75 Best Bakeries in America
December 9, 2014
Is America's best bakery hiding in your hometown?
The Best Bakeries in America
After hours of deliberation and help from our panelists, we ended up expanding our 50 Best Bakeries in America list with 25 additions that offer bakery aficionados a wide selection of delicious variables to consider. A large portion of the total list hails from the New York area, which panelists had the most input on, as many of our panelists knew the city well and were able to confidently rank those establishments. We’ve also got a hefty number of bakeries from other major cities like Portland, Ore., and Philadelphia, as well, and a few quaint mom-and-pop bakeries that make a visit to their small town worth the trip.
#75 Bing’s Bakery, Newark, Delaware
Miyah L. / Yelp
Bing’s Bakery, established in 1949 and the self-proclaimed longest running bakery in Delaware, is a full-line scratch bakery that has mastered the art of pastry. Petit fours, Danishes, pies, and cheesecakes are just some of the sweets that come out of Bing’s on a daily basis. Try their delicious butter cookies for a decadent and homey treat.
#74 Pinkitzel Cupcakes & Candy, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Even though the talents of Pinkitzel Cupcakes & Candy are focused mostly on gourmet cupcakes, those cupcakes are so tasty that we just had to include them on our list this year. In addition to options like the Turtle Cheesecake (a chocolate cupcake with a cheesecake center and cheesecake buttercream, topped with caramel, nuts, and chocolate), they have over 100 loose candy selections, making this the ultimate sweet house in Oklahoma City.
#73 One Sweet Slice, Sandy, Utah
Another bakery famous for cupcakes, One Sweet Slice offers customers a DIY dessert bar so customers can personalize their cupcake experience — but they are also masterful sculpted cake artists, making wedding and birthdays all the more fun. Don’t forget to try their French macarons or their cake pops for a small, sweet bite.
#72 Pink Cake Box, Denville, N.J.
When it comes to making a gorgeous cake, you simply cannot beat Pink Cake Box, the critically acclaimed bakery that was the brainchild of accomplished baker Anne Heap. From the tiniest of cupcakes to a towering wedding cake structure, the artisans at Pink Cake Box can consistently take your breath away with their sculpting ability. Even their cookies and macarons look as gorgeous as they taste.
#71 Whipped Bakeshop, Philadelphia
Artist Zoë Lukas remembers always loving combining the world of food and art, and Whipped Bakeshop may be her greatest masterpiece yet. With a simple, crisp flavor catalog and an artful hand, Lukas creates delicious cakes, cookies, and the occasional holiday pie that delights her customers.
#70 Maxie B's Bakery and Dessert Cafe, Greensboro, North Carolina
Maxie B’s Bakery and Dessert Cafe got its start in 1985 as an independently-owned franchised store of I Can't Believe It's Yogurt. Years later, Maxie B’s (named after the owners' beloved pugs, Max and Bitterman) got a business model makeover and began by “accident” while on the hunt for the perfect chocolate cake. From there, they went on to build wedding cakes, special occasion cakes, and assorted other confections that delight customers from miles around.
#69 The West Side Bakery, Akron, Ohio
One look at The West Side Bakery’s menu and you’ll see that they are masters in all that they do. Since 1995, this bakery has earned several accolades on the local and national level. Chocolate cake lovers should pay extra attention to this bakery, as they happen to be the proud winners of Akron’s Best Bakery, Best Dessert, and Best Chocolate Cake honors! Don’t forget to check out their extensive breakfast and lunch menus and their variety of individual pastries. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it here, from the cannoli to the crème brûlée!
#68 Sweet Confections, Barboursville, West Virginia
At Sweet Confections, it will feel like the sky’s the limit with endless delicious choices. In addition to the array of desserts, fresh breads (orange, zucchini, and, banana nut are the favorites), and special diet options. There are also 100 cake flavors available to choose from, so feel free to get a sweet that truly speaks to you.
