The Best Bakeries In Seattle
Where to grab Seattle's best bread, cookies, croissants, macarons, and other pastries.
Walking into a bakery is one of the best feelings in the world. 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. Fortunately, Seattle is rich with some delicious baked goods, from brioche donuts with creative fillings to sourdough bread that puts your homemade starter to shame. So here are 22 excellent bakeries to try the next time you want a treat comprised mostly of unbleached flour.
Sea Wolf Bakers
Sometimes you need a morning pick-me-up, but the bread and pastries at Sea Wolf act more like a morning pick-me-up-and-throw-me-across-the-galaxy-so-I-can-be-among-the-stars. They specialize in various types of outstanding sourdoughs, from crusty white to rye infused with coffee and caraway. The best thing here, however, is their chocolate chip cookie. The way Sea Wolf balances nutty brown butter, dark chocolate, oats, and a heavy hand of sea salt makes us want to host a cookie convention and invite them as the keynote speakers. A flaky croissant for breakfast is pretty much mandatory, but you’ll want a lye roll or hunk of olive-dotted focaccia to snack on later. And if you hate waiting in morning lines, you can preorder anything from their menu in advance.
If you’re only coming to this colorful Danish bakery for one thing, it’s the Snitter—which sounds a lot like a quidditch term, but is what would result if a cinnamon roll mated with a cheese danish. Don’t think too hard about the logistics of that. Nielsen’s has been around for decades, and the pastries are why. Definitely order some fresh Snitters whenever you stop in, but their marzipan cake is a perfect birthday dessert for any individual in your life who loves almond extract.
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The Flour Box
Every day, a line starts forming at The Flour Box hours before they open. That’s because Pamela Vuong's brioche donuts at this former pop-up-turned-permanent-bakery in Hillman City are stupendous. They range from vanilla bean crème brûlée custard glazed with slick torched sugar to a savory chive cream cheese-filled option topped with a shake of everything spice, along with weekly specials like Oreo or Thai Tea. And the incredible baked goods here are just the right amount of sweet—even the frosted pillowy milk bun cinnamon roll. Pair your treats with Anchorhead coffee (get the cold brew with burnt honey), and you’ll want to strategically plan visits for multiple days in a row.
photo credit: Nate Watters
When the best bakery in town starts making bagels, it turns out those bagels are going to be really damn good. Oxbow is a new Montlake breakfast operation from the team behind Sea Wolf, and their boiled and baked circles might just be as good as their bread. Fresh from the oven at 7am, the bagels have a crackly, Magic Shell-like exterior, complete with a dense chew and slightly sour tang. Our favorite combination of the bunch is a garlic bagel, crunchy charred dehydrated flakes and all, spread with spicy calabrian chili cream cheese. They often sell out around 11am, but they’re absolutely worth getting up early for. If you show up too late, an orange-glazed poppyseed scone is a good consolation prize.
This is a bakery that serves pastries that are so beautiful, you almost feel bad to take a bite and destroy the artful creations. To be clear, we said almost. If you’re looking for some protein, their breakfast sandwich is made with bacon, cheddar, and chives (or poblano, swiss, and mushroom) baked right into an egg patty and placed between a tender wheat bun. We’d order that wheat bun by itself to eat simply with a pat of salted butter. In terms of baked goods, it’s hard to go wrong with their jammy caramelized shallot croissant with nutty gruyere, an also-nutty pistachio schnecken, the blood orange Campari cake donut, or just a handful of macarons.
Volunteer Park Cafe & Pantry
The reimagining of this northern Capitol Hill classic is a home run simply based on the new pastries alone. And yeah, we’d eat sugar for breakfast on the daily if we lived in the neighborhood. We’re talking about things like savory tahini caramel bars, New York-style crumb cake muffins, and buckwheat chocolate chunk cookies with a salty, dulce de leche-like texture. But that would be ignoring their BEC, a majestic stack of paper-thin egg folds, bacon cooked just before it gets crispy, and oozing yellow american, all on a homemade toasted poppy roll.
photo credit: Nate Watters
Deep Sea Sugar & Salt
The layer cakes and cupcakes at Deep Sea Sugar And Salt are on the pricier side ($65 for a six-inch cake), but they’re beautifully done, with delicious flavor combinations like black sesame Oreo, ricotta olive oil slathered with lemon curd, or carrot pineapple with piped globs of brown butter frosting. The best one, however, is the London Fog. It’s an earl grey cake with earl grey honey syrup, bergamot mascarpone cream, and cream cheese frosting. A forkful of each component tastes like you’re drinking a cup of tea with sweetened cream, only with a lot more carbs. If you don’t feel like lining up before they open to buy slices a la carte (or preordering your slice online), you can order a whole cake—just make sure to consult their website to see how many months ahead they’re sold out.
There are quite a few boutique bake shops on Bainbridge Island, but the only one you need to know about is Blackbird. This is where to go for a solid breakfast or snack with a latte. Even if the person in front of you sends you into a rage by claiming the last two slices of almond butter layer cake, there are many other delicious things to be had here—mainly, the best blueberry lemon-glazed scone we’ve ever tasted, or Helen’s French Roll, a.k.a. the minimalist-chic cousin to coffee cake.
