Okay, I love the North End. But I live literally at opposite end of the Green Line, so it takes over an hour to get there, two hours round trip. In other words, I have to plan a whole day if I want to even just eat in the North End. It’s very sad that one of my favorite bakeries, Modern Pastry, is so far from me. I’m glad I have Athan’s, though!
Athan’s is a European bakery café that serves all sorts of sweets from baked goods like cookies and cakes, to chocolates and gelato. There are two Athan’s locations: Brighton and Brookline. The one I go to is right in front of the Washington St. Station of the C line.
Pastries, cakes and tarts, mousse tortes, cookies… you name it! Athan’s has it all. Everything is displayed beautifully, lit by the low hanging chandelier. As soon as you enter, you will be swept away by the sheer number of choices. I always have a hard time deciding what to get.
Although I haven’t tried their chocolates and gelato yet, I’m sure they will be just as delightful as the cakes and mousse tortes – I have yet to try one that wasn’t. Although I love, love, love sweets, I like how the pastries in Athan’s aren’t too sweet. I feel like everyone, even people like P who don’t enjoy sweets as much, would find them quite enjoyable.
Their individual pastries are excellent, but so are their whole cakes. I’ve bought the Deux Couleur (dark chocolate and vanilla mousse torte) as a graduation gift for my friends, and it did not disappoint; the mousse was extremely light and fluffy, and the cake layer was moist. Everyone loved the cake, and asked me where I got it from.
Mousse tortes that serve eight to ten people are available for immediate purchase daily. For special occasions that may require bigger cakes, you can order tortes and cakes by calling or making appointments.
The seating area is not too small, and many people come to have conversations or to get work done. To the right there is a bar area, behind which the drinks are made. The atmosphere can be different depending on the day – I’ve had both lively and quiet atmospheres on different occasions.
Walls are decorated with simple frames. The brick wall on one side and the wooden tables and chairs make the space seem more cozy. My favorite part of this area, though, is the side with the huge windows. Lots of sunlight!
I’ve never gone to Europe (sadly), but I feel like this is how the bakeries there would feel like. Athan’s is different from other cafes that have more modern and edgy feels to them. It’s warm and welcoming. In fact, now that I think about it, I think Athan’s resembles Modern Pastry in North End in the vibe I get. Maybe it’s just because I like both places so much, but I like to believe that it’s the feel somewhat European-influenced shops give to its visitors.
1621 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02446