Kris Hase

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

Salty Tart, Minneapolis

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It’s true that great things come in small packages—just consider this 400-square-foot bakery in the bustling Midtown Global Market. French windows on three sides let customers watch chef and owner Michelle Gayer (a three-time James Beard nominee) work her magic on rustic French pastries like seasonal fruit Danishes and pastry-cream-filled brioche rolled in vanilla sugar. Her crisp and chewy coconut macaroons have become so popular they’ve earned the nickname “crackaroons.”  

Must-Try Item: Bostock, a French pastry typically made with brioche bread. Gayer’s is toasted sourdough soaked in orange simple syrup, topped with brown butter and blueberries, and baked in the oven. saltytart.com

America's Best Bakeries

Salty Tart, Minneapolis

It’s true that great things come in small packages—just consider this 400-square-foot bakery in the bustling Midtown Global Market. French windows on three sides let customers watch chef and owner Michelle Gayer (a three-time James Beard nominee) work her magic on rustic French pastries like seasonal fruit Danishes and pastry-cream-filled brioche rolled in vanilla sugar. Her crisp and chewy coconut macaroons have become so popular they’ve earned the nickname “crackaroons.”  

Must-Try Item: Bostock, a French pastry typically made with brioche bread. Gayer’s is toasted sourdough soaked in orange simple syrup, topped with brown butter and blueberries, and baked in the oven. saltytart.com

Kris Hase

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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