To put it mildly, I have a sweet tooth. What I really have is a full-blown sugar addiction that would probably require some form of methadone to kick. But, I’m not really interested in getting rid of it as I’ve never met a pastry I didn’t like, and so, I can often be found at one of Boston’s many bakeries.
Since I spend so much time perusing the baked goods that line several store’s shelves, I figure it was high time that I create a post dedicated solely to bakeries. I’ve organized them by area for highest utility —
Flour – arguably one of the best bakeries [and regular cafes] in Boston. So good, in fact, that they keep opening new ones. I also feel like their pecan sticky bun is world famous at this point. Joanne Chang is literally a culinary queen, and I could believe that anything she touches turns to gastronomic gold. I usually go for the vegan chocolate muffin, which is the best chocolate muffin I’ve ever had – vegan or not, the pop tart, lime cornmeal cookie, or chunky lola cookie. I also get their salads for lunch on the reg.
Thinking Cup – another Bostonian chain. There are three locations so far, but I love the seating in the top section of the Newbury location. I almost didn’t include this in the list, because it is much more cafe than purely bakery, but so is Flour. Great place to go for a croissant, or scone, or the more classic fair that pairs perrrrfectly with a cuppa. Tons of gluten free/dairy free options as well.
Georgetown Cupcake – classsssssic. Have you somehow not heard of this place? Do you like cupcakes? Then you will like it here. Everyday they tweet a secret flavor, and if you go before 11am and mention it, you’ll get it for free.
Bova’s – this place is truly special amongst the Boston sweet scene. I honestly sometimes call it Club Bova’s because the crowd at 2am on a Saturday night [Sunday morning, really] can parallel the best after-hours bar. Yes, Bova’s is open 24hrs. But, their pastries are absolutely delicious at any hour of the day.
Mike’s vs. Modern – the age old debate. Tourist? Oh, you must go to Mike’s. Local? Of course you know Modern is better. However, I gotta say, I really do love the cannolis from Mike’s, even if they are gargantuan and semi-mass produced and yotta yotta. They’re freaking delicious.
Maria’s Pastry – true legit Italian cannoli mom n pop experience. These cannolis are filled when you order, which everyone knows is soooo much better. KAPISH?
Great Taste Bakery – restaurant and bakery. You can eat here, then head on over to the other side and order delicious buns and moon cakes to go. Pineapple custard buns all day.
Eldo Cake House, Ho Yuen, Hing Shing, and Bao Bao Bakery: I haven’t been to all of these, so I can’t really deem which one is better than the others. You’ll have to decide for yourselves and let me know. However, Bao Bao was closed for a while and had their grand reopening back in July much to the delight of their customers, and seems to be doing quite well.
Clear Flour Bread – a little off the beaten path, this wonderfully delicious French-style bakery will never disappoint. Their pastries are just. so. good. Morning buns, croissants, tarts, brioche, loaves of bread… A neighborhood staple, with their fun cheeky signs out front [save the gluten] and copious amounts of awards, this place is worth going to. Also, they donate their old bread to charities all over Boston, extra win.
Kupel’s – the sole Brookline destination for bagels. Although, it’s not like there are many bagel places in Boston in general. But while I get my bagel fix from here, and they truly do have a greaaaat selection of bagel sandwiches and schmear and the like, they’ve made this list due to their whopping amount of Jewish treats. Kupel’s isn’t open on Saturday due to the Sabbath, which kills me, but, it’s all the more cherished on Sundays. Huuuge rugallah, bear claws, pretzel twists, danishes, hamentashen, cinnamon rolls, and babkas. P.S. it’s pronounced couples.
When Pigs Fly – really. good. bread. Like, the best bread you’ve ever bought from a store. Varieties like apple cinnamon, chocolate, maple banana walnut, red pepper hummus with sesame seeds + garlic, and your classics like wheat, anadama, rye etc. They also make bomb cookies which are less famous than their breads but just as good. Lemon blueberry sugar cookie?? Salted caramel triple chocolate chip?! They have a few locations in Boston, and sell the bread at some stores as well but it’s probably best right from the source.
Tatte – I’ve written about Tatte before, and if you follow my Instagram you know I’m there far too often, but this place has srsly become a staple for me. Really. I love it all. I often crave their fattoush salad or mushroom + egg toast. And that hasn’t even scratched the surface of their pastries. Amazing croissants, tarts, cheesecakes, and their infamous nut boxes [shortbread cookie boxes filled with custard/caramel and stuffed with nuts]. I love their roses, which come in chocolate, hazelnut, halva, and maybe more flavors. They remind me a lot of my absolute favorite Hungarian pastry, kakaós csiga, which is basically a chocolate cinnamon roll. Kind of like babka if it wasn’t a bread/cake. They also have cookies, monkey bread, brioche… and it’s all just so great. And LUCKILY, there are Tatte’s alllll over the city. My favorite happens to be the Brookline spot, which I why I categorized it here, but there are like four in Cambridge and one on Charles St.
South End Buttery
Gingerbread Construction Co – worth hauling ass all the way to Wakefield for, I swear.
I’m sure I missed quiiiiiiite a few, and I would love to learn about your favorite bakery. I also didn’t even dive into the world of donuts, which is thriving in Boston, so that might have to be a separate post in the near future.