The 12 Hottest New Bakeries Around the U.S.

Where to find sweet treats in San Francisco, DC and more
November 19, 2014
by Zagat Staff

A number of must-try bakeries have popped up over the country, slinging fine baked goods in both sweet and savory form. Follow the intoxicating scents of freshly baked pies, brownies and bagels to one of these hot new bakeries.

Amélie's French Bakery in Atlanta

This regionally expanding North Carolina bakery recently set up its first shop in Westside, serving up French-inspired pastries seven days a week. The thrift-shop decor is charmingly shabby chic, while macarons, quiches, croissants and more share menu space with bistro sandwiches and specialty coffee from Rev roasters.

Must-Order: Sure, you could go all Francophile and get a macaron or croissant, and you wouldn't be disappointed. But the American side of Amélie's comes out in its salted caramel brownies, a clear favorite — and deservedly so.

840 Marietta St. NW; 404-921-0276

Bad Wolf Coffee in Chicago

Jonathan Ory’s one-man tribute to perfect French pastries is a triumph. The tiny shop serves a limited selection of canelé, éclairs, tarts, Paris-brest and croissants, so arrive early for the best pick of that day’s goods.

Must-Order: Kouign amann.

3422 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-969-2346

Outerlands in San Francisco

The expansion of Outerlands in the Outer Sunset was finally completed early summer. One of the biggest gains in the new space was pastry chef and co-chef Brooke Mosley's weekday breakfast. As you sit by the ocean in a beautifully light-filled, wood-encapsulated dining room, try imaginative pastries, all under $4.

Must-Order: Offerings change daily but watch for a "carrot cake" Danish (pictured, top) loaded with golden raisins, walnuts and crunchy carrots, plancha bread lathered in Greek yogurt and vegetables or changing brioche donuts like strawberry buttermilk or the "just chocolate" donut.

4001 Judah St.; 415-661-6140

Bakeshop on Twentieth in Philadelphia

Long in the works, Mark and Lisa Cosgrove’s full-service bakery is now open in Rittenhouse, and though you won’t find bagels there (it’s no longer affiliated with Spread Bagelry across the street), there are plenty of other treats. On the pastry side, look for cookies, muffins, pies, brownies, croissants, scones, sticky buns and even loaves of challah, complemented by housemade soups and coffee and tea.

Must-Order: The Rittenhouse Square — a fudge brownie on a pretzel crust with a caramel topping ($3.50).

262 S. 20th St.; 215-545-0626

Gjusta in Los Angeles

A bustling bakery and cafe from the Gjelina and Gjelina Take Away crew with counters and cases stocked full of fresh-baked breads, croissants, cookies, bialys, scones and more. For the savory side, there are prepared salads to go, sandwiches like porchetta melts, cured fish and charcuterie.

Must-Order: It’s really hard not to say “everything” because everything is really fantastic, from the flaky savory croissants to the cakes and bialys. But pastry chef Nicole Rucker is an ace at pies, all of which are served by the slice. Get one, get them all.

320 Sunset Ave.

Bread Furst in Washington, DC

DC veteran baker Mark Furstenberg opened this much-lauded bakery and cafe in Van Ness earlier this year to much fanfare. The prices are steep, but most agree that it’s absolutely worth every penny — and calorie.

Must-Order: Canelés, croissants, cranberry-ginger scones, ham and cheese on baguette, the “messy” breakfast sandwich, lattes.

4434 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-765-1200

Betty's Pie Whole Saloon in San Diego

At master pie baker Elizabeth “Betty” Harris' newest venture you’ll find pies for large parties, single-serving pies and gut-busting savory pastries filled with broccoli, meatballs and chicken and sweeter takes with fruit, chocolate and ice cream.

Must-Order: Pack in your days' worth of veggies with Eat Yer Green pie filled with spinach, kale, mushroom, Parmesan and mozzarella.

55 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas; (760) 230-6781

Maman in New York City

French native Armand Arnal (of La Chassagnette in France and Daniel in NYC) puts his Michelin-starred touch on sweet and savory baked goods at this quaint SoHo cafe outfitted with whitewashed brick and rustic-wood tables.

Must-Order: The chocolate chunk cookie — made with French cocoa, three types of nuts (macadamias, almonds and walnuts) and sea salt — is the perfect mix of crispy and chewy.

239 Centre St.; 212-226-0700

Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop in Houston

While Pondicheri, the industrial-chic restaurant at the West Ave, offers a menu of Mumbai street food (think lamb burgers and Thali plates), its newly opened sister, located directly above it on the second floor, acts as a retail market. In addition to spices, chutneys and snacks, shoppers can find a wide range of pastries that fuse chef Anita Jaisinghani's love of baking with her Indian heritage.

Must-Order: We can't get enough of the Pondi Bar, made from housemade chevda (an Indian trail mix of rice crisps, peanuts, raisins and pumpkin seeds) and held together by gooey marshmallows.

2800 Kirby Dr.; 713-522-2022

Maria Empanada in Denver

At this captivating Platt Park Argentinean bakery, which opened in spring, owner Lorena Cantarovici turns out the city's most celebrated empanadas, their gold-tinged crusts enveloping everything from olives and scrambled eggs to sweet corn and spinach. And that's not all: her tartas and Spanish tortillas are objects of beauty too, as are the sweet medialunas and dulce de leche roll cake.

Must-Order: Our advice would be to order one of everything, but the classic ground beef, egg, pepper and olive empanada, medialunas (the Argentinean equivalent of a croissant) and the creamy spinach tarta are highlights.

1298 South Broadway Ave.; 303-934-2221

Buns & Buns in Miami

At this charming South Miami spot, mouthwatering options include savory combos like freshly baked ciabatta bread topped with lobster tail as well as sweet buns.

Must-Order: Hot chocolate buns served with dark chocolate and raspberry-pomegranate dipping sauces.

5748 Sunset Dr.; 786-216-7754

Bagelsaurus in Boston

​Owner Mary Ting Hyatt turned her former weekly pop-up at Cutty's into its own bagel-focused business in Porter Square. Opened in late October, Bagelsaurus features her hand-shaped, slow-fermented bagels in varieties like sea salt, cinnamon raisin and black olive, with flavored spreads and extra toppings, including capers and avocado.

Must-Order: The menu's alpha sandwich is the T-Rex, filled with banana and almond butter; bacon optional.

1796 Massachusetts Ave.; 857-285-6103

hottest bakeries