Restaurant Reivew #231: Corner Bakery Cafe

Poblano Fresco with roasted chicken

You remember the old SAT question:

Barnes and Noble : Borders
Corner Bakery Cafe : _______?

a) Chili's
b) Panera Bread
c) Ono Hawaiian BBQ
d) Pizza Hut

Yes, the correct answer is B. (Isn't it always?) Corner Bakery Cafe (CBC) and Panera Bread are essentially the same restaurant, except that CBC's empire is not as geographically widespread. But thankfully, unlike Borders and Barnes and Noble, it's not just that one is green and the other is red: the two bakery cafes actually sell different things. Well, different-tasting things. Both serve breakfast, salads, soups, sandwiches, panini, bakery sweets, fresh bread, bagels, lemonade, and coffee. CBC is better if you want a hot breakfast; Panera is better if you want a bagel (they have more flavors). CBC also serves pasta, which Panera does not. Both rotate their soup flavors according to the day of the week, but their only overlapping soup flavor is broccoli cheddar. Panera's You Pick Two is a more liberal version of CBC's Corner Bakery Combo, which limits the types of salad you can get with your half sandwich, though Panera does charge extra for its more elaborate salads. Both offer five panini options, each with different types of meat and each with one vegetarian option. Both have an Asian salad, a Greek salad, and a caesar salad, but CBC forays into non-lettuce-based salads with options like egg salad and pasta caprese salad.

I don't think I can provide any kind of unbiased assessment of which one is better--I used to work for Panera, and I remember it as one of the best jobs I ever had. I didn't even get sick of the food after eating it every day. But I do think Corner Bakery Cafe is a worthy competitor.

Corner Bakery Cafe
1555 Simi Town Center Way

Simi Valley
, CA 93065
and many, many other locations in 11 states and the District of Columbia)
Corner Bakery Cafe website
Corner Bakery Cafe menu
Mon - Sun: 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM

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