8 Hottest New Bakeries Around the U.S.
The well-worn neighborhood bakery, wooing with its walnut-studded brownies and misshapen peanut butter cookies, has made way for a decidedly slicker breed. Although homespun roots are at their core, these eight newcomers — whether turning out gooey cinnamon rolls or loaves of from-scratch bread — are stylish, aromatic lairs well worth the caloric feast.
New Yorkers' penchant for all foods Japanese was sated in a new form when HARBS opened in Chelsea late last year. At this first stateside outpost of the popular Japan-based bakery, one can order a curious Spanish omelet nestled inside thick white bread for lunch, but it should not deter them from the main event: dessert. The candy-colored confections here include a must-order green tea mousse, strewn with red beans and shellacked in whipped cream.
198 Ninth Ave., New York; 646-336-6888
Portland, OR: Seastar Bakery
Portland teems with quirky culinary operations and Annie Moss and Katia Bezerra-Clark's Seastar Bakery, which shares real estate with Handsome Pizza, is one such example. Toasts are a specialty here, including imaginative versions like roasted zucchini with labneh on red fife wheat, not to mention the creative ever-changing pastries including cardamom-cinnamon sugar challah knots.
1603 NE Killingsworth St., Portland; 503-247-7499
Pittsburgh: Bread and Salt Bakery
In case one needed further proof the Pittsburgh culinary scene is soaring, there is Bread and Salt. Rick Easton's Bloomfield bakery puts naturally leavened breads in the spotlight. Each one, made by hand, embraces organic flour and wheat grown on small family farms whenever possible. While the loaves are worth seeking out alone, Easton also tempts with pizzas crafted from stone-milled Pennsylvania wheat, pane mortadella sandwiches and plump bomboloni.
It behooves patrons to visit Stargazy early, because this South Philly pie shop typically sells out of its goods (pictured above). This is not surprising considering proprietor Sam Jacobson, who has worked at a number of the city's beloved restaurants, makes such craveable British-inspired treats as sausage rolls and fig mascarpone tarts. Duck-bacon-prune pies are an especially hearty fit for autumn.
1838 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia; 215-309-2761
Houston: Flo Paris
Houstonians typically head to the Galleria when they need to shop. Now they linger at the tony mall for Florelle and Rabih Salibi's Flo Paris. The European-inspired bakery serves obligatory crackling baguettes and Nutella crêpes, but also savory grub including salmon tandoori sandwiches and pepperoni quiche. This is what happens when the city's well-known madcap French chef, Philippe Schmit, runs the show.
5757 Westheimer Rd., Houston; 713-706-4442
Photo: Scott Suchman
Posh CityCenterDC is where one encounters the likes of Burberry and David Yurman, but the presence of sunny RareSweets (pictured above) makes the retail and housing complex far more inviting. Here, Meredith Tomason whips up brown butter blondies, peanut brittle and pumpkin and bourbon cocoa cake that comfort instead of intimidate.
Atlanta: Proof Bakeshop
Cakes & Ale, the hit restaurant in burgeoning Decatur, has now spawned Proof Bakeshop. Helming the kitchen of this Inman Park hangout are David Garcia and Abigail Quinn, who make such satisfyingly rustic desserts as Georgia apple pies dusted in brown sugar–oat streusel, Mexican chocolate macarons and chocolate-pecan tarts with brown sugar–cayenne crust.
100 Hurt St. NE, Atlanta; 678-705-3905
New Orleans: Willa Jean
As the longtime pastry chef for John Besh, Kelly Fields has emerged as one of New Orleans' biggest talents. Now her creations are front and center at Willa Jean (pictured at top), a brick-walked, Southern-fueled bakery in the Central Business District developed in partnership with Besh and Lisa White. Indulge in Valrhona chocolate and cinnamon rolls slathered in icing, as well as savory offerings like the must-order apricot mustard–smothered pigs in a blanket.
611 O'Keefe Ave., New Orleans; 504-509-7334