Our Favorite Bakeries In The Country Right Now

Crawfish croissants in New Orleans, curry kolaches in Houston, and more pastry destinations we can’t stop thinking about.
An assortment of buns, pastries, and fruit sandwiches.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Extreme hype for baked goods is nothing new (remember the Cronut?), but nowadays, the hottest restaurant in your city just might be a bakery doing anything but dinner. Laminated pastries are still the belle of the ball—with many of our favorites churning out sticky kouign amanns and technically excellent flaky croissants—but you’ll also find unexpected fillings like cheesy crawfish in New Orleans and curried cauliflower in Chicago. Savory baked goods like scallion sesame twists in New York City and dashi custard quiche in Portland, Maine, are also drawing crowds, proving that pastries aren’t just for sweet tooths anymore. These are the bakeries we’re most excited about right now, all across America. 

photo credit: Cory Fontenot



$$$$Perfect For:Quick EatsCoffee & A Light BiteOutdoor/Patio Situation
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It’s easy to get hyped about the creative treats at this bakery in New Orleans, like the coconutty kaya buns, cheesy crawfish croissant sandwiches, and muffuletta breadsticks. Our advice: Go early, try whatever special they’re doing, and order as many pastries that are socially acceptable to eat at a time. They have a couple of tables outside that are ideal for snacking, drinking one of their amazing lattes, and gazing out on to Washington Square.


This daytime spot in Nashville serves a gravity-defying BEC made with a square croissant and onion jalapeno jam, but your visit would be incomplete without a stop over at the pastry case. Here, you’ll find Cinnamon Toast Crunch snickerdoodles that could eclipse the sun, churro croissants made with dulce de leche cream and Mexican hot chocolate, and oatmeal cookie sandwiches stuffed with brown butter frosting. Get a few extra to go so you have a snack while you’re waiting in a long hot chicken line.


There are almost always weekend lines at Radio Bakery in NYC, but it moves fast (and the wait is worth it). The menu has an entire section dedicated to laminated pastries like twice baked pistachio or triple chocolate croissants with chocolate dough, interior bits and glaze. But savory stuff isn’t overlooked here, either—mushroom croissants, scallion sesame twists, and roasted asparagus sandwiches made with their focaccia or stirato bread are great to bring for a picnic at Transmitter Park or on the NYC Ferry.

photo credit: Quit Nguyen


If you distilled Houston down into a bakery, it would probably look a little like Koffeteria. There’s an infusion of Cambodian flavors, but other quintessential Houston cultures are represented, too, like Vietnamese, Mexican, Chinese, and Thai. Morning rolls heaped with peaches are stacked next to aromatic curry meatball kolaches, and you can chase them with ube and thai tea drinks. The front counter is always crammed with people craning their necks toward the pastry case filled with croissants and buns that smell of lemongrass or anise, or stuffed with kimchi, curry, and crab rangoon. The food is whimsical, and unpredictable, but somehow it always works.


Rubato is a Hong Kong-style daytime cafe that inspires us to brave Boston traffic at lunchtime for fried chicken-stuffed bolo baos, lava egg yolk French toast, and fluffy steamed baos. The buttery baked buns have a sugary top that creates an amazing savory-sweet combination, and the crisp airy youtiao dipped into congee or house soy milk is how we wish we could start every morning. If you come in the afternoon, get a savory bowl of ji cheung fun with beef brisket and curry fish balls for the kind of lunch that will make your next three meals incredibly disappointing.


Norimoto Bakery is an unassuming spot in a quiet neighborhood of Portland, Maine, but they’re consistently churning out some of the most impressive baked goods in the area. Pastries like honey caramel black sesame kouign amann and dashi custard quiche are textbook examples of perfect technique and break up the monotony of butter and folded dough. Their version of a cinnamon roll adds some complexity to the familiar sweet treat—maple gooey butter and orange sugar replaces traditional frosting. Smaller items like miso millionaire shortbread bars and jalapeno sausage rolls are also great if you need a snack to fuel a day of lighthouse sightseeing.


