OK, I'll admit it — I might just be a café and pastry addict. Whatever town I visit, my café experience matters a whole lot, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Cafés just say so much about the city you’re in, especially when you're in Paris.

With every city I go to, I try to recreate that beautiful vibe of a Parisian café, with their flaky, buttery pastries and rich coffee. As it turns out, Ann Arbor has one café that is a doorway into the world of croissants and coffee, the crème-de la crème of the city, if you will.

Today I sat down at the cute little bakery, Pastry Peddler, with an iced latte, a buttery croissant and my sketchbook —my break, and the high point of my afternoon. It’s the little things, right? My experience was nothing short of spectacular, and it all comes down to the components that made it up.

The Coffee

mocha, milk, espresso, cappuccino, coffee
Kristen Kornbluth

Some great brands offered in Ann Arbor are Intelligentsia, Mighty Good Coffee, and Comet Coffee's brew. However, Pastry Peddler, known for its pastries, sells Intelligentsia coffee, and that's what brought me there today. My Chicago roots were crying out for a good Intelligentsia cold brew or latte, and Pastry Peddler’s coffee did not disappoint. They didn’t over sweeten it the way Starbucks does.

The Ambiance

bread, cookie, chocolate, candy, sweet
Gracie Gebhard

Enough about the coffee. Pastry Peddler is an adorable café — a little hole in the wall, located on Packard Street next to an old ATM and a used record store. This fits its cute boulangerie vibe, especially since Packard Street is busy, and the traffic is as loud as the street is small, but there is outdoor seating for people watching (my favorite).

The Pastry

croissant, coffee
Alison Weissbrot

I ordered a plain croissant and warmed it up in their cute little microwave on the buyer’s side of the store. The croissant was nearly a dollar more expensive here than had I bought it most other places (like Lab Cafe and Comet Coffee), but its moisture and flakiness did not disappoint — and I mean, look at that texture. And so, I sat down and enjoyed my coffee/pastry duo.

Whether it’s caffeinated or decaf coffee, a fancy latte, or a plain black cup of joe, a nice café like this lets me reflect on the whirlwind of my day, and gives me time to rejuvenate and regroup.

A good café break is totally necessary — I'd give Pastry Peddler a solid four out of five stars for my experience. It's great coffee, an adorable café, and an overall great vibe; and with that, I set down my glass — I mean mug — I mean eco-friendly recycled plastic cup — whatever.