Pastries at Flour Bakery + Cafe
Why They're Iconic: Through cookbooks, her quartet of Flour spots, and her Asian-fusion restaurant Myers + Chang, chef-owner Joanne Chang has become one of Boston's biggest names. And those famous sticky buns? Hyperbole is merited.
Why They're Overrated: Let's be clear. "Overrated" doesn't mean "bad." It doesn't even mean "not good." More than quality, it refers to the distance between "expectations" and "reality." With that in mind, some would suggest that this mini-empire slightly suffers from its own success. When the original South End location opened in 2000, it was a uniquely chef-driven cafe in a rapidly changing, upscale-trending neighborhood. Now the South End is flush with similar foodie-friendly options, like the lovely South End Buttery. And Flour has added three additional locations in Boston and Cambridge, where the bar for new eateries continues to be set higher and higher. Sweet success? Absolutely. Consistently good? Sure. But in a more crowded cafe market, there's sometimes a sense that Flour's long lines and fawning raves — "These scones are ah-mazing!" — rely in large part on a long-standing reputation.