Recently, a friend was lamenting that we do not seem to have a gourmet cupcake option on the Hill. And although I agreed and lamented along, I started thinking about it and realizing that it’s not exactly true. While it is true that we do not have hip new places — with the exception of Curbside Cupcakes, which is Hill-based but which is not there should you need your fix of flour, sugar, and whipped deliciousness whilst strolling around our fair neighborhood — we have a great bakery that often goes overlooked.
Sure, there is no frou-frou Georgetown Cupcake, and no delightful Red Velvet. There is no CakeLove; no Sticky Fingers; no nearby ACKC; no Baked & Wired either. Am I making you hungry yet? Because I can keep mentioning new and fabulous cupcakeries all over the city, seeing how these joints are still popping up all over town, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, in spite of Macarons trying to make it out of obscurity; but I digress. Much has been written and has been discussed when it comes to deciding which is the best cupcake around town, but this Hill bakery is seldom (or try, never) mentioned, perhaps because much like the landmark in which it’s housed, it could take for it to disappear in order for us to fully appreciate it.
Can you think of this tasty place?
It’s the Fine Sweet Shop at Eastern Market– a place I would like to think of as one of our best-kept secrets here on the Hill. No other cupcake place — no matter how delicious it may be — can offer you a milkshake or a smoothie with your cupcake, for starters. And the best part of the Fine Sweet Shop? You can actually buy most of the ingredients for a meal while you also pick up a sweet treat. From the most amazing homemade pesto to hot, just-baked bread that has that perfect crunchy crust, you can find them at the friendly stand at the southernmost tip of the Market. Or you could buy some spicy sausage over at Canales Meats and pair it with the Sweet Shop’s heavenly biscuits and have yourself some biscuits and gravy for dinner. Mm.. breakfast for dinner: dinner of champions.
If you’re feeling a little too tired for dinner, they also have excellent sandwiches. But, let’s face it: you will most likely be lured first by one of their dainty and reasonable cupcakes (most cuppies are only $1.25 to $1.95); or perhaps it’s the amazing bread pudding, gingerbread, Russian tea cakes or even the black-and-white cookies (look to the cookie!).