Vinal Bakery is the kind of place you fantasize about as a rumpled college kid rolling out of bed in search of carbs—but better than you could have imagined. The menu is built around homemade English muffins, which serve as the base of arguably the platonic ideal of breakfast sandwiches. Try the spicy pesto slathered G.O.A.T, or the American Classic which, of course, oozes cheese and nostalgia.
At Vinal you’ll be greeted warmly by bright-eyed, bandana-ed employees working the flat-top, and a case full of tempting breakfast pastries that taste even better than they look. As of summer 2020 the bakery has shifted to an online ordering and contactless pickup system, but once seats open again in the small, airy spot, it will be prime Union Square people watching.
Owner Sarah Murphy named Vinal after the Somerville street she lives on, which really tracks. It’s a simple and refreshingly not-ironic homage to honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned baking. And Murphy has the pedigree to pull it off; stints at Flour Bakery + Cafe, Sarma, 3 Little Figs, and Bagelsaurus led to a pop-up bakery that turned brick-and-mortar. Murphy’s New England roots—she grew up in rural New Hampshire—show proudly in her modern takes on Yankee classics. She hunts for recipes in old church cookbooks and makes them craveable.
Murphy built out an old pizza place into her bakery with the help of friends, family, and her partner JonO. Every recipe has a story, and every element of Vinal feels like an extension of Murphy’s personality and a tip of the hat to her heritage. If you’ve ever wondered what a modern New England bakery looks like, breakfast at Vinal is a good place to start.
Due to COVID-19, Vinal has shifted to online ordering and contactless pickup. Order via Toast and then swing by the takeout window to get your order.
Grab a four-pack of English Muffins to go. They freeze beautifully, but you’ll probably eat them before it comes to that.
The amazing French Toast English Muffins only pop up on the menu occasionally. If you’re lucky enough to snag some, be sure to get them with Maple Butter!
The Vinal English Muffin recipe appears in Joanne Chang’s latest best-selling cookbook Pastry Love.