Rare Sweets Opens With Breakfast Biscuits, Mini Cakes

A seasonal bakeshop arrives at CityCenterDC.

Rare Sweets debuts with seasonal breakfast items, ice creams, and beautiful cakes. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Cheddar biscuits. La Colombe coffee. Slices of ginger-lemon cake. You’ll find all of this and more at Rare Sweets, the newest addition to CityCenterDC. The shop, now open, comes courtesy of Meredith Tomason, a former pastry chef at Tom Colicchio‘s Craft in New York City. This is her first brick-and-mortar business after a year of running a catering operation out of Union Kitchen.

The opening menu (see below) takes seasonal cues, with an emphasis on fresh fruit desserts, raw sugar, and spices. Guests can drop by in the morning for coffee or hot cocoa and a mix of sweet and savory items, such as buttermilk biscuits, glazed doughnuts, house-made granola, and “egg in a basket,” an egg baked into a fresh brioche bun. Classic and seasonal cakes such as a beet-based red velvet or chocolate malt can be ordered whole or by the slice; there are also miniature cakes. Those not in the mood for a slice can grab cookies and bars, or opt for house frozen treats such as chocolate-spice ice cream or pomegranate-black pepper sorbet.

The pretty space boasts marble countertops, cook books from Tomason’s large vintage collection, and an open kitchen where guests can watch cakes being iced. Seating is limited to a few tables and a standing bar by the window, so prepare to load up for sweets on the go. Note that there’s also a special holiday menu with items like yule log cakes, breakfast baskets for Christmas morning, and more.

Rare Sweets. 963 Palmer Alley, NW; 202-499-0077. Open daily, 7 to 7.

Opening Menu


Buttermilk Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Cheddar Chive Biscuits, Seasonal Coffee Cakes, English Muffins $3.60

Egg in a Basket: $3.75

Chocolate Cake Donuts, Seasonal Glazed Donuts $2.50

Granola & Milk or Yogurt $3.60


Classic Cake Slices $5

Double Chocolate, Black & White, Red Velvet Beet, Black & Yellow

Seasonal Cake Slices $5.50

Ginger & Lemon, Vanilla & Eggnog, Apple Stack, Chocolate Malt

Mini Cakes $6

Classic Coconut, Chocolate Peppermint, Toasted Almond

Party Cakes (whole Cakes available for order)

Classic Flavors (6 inch $35, 8 inch $55, 9 inch $65)

Seasonal Flavors (6 inch $40, 8 Inch $60, 9 Inch $70)

Cookies & Bars

Oatmeal Raisin, Chewy Sugar Cookies, Gingersnaps, Cocoa Crinkles, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip/Walnut $2.00

Chocolate Brownie, Brown Butter Blondie $2.30

Ice Cream & Sorbet

Small $5.40 Large $6.40

Winter Spice, Vanilla, Mint Cocoa Nib, Milk Chocolate Spice, Oatmeal Raisin, Blood Orange Sherbet, Green Apple Sorbet, Pomegranate Black Pepper Sorbet


La Colombe Coffee & Espresso Drinks $2.50-$4.00, Hot Chocolate $3.40, Running Byrd Sweet Tea $2.75

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.