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D.C.’s Debut Magnolia Bakery Brings Cupcakes to Union Station

The NYC-based chain opened on Monday, September 10

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Magnolia Bakery opened its first D.C. location inside Union Station on Monday, September 10.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

New York City desserts shop Magnolia Bakery just arrived inside Union Station, giving D.C. diners a new option for grab-and-go mini cheesecakes, colorful cupcakes, and cold brew.

The debut D.C. location, taking up a corner sliver of Union Station’s mezzanine level (50 Massachusetts Avenue NE), is scheduled to operate Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fans flocked to the location on Monday to line up and get a first taste of the bakery’s goods.

Magnolia Bakery reached worldwide fame soon after its first location popped up in NYC’s West Village in 1996, when Carrie Bradshaw devoured a Magnolia Bakery cupcake on a Sex and the City episode in 2000.

“Our international expansion has literally been because of that show,” operating partner Bobbie Lloyd tells Eater. “Overseas they get so excited about Sex and the City.”

The cupcakery has since sprinkled locations across the world, in Mexico, Korea, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, as well added domestic outlets in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Lloyd says Magnolia Bakery’s overall expansion plans call for “slow, methodical growth” and confirmed plans to plant more locations in D.C. down the road.

“Whenever we enter a new market we have expansion in mind,” adds Lloyd.

Along with an entire refrigerator dedicated to its best-selling banana pudding, there’s mini key lime cheesecakes, chocolate pudding parfaits, sea salt caramel cookies, and icebox desserts stocked along the ordering line.
Magnolia Bakery’s featured September cupcakes include a red velvet variety topped with whipped vanilla icing and PB&J with peanut butter buttercream.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Cupcakes ($3.95), made on-site daily, include vanilla or chocolate flavors with vanilla buttercream. Magnolia Bakery also offers a daily cupcake, with harvest apple featured on Fridays and a German chocolate cupcake slated for Wednesdays.

Decorative cakes are also a part of Magnolia Bakery’s business model, and customers can customize their creations online or by calling the store.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Caffeine also plays a starring role, with an array of hot and cold coffee and espresso options to choose from ($1.95 to $5.25) like cappuccinos, chai lattes, and ice caramel lattes. There’s also hot cocoa and lemonade made on-site. At the register, customers can buy a la carte balloons, candles, and other Magnolia-branded party favors — like temporary tattoos — to pair with their sweets purchases.

Magnolia Bakery is the latest elevated eating and drinking option to land inside Union Station; recent openings include Legal Sea Foods’ 2,000-square-foot bright and airy restaurant Legal Sea Bar, San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee, and Aloha Poke Co. out of Chicago. Pizza chain Neapolitan Express is coming soon.

Status: Certified open. 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE; website.