#67 Buttercream Cakes and Desserts, Stillwater, Minnesota
Though heavily focused on weddings and catered events, Buttercream Cakes and Desserts produces such flavorful and beautiful confections that they just had to make this list. They offer a large variety of cupcakes that would impress any gourmand, and their torte selection offers flavors like Amaretto mousse and chocolate pistachio. Um, yum.
#66 The Ambrosia Bakery, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Ambrosia Bakery may be a traditional Southern family-owned bakery, but their creations are anything but normal. The elaborate cakes they bake are consistently spectacular and unique.. With innovative designs and an unbelievable attention to detail, The Ambrosia Bakery specializes in wedding cakes that will exceed expectations every time.
#65 Jacques Fine European Pastries, Suncook, New Hampshire
Jacques Fine European Pastries opened their doors officially in 1973, and has since provided his customers with consistently delicious pastries. While his cakes are elaborate and showcase his unique style, this pastry chef has also perfected all of your favorite bakery items from classic Linzer tortes to unique chocolate bourbon pecan bars.
#64 Bredenbeck’s Bakery, Philadelphia
Nestled in the heart of Chestnut Hill, Bredenbeck’s Bakery has been serving locals fine cakes and pastries since 1889. In addition to bridal and specialty cakes, they make everyday bakery items like flaky croissants, tea biscuits, and even an array of cookies and pies.
#63 Freed’s Bakery, Las Vegas
Since 1959, Freed’s Bakery has never shied away from any challenge, creating elegant cakes and intricate bakery items. Their dipped chocolate Florentine cookies, mini fruit tarts, and loaded cream puffs are all bursting with flavor and are beautifully presented.
#62 Amélie’s French Bakery and Café, Charlotte, N.C.
Amélie’s French Bakery and Café, owned by Bruce Willette, Brenda Ische and Bill Lamb serves French pastries in a “whimsical’ setting in several locations in North Carolina. With a wide selection from the dry case (turnovers, flavored croissants) and the cold case (mousse cups, bread puddings), this is pastry lover’s paradise. They also happen to serve a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, each of which features some of their fresh baked goods for their customer’s delight!
#61 Sticky Fingers Bakery, Washington, D.C.
Cruelty-free pastries never tasted so sweet! Doron Petersan’s commitment to quality vegan treats and sweets has won her two championships on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, and several other business mile markers; she has even expanded into a café and opened a chain of shops in Seoul. The Sticky Fingers Bakery menu includes treats like whoopie pies, handcrafted doughnuts, and “fudgetastic brownies.”
#60 Vaccaro’s, Baltimore
Vaccaro’s, a classic Italian bakery, has been serving the Baltimore area with their signature pastries since 1956. You can either enjoy beloved Italian favorites like cassata cake, cannoli kits, and tiramisù, or sit for a while in their new café for a hearty lunch
#59 Charlie’s Gourmet Pastries, Orlando, Fla.
We can support any bakery that believes in being heavy on the butter. At Charlie’s Gourmet Pastries, you are guaranteed to get a classic sweet made the way your grandparents enjoyed it. Decadent cheesecakes topped with fruit, lattice apple pies, and fruit turnovers are just some of the staple treats you can enjoy from this 40-year-old bakery.
#58 Termini Brothers, Philadelphia
If you are in the mood for a classic cannoli, filled with chocolate or vanilla cream or ricotta with chocolate chips and citron, you have to stop by Termini Brothers in Philadelphia. As one of the original Italian bakeries in the area, Termini Brothers offers plenty of other traditional sweets like pignoli cookies and flaky sfogliatelle.
#57 CH Patisserie, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Top Chef Just Desserts winner Chris Hanmer’s European pastry shop CH Patisserie, located in Sioux Falls, S.D. is overflowing with delicious options that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Each day, this must-try pastry shop delights customers with daily specials on their French macarons, tarts, and cookies in a wide range of seasonal flavors. Chocolate bonbons are even making an appearance soon, adding only to the already impressive pastry menu.
