Feature

LA's 9 Hottest New Bakeries

By Lesley Balla  |  November 17, 2014
Credit: Republique

Los Angeles has been on a carb-heavy upswing over the last year, with new bakeries and pastry-heavy cafes opening all over town. From testa-filled croissants in Venice to babka in Glendale and Army Cake in Koreatown, here are nine spots that opened over the last year for sweet and savory treats.

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  • Credit: Nicole Rucker

    Gjusta

    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.

  • 85°C Bakery Cafe

    This Taiwanese import, which has more than 700 stores across the globe and 10 around Southern California, recently landed in Old Town Pasadena, bringing its unique blend of Eastern and Western pastries and more, including brick toasts, pork-topped buns and rolls, and strawberry tiramisu cakes.

    Must-Order: Milk toast, egg tarts and sea-salt coffee, which is basically an iced Americano with sea-salt whipped cream.

  • Credit: Lincoln

    Lincoln

    Christine Moore, owner of the Little Flower Candy Co. and creator of the best fleur de sel caramels anywhere, debuted a new bakery and cafe in northern Pasadena. Fresh-baked croissants, cookies, bars and other pastries are hard to resist, plus breakfast bowls, sandwiches and more are served throughout the day.

    Must-Order: Everything on the counter will look tempting, but it’s hard to pass up the peanut butter-stuffed chocolate cookies. Olive cake with vanilla bean icing is a close second.

  • Credit: Bountiful

    Bountiful

    This charming bakery recently debuted in the northern part of Glendale, near Montrose, an offshoot of Denise Assad’s offerings at local farmer's markets. She makes a slew of cookies, donuts, scones, bars, muffins, savory hand and pot pies and more fresh daily.

    Must-Order: As any Seinfeld fan knows, the only babka to get is a chocolate babka. Get it here.

  • Credit: Republique

    Republique

    It was a slow roll to open the bakery counter at Walter and Margarita Manzke’s restaurant on La Brea, and it was only this year when daytime service fully debuted. Overseen by Margarita, the counter full of baked goods includes everything from croissants and cakes to brownies and breads, muffins, Danishes and more.

    Must-Order: Every day it seems like something new and fabulous shows up on the counter. The latest: this insane Paris-Brest, a pastry choux filled with cream. But the chocolate caramel cake is always a decadent crowd pleaser.

  • Credit: La Brea Bakery

    La Brea Bakery

    Just a block from the original location, the new cafe pays homage to the first La Brea Bakery with brick walls, celadon green accents that match the old windows, butcher-block dining tables and a 35-food display case filled with pastries, sandwiches, breads and more.

    Must-Order: While there are some new additions to the menu, the classic buttercup, a buttery flaky pastry with a sweet toffee bottom, is still one of the best.

  • Credit: Etchea

    Etchea Bakery

    Two of these bakeries and cafes opened at different parts of Downtown last year, one for the students near USC and the other for the desk jockies near Hope and Third streets. It’s where to slip in for La Colombe coffee, fresh-baked croissants, muffins, bread pudding and a crusty sourdough bread made from a recipe that goes back generations.

    Must-Order: Don’t leave without trying the gâteau Basque, an almond cake filled with vanilla and almond custard, which is co-owner Christine Splichal's father's recipe.

  • Credit: Ryan Tanaka

    Superba Food & Bread

    From Paul Hibler’s family of restaurants, including Superba Snack Bar and the Pitfire Artisan Pizza chain, this all-day restaurant serves some amazing breads, croissants, scones and sweet and savory muffins for the morning and lunch crowds.

    Must-Order: The croissants aren’t only made extraordinarily well: there’s an almond one, a pretzel version, a hybrid between an everything bagel and a croissant, and another stuffed with testa. 

  • Credit: Ryan Tanaka

    Pot Cafe

    Roy Choi’s counter in the Line Hotel lobby features the sweet works of former Momofuku and Momofuku Milk Bar pastry chef Marian Mar. Her desserts span Asian favorites with a twist, things like almond-filled puffs, butter mochi cakes topped with black sesame paste, and Hawaiian pull-apart bread.

    Must-Order: Get a slice of one of the Super Cakes, either the Hello Kitty one or the Army Cake, a yellow cake filled with vanilla pastry cream and strawberries, topped by plastic Army men toys, of course.  Sweet buns topped with strawberries and cream are also dynamite.