The Bakery Café by illy (The Culinary Institute of America)

2555 Main St, St Helena
(707) 967-1100

Recent Reviews

Manish Jha
susan s.

We enjoyed a light but delicious lunch here at Greystone in the cafe. I loved the inner space of the seating area, a bit like a laboratory but with the beauty of stone walls and a modern tasting table. Had delicious steak street taco embellished with kimchi, which I don't usually care for, but it was a sweeter lighter kimchi and made for very tasty tacos! My friend enjoyed the cinnamon bread and curry chicken salad. The CIA shop is fun to look through and you'll find high quality gadgets not so commonly found in kitchen stores.

Lorissa W.

I'm never disappointed in this cafe. Great Illy coffee and good soups. They serve you filtered good tasting water. I enjoyed the avocado toast and various pastries. The Cassis tart was very pretty and only 3 three dollars! They have a convenient bathroom near the cafe too.

Veronika Staňková

I bought a coffee and a one piece of chocolate truffle to go. When the truffle melted in my mouth, I felt a lot of hair in it. A mid-lenght brown one and a couple of short blonde hairs. It made me pretty sick. Not sure if it was supposed to be a joke of some immature students of Culinary Institute, or someone else who was preparing these, but it was extremely disgusting and I’m dissapointed.

Aileen W.

We stopped in here because I saw people recommend it as a place you could get food to grab and go. We chose sandwiches and a salad from the glass case, and they appeared to be ready to go. Our sandwiches and salad were delicious, as was the mini croissant we got to snack on. I took off one star because it was very slow. It was a weekday lunchtime. There was only one other party in there, so it's not like they were busy. They do not give you the pre-prepared food you see, and as they were about to hand us our food they took it back to fix it because the chef realized he didn't put avocado on our bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwiches, adding to the time. So, good place to go if you have time, but not if you're in a hurry.

Wil K.

Great coffee. The brownie was amazing. Fried chicken sandwich was good too. Very relaxing place.

Sue M.

You need to search for this little spot! It's within the culinary school. Delicious coffee and pastries. Hubby had the dark chocolate brownie with sea salt and I had a lemon meringue tart. Lattes too! Perfect respite after driving up to the wine country. Then a little shopping in the gift shop next door.

Stefi Z.

Must go to this Cafe if you're in this area and around. It's absolutely wonderful. Seriously delicious coffee and pastries. Price is surprisingly lower than other cafes. Comfortable seating, like in a library. Chefs wearing tall white hat and uniform passing by from time to time. Highly recommend.

Elizabeth S.

Very specialized cooking store where I was able to find a high quality zester and a silicone flat whisk for about $25 each. Not inexpensive, but the quality was top notch. The sales staff was pleasant and helpful. I was impressed with all the different types of spices and of vinegar, to name a few things. If in this area, I think it would be well worth a peek and perhaps a splurge in this well-appointed store.

Jesus Carlos C.

Went in for an estimate on cake and was told that they would have someone call me that same day. A week and a half has passed and nothing, not a call or anything and the demeanor of the manager was not CIA like. As an alumni I remember they grilled us with Hospitality and professionalism, nothing like this was exemplified that day.

Rachelle M.

On Saturday afternoon accompanied by my sweetheart we got the opportunity to dine at this bakery cafe where highly trained students learn skills for the restaurant field trained by well known chefs. Observing the menu I came across the Napa Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich my mouth started watering before even ordering it, I love chicken and waffles, so in a sandwich has to be amazing! First bite true heaven, the chicken was fried to perfection and paired with bacon, maple-chipotle aioli the flavors were just plain amazing and when that egg yolk started to run down immersing the thick waffle it was breakfast heaven! My meal was only $10 and came with a cup of delicious cut up pineapples! To share we decided on the Rosemary Fries with House Garlic Aioli, that aioli was so good if we were near home I would have asked for a to-go cup to bring home with me after finishing those delectable fries with my sweetheart! I would highly recommend trying out this bakery cafe with a sweet and helpful staff that make you feel very welcomed, I'll definitely be back to try more! Come try their fresh baked loaves, lunch menu and other delicious homemade goodies for the best price in this area for unmatched quality, they are open everyday from 11 AM to 3 PM! This would make a great place to purchase a gift card as well since it can be used at any of their bakery cafes, restaurants, for taking classes, their boot camp or the Spice Islands Marketplace! Lastly don't forget to check into Yelp, I received a free small English Breakfast Tea that was good despite me over-steeping it being distracted by all the food!

Chuck M.

One of the best kept wine country dining secrets is The Bakery Cafe by illy. It is located on the 1st floor of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The cafe is operated by CIA students before they go out into the world to their chosen foodie destinies. You never know...you just might be served by one of the next stars of the culinary world. I had a brief conversation with a student who had just finished her externship at Thomas Keller's French Laundry. The counter service menu here is not extensive, but it is just right for the purpose of the cafe. You can choose from either a "grab and go" menu or í  la carte. I had the Napa Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich ($10) which came with Applewood smoked bacon, a fried egg & maple-chipotle aioli. The sandwich was amazing with just the right balance of sweet and savory flavors. The breaded chicken was juicy and even with the warm runny yolk, the crunchy breading held up with nice contrasting textures all the way to the last delicious bite! On the side I had the Rosemary Fries ($4) with an amazing house aioli with garlic for dipping. The fries were cooked to perfection with nice crispy exteriors and tender and fluffy interiors. The garlic aioli made these some of the best fries ever! Definitely bookmark this one and stop in the next time you are in the area!

Chrysanthemum A.

The Bakery Cafe by Illy IS a secret- it's run by the CIA, after all! Hidden with the CIA is some of the best coffee ever. The Italian rainbow cake looked decadent, and one can see culinary students at work. It's true they have odd hours. They've renovated over the years, and it's worth it. At lunchtime, they were doing a big business. I ordered an espresso con panna (with whipped cream) to go. The nervous culinary student did correct my order (I almost got a cortado!), and made sure it was to-go. I had an espresso to fuel my drive home. The whipped cream was exquisite. Unfortunately, I was too full to taste the rainbow. It's great to see the culinary students hard at work. $2 for an espresso is reasonable, especially for the Napa Valley. It's an impressive spot. Since chocolate's scientific name translates as "food of the gods",the Bakery Cafe by Illy (with some Ghirardelli too) is heavenly.

Janelle A.

Super helpful staff, surprisingly affordable prices, thoughtful recommendations. The atmosphere was beautiful! I was helped by Angel, and he was super professional and helpful!

Karen S.

We came here as part of the tour and lunch and I think we got them on a bad day. Things seemed very unorganized and they seemed to be understaffed to handle the people that opted for lunch with their tour. For the bulk of the time we were there, there was one person taking orders, making drinks and delivering orders. Eventually someone else came along to expedite the food and deliver orders. My food came out almost ten minutes after my husband's food. On to the food. I had the Italian sandwich and it was very good. The pasta salad that was on the side was fantastic. My husband opted for the other lunch option, the fried chicken sandwich, but it was a fried chicken plate when it came out. He still enjoyed it. I'd try it again and hope things were a bit better organized.

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The Bakery Café by illy (The Culinary Institute of America)

2555 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-1100