#56 Karla Bakery, Miami
Hankering for a classic Cuban dessert? Karla Bakery in Miami has everything you’re looking for. Customers can enjoy guava-filled mini pies and Cuban-style yemitas (egg-yolk cookies), among the other sweet treats you’ll get to enjoy while visiting this bakery. They also offer specialty Cuban bread and classic French baguettes for those who want to skip the sweets.
#55 Merridee’s Breadbasket, Franklin, Tenn.
In what was once a hardware warehouse in downtown Franklin, Merridee Erickson opened her bakery in 1984 after three years of selling her baked goods from her log cabin in nearby Fairview. Merridee’s Breadbasket is still serving baked-from-scratch items. From sweet breads to cookies to brownies, this classic Southern bakery also serves a full breakfast, lunch, dinner, and catering menu highlighting their specialty baked goods.
#54 Manderfield’s Home Bakery, Fox Valley, Wis.
Fox Valley’s Manderfield’s Home Bakery has been following its baking traditions since 1934, offering a variety of European-style breads, doughnuts, Danishes, muffins, cookies, and cakes. They also offer their own version of Wisconsin’s signature kringles, which are buttery Danish-like pastries. We also cannot ignore their delicious raised doughnuts, which come in both classic and adventurous flavors (like the turtle doughnut, made with caramel chocolate and pecans).
#53 Red Truck Bakery and Market, Warrenton, Va.
When Brian Noyes — the former art director of such magazines as Smithsonian, Preservation, and House & Garden — took a job at The Washington Post, he probably never dreamed that his hobby of making jams on the weekend at his friend’s local farm would lead to an award-winning bakery. After arriving to a local farmer’s market with a red truck full of baked goods to a full parking lot of hungry customers, he knew he was onto something good. He opened a storefront in Warrenton, Virginia and sells seasonal pies, jams, and cookies of the day.
#52 Seven Stars Bakery, Providence, R.I.
Seven Stars Bakery in Providence, R.I. will change the way you look at bread; theirs is made by a slow fermentation process for better flavor and texture. The baked goods are made with quality ingredients like local eggs, European-style butter, unbleached flours, and organic whole grains. Their traditional pastries are out of this world and provide customers with that “fresh-from-the-oven” taste.
#51 A & J King Artisan Bakers, Salem, Mass.
At A & J King Artisan Bakers, the emphasis is on traditional, artisanal bread and pastries. The bakery has a daily selection of breads and rotating weekly specials, like cranberry walnut and anadama bread. In addition to the breads, try their seasonal bread pudding or their anise biscotti.
#50 Isgro Pasticceria, Philadelphia
Isgro, Philadelphia’s oldest family-owned bakery, opened in 1904, and their cannoli are still filled-to-order with a spoon with your choice of ricotta or chocolate or vanilla cream. Isgro is no stranger to classic Italian baked goods, but they aren’t afraid to branch out with updated items, too. Their assorted pastry specialties, like white chocolate mousse tulips and the ricotta cheese swans, will make any party pop. And if you're looking for a gorgeous wedding cake, Isgro’s cake artistry is top-quality, classic, and intricate enough to make any couple happy!
#49 Little T American Baker, Portland, Ore.
Portland’s Little T American Baker, headed by award-winning owner and baker Tim Healea, offers the people of Portland something a little more modern when it comes to baked goods. They bake throughout the day, so you might get lucky and get a chocolate praline roll or drop biscuit with lemon curd minutes after it has left the oven. Breads and sweets vary on a day-to-day basis, but the selections range from season sweets like pumpkin tarts and apple puff pastries to everyday goods like classic baguettes.
#48 Emmaus Bakery, Emmaus, Pa.
Emmaus Bakery, which opened in 1934, bakes Pennsylvania Dutch-style sweets that are simple but consistently delicious. Locals go for their cinnamon swirl doughnuts, bear claws, and peanut butter buns. Try their specialty Vienna bread, or their fasnacht, a Pennsylvania Dutch Country potato-dough doughnut made on Fasnacht Day, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday. They’ve even added to their already-long list of cookie items, most recently the butter cookie, which locals just can’t keep their hands off.
