Let the outsiders poke fun all they want; Los Angeles has a long love affair with carbs and gluten. The region is abundant with outstanding bakeries, many of them well-known operators that are celebrated well beyond California’s borders. Though Fat & Flour, Gjusta, Porto’s, and Republique are legendary, here’s what true locals know: the LA bench runs just as deep with smaller, highly skilled, and lesser-known bakers who wake up in the early hours to produce Mexican pan dulce, French croissants and Napoleons, gorgeous sourdough loaves, and Korean-inspired squid ink salt bread everywhere from Burbank all the way to Compton. Take a look at these 15 wonderful and underrated bakeries in Southern California.Read More
15 Underrated Bakeries to Try in Los Angeles
The city’s most famous bakeries are delicious, but these smaller independent bakeries deserve a taste
Shahnaz Qaedi’s Superyum feels like a home bakery, but with professional skill that takes her truffle brownies, chocolate chip cookies, customized cakes, and outstanding chocolate cheesecakes to the next level. The Van Nuys bakery is also certified kosher.
Seed Bakery’s Joseph Abrakjian is a busy baker. He mills his own flour and ferments his dough for 24 hours, and rotates his sourdough loaf flavors every week, when one might find olive, spelt, or oat maple on the display shelves. Be sure to look for specials, like the chile relleno empanada.
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Poppy Cake Baking Company
Brittainy and Matthew Turnquist operate this cozy bakery out of Sierra Madre (Brittainy’s hometown) where a daily quiche is always on the menu. Peruse Poppy Cake Baking Company’s display case stuffed with house-made cookies, sandwiches, croissants, or multi-grain breads.
Lisbon native and Natas owner Fatima Marques started preparing her Portuguese goods in 2005. Here, the specialties are traditional natas, or egg tarts. There’s also a daytime menu with crepes, salads, and caldo verde soup.
Mother-daughter team Sarah Hashemi and Lily Azar operate their two-year-old bakery out of Old Town Pasadena with a delicate touch and flavors that hail from Hashemi’s over 20 years of experience both in Iran and Europe. The display case is stunning and filled with delicate cakes, a rose water croissant, and colorful macarons.
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Delicias Bakery and Some
In operation since 1990, Delicias is a Highland Park institution. The family-owned bakery keeps things mostly traditional, though there’s also a vegan pan dulce. Breakfast and lunch are also available. Delicia’s breads and cakes are gorgeous, as are the sweet multi-hued aguas frescas.
Coin De Rue
Coin De Rue bakery serves both modern and traditional treats in Koreatown with Basque cheesecake, tiramisu, lava cake, black sesame buns, and squid ink salt bread. Not to be missed: the Korean-style cheese bread or the green onion pesto bread that feels like pizza with a hug.
This low-key, well-appointed French bakery in West LA’s Rancho Park neighborhood doesn’t have the most expansive pastry menu, but it does do a solid version of croissants, pan au chocolat, caneles, and macarons. The breakfast and lunch menu are handy for locals looking for a light lunch, with breezy patio seating not quite at the charm of Paris, but certainly pretty close for this part of town.
This modern Cantonese-style bakery resides along Sawtelle’s busy restaurant and retail stretch, with incredible varieties of egg custard tarts from Hong Kong to Lisbon-style. But the individually-wrapped pastries one would find in bakeries across San Gabriel Valley, including hot dog-stuffed buns and croissants, are pretty fantastic.
Des Croissants Paris
Prior to February, Parisian-born pastry chef Samuel Manar operated mostly out of SoCal farmers’ markets, building a following for his croissants, paniers, and baguettes. It’s still possible to secure goods this route or by heading to his brick-and-mortar in Culver City.
Skip the long lines at the trendier Westside spots and to the family-run Antequerra. This Oaxacan bakery has prepared goodies like pan dulce, cookies, and bread for decades.
Panaderia Super Pan
After being squeezed out of Virgil Village, the family-owned Super Pan relocated to South Park near the 110 and south of Vernon Avenue. It still serves non-traditional alongside the city’s best Mexican, Salvadorean, and Guatemalan pan tostado, doughnuts, and pan de piedra.
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Gwen's Specialty Cakes
Over 20 years ago, Gwen Vance opened her specialty bake shop. Locals pack her family-run operation, where everything sells out quickly. Arrive early and purchase the mini-bite pecan, sweet potato, or apple pies. It’s an excellent idea to get on the shop’s email list to stay on top of her weekly Southern-style dinners for pick-up. It’s old-school at Gwen’s, so give her a call.
Pan Estilo Copala
Located in a quiet Compton neighborhood, Pan Estilo Copala serves some of the city’s best Guerrero-style pastries out of owners Aniceto and Nolberta Polanco’s home. Here, long-fermented loaves of conchas, pan de huevo, and gusitanos are made with blends of flour, offering flavor depth and careful construction that stand in contrast to so many of the machine or bulk-made pan dulces in LA. The shop is open Tuesday to Saturday throughout the day, since eating pan dulces is more customary from morning to early evening.
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Kirari West Bake Shop
In this cozy corner of Redondo Beach, bakers utilize rice flour to make desserts, loaves of bread, breakfast sandwiches, and paninis in this nine-year-old gluten-free bakery. The spot is less than 100 feet away is the sister creation Confections By Kirari, where gluten-free cookies are the specialty.