Chez Hareg Gourmet Bakery

District of Columbia, USA

Closed as of May 3

2312 Fourth Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-832-2253

Vegan-Friendly

4.3 / 1 vote

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Gourmet Bakery with a large selection of vegan desserts

Coffee/Tea/Juice, Grocery/Bakery/Deli, Caterer

The head chef and baker here, Hareg Messert, is a master baker and an alum of the Ritz-Carlton kitchen in DC. You can find a variety of vegan desserts here.

Added by conde.kedar on Dec 11 08 (last updated May 3)

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Amazing. You would never guess that this non-descript space has such incredible baked goods, let alone vegan ones. I'd read about Chez Hareg in the Washington Post and had to try it for myself.

I had one spritzer cookie, one butter-style cookie and one other thing with a name I can't remember. None of the vegan options are labeled, but pretty much the entire top shelf of the glass case is vegan. Each little cookie or pastry costs about $0.50, or you could get 3 for $1 with some varieties. The cookies that I had were all wonderful---crumbly and rich. They evoked memories of my childhood, eating butter biscuits with milk tea in the afternoon with my parents. I had not encountered such flavors in the vegan world and was amazed to find them at Chez Hareg.

I also had a "Napoleon" ($3.50) which was some kind of multi-layered pastry filled with lemon and powdered sugar. It was kind of like a lasagna in its design and appearance. The thing was a marvel. Each crust layer was impeccably thin and crispy, but also flaky; the lemon-custard filling was smooth, cold and just subtly sweet without being overpowering.

I have encountered vegan desserts of this sophistication and excellence on only two occasions in all my travels---once at Millennium in San Francisco, and once at Horizons in Philadelphia. However, the desserts there cost anywhere from $10-15, whereas Chez Hareg offers the same quality and taste for only $3.50 or, in some cases, for less than $1. Unbelievable.

The owner, Hareg herself, is a master baker who formerly worked at the Ritz Carlton. I applaud her for opening up her own coffee shop/bakery and exposing the world to the delicacy, balance and excellence of her products, all for absurdly low prices. It's going to be hard to justify paying $2 for a vegan pastry at the coffee shop down the road, knowing you could get a superior gourmet product for the same price, if only you lived in DC. Chez Hareg sets the bar impossibly high for pretty much anyone.

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Directions

Metro stop: Red line Rhode Island Avenue

Non-Smoking

Wheelchair Accessible

Payment

  • MasterCard Visa

Cuisines

  • American
  • Italian
  • French

Features

  • (Mostly) Organic
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Quiet
  • Wi-Fi

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Hours

7am - 7pm
9am - 6pm
11am - 5pm

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