Whether you want everyday pastries, hearty loaves, or special-occasion cakes, these shelves are stocked.
Not much in this world elicits as much easy joy as a chocolate chip cookie, still warm from the oven. Coffee isn’t complete without a breakfasty treat; a savory bun from a neighborhood bakery can stand in for a quick lunch; and a chewy boule baked mere hours earlier can complete a nice dinner at home. Boston is stocked with bakeshops for every occasion, and these 20 bakeries rise to the top.
Chinatown has a ton of Hong Kong-style bakeries, and there aren’t many better ways to spend a Saturday morning than doing a neighborhood pastry crawl. This bright spot on Beach Street is a favorite for shelves on shelves of neatly wrapped buns in flavors like sweet taro root, pineapple, and scallion-studded pork floss. Light and fluffy cheesecakes are also a great option—and most all single-serve items run less than $3.
56 Beach St., Boston, 617-451-9988.
Located down a North End alleyway, this basement-level bakery exudes Old World charm. Imagine you’re in Italy and pop by on the way home to add a freshly baked olive loaf or airy and chewy ciabatta rolls to your dinner table. The next-door salumeria makes it easy to put together a simple and satisfying meal.
241 Hanover St., Boston, 617-248-9859, briccosalumeria.com.
When French chefs make this South End spot their go-to, you know it’s onto something. Opened in 2014 by Alain Ducasse mentee and James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Frederic Robert, this petite café has exceptional croissants and pain au chocolate, macarons, cannelés, tarts, and more classic creations. The open kitchen wholesales some of its specialties, too, to spots like Frenchie, and Boston’s La Colombe coffeeshops.
517 Columbus Ave., South End, 857-239-8052.
Clear Flour Bread
For decades, this beloved bakery has delighted Brookline and beyond with its European-style breads and pastries—think: loaves of German rye, French baguettes, rosemary-flecked focaccia, Gruyère-stuffed croissants, and coveted soft pretzels. The longtime owners sold to a new couple in 2017 and thankfully, nothing has changed—not even the usual line out the door.
178 Thorndike St., Brookline, 617-739-0060, clearflourbread.com.
Elmendorf Baking Supplies and Café
OK, so this unique Cambridge concept isn’t actually a bakeshop: The pastries here are trucked in daily from Salem’s incomparable A&J King (hello, kouign-amman!). But gluten lovers will find a full range of baking necessities, including locally sourced, house-milled grains to inspire their own kitchen creations. The culinary couple behind this venture is Teddy and Alyssa Applebaum, whose combined experience includes places like Formaggio Kitchen, Clear Flour Bread, and Oleana, and they also offer classes.
594 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-945-0045, elmendorfbaking.com.
An ever-changing selection of muffins, sweet and savory turnovers, cookies, and more is a great addition to the Jamaica Plain neighborhood—but the fact that this spot has an equally robust selection of gluten-free and vegan-friendly treats really takes the cake. Speaking of cake, Fiore’s also bakes up special-occasion treats to order—traditional, or with dietary restrictions in mind.
55 South St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9200, fioresbakeryjp.com.
Flour Bakery + Café
Pecan-covered sticky buns and stacked towers of Boston cream pie helped make Joanne Chang a household name (and a James Beard Award winner), but in the almost 20 years since she debuted her bakery in the South End, Flour has given us so much more to love. Chiefly, seven more locations, from the deep Seaport to Harvard Square. Thanks to ultimate cookies, mile-high pies, whole-grain baked goods and savory sandwiches, this local empire has risen to the top.
131 Clarendon St., Boston, 617-437-7700; 190 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-225-2525; and other locations, flourbakery.com.
Forge Baking Company
This Somerville spot opened in 2014 so the owners of Diesel Café and Bloc 11 could take full control of the products they serve. Now, in its huge and busy kitchen, Forge bakes up boules, bagels, bars, scones, pies, and more for its sister cafés, as well as its own all-day menu. In 2016, the bakeshop added house-made ice cream and waffle cones—because everything is better à la mode.
626 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-764-5365, forgebakingco.com.
Fornax Bread Company
This family-owned bakeshop provides the breads for menus at more than a dozen Boston restaurants, as well as the deli at JP staple City Feed & Supply Co. But its own homey café in the heart of Roslindale Village is the place to find all of its fresh batards, baguettes, loaves, pastries, pies, and cakes, as well as griddled sandwiches, pizzettas, and more cozy fare that puts grains to good use.
27 Corinth St., Roslindale, 617-325-8852, fornaxbread.com.
Greenhills Irish Bakery
Boston’s largest neighborhood, Dorchester, has a diverse and distinctive dining scene. This classic café in Adams Village is a true taste of the Emerald Isle: from the treacle, brown, and soda breads, nubby scones, and rustic pies, to the brogues oft’ heard around the counter.