#47 The Denver Bread Company, Denver, Co.
The Denver Bread Company got its start in 1994 with the intention of selling bread baked by hand with natural ingredients. The bakery has more than 20 different kinds of focaccia on its menu. Look out for specialties like the garlic twist bread made from unbleached bread flour, organic whole rye, salt, yeast, and water, lightly brushed with an egg wash and coated with minced garlic before baking. Irish soda bread, jalapeño cornbread, and sundried tomato bread are just some of the other flavorful choices.
#46 El Brazo Fuerte Bakery, Miami
Miami’s El Brazo Fuerte Bakery has been serving Cuban pastries and cakes for more than three decades. Fresh pastries like Key lime tarts and napoleons come fresh out of the oven during the day, and for those who want a filling savory snack, their popular ham or chicken croquettes may do the trick. Don’t forget to try their pullman bread or fresh tamales.
#45 Liliha Bakery, Honolulu
Liliha Bakery opened in 1950, selling butter rolls, glazed doughnuts, dobash (chocolate) and haupia (coconut) cake, and more to Hawaii’s community. Liliha is known for its coco puff, which debuted in 1970 without much success, but made a comeback in 1990 when now-retired baker Kame Ikemura tweaked the recipe. The coco puff is filled with chocolate pudding and topped with Hawaiian Chantilly cream. You can also pick up traditional raised doughnuts, pineapple cakes, brioche rolls, and assorted Danishes.
#44 Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Portland, Ore.
At Ken’s Artisan Bakery, expect top-quality breads and pastries that transcend run-of-the-mill bakery goods. Portland’s James Beard-nominated chef Ken Forkish makes buttery croissants with local berries and hazelnut cream, brioche cinnamon rolls, cannelés, seasonal fruit tarts, and hazelnut butter cookies, bringing us a blend of French and American treats.
#43 Kiedrowski’s Simply Delicious Bakery, Amherst, Ohio
Since it opened its doors in 1984, Kiedrowski’s Simple and Delicious Bakery has been dedicated to evoking memories grandma’s baked goods. Try their cinnamon elephant ears or fruit foldovers for that taste of home everyone craves from a baked good. And don't leave the shop without trying Kiedrowski’s trademarked Snoogle, a hybrid of lady locks cookies and cheese Danishes shaped into a stick and filled with cream — invented by accident when a baker experimentally combined leftover ingredients for the cookies and the pastries. And be sure to pick up some cinnamon apple raisin bread on the way home.
#42 Salty Tart, Minneapolis, Minn.
Salty Tart is one of those bakeries that managed to master savory and sweet with unmatched finesse. Don’t believe us? Chef Michelle Gayer is known for her "crack-a-roons," coconut macaroons that Andrew Zimmern deemed better than his mom’s. The bakery also sells a twice-baked ham and cheese croissant full of buttery, cheesy goodness that hits the spot on a cold winter day. Don’t miss their oatmeal cherry cookies or their wide variety of freshly baked breads, either.
#41 West Town Bakery and Diner, Chicago
The cupcakes here are as simple and natural as their ingredients. West Town Bakery & Diner makes flavorful organic cupcakes that may not look fancy but that taste wonderful. Their desserts are top-quality and diverse with options like whoopie pies, cake balls, and chocolates to appease everyone in search of something sweet.
#40 Sweet by Holly, Orlando, Fla.
This sweet cupcakery will have you smiling after one bite. Sweet by Holly bakes over 30 flavors daily. They even offer gluten-free and vegan treats in such flavors as turtle sundae and hot cocoa — the latter a “spiced chocolate cake filled with a top-secret hot cocoa filling, iced with hot cocoa buttercream, and dipped in mini marshmallows that have been dusted with spices.”
#39 Sweet Mandy B's, Chicago
Sweet Mandy B’s is an old-fashioned bakery with staying power. Their array of cakes, award-winning cupcakes, and breakfast pastries make them beloved by all. Try their traditional apple pie or branch out with a banana chocolate chip cake for a comforting dessert that will surely sweeten your day.
