One of the best feelings in the world is that moment you walk into a bakery, at least if you’re the kind of person who reacts to the word “bread” the way a dog reacts to the word “walk.” The air smells like the inside of a baguette and it’s completely acceptable to stare into the display case like a cat watching goldfish swim around in a tank. The bakeries on this guide range from Chinese bakeries serving incredible pork buns to Haitian bakeries selling delicious patties for a dollar - but they’re all worth a trip next time you want that bakery feeling.
Toothfairy Bakery is a dessert shop in South Beach that offers soft serve and an assortment of cookies, cakes, and pies. All of the above are really delicious, especially the incredibly creamy and perfectly flavored soft serve. The baked goods are great too, and heavy on childhood nostalgia. One bite of the phenomenal oatmeal cream pie or the fudgey cosmic brookie is enough to give you summer camp flashbacks - while also making you mad at your favorite childhood snacks for not tasting this good. It’s a to-go operation, and there are no seats inside the small shop, which has a paint job that makes you feel like you’re inside a cloud made of cotton candy.
Throw a library, a wine bar, some tinned fish, and a glob of sourdough starter into a cauldron, stir a few times, and you get Paradis Books & Bread. The excellent little North Miami spot is part wine bar, part restaurant. They have a great menu that mostly revolves around bread, like crispy rye crackers with fermented scallion dip or an assortment of tinned fish served with seaweed butter and slices of fresh bread. The pizza is outstanding as well, and really unlike any slice you’ll find in Miami thanks to a delicious light brown crust that tastes like whole wheat dough that just got back from a delightful vacation with a loaf of sourdough.
After hearing so many good things about Doral’s Caracas Bakery, I drove here all jittery, like a child approaching Disney World who also just downed an espresso. And when I stepped inside the small Venezuelan bakery, I took a deep breath, and said, “One of everything, please.” Was it a little excessive? Yes. But at least I can confidently say that everything here is great. The sweet and savory croissants are flaky perfection, as are the danishes. And I wholeheartedly endorse the pan de queso, which is a thick loaf of bread stuffed edge to edge with a big block of cheese. The only thing they were out of that day were the cachitos, though I have a feeling those too would have been pure deliciousness, like everything else I proceeded to slowly eat over the next 72 hours.
There are no tables inside this tiny North Miami Chinese bakery, just a display case full of delicious things like curry beef puffs, egg custard tarts, and some of the best barbecue pork buns in Miami. The barbecue pork buns and curry beef puffs should absolutely be coming home with you, but feel free to order anything that looks tasty - chances are it is. Also, this place is very affordable. I left with about seven different baked things and only spent $15.
It was the promise of a brisket croissant that first got me to Flour & Weirdoughs, a bakery in Key Biscayne. I just couldn’t hear those two words used together and not try one for myself. It turned out that the brisket croissant was indeed a delicate, savory little delight of a pastry, but everything else I tried was phenomenal too. They have a great (and massive) cinnamon roll, guava and cheese babka, and they put their bread to good use making sandwiches, like a very good pan con lechon. This place is definitely an essential stop to pick up picnic supplies before your next Key Biscayne beach day, but it’s also worth a trip on its own.
True Loaf is a South Beach bakery that’s a reliable place for some great pastries, including one of the best almond croissants in town. They also sell sandwiches, which are good, but I come here for their sweet pastries. There’s that massive and delicious almond croissant I just mentioned, but I’ve also eaten some great fruit tarts here as well as a dulce de leche monkey bread that I consumed enthusiastically, despite having already eaten several pounds of sugary bread that week. This place can get crowded on the weekends, and there’s not much seating, but there’s also a lovely little waterfront park (Maurice Gibb Memorial Park) just a block away.
There is one thing you absolutely have to get at this Coral Way bakery: the pastel de nata. Majestic Portuguese Bakehouse does an excellent job with the famous pastry. It’s creamy, flaky, with little charred spots along the top. You’ll probably want to get at least two - as well as a croissant, which was also really tasty. There’s a good deal of seating here too, in case you want to wait out traffic or bring a laptop and work between bites
Piman Bouk is a cash-only Haitian bakery in the heart of Little Haiti. The main event here are Haitian patties, which are flaky and more similar to a croissant than a Jamaican patty. They come filled with either cod or beef. Sadly, they were out of cod when I went here, so I got two beef patties instead. But it was not a sad day, because they were delicious. I didn’t even have to heat them up because Piman Bouk keeps them warm and ready to eat all day - which is probably why they had a line out the door. Other good things here include coconut bread and tablet pistache, a crunchy Haitian peanut brittle.
It’s hard to think of a good thing about the pandemic, but, if I had to say something nice, I could talk about Oori Bake Shop. They were one of the wave of at-home pop-ups, where chefs made and sold delicious things from their homes and apartments. I tried some great home-cooked dishes over the last year, but Oori is still the one I think about most. Run by Helen Kim, Oori specializes in sourdough baked goods, and I can still smell Kim’s everything charcoal rolls, warm from the oven. Her shokupan and red bean and dark chocolate milk buns also live in my head, where, about every week, they whisper “order me” into my subconscious. And, in a happy ending we so desperately need, according to their Instagram Oori Bakeshop will soon have an actual location in Edgewater.
