La Saison Bakery

By Eric Twardzik · 11/23/2021    Cambridge · $$

What would cause people to congregate on a sleepy residential street in Cambridge before 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Bread, of course.

But not just any loaf: Imagine that ideal sourdough that many of us tried our hands at making during the pandemic. This bread exists in its highest form at La Saison Bakery, as a tangy, two-pound boule that retains remarkable elasticity days after first slicing. 

And while it’s that spongy sourdough that coaxes crowds (always call ahead to reserve yours) to the tiny, rectangular bakery—a former gas station, in fact—La Saison is laden with enough French-meets-Middle-East treats to warrant a dozen separate visits.

On one morning, you might drop in for a crispy croissant or Kouign-Amann alongside a cup of La Colombe coffee spiced with cardamom. Another day, you might indulge in a piping-hot Brioche Frite or a Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie whose dark chocolate-to-cookie dough ratio falls delightfully in favor of the former.

Neither traditionally French nor confined to the flavors of founder Soheil Fathi’s native Iran, La Saison is something far more interesting: a destination-worthy bakery for all seasons.

If you want to get in and out, set an alarm—a line begins to form outside the bakery by 8:30 a.m. on weekends.

You can also stock up on pantry items, including cold-pressed Greek olive oil, spices, and La Saison’s house Persian tea blend.

Must Haves

  • Is it boring to just say that it’s a perfect croissant? If so, we’d add that it’s near weightless and paper-thin, yet tender and buttery with every bite. Before it disappears, tear it open to admire the honeycomb structure.

  • Made with the same dough used in the croissants, the Kouign-Amann is just as buttery and flaky but gains a new flavor dimension from vanilla sugar folded between its layers which caramelizes to a sweet, dark crisp.

  • As savory as a scone can be and baked to an ideal firm-but-chewy texture, the Feta-Za'atar scone tops buttery, cheesy goodness with a dusting of herbaceous Middle Eastern spice.

  • Available on Sundays only, the Brioche Frite is like a sweet, bread-based arancini. A crispy sphere of fried brioche, it’s stuffed with lemony cream filling that contrasts marvelously with the slight saltiness of frying oil.

Fun Fact

Cambridge wasn’t always La Saison’s home; founder Soheil Fathi first established the bakery in Tehran in 2007. Fathi emigrated to the United States with his family in 2017 and re-opened the business in 2020 after working as a pastry chef at Flour.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Sign up for our biweekly newsletter for curated guides, can't-miss dishes, and more.

Enter Email