# 38 SusieCakes, San Francisco
Whether you are looking for a bite-size beauty or a full-size feast, SusieCakes believes in baking quality cupcakes for all taste buds. With simple flavors and an elegant style, SusieCakes appeals to the cupcake lover’s desire for quality homemade confections. You’ll also be tempted to grab one of the layered cakes, simple pies, or sour-cream cheesecakes for a treat that is simple American bakery perfection.
#37 Konditor Meister, Braintree, Massachusetts
Konditor Meister, which translates to “master confectioner,” is the result of Günther Mösinger lifelong passion for food. From a young age, he was fascinated by confections and began studying to be a pastry chef at the tender age of 14. He made his way to the Boston area in 1981, working at The Ritz and opened his bakery in 1985. In addition to elaborate cakes, he today produces fine pastries that are decadent and indulgent; try the petite strawberry Grande Mariner Square or chocolate or vanilla cannoli for an exquisite taste of dessert.
#36 Jones Bros., Omaha, Neb.
Imagine a root beer float cupcake so convincing that it has its own straw. That's the level of attention the Jones Bros. Cupcakes gives to each and every cupcake and pastry that comes out of the oven. If cupcakes aren’t your thing, try their café items or their exquisite French macarons. Oh, and that “root beer float” cupcake? It consists of chocolate root beer cake with vanilla bean icing, root beer ganache drizzle, and a chocolate straw.
#35 Gambino's Bakery, New Orleans
Since 1949, Gambino’s Bakery has been serving the local community with intricately crafted and downright delicious desserts. Specializing in grand cakes, this bakery also specializes in pastries which all hail from family recipes and are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
#34 Dessert Club, ChikaLicious, New York City
If you are looking for a unique bakery experience with a touch of worldly flair, head to Dessert Club, ChikaLicious. With signature desserts like the “Bun Chika Bun Bun,” they delight customers with their unique style. They are also extremely passionate about Japanese culture and cuisine and share their passion through an array of classes they host at the shop.
#33 Carrie's Cakes, Sandy, Utah
The cakes made by Carrie Biggers and her crew at Carrie’s Cakes can be jaw-dropping. This bakery’s artists do all that they can to create magical confections that make statements about their clients. With a solid spread of cake flavors and an impressive cake gallery to boot, this bakery can supply impressive, personalized treats for any special celebration.
#32 Buzz Bakery, Alexandria, Va.
A bakery that serves booze? Sign us up! Buzz Bakery, located in Alexandria, Virginia, is built on the simple belief in quality, tasty products. Enjoy their signature items like scones and biscuits, warm cinnamon rolls, and tasty “9:30 Cupcake,” a treat inspired by Hostess chocolate cupcake, filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with a chocolate ganache frosting, then dipped in chocolate. Afterwards, grab a brew or a glass of wine and relax with your dessert.
#31 Butter Lane, New York City
This Brooklyn-based bakeshop embraces the decadence its name implies. Confections like blueberry frosting-topped banana cake or maple-pecan chocolate cake will instantly convince you of that. Butter Lane also dabbles in other sweets, like fudgy brownies and seasonal doughnuts (we hope you can catch the pumpkin spice ones).
#30 BabyCakes Kansas City, Kan.
With cupcakes available in three sizes, this Kansas City cupcakery and bakery believes in serving sweets that are both delicious and beautiful. BabyCakes’ presentation is on-point, using creative frostings and color combinations. Their pixie pies, in a variety of flavors such as French silk and coconut cream, are a particularly indulgent treat.
#29 ABC Cake Shop and Bakery, Albuquerque, N.M.
Since 1972, ABC Cake Shop and Bakery has been serving the pastry-loving folks of Albuquerque impressive classic desserts. They offer a variety of seasonal t-ring pastries and specialize in creating gorgeous wedding cakes and artisanal cupcakes. But you cannot overlook the cookies! They are masters at Biscochitos, an anise and cinnamon cookies which also happens to be New Mexico’s state cookie.
