Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Happy Tart - Alexandria, VA

Twice during our stay in Alexandria, Virginia, we visited The Happy Tart Gluten-Free Patisserie.  The Happy Tart is a 100% gluten free bakery that makes gluten free versions of classic French pastries.

I found The Happy Tart on the Find Me Gluten Free App, and it was recommended by a blog reader.  

They had an impressive collection of gluten free macarons, but I can buy macarons in Orlando at Le Macaron, so I didn't try them.  

The Happy Tart does have dairy free options, like the s'mores cupcake.  

I was overwhelmed by all the beautiful pastries I had to choose from, like the strawberry rhubarb or pecan tarts.

First time customers can choose a complimentary lemon curd, lime curd, or chocolate tartlet.

I couldn't pass up the frangipane tart, which is almond cake and raspberry jam in a flakey tart shell.  

My husband chose the cream cheese raspberry jam turnover, my favorite treat from our first visit.  I love baked goods with cream cheese, and it was so scrumptiously buttery and flakey.  The baked goods at The Happy Tart could definitely hold their own against their gluten-filled counterparts.  Everything was delicious!  

I didn't try my daughter Emma's chocolate cupcake, but she said it was very good.  My kids are extremely fussy about their baked goods, and have been known to give a big thumbs down to cupcakes we have had at other gluten free bakeries.  

I didn't try Katie's chocolate tartlet either, but looking at it, it reminded me of my mini chocolate chess pies.  

The second time we visited The Happy Tart, it was Sunday morning, and we arrived right when it opened.

I hadn't eaten any breakfast except some strawberries, so I chose a raspberry tart filled with pastry cream and topped with beautiful berries.  

I also picked up some hamburger buns to take to my cousin's house for dinner.  I had to eat one in the car because they were still warm.  The Happy Tart makes the best gluten free hamburger buns I have ever had.  I rarely like gluten free bread, but these buns were impressive.  

After eating lunch, I had a cream cheese raspberry jam turnover.  I wish all gluten free bakeries made pastries this amazing!  

I purchased some dark chocolate crackle and chocolate chip cookies to take to my cousin's house for dessert.  

Everyone was really impressed by how good they were.  The dark chocolate crackle cookies tasted like the chocolate cookies I make for Christmas.

If you are ever in Alexandria, Virginia, you have to visit The Happy Tart.  The only gluten free bakery I have been to that can rival The Happy Tart is Mariposa, which has bakeshops in San Francisco and Oakland.

You can view The Happy Tart's website here.

Have you been to The Happy Tart?  What is your favorite gluten free bakery?


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