Mark Louis Weinberg / Courtesy of Pacific Way Bakery

From Charleston to L.A., these bakeries put a creative, seasonal twist on cupcakes, pies, and cookies.

Pacific Way Bakery, Gearhart, OR

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Baker and co-owner Lisa Allen works through the night to bring this Oregon beach town pastries on par with those found in France. The results are displayed in a case of rustic fruit tarts and croissants as well as American-inspired goodies like sticky buns. The self-taught baker makes everything you see—as well as desserts in the adjoining restaurant. Black-and-white-tiled floors and gilded mirrors lend a fitting French country look.

Must-Try Item: The not-too-sweet scone loaded with fresh Oregon marionberries. pacificwaybakery-cafe.com 

America's Best Bakeries

Pacific Way Bakery, Gearhart, OR

Baker and co-owner Lisa Allen works through the night to bring this Oregon beach town pastries on par with those found in France. The results are displayed in a case of rustic fruit tarts and croissants as well as American-inspired goodies like sticky buns. The self-taught baker makes everything you see—as well as desserts in the adjoining restaurant. Black-and-white-tiled floors and gilded mirrors lend a fitting French country look.

Must-Try Item: The not-too-sweet scone loaded with fresh Oregon marionberries. pacificwaybakery-cafe.com 

Mark Louis Weinberg / Courtesy of Pacific Way Bakery

America's Best Bakeries

Theresa Velazquez’s D.C. bakery business is thriving, and just three months ago, she (with the help of her husband, son, and daughter) opened a new location in Downtown. “We really make ourselves part of the neighborhood,” says the co-owner of Baked & Wired and A Baked Joint, where hazelnut ganache cupcakes are playfully displayed in upside-down coffee beakers.

Many of America’s best bakeries are family-run establishments that take a similar approach and pride in their community. They’re appealing, one-of-a-kind spots where travelers can break to enjoy made-from-scratch pastries that often highlight local ingredients.  

At Standard Baking Co. in Portland, ME, Alison Pray introduced Maine miche, an organic whole-wheat bread made with 100 percent single varietal wheat grown by a local farmer. “You couldn’t have imagined this 18 years ago when we started,” she says.

Great bakeries are not afraid to evolve or experiment, reinventing classic desserts as well as offering lesser-known European treats. So on your next trip, head to one of these bakeries for a sweet start to the day—whether an apricot puff pastry tart with almond cream or the gibassier, a French citrus-flavored bread.   

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