- Food and Drink
From Charleston to L.A., these bakeries put a creative, seasonal twist on cupcakes, pies, and cookies.
America's Best Bakeries
Originally a stand at Chicago’s Green City Market, Floriole is now a buzzy café in the Lincoln Park neighborhood with expanded offerings of sandwiches, salads, and wood-oven-fired pizza. Baker Sandra Holl’s honey pecan sticky buns, fruit galettes, and buttermilk panna cotta use the finest ingredients, from Valrhona chocolate to European-style butter. She has a knack for turning mistakes into inspired treats; a botched batch of pistachio brittle became pistachio croissants with a lemon glaze.
Must-Try Item: Gateau Basque, an almond cake filled with pastry cream and seasonal fruit. floriole.com
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.