Inside this bakery that used to be an old boathouse, you’ll find our favorite avocado toast in town, made better than the rest by a heavy sprinkling of za’atar, pools of grassy olive oil, and scientifically-precise levels of fresh lemon and salt. There’s also a riff on Norwegian-style school buns filled with raspberry jam and creamy custard, too. But what really has us worshipping Saint Bread is their breakfast sandwich on a fluffy Japanese melonpan that’s topped with a thin layer of cookie dough before baking. Glory be to this creation, stuffed with jammy-but-not-messy fried eggs and sticky american cheese that fuses to the bacon grease and rogue granulated sugar on your fingertips. Embrace the sweet-and-salty McGriddle energy.
Hood Famous Cafe & Bar
Hood Famous specializes in Filipino desserts, mainly mini cheesecakes that come in flavors like white chocolate guava and matcha. While we endorse standing on a street corner with a fork and eating all four varieties at once straight from the takeout box, the swirled purple ube cheesecake is the best one in Seattle. If you’re not feeling the street corner, have one inside the cafe for lunch chased with an iced ube latte, in case you wanted more ube.
Simply Desserts is a little bakery with an important lemon blueberry cake. It’s acceptable to buy it whole and tell everyone it’s for a friend’s birthday, but then promptly drive home and chip away at it every few hours with a plastic spork. We fully endorse eating it for dinner, and then again in the morning, because blueberries are a breakfast food. And if fruit desserts aren’t your thing, their cinnamon-kicked Mexican chocolate cake is equally as delicious.
Bakery Nouveau’s finest achievement is the twice-baked almond croissant. Sit down and get one all for yourself and don’t even think about sharing. Slivers of toasted nuts and powdered sugar will end up all over the place, but there’s nothing more satisfying than braving the long morning line and having some quality time with your pastry and a hot latte. Lunch here is also great—the croque monsieur is one of the best ham sandwiches around, and if you want to do something nice for your workday, take some fresh macarons back to the office.
But if you’re really a macaron person, Lady Yum is where you want to be. This bakery, which doubles as a champagne bar, serves macarons in all sorts of flavors from espresso fudge and peach prosecco to salted cookie dough and Fruity Pebbles. The shells consistently have a great crackle with delicious fillings that soften everything up.
Three Girls Bakery
We could count on one hand all of the big m&m cookies we’ve come across in Seattle. But, our absolute favorite is at Three Girls Bakery, which is really just a big glass pastry case and a cash register. All of the baked goods are excellent, from the peanut butter cookie stuffed with an entire Reese’s cup to the raspberry shortbread crumble bar. Just don't forget a shortbread round topped with a huge glob of chocolate ganache.
The Flora Bakehouse
From rainbow-layered lemon vanilla cakes sold during Pride month to croissant so delicate and crackly that pastry flakes will shower the floor, The Flora Bakehouse serves some of the best baked goods in the south end. Especially if you want to post up at a rooftop picnic table and wash down your treats with a cardamom rose latte.
photo credit: Nate Watters
For a long time, you could only find Umami Kushi’s okasu pan at certain coffee shops and supermarkets around the city. Not anymore—they opened a takeout window at their Rainier Beach production kitchen, which means you can now get these panko-crusted pastries fresh from the fryer. These stuffed dough buns are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with fillings that range from jerk-spiced chicken and plantain to smoked salmon in a potato cream sauce topped with furikake. The classic beef curry and the BBQ pork are the pans not to miss here, but we're also a bit smitten with the Japanese hot dog. And on Saturdays and Sundays only, Umami Kushi serves excellent beignets covered in everything from cocoa powder to strawberry dust.
We like Fresh Flours best for hanging out and getting work done over a cappuccino. The Japanese baked goods are particularly tasty here, and our favorites are the mini red bean pastry bars and the matcha macarons that give the French bakeries in town a run for their money.
You may have heard about the crunchy cream donut from Fuji. It’s a fried dough ball stuffed with pastry cream and coated in Frosted Flakes. But we’re here to tell you that the cereal puff is a distraction from the greatest chocolate chip cookie in the entire city. It’s barely undercooked in the middle, crispy on the outside, tastes like toasty caramel, and the flat chocolate discs make everything a huge gooey mess.
Fat Ducks Deli & Bakery
In a rickety house on University Way that goes by the name of Fat Ducks, you’ll find a woman who’s constantly baking up a storm. The house is decorated with Christmas garland and duck-themed knick-knacks, and there are always trays of cookies cooling on couches. It’s chaos. Needless to say, the bars here would definitely be the first to sell out at a school bake sale. Don’t leave without a peanut butter death bar or an ecstacy bar.
This Russian stand that serves piroshkies is not a secret—a massive line starts to form just before lunchtime, so prepare to wait. Food-wise, there are lots of savory pastries with fillings like smoked salmon pate or beef and cheese. But don’t overlook the sweet ones filled with chocolate and hazelnuts.
Coyle’s is a cafe in Greenwood, and our favorite thing here is the cretzel—which, as you might expect from the name, is a cross between a pretzel and a croissant. The coffee is great, too, and the space has a few tables for you to get some work done. Just bring your Moleskine, since there’s no WiFi.
Hello Robin serves freshly-baked cookies in lots of flavors, from chocolate chip to blueberry pancake. You can buy the cookies already baked, get dough to bake at home, or even get a cookie ice cream sandwich made with Molly Moon’s ice cream. There’s an espresso bar here, too, so come for a sweet afternoon treat.