Andrew Thomas Lee

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

Little Tart Bakeshop, Atlanta

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Baker Sarah O’Brien, who once studied at the Sorbonne, brings a slice of Paris to Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood with her pastries and tarts. A commitment to area ingredients means you’ll find crème fraîche quiche made with cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy and local vegetables as well as muscadine galettes and turnovers with mustard greens. The light-flooded bakery shares space with Octane Coffee, so the scent is the perfect mix of just-baked croissants and cappuccinos.

Must-Try Item: A galette featuring lightly sweetened and spiced fruits such as peach and lemon thyme. littletartatl.com

America's Best Bakeries

Little Tart Bakeshop, Atlanta

Baker Sarah O’Brien, who once studied at the Sorbonne, brings a slice of Paris to Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood with her pastries and tarts. A commitment to area ingredients means you’ll find crème fraîche quiche made with cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy and local vegetables as well as muscadine galettes and turnovers with mustard greens. The light-flooded bakery shares space with Octane Coffee, so the scent is the perfect mix of just-baked croissants and cappuccinos.

Must-Try Item: A galette featuring lightly sweetened and spiced fruits such as peach and lemon thyme. littletartatl.com

Andrew Thomas Lee

America's Best Bakeries

Theresa Velazquez’s D.C. bakery business is thriving, yet she has no interest in expansion. “We own this one place, and we really make ourselves part of the neighborhood,” says the co-owner of Baked & Wired in Georgetown, 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 recently debuted 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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