Los Angeles has a wealth of bakeries, not just the classic Old World style, but many that are specifically geared toward reaching an ethnic group or catering to locals through the lens of their own culture. Here now, Eater intern Na'ama Landau offers six international bakeries you should know about in Los Angeles
The one notable Danish bakery shop in Los Angeles, Copenhagen Pastry plays true to its roots by offering Los Angeles an accurate taste of Europe. Like most Danish pastry shops, Copenhagen Pastry uses Viennese lamination techniques borrowed from Austria to obtain a croissant-like texture and ensure flakiness. Because of the skill involved, all the pastries at this Culver City shop are deceptively light, making it nearly impossible to eat only one.
The shop's signature Kringle fills that flaky dough with almond paste and custard, then tops the results with sugar and almond slivers. The bakery also offers a number of savory rolls on Fridays and weekends, as well as a few flakey savory twists throughout the week. One note: these pastries are meant to be taken home and shared amongst friends and family, so there's very little seating inside the store itself. 11113 Washington Blvd, Culver City. 3731 Colorado Blvd, Pasadena.
Although the Japanese are not known for their super-sweet pastries, Yamazaki Bakery does a great job of incorporating traditional ingredients with somewhat American preparations. That might mean red bean paste stuffed in a donut, mochi cookies, or green tea cake rolls, all of which can be found in abundance at this Little Tokyo shop.
Yamazaki is perhaps best known for their freshly made savory steamed buns, called man, which come in a variety of flavors including spicy chicken curry, veggie, and pork. The bakery also serves sweeter favorites such as cheesecake, cream puffs and fruit tarts — just don't forget to pair your pastries with Ramune, a fun Japanese soda. 123 Japanese Village Plz Mall
When people think of Cuban bakeries in Los Angeles, they immediately travel to the iconic Porto's. But not everyone wants to trek to the 818 and wait in ridiculously long lines just to get a taste of Cuba — enter Gigi's.
Gigi's Bakery is a hidden gem tucked away in Historic Filipinotown. The shop is known mostly for its traditional pastelitos (puff pastry-like sweets), which are stuffed with delicious fillings such as guava, or savory options like beef and ham. Gigi's also offers their take on traditional tres leches cakes, and even pumps out incredible sandwiches and burgers, including the infamously decadent Cubano. Layered with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, ham and butter on crisp Cuban bread, the whole thing is then toasted to perfection. Don't forget the pastelito for dessert. 2200 W Temple St
[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]
The recently opened BierBeisl Imbiss is quickly establishing itself as L.A.'s go-to restaurant for true Austrian cuisine, which means there's lots of breads, pastries, and pretzels to enjoy. Chef Bernhard Mairinger ensures the quality of his products by working exclusively with a single flour mill capable of producing the sort of flour he requires. The results speak for themselves: BierBeisl offers a large selection of homemade breads and fantastic salted pretzels that go well with their enormous selection of beer.
On top of their breads, Bierbeisl also makes a variety of traditional cakes and pastries such as apfelstrudel and Esterhazy cake, a layered hazelnut cake named after loyal Austrian-Hungarian nobility in the late 19th century. Bonus tip: If you're taller than the 6 foot 8-inch chef, you can eat for free! 541 S Spring St
Auntie Dee's Pan De Manila
The family-owned Auntie Dee's Pan de Manila is the go-to spot for authentic Filipino treats. Traditional Filipino pastries are heavily influenced by Spanish and Latin flavors, which show up in the Eagle Rock shop's signature pandesal, a semi-sweet roll that's usually served warm at breakfast with a big cup of coffee
Auntie Dee's offers a variety of pandesal options, from wheat to those stuffed with butter and sugar, as well as the more traditional ensaymada, which is a sweeter pastry filled with butter and shredded cheese. For a heartier snack around lunchtime consider the lumpia, a Filipino take on egg rolls. Auntie Dee's is cash only though, so make sure you hit an ATM before making the trek. 3756 W Ave 40, Los Angeles
Baklava is the Middle East's signature pastry, and Ara's Pastry in East Hollywood makes the most delicious version in Los Angeles. Baklava has a long history dating back to the Ottoman empire around 8th century B.C., when it was considered a dessert of high importance thanks to its intricate technique and relatively expensive ingredients.
Today, people all over the Middle East consider different versions of baklava their national dessert. In its most basic form, baklava is composed of honey, nuts and filo dough, though Ara's offers at least ten different varieties themselves, each equally delicious. Ara's also offers a multitude of different Middle Eastern pastries beyond the baklava, including options drenched in rosewater, honey, and nuts. 4945 Hollywood Blvd