Crumpets have long been a staple of British cuisine, but here in Seattle, not so much. Thank goodness, then, for the cozy Pike Place Market staple The Crumpet Shop, where the wee, spongy cakes are baked daily in-shop, and then toasted, buttered, and slathered in scrumptious toppings. If ever there was a remedy for a dreary winter day, it’s one of these guys paired with a piping cup of tea.
Dress them up with sweets (preserves, Nutella), savories (pesto, cheeses, ham, smoked salmon), or choose a “toasty” topped with an egg; all are $1.55 to $4.75. The crumpets’ trademark pocks (created when extra baking powder is added to the yeast) really absorb these accoutrements, so know the nibbles are surprisingly dense and filling. If you don’t quite feel like branching out, there’s also a delicious sandwich menu ($4-$7.60) and homemade soups ($3.50), which are definitely not to be missed.
With a $10 bill, I ordered a crumpet topped with imported English cheese, tomato, and pesto, along with a bowl of tomato-ginger red lentil soup (topped with an ample dollop of sour cream). The toasty combination was a perfect way to ward away December chill, and I know I’ll be back to pick from the sweet menu—those fresh preserves are calling my name.