From California and the Pacific Northwest to Chicago, Texas and New England, The Agency has compiled our 10 favorite bakeries across the country. When it comes to pastries and fresh-baked treats, you’re sure to fall in love with any of these. Bon appétit!
Leslie Mackie, the chef and owner of Macrina Bakery in Seattle, treats bread-baking and pastry-making as an art form. She looks to the artisanal loaves of Europe for inspiration and uses locally-sourced, regional products and ingredients to create her renowned and mouthwatering baked goods. If you’re anywhere near Seattle, this is one not to miss.
Known for its flaky, mouth-watering croissants, French pastries and fresh baguettes, Floriole is one of the most popular bakeries in Chicago, a city of great bakeries. The bakery began as a stand at a local farmers’ market and eventually moved to its current brick-and-mortar space in Lincoln Park, run by current co-owner and head baker Sandra Holl, who uses only the freshest organic ingredients.
This San Francisco favorite comes from husband and wife team Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt, who traveled and worked in France before applying what they learned to the incredible pastries of their Mission District bakery. The bread is extremely popular – Robertson turns out some 250 fresh loaves each day, most of which are snatched up within an hour of Tartine opening.
Founded by two Bouchon Bakery alums in San Antonio, Lorraine’s signature pastries are seasonal macarons in gorgeous colors and flavors. We recommend the dark-chocolate-black-currant macaron, though their strawberry-balsamic macaron also has a fond place in our hearts (and bellies).
With locations in Burbank, Downey and Glendale, Porto’s is an LA favorite going all the way back to the 1960s. The spacious bakery-café offers a huge selection of baked goods and savory treats, and 7 days a week you’ll find it packed with Porto regulars busy with industry meetings, grabbing cakes or luxurious pastries for that special event, or just ducking in for a quick sandwich or treat.
6. Proof Bakery
People come from all over the Southland to sample Chef Na Young’s mouthwatering pastries in Atwater Village, on the east side of Los Angeles. While her croissants are the most popular, the berry tarts, petite financiers, custards, gallets and creams will keep you coming back again and again.
The name Levain has almost become synonymous with their giant chocolate chip cookie, but the Upper West Side (NYC) bakery also has plenty of other incredible sweet treats on offer. Co-owners Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes churn out mouthwatering sugar-dusted chocolate-chip brioches, all manner of cookies, and a very moist banana bread with chocolate chips.
This Beverly Hills baking mecca has it all – macarons, croissants, tarts, éclairs and any number of exquisite chocolate treats. It’s even got the celebrity name, since Bouchon Bakery is the brainchild of celebrity-chef Thomas Keller.
In a city full of tradition, Mike’s Bakery is an original 1940s Italian bake shop known for their cannoli and other Italian baked treats. This is a true word-of-mouth favorite. Their website isn’t much to look at, but they don’t seem to need that extra buzz – you can still expect lines out the door at this popular North End establishment.
10. Sweet Lady Jane
For the perfect birthday or wedding cake, California residents need look no further than Sweet Lady Jane in West Hollywood. Owner and pastry chef Jane Lockhart enchants with her with her triple layer cakes, generous slices and imaginative, inspired frostings. Our personal recommendation? The triple berry cake. It has us coming back again and again.