15 Amazing Small-Town Bakeries
Get ready for some serious carb-loading the next time you hit the road. Some of the country’s best bakeries are secreted away in small towns off the interstate, and these pastry-filled pit stops are the perfect way to break up long trips and do a little exploring at the same time. Here are 15 sweet sanctuaries and what to order when you finally arrive.
Frida’s Bakery in Milton, New York
Most New Yorkers believe that there’s nowhere to find a decent bagel outside the five boroughs. This bakery, located in an enchanting Hudson Valley hamlet, proves Gothamists wrong with its Manhattan-worthy rounds. There’s also plenty of love for local traditions here; many of baker Dave Meltzer’s pastries feature ingredients sourced from nearby farms.
Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Virginia
Set in a remodeled vintage Esso gas station on the central corner of a charismatic little town in Virginia’s Piedmont region, this bakery looks like it was taken straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Baker and owner Brian Noyes turns out award-winning pastries, including a head-spinning chocolate moonshine cake, salted caramel apple pie, and a goodie-packed granola that Andrew Zimmern declared the best in North America.
Our Town Bakery in Hillsboro, North Dakota
Whether you’re in the mood for sweets or savories, this charming little bakery at the center of town is happy to accommodate. Sugar fiends rave about the indulgent monkey bread, fragrant cinnamon rolls, and miniature blueberry pies, while those in the mood for something heartier won’t want to miss the meat pies, which come with ever-changing fillings like gingery pork, Thai chicken, and corned beef.
Erick Schat’s Bakkerÿ in Bishop, California
Nestled in a blip of a burg in the foothills of the Eastern Sierras, this bustling operation bakes 25,000 loaves a week in its stone-hearth ovens. A must-try is the “original sheepherder's bread”—a soft-centered boule based an ancient Basque recipe that the bakery has been producing for more than seven decades. It’s the perfect foundation for a Dagwood-sized sandwich or simply toasted and slathered with jam.
The Texas Pie Company in Kyle, Texas
Pull over between Austin and San Antonio for a taste of homemade Southern comfort food. Chef and owner Julie Albertson offers 18 pies made with recipes handed down from her grandmother, including buttermilk, pumpkin-praline, and peanut butter mousse. If you like eating with your hands, go for the pecan pie bar—brown sugar shortbread topped with gooey filling and caramelized pecans.
J.P. Gifford Market & Catering Company in Kent, Connecticut
The ovens at J.P. Gifford Market run all day, so you’ll probably catch the intoxicating scent of this shop before you even arrive. With a repertoire that ranges from financiers and madeleines to English muffins and fist-sized muffins, the baking team wants to help you indulge. Don’t miss their phenomenal breakfast sandwiches.
TwoFish Baking Company, The Sea Ranch, California
The work begins well before sunrise at this boutique bakery, where bakers Margaret Smith and Hilla Ahvenainen turn out blue-ribbon breakfast pastries galore. There are caramel-rich sticky buns, cinnamon rolls zigzagged with icing, and morning-style calzones stuffed with scrambled eggs, mozzarella, and plenty of bacon. Pick up a loaf of bread before you leave: the braided challah, golden baguette, and country wheat are all exemplary.
Trading Post Market and Bakery in Cloverdale, California
Located in the heart of wine country, this Mercer Restaurant Group bakery provides bread to San Fran restaurant standouts AQ and TBD. But it’s no commissary kitchen. The stone-hearth baked breads are favored by locals and visitors alike, who zero in on vegetable-speckled focaccia, hearty nut loaf, and baguettes that crackle when you snap off a heel to nibble on.
Well-Bred Bakery in Weaverville, North Carolina
This warm and welcoming corner bakery brims with freshly baked delights, such as cinnamon streusel coffeecake, fluffy cheese biscuits, and gigantic, cream-filled éclairs covered in dark chocolate. Many of the savory creations include organic ingredients grown in the bakery’s nearby garden.
Del Sur Bakery on St. Simons Island, Georgia
This is one island we wouldn’t mind being stranded on. The owners are Argentinian and Italian, so you’ll find items that honor both traditions, from alfajores and empanadas to Milanese and Caprese sandwiches. The gorgeous space looks like a reimagined classic gas station, replete with an overhang under which guests can sit to enjoy their purchases in the shade.
Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California
Thomas Keller’s five-star boulangerie never fails to delight. Whether you opt for an over-sized macaron, the chef’s haute take on a Nutter Butter (dubbed the “Better Nutter”), or a tuna Niçoise sandwich, you won’t get back in your car disappointed. Everything looks almost too beautiful to eat. (Almost.)
Pie Lab in Greensboro, Alabama
Part community center, part bakery, and part design studio, this small-town gem puts out beautiful pies in decadent flavors like chocolate-bourbon-pecan, coconut chess, and peanut-butter cup. If you’re in the mood for something other than dessert, there are also sandwiches, salads, and pizzas to choose from.
Bob’s Well Bread in Los Alamos, California
Former marketing executive Bob Oswaks uses long fermentation and a stone-deck oven to turn out golden, crackling, artisan bread loves at a bakery housed in an old-school gas station. The family-run shop also sells impeccable French pastries and tartines, which have attracted both local love and faraway fans.
Basque Boulangerie Café in Sonoma, California
European techniques and imported stone-hearth ovens add an Old World touch to this bakery’s creations, which include sourdough and sweet breads in addition to cookies, muffins, and cakes. The most buzzed-about offering is the shop’s beehive cake, which is plumped up with custard filling and topped with honey almond praline.
sherry b dessert studio in Chappaqua, New York
This sweet spot is well worth the hour’s drive from New York City. Executive pastry chef and owner Sherry Blockinger crafts brownies stuffed with salted caramel, “tipsy” marshmallows infused with booze, and creative takes on classic desserts, like the Fluffernutter-inspired ice cream sandwich made with peanut butter–swirled marshmallow fluff ice cream and banana bread.