#28 Macrina Bakery, Seattle
Chef Leslie Mackie opened Macrina in 1993, and her bakery became Seattle’s go-to place for artisan rustic breads. Macrina casera bread complements every meal, and their popular rustic potato bread comes in loaves, rolls, and baguette forms. As for non-bread items, Macrina’s Whisper Cake, a white chocolate cake with lemon curd, whipped cream, raspberry layers, and white chocolate cream cheese frosting, is worth a visit, as is their red velvet cake. Their other pastries, like the sugar bun and their orange hazelnut pinwheels, further prove their baking prowess.
#27 Baked, New York City
With the goal of opening a “great American bakery that is not a cupcake shop,” owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito left their lives in the advertising world to pursue the confectionary dream now known as Baked. This Brooklyn-based bakery, which also has a location in Manhattan, features breads and pastries that represent the wide range of baking styles across America. Their original items, like brooksters — deep, dark, brownie-based tarts filled with chocolate chunk cookie batter — are made with a rigorous attention to detail and a lot of passion.
#26 Café Besalu, Seattle
Customers who line up around the block at Café Besalu, owned by James and Kaire Miller, but the croissants, ginger biscuits, and quiche at this small bakery are worth the wait, and the cozy atmosphere and mouthwatering pastry aromas inspire future visits. Café Besalu has grown by word of mouth, and the Millers believe this is a true testament to the quality product they purvey.
#25 El Bolillo Bakery, Houston
Known for their bolillos, a Mexican variation on the French baguette, and for a wide variety of tres leches cakes, El Bolillo Bakery has become a local Texas spot for Mexican-style baked goods. They also bake pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread), churros, fruit empanadas, and more. Their bakery is self-serve, meaning that you grab a pair of tongs and pile up your tray with baked goods. And since the products have low prices, it will be hard not to stock up on this sweet deal.
#24 Porto’s Bakery, Los Angeles
Porto’s Bakery, with its wide selection of cakes, pastries, sandwiches, and breads, has been a family-owned business since 1975. In the 1990s, Porto’s expanded their production selection with European-style goods, building upon the original selection of Cuban pastries. Porto’s is stocked with fresh breads like galletas and flautas, and pastries like chocolate roulade, and a host of other savory/sweet items to peak anyone’s interest.
#23 Poupart Bakery, Lafayette, La.
Poupart Bakery blends French pastry tradition with southern Louisiana Cajun style. Since 1965, Poupart has been creating fresh breads that play to every bread lover’s interests, from po’ boy loaves to aromatic basil bread. The bakery also makes Mardi Gras King Cake, made from brioche dough shaped into a ring and filled with cream cheese, fruits, and nuts.
#22 Dominique Ansel, New York City
Dominique Ansel’s eponymous bakery in New York City's Soho has garnered wide attention since it opened, especially for the innovative (and long-line-legend) Cronut, which has inspired plenty of copycats across the world, but he is no one-hit wonder. In 2014, he created the cookie cup, a dense and delicious cookie that could actually hold milk, and he continues to innovate and turn out picture-perfect examples of classic pastries.
#21 The Standard Baking Company, Portland, Maine
The Standard Baking Company is anything but standard. Located in downtown Portland, this bread-lover’s paradise offers no shortage of possibilities. Owners Alison Pray and Matt James bake a wide variety of breads, including rosemary focaccia, pain de mie, brioche, and boules. Morning buns, but croissants, which come in almond, chocolate, plain, and ham and cheese varieties, are popular as well.
#20 Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York City
They don’t call him the “S-veet (Sweet) Genius” for nothing! You may know passionate baker Ron Ben-Israel from his Food Network cut-throat baking show Sweet Genius, but while he is a guru of all things sweet, his main focus is on gorgeous and elaborate cakes. Growing up fascinated by his mother’s skills in the kitchen, Ben-Israel today makes some of the most delicious and decadent cakes out there, every detail building toward a grander, bigger picture.