780 Adams St., Dorchester, 617-825-8187, greenhillsirishbakery.com.
Hi-Rise Bread Company
Chef-owner Rene Becker—who’s also behind nearby Italian restaurant, Luce—launched this bakery in Observatory Hill back in 1996, and has since added a second café closer to Lesley University. Organic-grain breads, fruit-filled muffins, and buttery-crusted pies anchor the menu, which also includes sandwiches and prepared foods—but we never leave without at least one chocolate shortbread sandwich cookie.
208 Concord Ave., 617-876-8766; 1663 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-492-3003, hi-risebread.com.
Home.Stead Bakery & Café
Opened in 2016 by a trio of Dorchester residents, this cozy café provides not just display cases full of walnut-studded brownies, slices of pear-soaked bread pudding, and cheesy scallion scones, but also a neighborhood gathering place in the heart of Fields Corner.
1448 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, 617-533-7585, dorchesterhomestead.com.
From fluffy shokupan (milk bread) to flaky ham and cheese croissants, the breads and baked goods in the case at this Newton shop showcase owner Nobuko Maruyama’s experience with Japanese and French traditions. Beyond the classics, the suburban spot is well worth a visit to see what creations she’s been cooking up, from dog-shaped rolls filled with white bean paste, to fresh fruit scones and even vegan-friendly banana breads.
232L California St., Newton, 617-483-5803, kokobread.com.
Along with fresh Latin American sweet breads, you can order cakes and cupcakes here with pretty frosting flowers or cartoon characters. But snacks like crispy churros, cups of flan, and colorful, traditional conchas (round rolls with sweet and crunchy exteriors) prove why Lolly’s is a 20-plus-year local favorite in East Boston. It also has a location in Lynn.
158 Bennington St., East Boston, 617-567-9461; 16 Cottage St., Lynn, 781-586-9400, lollysbakery.com.
An absolute classic of a Boston-area bakeshop, this business dates back more than 130 years, just a few decades after the City of Somerville’s founding. Four ownership changes later, it’s still brimming with classics like apple turnovers, Boston cream pies, and cakey half-moon cookies iced with rich chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting.
720 Broadway, Somerville, 617-625-1793, lyndells.com.
Cakes in sculpted shapes like guitars and animals, or stacked in enchanting tiers fit for any wedding are what this Symphony-area shop is best known for. But it’s also a coffeeshop, and a daily go-to for treats like granola and breakfast bars, big cookies, and flaky, house-made “pop tarts” with seasonal fillings such as triple berry jam or chocolate peppermint.
12 Westland Ave., Boston, 617-299-1504, oakleafcakes.com.
We’ll debate the virtues of Mike’s versus Modern Pastry’s cannolis with any self-respecting Bostonian, and we’re always down for a late-night Bova’s visit. But this hidden gem on Prince Street—in business since 1907—is our preferred spot for Italian butter cookies, anisey biscotti, and crispy pizzelle. Besides, the creamy ricotta filling of its cannoli gives any nearby shop a run for its money, and—bonus!—you’re way less likely to have to queue up with North End tourists.
80 Prince St., Boston, 617-523-6368, parzialebakery.com.
Sofra Bakery & Café
Signature spice blends, fresh fruits and nuts, and pastry prowess combine to yield unparalleled sweets like tahini-brown butter doughnuts and pistachio-studded baklava nests, as well as savory bites like cheesy borek and za’atar-spiced flatbreads. Acclaimed baker Maura Kilpatrick brings the same transportive flair to this narrow pastry counter as she does to her menus at sibling restaurants Oleana and Sarma.
One Belmont St., Cambridge, 617-661-3161, sofrabakery.com.
Tatte Bakery & Café
Fueled by challah, palmiers, pistachio-cherry tarts, and Jerusalem bagels, this Brookline-born baking company has grown into a Boston behemoth with more than a dozen locations and counting. It even earned the support of deep-pocketed Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich, who’s a regular at the original location. Passion remains the main ingredient for founder and baker Tzurit Or—in everything from her recipes direct from her native Israel, to the beautiful cafés she builds.
1003 Beacon St, Brookline, 617-232-2200; 1352 Boylston St., Boston, 617-366-1800; and other locations, tattebakery.com.
Sarah Murphy began making her own English muffins while a baker at Bagelsaurus, and now the perfect pillows anchor the menu at her own Somerville café. Besides packs that certainly rival Thomas’ and sandwiches slicked with the likes of dijonnaise, and house-made marshmallow Fluff, Murphy bakes with the New England seasons to offer options like coffee-spiked hermit cookies, blueberry muffins (American style), and oatmeal cream pies.
222 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-718-0148, vinalbakery.com.
Source: Thanks https://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/best-bakeries-boston/