Lilac Patisserie, in my opinion, makes the best cakes in Santa Barbara. Period. And cheesecakes. And tarts. It is really one of the nicest places in town to sit and have a cappuccino and a slice of cake. But what makes it even more amazing is that it is gluten free. Everything in the shop, not just one or two items. And biting into a slice of princess cake, after you are done swooning over the marzipan and the pastry cream, you might just for a second think the cake was a bit spongier than regular cake...but you would not think there was anything missing from it..like the gluten!
The feel is very old-school here. Marble-topped tables, bistro chairs, and glass shields behind which the bakery nymphs decorate cakes. Everything is airy and light. And, oh yeah, everything here is insanely tasty.
Personally, I recommend princess cake, summer berry cake, or the chocolate caramel. The ingredients are top notch, so it will be reflected in the prices. But trust me, you will not only pay $8 for a slice of this kind of happiness, you will take another slice home in a to-go container.
The vegan offering, the red velvet cupcake, is a bit more of an acquired taste. It reads as salty and slightly sour on the tongue but without a lot of sweet to balance it. If you're vegan, you may find it scrumptious though
Lilac doesn't just serve pastries, it has lunch fare as well. I noticed the bread they use in their sandwiches is very thick and spongy...in fact, it is a lot like the cake they serve, just minus the sugar. But if I were on a gluten-free diet, I am fairly sure that I would not care about the texture, I'd just be ecstatic to be eating real bread.
So bring your appetite and give Lilac a try. I promise that it is the best pastry going on State Street!