the store is a counter where you can order sliced or whole cakes, hot and coffee drinks, or hot and cold teas. In addition, there are a handful of tables and chairs for customers to relax and enjoy their cake and coffee, or to use their free wifi.
There was so many bread items to pick from, I chose the popular Japanese premium milk bread: a soft bread with a fresh milk taste, white chocolate filling with sweet powdered sugar on top, along with the Taiwanese “Berrytale”, a bread filled with blueberry or mango cream cheese with a drop of blueberry jam on top.
I did add other sweet breads (not shown), and the total for 13 various bread items came to $20 and change, or about $1.50 for each item. What a bargain!