With nearly 200 countries in the world, Uruguay was never on my bucket list…until visiting Panadería Tacuari.
The bakery and sandwich shop opened in 2015 and serves up delicious pastries that won’t place a dent in your dessert budget.
Located directly north of UGA’s Health Sciences campus and just outside the loop, Panadería Tacuari is a 10 minute drive from the Arch, but a world away.
If you are looking to get off the downtown grid and want a quiet spot to sit and eat with friends, take a trip to the more industrial side of Athens to grab a pastry.
The colorful-windowed exterior of the bakery compliments its simple, warm and welcoming, interior. The bright space has rustic burlap curtains to let the light flow in and is filled with plenty of booths to go around.
Beyond the visual appeal of the place, the pocket appeal is equally strong: most of the pastries are only $0.75. For a little over $3, I was able to sample four generously sized dessert items.
Selecting which sweets to sample is a challenge, with the tempting wall of options greeting visitors immediately as they walk in the door. Thankfully, the cashier was more than willing to describe each item and make (very accurate) suggestions.
The first item I started with was an ojito, meaning “eye” in Spanish. These delicate pastries came with different filling choices, including strawberry, pineapple, guava and sweet cheese.
All of these shared a nice puffed dough with an elegant sugar finish, but the pineapple was the standout from the crowd. While it looked similar in color to a lemon filled baked-good you might find at Publix, this was completely unique and different with just the right balance of sweet and tangy.
Next on my list was the concha which won the overall showstopper award with its crackled sugar topping that looked like a turtle shell.
This came recommended as one of the most popular items, and it lived up to that reputation. The topping provided a light crunch and just the right balance of sweetness and pastry. As with all of Panadería Tacuari’s items, it was not too rich or heavy, meaning you could easily work through a pastry or two on your own. With such good prices though, overthink trying multiple sweets.
The third item I sampled was a sweet bread with dulce de leche filling. The dough was a bit like a soft hamburger bun, but the filling gave it a full, sweet flavor. If you like caramel, this sticky treat is the way to go.
After tasting each of the desserts on my plate, I moved on to sampling the selections of my fellow Spoon adventurers. This included a biscotti-like, chocolate drizzled pastry (best for almond lovers) and a rolled pastry filled with a guava jelly. The jelly provided a nice tang and, similar to the pineapple filling, presented a more unique dessert experience than you can get at other bakeries.
So, while catching a flight to Uruguay may be out of the question, make the time to visit Panadería Tacuari. Do it for your sweet tooth.