It doesn’t matter if you’re in the heart of downtown or on the outskirts of Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles bakeries are busy hand crafting everything from traditional pastries to more refined delicacies. Although the effects of the pandemic have drastically impacted many food industries around the world, Los Angeles bakeries have yet to let up.
Whether you’re wanting a fresh box of assorted sweets or just looking for somewhere to grab a quick macaron, LA is known to offer a medley of the best pastries. From baked goods like fresh focaccia slices and flourless chocolate chip cookies to mini baguettes and chocolate croissants with the perfect flakiness, these Los Angeles bakeries are sure to fit the bill.
One of the most popular California bakeries, Porto’s has multiple locations scattered across Los Angeles County including Glendale, Burbank, West Covina, Buena Park and Downey. Founder Rosa Porto brought her passion for baking and cooking to California from her hometown of Cuba where she first fell in love with the aromas and family recipes of her mother, originally from the Galicia region of Spain.
When communism overcame Cuba, Rosa’s only means of providing for her family came from selling baked goods to neighbors and friends. Eventually being permitted to emigrate from Cuba to Cali, the Porto family found themselves in the heart of Los Angeles selling some of the best Cuban cakes and pastries you’ll find anywhere. Porto’s thrives on “quality” being the number one ingredient, so expect to get a box full of the finest looking goodies here.
Friends & Family
Located in East Hollywood, Friends & Family is a seasonal cafe and marketplace run by Pastry Chef/Baker Roxana Jullapat and her partner, Chef Daniel Mattern. With years of history in various renowned Los Angeles kitchens like AOC or Cooks County, Jullapat and Mattern have dedicated their time to perfecting their artisan breads and pastries “made daily with locally-sourced, heirloom grains.” Here you’ll find a variety of unique croissant options like Sonora wheat or Halvah croissants while also being able to enjoy more breakfast bakery bites such as their spinach breakfast galette.
Proof Bakery has been serving Atwater locals for over 10 years now. Chef and owner Na Young Ma’s mission is “to deliver seasonal creative food, using the highest quality of raw ingredients, where traditional handmade methods [are] an integral part of the finished product.” Although their menu may seem simple, expect the quality of ingredients and craftsmanship to speak for themselves. Stop in during their daily bakery hours from 8 a.m.to 4 p.m. to try one of their daily quiches or whole cakes and tarts.
Clark Street Bread
Clark Street was originally founded by Zack Hall who fell in love with the craft of wood fire baking while he was visiting the Swedish countryside. After discovering this passion, he decided to become a full-time bread baker in one of the most well-known cultural hubs for all things food, starting Clark Street in his small apartment kitchen.
The Grand Central Market in Downtown LA serves a variety of good eats, including Clark Street, which crafts some of the best bread in the city. Offering everything from ciabatta to focaccia and Danish rye to raisin walnut, this is the spot if you’re looking for a loaf of bread to take home.
What started off as a simple commissary kitchen providing bread and pantry items for restaurants Gjelina and GTA has now turned into a full-service California deli, bakery, cafe and market. Sourcing all their produce from farmers across Southern California, Gjusta is committed to serving their guests with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.
Their menu covers an array of different categories: breakfast, soups, sandwiches, flatbread pizza, gelato/sorbet and dessert. Gjusta prides themselves on always evolving seasonally and constantly adapting to what patrons like best.
Among the best Los Angeles bakeries is Cake Monkey, founded by New York owner Lisa J. Olin. After a successful career in the film industry, producing popular works like “Wayne’s World 2,” “Child’s Play,” “Roswell” and “Primal Fear,” Olin set out on a new path which celebrated her lifelong love of cakes and sweet treats.
Pastry chef Elizabeth Belkind joined Olin’s endeavor, and now Cake Monkey specializes in nostalgic throwbacks to your favorite retro snacks and treats. You’ll be tempted by the Creamsicle Cakewich and the Peanut Butter El Rollo alongside a ton of different layer cakes, mini layer cakes and breakfast pastries. Seriously, there’s so much you’ll want to try here, so prepare for many returns.
Just What I Kneaded
Vegans rejoice! Just What I Kneaded is a newer all-vegan bakery that has been recreating dessert classics and comforting pastries in Highland Park for just a couple of years now. Although they opened after the pandemic had fully kicked off, Justine Hernandez was committed to delivering some of the best gluten-free and vegan pastries that would surely help during such drastic times. The building is quaint and small, but the baked goods here are all delicious and made from the heart.
Creating a delectable collection of cakes and pastries since 1938, Phoenix Bakery specializes in traditional Chinese bakery items that aren’t normally found in the city. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the bakery started gaining popularity among the locals of Los Angeles.
The Chan family and Phoenix Bakery were soon recognized for their trademark dish – a “not so Chinese” fresh strawberry whipped cream cake. The bakery is popular for helping celebrate birthdays, parties and weddings; but if you’re just coming in for a quick bite, they have single slices available to purchase in-store.
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