Bettant is a solid French bakery on Washington Ave, which can be a slightly touristy area without a lot of good food options. But that’s all the more reason to have Bettant on your radar. There’s nothing touristy about this place. They have good croissants, tarts, and incredibly large baguettes, which they turn into tasty sandwiches. And you can buy more than enough to fill you up for under $10 too, which is nice considering the pricey restaurants around the area.
Taste Rite is a Jamaican bakery that has five different locations scattered around Miami and South Florida. They make one of our favorite Jamaican patties in the city, as well as fluffy coco bread, hard dough bread, gizzadas, and more. But the patties should be your focus. They come in nine different versions including lobster, shrimp, ackee, and beef.
Zak The Baker is a kosher bakery, and one of those places that I write about so much it’s getting hard to find new things to say about this Wynwood institution. So just trust me when I say that everything here is amazing. The babka, various sandwiches, bagels, cookies - it’s all worth accidentally driving through a music video while looking for parking in Wynwood. Zak also now has shaded outdoor seating along the street, so you can eat your salmon bacon (that’s salmon bacon, not salmon and bacon) croissant while it’s still nice and warm.
I’m typically nervous to try restaurants with names from Billy Joel lyrics, but Mama Leone’s is proof that a great restaurant and a Joel lyric aren’t mutually exclusive. There’s lots of good things to eat at this small Edgewater bakery, like prosciutto paninis that come on warm, fresh bread, stuffed focaccia, and Italian donuts filled with Nutella. Now you can feel free to open up a barbecue place called We Didn’t Start The Fire.
This very small bakery in Wynwood (they have a Coconut Grove location too) serves great and slightly over-the-top baked goods. If you don’t have a big sweet tooth, it’s possible you could feel overwhelmed by pies like The Salty Monkey, a thick mass of chocolate, peanut butter, banana, Oreo, and pretzel - or the Cookie Monster Cheesecake Pie, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. But there are also more classic desserts here as well, like apple or chocolate pecan pie, as well as savory options like empanadas or chicken pot pie. But, personally, if I’m coming here, I’m leaving with something that sounds like it was created by a team of evil dentists.
Here’s how a visit to Sweet Delights Key Lime Pies goes: you walk into a small storefront in Homestead and are greeted by baker/literal angel Debra Allen. After welcoming you, she conducts a brief interrogation about your pie interests, then returns with a big tray of samples - like banana key lime, guava key lime, mamey key lime, and coconut key lime. There are about a dozen more options, and they’re all, in my opinion, the best key lime pies in the state of Florida, which is why I’m including this place even though it’s in Homestead. Sweet Delights is an essential stop for anyone who’s even remotely into key lime pie or just wants to hang out with Miss Debbie.
Breadman is one of the best Cuban bakeries in Miami, and that’s saying something considering how many Cuban bakeries there are in Miami. They have locations in Hialeah and Westchester, and they make excellent versions of classics like croquetas, pastelitos, and Cuban bread. They also invented the croqueta cake, which, depending on your personal preferences, is either a brilliant or terrifying idea. I’ve personally never had one, but I also wouldn’t be mad if someone got it for my birthday.
La Parisienne is a French bakery in a big warehouse in North Miami. It’s a pretty neat space, especially if you enjoy watching professional bakers in action. The narrow dining room has big windows on both sides that give a great view of the bakers kneading, scoring, and rolling. The best part, though, is that you get to eat the result of all that kneading, scoring, and rolling, which is some really great French bread. Stop by and pick up a baguette to-go, or come for a quiet lunch and eat a simple, excellent ham and butter sandwich.
Buon Pane is a small, casual Italian bakery in South Beach that I love for a pre- or post-beach snack. There are a few chairs in here, but the space is taken up mostly by a counter full of freshly baked Italian food, including but not limited to: decent pizza, very good panino napoletano, fresh ciabatta, and bomboloni. It’s all pretty affordable, and easy enough to eat while walking five blocks to the beach.
Bachour is a bakery that makes pastries that look like they could sell for $600,000 during Art Basel. And even though you might feel a little guilty shoving a meticulously sculpted gateau into your mouth, it still tastes really good. It’s not the most affordable bakery in town, which makes sense since it looks like a lot of effort goes into these pastries. But it’s a good place to pick up a special occasion treat for someone who appreciates a tart that deserves a two-page spread in Vogue. There are locations in Coral Gables and Doral as well.
If you are in Coral Gables and in the mood for bread in any form, get in the car and drive to Madruga Bakery. There isn’t necessarily a speciality here. It’s one of those places that just does everything deliciously, and you should leave here with at least three things you didn’t plan on ordering. Those things could include a guava and cheese danish, ham and cheese croissant, or a couple of onion poppy seed rolls. Under normal circumstances, they have some tables where you can dine in. But at the time of this writing, they’re only open for takeout, and you can place an order online. Keep an eye on their Instagram to see when they open the dining room back up.
Piononos is a Key Biscayne bakery where there’s almost always a line out the door. And, as far as I can tell, that line is mostly because this place makes a pavlova the way Prince ripped a guitar solo: flawlessly. If you come here and don’t leave with at least one slice of that pavlova, you have erred, my friend. It’s made from thinly sliced strawberries, dulce de leche, whipped cream, and a walnut meringue that melts in your mouth. So order one, please. But also don’t ignore other good things here, like their titular pionono, a sponge cake rolled with dulce de leche. Or, their chocolate volcano pound cake with a ganache center.