20 Best Bakeries in America 2016 (Slideshow)
July 26, 2016
Looking for the best baked goods in America? Try any of these 20 brilliant bakeries
#20 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. Try their pain au chocolat, or even better, their plié au chocolat, which has a filling of pastry cream and many tiny chocolate chips that make the strip of chocolate in pains au chocolat seem stingy. And then there are the pistachio financiers, cake-like cookies, nutty multigrain baguettes, olive bread with shiny chunks of real green and Kalamata olives, and other delicacies that will transport you to Paris in a single bite.
#19 Sullivan Street Bakery, New York City
Before learning how to bake bread in Italy, Jim Lahey studied sculpture, and we suppose that skill 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 varieties of delicious breads.
#18 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 Danish pastries.
#17 Sweet by Holly, Orlando
This Orlando cupcakery will have you smiling after one bite. Hollis Wilder’s Sweet by Holly bakes more than 30 flavors daily, including gluten-free and vegan treats in such flavors as turtle sundae and hot cocoa. The latter is a signature variety made of “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.”
#16 3 Brothers Bakery, Houston
Three Brothers Bakery opened in Houston in 1949 by the three Jucker brothers, who were 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 occasion.
#15 SusieCakes, California (Various locations) & Dallas
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. SusieCakes now operates a whopping 17 locations in California, as well as a branch in Dallas.
#14 Buzz Bakeshop, Alexandria, Va.
A bakery that serves booze? Sign us up! Buzz Bakeshop, 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 the irresistible “9:30 Cupcake,” a treat inspired by the Hostess chocolate cupcake, filled with vanilla buttercream, and topped with a chocolate ganache frosting — which is then all dipped in chocolate. Afterward, grab a brew or a glass of wine and relax with your dessert.
#13 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.
#12 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 (City Bakery makes the best hot chocolate in NYC). 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 treat!
#11 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 .
#10 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.
#9 Amy’s Bread, New York City
Amy’s Bread delivers handcrafted breads that are made through slow fermentation and traditional baking methods. Don’t let the name fool you, though: This bakery is good for more than just bread. Their yellow cake with pink buttercream frosting puts any yellow cake mix to shame. They have been serving New York since 1992, proving that American-style bakeries are on equal footing with their more ooh-la-la French equivalents.
#8 Bouchon Bakery, Various locations
Chef and owner Thomas Keller, inspired by Parisian boulangeries, decided to open Bouchon Bakery next to Yountville, California’s Bouchon Bistro — much to our pleasure. 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, as well as breads, cookies, and other seasonal sweets. A bite into their chocolate chip cookie will forever reshape how you think of chocolate chip cookies.
#7 Dominique Ansel, New York City
Dominique Ansel’s eponymous bakery in New York City's Soho neighborhood 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 Ansel 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.
#6 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 as well.
#5 Tartine Bakery, San Francisco
Tartine (which means “buttered bread” in French) was opened by James Beard Award-winning chefs Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson in 2002 and excels at both breads and pastries. Their baked goods are just as delicious as they are picture-perfect. While the classic breads — available in a variety of flavors and styles — are most notable, the shop also excels at Mexican wedding cookies and pain au jambon, a smoked ham and Gruyère pastry.
#4 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’s eponymous bakery currently makes some of the most delicious and decadent cakes out there, with every detail building toward a grander, bigger picture.
#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 in all its colorful glory. Patrons can also enjoy goods from a robust selection of organic artisanal breads that range from pretzel morissettes to chocolate bread.
#2 Levain Bakery, New York City and Wainscott, N.Y.
Levain Bakery’s moist and decadent cookies, which come in tried-and-true flavors like oatmeal raisin and dark peanut butter chip, are one of those foods you cannot leave New York (or the Hamptons!) without tasting. Other unbelievable baked-in-house goods include chocolate chip brioche and rustic fruit tarts, and a selection of French-style breads, such as baguettes and country boules.
#1 Momofuku Milk Bar, New York City
When it comes to bakeries, people tend to favor the traditional, using a few key ingredients to make classics taste comforting and familiar. Not Momofuku Milk Bar; They make bold and brave decisions with their pastries that actually work. Take their chocolate chip layer cake, for example, which sounds simple enough, but incorporates coffee and passionfruit. The result is so surprising yet pleasant that you can’t help but smile with every bite. Their “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.