- Food and Drink
From Charleston to L.A., these bakeries put a creative, seasonal twist on cupcakes, pies, and cookies.
Baked, Brooklyn, NY
America's Best Bakeries
Baked, Brooklyn, NY
Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito rocketed to fame when Oprah named their dense, fudgy brownie one of her favorite things. Three cookbooks later, Baked’s owners are still accomplishing their mission of elevating classic American desserts. The Peanut Butter Crispy is an elegant ganache-topped crisped rice cereal treat, and dessert hybrids include the Brookster, a deep, dark brownie shell filled with a chocolate chunk cookie. You’ll find them at the un-frilly Red Hook shop, with its wood-paneled walls and faux taxidermy, as well as the new Tribeca storefront: less than a year old and with distinct nods to the space's history as a burlesque club.
Must-Try Item: A layer of salted caramel oozes throughout while baking, making for an incredibly moist and indulgent Sweet + Salty Brownie. bakednyc.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.