#19 Three Brothers Bakery, Houston
Three Brothers Bakery, opened in 1949, was created by the three Jucker brothers, whom are all Holocaust survivors. Today, the bakery is run by a fifth-generation Jucker, who sells delicious treats like their signature gingerbread cookies and modern customized cakes that can suit every occasions.
#18 Bakery Nouveau, Seattle
At Seattle’s Bakery Nouveau, you’ll find yourself tempted by the smell of irresistible offerings ranging from flavorful croissants to lemon meringue tarts to handmade chocolates. The award-winning Phoenix Cake, which scored the most points in flavor at the National Pastry Championship, is an absolute must. Don’t forget to check out some of the unexpected items like their jams and their ready-to-go pizzas, as well.
#17 City Bakery, New York City
After taking a six-day pastry course in the French countryside, Emmy Award-winning producer Maury Rubin became obsessed with pastry. This resulted in the opening of City Bakery in 1990, and that led to several entrepreneurial (and delicious) endeavors like the Hot Chocolate Festival. The bakery uses organic, local ingredients and seasonal flavors for a fabulous menu selection. Try their gingerbread cookie stuffed with apple butter for a real season treat!
#16 Clear Flour Bread, Brookline, Mass.
Clear Flour Bread, a bakery just outside of Boston, does Italian and French bread the old-fashioned way: made from scratch, shaped by hand, and baked in a stone hearth, without dough conditioners or preservatives. The bakery has been around for more than 30 years, and their breads consistently deliver. Their award-winning morning cinnamon buns come with or without walnuts, and their rustic tarts and individual-serving pastries keep customers returning so much that the line on the weekends extend around the block.
#15 Mike’s Pastry, Boston
Mike’s Pastry is known as the go-to place for cannoli in Boston, but the bakery also has a wide variety of Italian and American pastries baked in-house. From their cakes and pies to their cookies and biscotti, Mike’s Pastry delivers consistent and delicious baked goods to the people of Boston. If you’re in the mood for a classic Italian treat, try the chewy torrone, Italian nougat, for an unusual (but delicious) experience.
#14 Pearl Bakery, Portland
Portland’s Pearl Bakery started small in 1997, but soon gained national acclaim for their breads and pastries. The bakery continues to make baked goods by hand, using organic local ingredients whenever possible. Pearl bakery is so beloved by the community that you’ll find their breads on the tables of many local restaurants, but their pastries, like the Valrhona white chocolate sandwich cookie and the cornmeal pound cake, are worth indulging in as well.
#13 Bien Cuit, New York City
Bien Cuit offers breads that are made with local flours and a small-batch mixing method, making it easier for bakers to control the fermentation process and bring customers great quality products. Their breads show the nuanced flavors that emerge due to the bakery’s use of the slow fermentation process, which takes 16 to 68 hours. Their pastry selection has a blend of French and American choices, from the chocolate almond croissant (baked twice with brandy) to salted chocolate buckwheat cookies to a blueberry and lemon meringue tart with a basil infusion.
#12 Ferrara Bakery & Café, New York City
Since 1892, Ferrara has remained open in Manhattan's Little Italy. The family-owned business serves old-school Italian pastries like chocolate-dipped cannoli, Italian cheesecake, tiramisù, and rainbow cookies. The goods are best savored with a cappuccino, and a scoop of hazelnut gelato to finish. For a super decadent treat, try the cream truffle, a chocolate cream cake blended with cocoa and coated in white chocolate or chocolate.
#11 Grand Central Bakery, Portland, Ore., and Seattle
Since 1989, Grand Central Bakery has been making rustic artisan breads that make every meal better. The goldenale, an old-fashioned pan loaf flecked with whole wheat flour (available in Portland only), is a hearty and homey bread, while the campagnolo, made with a touch of honey, is perfect for sandwiches. Don’t forget to check out their flaky pastries.
#10 Levain Bakery, New York City and Wainscott, N.Y.
