Tandem Coffee and Bakery

Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom

Tandem Coffee and Bakery feels like a mid-century gas station that has been hijacked by 21st century bicycle commuters. Gas pumps have been replaced by a bike rack and picnic tables. The shelves once stocking beef jerky have been filled with granola and vinyl records. Soda fountains and tire gauges have been replaced with long lines and tanks of single-origin cold brew.

What to eat at Tandem Coffee and Bakery

Tandem is first a coffee roaster, its beans roasted across town. Daily drips express their origins without being under-roasted or overly-acidic. Unusually, Tandem doesn’t just roast wine-scented single-origin coffees, they meet the challenge of creating custom blends for office percolators, local diners, and even decaf drinkers. All manners of espresso drinks and crafty iced coffee and teas are available as well. Even the almond milk is made on premises.

Maine summer means bountiful blueberries, and the pie at Tandem is brimming with them. It comes topped with a buttery almond crumb, which helps to balance the juiciness of the ripe berries. Pies and all of the expert baked goods are crafted by Brianna Holt, alumna of Brooklyn’s much celebrated Pies n’ Thighs. You might say pie is a secret specialty here.

Our usual roadside bakery treat is a sticky bun. Here they are excellent — gently glazed and rich with orange zest and a hint of cinnamon. The citrus-leading rolls compliment fruity coffees particularly well. Even if the morning doesn’t call for such a sweet treat, you should get one for later.

One could easily freeze up when confronted with the selection of attractive cakes, pies, pastries, and sandwiches on house baked focaccia. For clarity’s sake, it’s good to know that the strongest baked goods here are the biscuits. They are crusty cat head type biscuits, with a tall rise and a tasteful dusting of salt flakes. The cheddar and jalapeño biscuit displays more of the pepper’s flavor than heat, and remains humidly moist inside of its crusty shell.

Breakfast sandwiches are kept pre-made in a steamer, but they still taste fresh. The steaming actual helps meld the flavors nicely, and it keeps the biscuits butter soft. They contain only a simple square of baked egg, a slice of white cheddar and a spicy mayo sauce. They come out looking like the magical fast-food breakfast sandwiches in television commercials. They are somehow still in perfect shape even after being suffocated by a foil wrapper. You can add chorizo or spinach to this beautiful little butterball, but we wouldn’t. It’s perfect as is.

What To Eat

Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuit

Breakfast Sandwich

Sticky Bun

Blueberry Crumb Pie


Tandem Coffee and Bakery Recipes


What do you think of Tandem Coffee and Bakery?

One Response to “Tandem Coffee and Bakery”

Timothy J. Goodwin

March 16th, 2022

Hello, just having finished watching Briana Holt on Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street TV cooking show, I am OVER THE MOON DELIGHTED to be writing to say how much Brianna made me smile, big, while watching her bake the chocolate cake with juniper berries, and the “everything” scomes. Brianna, you are an absolute DELIGHT, and so fun to watch. It makes me want to come visit your bakery, and maybe bake with you. I, too, love to bake!!! If the rest of Portlanders are like YOU, I’d consider moving there—seriously!! Currently, I live in Denver, and am “itching” to move out of what has become too violent, with a lot of rude, inconsiderate “people”. By the way, I think that Portland is SO LUCKY to have YOU in the city. I wish you much more success, and lots of joy, peace & love in your life. YES!!!!


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