A few years ago, as a northend newbie, I woke up on a Saturday morning desperately missing my old weekend breakfast stop.
I had yet to make any friends who could recommend a place so I turned to good ol’ Google, typing in “Best breakfasts in Skagit County”. I scrolled and scrolled, read reviews, and finally announced to my husband - “Let’s go to Calico Cupboard!
Calico Cupboard Cafe & Bakery is a Skagit County staple. With locations in Mount Vernon, La Conner, and Anacortes this breakfast and lunch spot has been serving happy customers since 1981 when the first location opened. When you pop into Calico It's like going to grandma's house... and who doesn't want to spend a morning there?
You can always expect a gorgeous pastry case full of cookies, bars, danish pastries, pies, and my personal favorite, maple bacon cinnamon rolls. Calico Cupboard also specializes in fresh, homemade breads. And trust me, nothing tastes better than a fresh slice of bread. Even better, when two slices turn into a scrumptious Calico Cupboard sandwich.
Which, brings me to my almost-every-time order: a hearty sandwich from Calico’s lunch menu.
I alternate between the Washington Turkey, because, hello, nothing is better than the savory sweet mix of herbed cream cheese, cranberries, and dijon mustard and the Grilled Turkey Bacon Bleu because I have a weak spot for all bleu cheese menu items. The sandwiches are HUGE and thus, I’ll often go for a half and pair it with soup or salad. I know sandwiches don’t sound fancy, but at Calico Cupboard, they’re truly a treat thanks to the homemade bread and fresh ingredients. Nothing like a sandwich at home!
If I had to say Calico Cupboard specialized in one menu item - besides their breads and pastries - I’d venture to say it’s their hashes. There is always a seasonal option, which is what I tend to choose out of the urgency of “What if it isn’t here next time?!?” and the Skagit Hash is definitely something to write home about. That sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes? Done and done!
The Morning Glory Omelette (isn’t that such a perfect brunch dish name?) and the Cinnamon Roll French Toast are other breakfast favorites in our family. Personally, I’d convince a breakfast loving friend to hit up Calico with you so you can split one sweet and one savory dish, because, ya’ll, that Cinnamon Roll French Toast cannot be missed!
I also love that Calico Cupboard strives to incorporate local farms into many of their dishes. Upon entering you’ll often see a sign announcing which farm certain ingredients come from. Calico shared that when available, “We honor and promote our Skagit Valley farmers by using year round local red potatoes, seasonal berries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale all grown here in our fertile farmland”. It definitely takes extra effort for restaurants to take this step and I so appreciate Calico’s transparency in their sourcing.
If you eat gluten free, never fear, Calico Cupboard has many options for you! From coconut almond macaroons to carmelitas bars and tripleberry muffins, you’re taste buds won’t be left out of the pastry joy! Gluten free cookies and breads are available too.
Each Calico Cupboard location (Mount Vernon, La Conner, Anacortes) has their own Facebook page where they feature daily specials and other happenings. Be sure to like your preferred location and check out the latest news so you’re up to speed on menu offerings.
Last but not least, with the holidays around the corner, be sure to check out Calico Cupboard’s special menu. Your kitchen can stay sparkling clean if you opt to pre-order treats from Calico!