a simple blog of simple pleasures

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe

type: bakery & cafe
address: 515 state street schenectady, new york 12305
ring-a-ding: (518) 280-2620
price: $5+ pp
attire: casual

Today I had the pleasure of going to Puzzles Bakery & Cafe located in downtown Schenectady, for lunch. If you’re not familiar with the Capital Region, Schenectady is about 15-20 minutes west of Albany. Schenectady also has a great selection of locally-owned restaurants and bars. Within recent years, Schenectady has made some serious advancements and improvements to the community, especially the downtown area – Puzzles Bakery & Cafe – being one!

Why Puzzles?

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe was opened in the community to provide a place of employment for those who are placed on the autism spectrum. I knew the puzzle piece as the autism awareness symbol, but I wanted to know… Where did it originate from? According to the-art-of-autism.com the history of the puzzle piece symbol goes all the way back to 1963. It was created by Gerald Gasson. Gerald was a parent and board member for the National Autistic Society (formerly known as The Society for Autistic Children) in London. The board believed autistic people suffered from a ‘puzzling’ condition.


Puzzles Bakery & Cafe is conveniently located right near Johnny’s and across from the new Slidin’ Dirty location. It’s in perfect walking distance from many offices, and if you’re a student and have a little more time, it’s about a half mile from Schenectady County Community College.

My first impression of Puzzles Bakery & Cafe was the atmosphere. It was fresh, spacious and was filled with a lot of natural light. The cafe offers free wifi for customers and was a great work space for me. Others had their computers and work with them.

There were so many appetizing items to choose from on the menu. They offer soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, breakfast (all day long,) kids meals, and freshly baked goods.

I ordered The Steakhouse Signature Salad


A bed of arugula, topped with pan-seared steak, sauteed mushrooms and onions, crumbles of gorgonzola cheese, homemade croutons, and creamy blue cheese dressing.

At Puzzles, they have a combination option. I opted to just get a salad, so I ordered the full size. ($10) My salad was huge! Every meal comes with a choice of a side, and I got the Kettle Baked Chips, my favorite! I’m not much of a salad person (besides Caesar salad, seriously my fav) but, after the birthday weekend I had… I needed some greens. The salad had a ton of mushrooms! ♥ It was simple, yet flavorful and my favorite part was the steak that was cooked perfectly, along with the homemade croutons. Puzzles sells hot and cold beverages, so I grabbed a San Pellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverage – Prickly Pear and Orange. Oooh!

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe has a unique and positive business mission. After visiting Puzzles website, I learned a lot of interesting facts about autism.

  1. 1 in 68 people are diagnosed with autism
  2. There is still no understanding what causes the disorder
  3. Autism becomes more challenging becoming an adult
  4. There are not a lot of communal opportunities for adults with autism, especially employment

What is better than supporting not only a local business – but one that also has a mission, that changes and benefits the community! In my opinion, not only does Puzzles create opportunities for those who may not have them, but I think it is very educating and insightful for the community. Regardless of our differences, those who have autism may be looked at like they are not capable of having a job, but Puzzles shows them that they can!

“believe there is good in the world”

Puzzles has been featured in multiple news articles AND has even made it to CBS Evening News. Check out their press → here.

Puzzles Bakery & Cafe is open-
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday 10:00 – 3:00 PM


No time to stay? Order online, and pick up on site! Order Here!

Have you tried Puzzles Bakery & Cafe? Or, do you know any businesses with a similar mission? Let me know below!

Till next time, T ♥

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