I’ll bite. When the News sent me to the newly opened Tous Les Jours — a South Korean bakery franchise with over a thousand locations worldwide — I had no idea what French-Asian cuisine would look like. However, when I rolled up to the downtown location Monday morning with my roommate, we were greeted with an extensive display featuring ingredients and pastries from several Asian cultures. So, we grabbed our self-serve plates and started digging in.
Tous Les Jours’ website boasts over 300 baked goods throughout the chain, and after browsing the selection before us, it wasn’t at all hard to believe. From fluffy loaves of milk bread to hot cheesy pastries to neatly sliced cream cakes, the bakery’s endless options left us wanting to try everything. The friendly staff suggested dishes that represented the bakery’s unique take on fusion cuisine. We strolled the aisle as we decided on goods to grab from the self-serve line for our trays. Eventually, we settled on a raspberry donut, a hot mushroom and cheese pastry, a blueberry cream cheese pocket, a honey cheese mochi pancake, a roll, ube-flavored cream bread, a slice of cheesecake and a loaf of milk bread. When we reached the checkout spot at the end of the line, we went with drinks our baristas recommended — an iced cappuccino and dirty ube latte.
Much like my beloved home in Pierson College, the bakery opted for a clean white aesthetic through its walls and countertops, with pastry display cases forming a neat and lengthy line. We enjoyed our seats near the window, taking in a nice view of Chapel Street as we talked.
“This would be a really good study spot,” my roommate, Alika Ting ’25 commented. As I turned to look at the rows of small tables and chairs lining the other side of the aisle, I couldn’t help but agree. Several people sat quietly with their laptops or books as they enjoyed their food. At the table behind us, a lady suggested “breakfast at this place every Sunday” to her friend as she typed on her computer.
After we shared bites and sips from all of our pastries and drinks, I declared ube — a purple yam popular in Filipino cuisine — the star of the show. The latte and cream bread paired a vibrant flavor and color with a smooth texture we both enjoyed. The added espresso shot — suggested by our barista — provided a much-needed kick to our morning without overpowering the ube flavor.
Another standout? The honey cheese mochi pancakes. I had never tried such a combination before — my part-Japanese roommate, however, had — and I was surprised at how effortlessly the light cheese and crunchy honey flavors complemented each other. Like the ube treats, the dish showcased Tous Les Jours’ imaginative takes on Asian-European fusion. It was the fan favorite among my suitemates.
Many of the pastries we tried also featured pairings of dense, rich fillings and light or flaky outside layers. The blueberry cream cheese pocket and mushroom cheese pastries — which mimicked the styles of several other pastries in-shop — packed a decent amount of texture diversity I appreciated.
Although most of the goods in the bakery — and on our table — were sweet, I’m more of a savory person, so I set out to look for other dishes like the mushroom cheese pastry. Then, I identified my one issue with the menu — outside of the iced cappuccino, which I don’t believe can be a thing, but it was good anyways — the lack of savory vegetarian options. Regardless, I was still content with the dozen other goods we ordered.
For the adventurous eater, Tous Les Jours is a new must-try a few blocks from Yale’s campus. I’d advise taking your time to explore the numerous options, to talk to the baristas and staff and to load up on treats from each of the display cases. The next time I stop by, I look forward to trying the strawberry cream sorboro — a twist on a classic Korean pastry — and a red bean donut.