Sweets like yuzu sponge cakes and red bean sweet rolls are easy to box up and take home at Coin De Rue in LA, but you’re more likely to house those pastries inside while nursing a dalgona coffee. This Korean bakery’s calling card is the green onion pesto loaf, a gigantic scored bread that looks like a garlic knot fell into a vat of radioactive waste and mutated into the Hulk version of itself. It serves four people easily, with melted cheese, scallions, pesto oozing out of every crevice, and pomegranate seeds adding surprise bursts of sweetness. You’ll want to carve out some time (and bring some friends) to best enjoy this gargantuan masterpiece.


Butter & Crumble in San Francisco is a palace of all things pastry. And everyone knows it—the block-long lines of butter enthusiasts gather daily for impeccable croissants. The ones here are light and crackly, with inner layers so thin they’re transparent. Know that a visit here is null and void if you don’t order the pistachio cardamom croissant: It’s dusted with sugar and piped full of velvety pistachio cream you’ll want to eat by the scoop.


Leftie Lee’s in the Atlanta metro area switches up traditional Asian bakery offerings with ube sweet buns and Everything But the Bagel buns. There are lots of Korean, Japanese, Cuban, and Southern flavors at play in treats like kimchi brie milk bread danishes and guava cream cheese danish croissants. A lot is happening within each pastry, but each bite has a balanced sweetness. On weekends, they also do a delicious Korean fried chicken and gravy with a kimchi biscuit—get there before 10am to snag one before they sell out.


There are some bakeries where you must get one particular thing, because it’s the very best thing. But at Rose Ave Bakery in DC, order the entire menu. This spot sets the standard for sugary confections like tangy passion fruit donuts dusted in raspberry sugar and sticky caramel ube kouign amanns. The cafe is always packed, and they often sell out, but it’s worth the effort to show up early and grab a flaky curry butternut squash tart.


Chicagoans generally don’t line up for things like people do in other cities. That's not the case at Sugar Moon. The line for this Friday-to-Sunday Logan Square bakery starts forming well before they open at 9am, and by 8:50, there will be no less than 30 people happily waiting, rain or shine. But it’s worth spending a precious weekend morning standing on a sidewalk to get curried cauliflower croissants, nutella-pear brioche buns, or crunchy and not-too-sweet espresso cornflake cookies. Somehow, every crumb in the craggy jalapeno-cheddar-corn scone crumbles just right, and all the pastries have layers flakier than a Spirit Airlines schedule. There’s no seating in the shop, so be prepared to eat straight out of the box on the sidewalk—which is totally fine, since there’s a 100% chance you’ll want to eat these immediately.


We fell in love with Comadre Panaderia as an online popup, and their new brick-and-mortar space in East Austin has a greater selection than a candy store. The broad menu of stunning, modern pan-Latinx baked goods like conchas, puerquitos, breakfast empanadas, diablitos, kolaches, and pan de elote almost always sells out. But thankfully, you can drop everything and place an online pre-order when it opens mid-week, or head there on the earlier side for the extras available on the weekends.


The baked goods from Temple Pastries in Seattle are so beautiful, you almost feel bad taking a bite and destroying the delicate architecture of each pastry. Their breakfast sandwich is made with bacon, cheddar, and chives (or poblano, swiss, and mushroom) baked right into an egg patty and placed between halves of a tender wheat bun that’s so good we could eat it by itself with a pat of butter. There are no bad options when it comes to their jammy caramelized shallot croissant with nutty gruyere, a pistachio schnecken spiral, or a handful of macarons.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings


After you visit Caracas Bakery in Miami, you’ll never want to have breakfast anywhere else again. Venezuelan pastries like guava danishes and pastelitos de queso are the types of treats that’ll make you drop everything the second someone asks to catch up over coffee and a bite. Even if your conversation is lackluster, the jamon y queso croissants will have made going out worth it.

photo credit: GAB BONGHI



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South Philly’s Machine Shop Boulangerie is easy to find—just peep the line forming on the first floor of the Bok Building. This French-leaning bakery is only open Thursday through Sunday, and the apple and oat danishes, crispy-edged lemon tarts, and everything croissants stuffed with pistachio cream cheese are all perfect snacks to get you through the day. Their strong suit is laminated viennoiserie, and they have one of the most stacked lineups when it comes to savory bites like onion danishes and shattering cups of jammy egg,  green shatta, and feta.

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