Milk Bar has gone from a side project founder Christina Tosi launched while working at New York restaurant Momofuku to a full-on corporate behemoth that partners with major brands like Taco Bell. It’s no mystery how Tosi’s creations have spread so widely — Milk Bar’s salty, sweet, flavor-packed products are the stuff of sugar-addled adolescent fantasies. Its most famous items include soft serve that tastes like leftover cereal milk (that you can top with crunchy corn flakes), donut hole–esque “cake truffles” that overload your taste buds, and “compost cookies” that contain everything from coffee grounds to potato chips.
Though some food critics (including Eater’s) have at times derided Milk Bar for losing some of its soul in its rapid expansion, Seattleites have largely missed out on the chance to see what all the fuss was about, unless they happened to catch Tosi at her Canlis pop-up years ago or the Milk Bar event at the Edmonds Dick’s in 2021. The only Milk Bar products you could easily get were the mass-produced cookies and ice cream available at Whole Foods. But no longer: Milk Bar is now open at Nordstrom in Bellevue Square.
The fact that Milk Bar is appearing in one of the Seattle area’s swankiest malls says a lot about the status of the brand. It doesn’t come to the Pacific Northwest as a hip East Village bakery but rather the tail end of a years-long trend.
Which doesn’t make it not worth trying! The soft serve straddles the line between savory and sweet, the birthday cake is a multilayered extravagance that maybe even justifies its over-$50 price, and its cookies and cake truffles are a step above nearly all prepackaged competitors. Just be prepared to deal with some lines as your fellow Washingtonians get their fix.