If you’re a bread lover or a coffee consumer, Sub Rosa is probably on your list. And if it’s not, let’s talk about why it should be.
That Churchill vibe
Sub Rosa is located in Churchill around the corner from Alamo BBQ and across from The Roosevelt, so just imagine quiet streets with the sounds of cars breezing by once in a while, imagine it’s Sunday morning and you’ve just finished your morning run, you’re sitting outside with the birds chirping enjoying some of the best pastries in town. Time is slow in Churchill and you’ve got time in Churchill. That is Sub Rosa to Richmond.
It’s a small shop, just like a lot of other Richmond shops. The entire store front is windowpane so when you walk in, you’re greeted with beautiful pastries placed out behind the glass cabinet and a brightness that goes with the feeling of the space.
Inside, you’ll find some seating–a few tables as well as window seating–but not really too much so I wouldn’t go here with a big group. I got the vibe that it was meant for quick snacks and sips but I did find a pair of old friends sitting at the window with a really beautiful assortment of treats, looking like they were catching up for the first time in forever. So does it make a good catch-up spot yet? From the vibes to the seating, I think so.
There’s a short hallway that leads you back to where you’d pick up your order and if you venture even further, you’ll probably find a baker, where a wall of flour bags provides a backdrop, mixing together dough for whatever they have planned for the day.
Almond Pastry from Sub Rosa
Now let’s finally talk about what we got from Sub Rosa. I don’t know exactly what to call it–it’s kind of like the mix between a croissant and another type of doughier pastry. On the outside, it’s covered in toasted sliced almonds then slightly coated white with powdered sugar. Then underneath that layer of toppings, you’ve got a crispy, thinly layered croissant-like exterior.
So how is this different than the almond croissant they also had? It’s in the interior.
You take a bite into this almond pastry and you got so many textures going on. You’ve got the exterior covered with powdered sugar and sliced walnuts and a paper-thin layered croissant, but then you get to the inside and you’ve got a supple and airy dough that’s slightly sweet with little chunks of almonds blended in. It’s crispy but chewy, sweet but not overwhelming, and it’s hitting all the right notes.
You look at the bottom of the pastry and find it a beautiful golden brown that is super crispy and buttery, baked perfectly.
Honestly, I wish we had time to stay longer. This pastry was super filling (even split between the two of us) and I’m sure I wouldn’t have wanted another one but I will definitely be back to try other things on the menu, especially their savory pastries.
Apparently Sub Rosa was also recently awarded #1 “Best Bread Maker” and #1 “Best Pastries” by Richmond Magazine*. Others on that list were Whisk, Idle Hands Bread Co., and Montana Gold Bread Co. There’s fierce competition in Richmond and that just shows you how good they are.
*Not 100% confirmed.