I consider myself a pretty healthy eater–brown rice, salmon and lentils are staples at my house–and snacks, soft drinks and other sweets have never been my thing. But there is one exception: I cannot resist baked goods, especially the sweet kind. Whether its cupcakes, scones or babka, I am drawn like flies to honey.
Lately I’ve been indulging this pleasure (perhaps a bit too much) by exploring some of Baristaville’s local bakeries as well as a few in other areas.
The Bread Co. has been a staple in Montclair for years, but I only visited for the first time in January. Now I’m hooked. I take my kids there every other weekend or so and we leave with a bag full of muffins (which my six-year-old described as the best muffins he’s ever eaten–and trust me, he’s eaten a lot) and sometimes other goodies. At Easter, I gorged on the hot cross buns and on my last visit, sampled the sweet cinnamon raisin rolls which were superb. A few weeks ago, my son and I devoured a loaf of the Bread Co.’s rosemary bread, which we dipped into bowls of California olive oil from Olive That!
The Bread Co. recently began serving up freshly baked donuts on Sunday mornings. But due to their small frying capacity, they have to begin at 1:00am and max out at 20 dozen donuts. The company recently shared their desire to get a better fryer on Love Our Local Business, a website which is granting 15 wishes to help small businesses. You can vote for the Bread Co. here.
Two other places I really like are the Little Daisy Bake Shop, my go-to place for cupcakes and Le Baker’s Dozen (those are their dog and cat cupcakes above), and Petit Paris, which makes a fabulous almond croissant and macaroons. Next up are Gina’s Bakery, Gencarelli’s and Nicolo’s for some Sfogliatelle.
Last week, while in Summit, I stopped by Natale’s Summit Bakery, which is known for its signature Philly Fluff cake, a traditional pound cake with sour cream swirled into the batter. I didn’t buy one (it would have been gone in 24 hours), but the shop was giving out samples. It was delicious. But I opted instead for a bag full or assorted Italian cookies and some fruit-filled turnovers, which my kids and I heated up for breakfast the next morning (my favorite: lemon). Narrowing down our choices was hard. The bake shop is big and offers cookies, cakes, tarts, bread, pies, pastries and cupcakes. It was packed, too. Clearly I’m not the only one who loves a good bakery.
What are your favorite local bakeries?