Walk into Yafa Bakery & Café in Somerville and you’ll be welcomed by the smile of hospitable staff and the smell of freshly baked pastries. The Middle Eastern bakery is as authentic as it gets. Owner, Abdulla Awad, is a multi-faceted entrepreneur who coined the term “artfully delicious” as the slogan for Yafa Bakery & Café. You’ll find his very own artwork lining the walls of his bakery and see the artistic touch throughout the presentation of dishes here at Yafa.
The bakery sits not too far from one of our favorite new seafood-centric restaurants, Dear Annie. Spring Hill is at the intersection of Cambridge and Somerville, Awad is excited about the mix of students, locals, and tourists visiting to try his artistic delights!
Heavily inspired by time in Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, France, and Italy, the staff uses flavors and cooking techniques inspired by the owner’s Palestinian roots and the neighboring countries of the Mediterranean. Yafa items are handmade in-house with thoughtfully sourced ingredients like Yemeni honey.
Delightful bites at Yafa Bakery & Café
Don’t get intimidated to venture on a flavor adventure, the kitchen might send out samples that channel your curiosity. It’s so easy to fall in love with the charming staff and adorable small bites.
In the display case, you’ll find a wide assortment of classic desserts such as almondo(an oval cookie covered in white chocolate and toasted almonds), baklava, rose kunefah cream(a shredded wheat pastry filled with ishtah-a light cheese filling and topped with homemade orange blossom syrup) chocolate and 24 karat gold covered dates, and qairawan, a honey-bathed pastry.
To balance the sweetness, Yafa Bakery & Café offers a wide assortment of perfectly spiced savory bites. Try the fluffy pita bread doused in za’atar or black seeds with a mezze option like creamy labneh or smoky baba ghanoush (a pureed eggplant dip with mixed herbs). The Jerusalem bread is similar to the Egyptian fateer with butter doughy layers stacked to create a bread so fluffy yet rich and flavorful. It’s delicious enough to gobble up on its own, but you can also try pairing it with house honey and cream cheese.
Don’t miss the lemonada here. It’s abundant with lemon and lime pulp, juice and zest in addition to fresh ginger, mint, and orange blossom for what we think is quite possibly Boston’s best lemonade. We know we’ll have this drink on repeat come summer.