#9 Maison Kayser New York City
French chef Eric Kayser opened Maison Kayser in Paris in 1996, and he now has more than 100 bakeries around the world in 13 countries, with all the U.S. locations currently located in New York City. Their pastries alone are worth a visit, especially their pistachio financiers, cookies, and chocolate almond croissant; that said, the sourdough bread is also out of this world. An excellent bakery needs "excellent products… produced by selecting the best ingredients, which are transformed by bakers and pastry chefs who have a strong know-how," Kayser tells us, and we think Maison Kayser certainly meets the standards.
#8 Sullivan Street Bakery, New York City
Before learning how to bake bread in Italy, Jim Lahey (who also founded the pizza shop Co.) studied sculpture, but we suppose that artistry skill just lends itself to the bread baking business. His revolutionary no-knead style sparked the interest of bread bakers everywhere after Mark Bittman wrote about him in the New York Times in 2006. Sullivan Street Bakery offers pane pugliese, brioche loaf, semi di sesame, and many more other varieties of delicious breads.
#7 Balthazar Bakery, New York City
Balthazar Bakery, located on Soho’s Spring Street, is small but packed with breads and pastries. The shelves are stocked with baguettes, pain au levain, cranberry raisin pecan breads, and more. On the sweeter side, the bakery also has croissants, pain au chocolat, coconut cake, and cinnamon sugar doughnuts, among many other offerings.
#6 Amy’s Bread, New York City
Amy’s Bread, which first opened in 1992 in New York City's Hell’s Kitchen, has two other locations, in Chelsea Market and Greenwich Village. The bakery delivers handcrafted breads that are made through slow fermentation and traditional baking methods. Don’t let the name fool you: this bakery is good for more than just bread. Amy’s Bread Café offers an array of morning pastries, tasty muffins, and old fashioned layered cakes!
#5 Bouchon Bakery, Various Locations
Chef and owner Thomas Keller was inspired by Parisian boulangeries, and decided to open Bouchon Bakery next to Yountville, Calif.’s Bouchon Bistro. Now, there are also locations in Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, and New York City, where you’ll find the works: macarons in vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, caramel, and seasonal flavors, breads, cookies, and other seasonal sweets.
#4 Flour Bakery + Café, Boston
Flour Bakery’s "eat dessert first" motto is hard to disagree with when it comes to their freshly baked pastries, cookies, tarts, and more. Owner and pastry chef Joanne Chang has been bringing America’s sweet comfort foods to the next level since 2000. Start your morning with a cinnamon cream brioche, topped with crème fraîche and cinnamon sugar, or an old-fashioned sour cream coffee cake, rich with brown sugar-pecan-cinnamon swirl. If you’re just in the mood for a sweet nibble, try a customer favorite: the Chunky Lola cookie, made with oats, chocolate, coconut, and toasted pecans.
#3 François Payard Bakery, New York City
With three François Payard Bakery locations throughout New York City, New Yorkers know this is the place to go when they’re craving a delicate and perfected French macaron. Patrons can also enjoy goods from a robust selection of organic artisanal breads that range in flavor from pretzel morissette to chocolate bread.
#2 Momofuku Milk Bar, New York City
Since the bakery opened in 2008, chef and owner Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar has been creating modern, unique takes on home-style sweets. The Milk Bar’s Crack Pie, a buttery pie that’s basically as addictive as its name implies, is one of the most sought-after desserts at this bakery. They also offer savory pastries like the volcano, loaded with potato gratin, caramelized onions, pancetta, Benton’s bacon, and Gruyère.
#1 Tartine Bakery, San Francisco
Tartine, which means “buttered bread” in French, returns as this year’s top bakery. The bakery, opened by James Beard Award-winning chefs Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson in 2002, excels at both breads and pastries. While their breads in a variety of flavors and styles are most notable, it is important to remember the more delicate pastries on the menu, like their Mexican wedding cookies and pain au jambon, a smoked ham and Gruyère pastry.