The South's Best Bakeries
We sent Bill Addison, Atlanta restaurant critic and former pastry chef, in search of the best cakes, cookies, breads, pastries, and pies. A whopping 80,000 calories later, here are the bakeries that sated his sweet tooth.
Oh, the beauty of a statuesque layer cake, always the belle on a buffet of Southern desserts. The cakes I love from these five bakeries possess professional twists—a finesse to the presentation or a unique flavor combination that would make it darn tricky to pass off as your own at an office party or family reunion.
- Alpine Bakery & Trattoria; Atlanta, GA
- Honey Bee Bakery; Oxford, MS
- Maxie B's; Greensboro, NC
- Sugar Bakeshop; Charleston, SC
- Sweet Art by Lucila; Miami, FL
In the South, bakeries that excel in artisan breads and pastries are scarce. We tend to grow up on plain ol' white bread—an appreciation for rustic loaves can be an acquired taste. And as someone who used to labor over meringues and mousses to construct picture-perfect pastries, I still feel awe for chefs who forge stunners equally pleasing to the eye and palate.
- Bluegrass Baking Company; Lexington, KY
- H&F Bread Co.; Atlanta, GA
- Poupart Bakery Inc.; Lafayette, LA
- Upper Crust Bakery; Austin, TX
- Wildflour Pastry; Charleston, SC
One pleasure of adulthood is reaching into the cookie jar again and again without anyone smacking your hand. Sure, cookies are some of the easiest desserts to whip up at home, but a top-notch bakery thrills with its sheer number of choices: chunky, nutty, fudgy, spicy—and hopefully warm from the oven!
- Fluff Bake Bar; Houston, TX
- Merridee's Breadbasket; Franklin, TN
- Muddy's Bake Shop; Memphis, TN
- Sticky Fingers; Washington, D.C.
- Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop; Baltimore, MD
How did the expression "easy as pie" come into being? The popularity of premade crusts among today's home bakers illuminates how daunting it can be to master the art of pie. The best bakeries make their own buttery, flaky crusts, filled with glossy custard or the season's ripest fruit to add homespun distinction to their by-the-slice comforts.
- A Slice Of Pie; Rolla, MO
- Mom's Apple Pie Company; Occoquan & Leesburg, VA
- Pie Lab; Greensboro, AL
- Pie Shop; Atlanta, GA
- Scratch; Durham, NC