Sharyn Morrow / Flickr

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

La Mie, Des Moines

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Marble-topped tables piled with rustic Danish, fruit tarts, and croissants take center stage within this industrial space in Des Moines’s Kingman Place Historic District. It’s a feast for the eyes, and patrons get the instant gratification of being able to serve themselves before paying at the counter. Daily offerings scribbled on a chalkboard often include more hearty fare like avocado and red onion tartines or fromage omelettes. La Mie also takes artisanal bread baking seriously, shaping and scoring all dough by hand before baking it in an on-site deck oven.

Must-Try Item: The chocolate chip pistachio roll or the chocolate caramel tart. lamiebakery.com

America's Best Bakeries

La Mie, Des Moines

Marble-topped tables piled with rustic Danish, fruit tarts, and croissants take center stage within this industrial space in Des Moines’s Kingman Place Historic District. It’s a feast for the eyes, and patrons get the instant gratification of being able to serve themselves before paying at the counter. Daily offerings scribbled on a chalkboard often include more hearty fare like avocado and red onion tartines or fromage omelettes. La Mie also takes artisanal bread baking seriously, shaping and scoring all dough by hand before baking it in an on-site deck oven.

Must-Try Item: The chocolate chip pistachio roll or the chocolate caramel tart. lamiebakery.com

Sharyn Morrow / Flickr

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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