LA's best new bakeries: 6 that take the cake

From the most buttery croissants on the Westside to museum-worthy retro sweets, check out the best new bakeries to pop up in LA

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Strawberry shortcake donut at Semi Sweet Bakery

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Chicken fritters at Semi Sweet Bakery

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    S'mores scones at Short Cake

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Breakfast cookies at Short Cake

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Peanut Butter Bars at Short Cake

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    From left: blueberry danish, pain au chocolat, croissant from Maison Giraud

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Doughnut at Milo + Olive

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Pistachio cake at Milo + Olive

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Chocolate banana cake at Milo + Olive

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Skillet bread at Milo + Olive

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

  • Photo Courtesy C+M

    Hand pies at C+M

  • Photo Courtesy C+M

    Lemon Lavendar "Pop Tart" at C+M

  • Photo Courtesy C+M

    "BTO" cookie from C+M

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Strawberry shortcake donut at Semi Sweet Bakery

LA's best new bakeries are popping up faster than you can say, "What Atkin's diet?" Nostalgic throwbacks from C+M, Short Cake and Semi Sweet bakeries are all the rage; while pastry queen Karen Hatfield goes fine dining to neighborhood casual at Sycamore Kitchen; and Zoe Nathan conducts her ode to all things baked at Milo + Olive. Check out these six fresh batch of bakeries where sugar fiends and carbo loaders can get their fix of croissants, donuts, cookies, loaves and more.


C+M

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

One of the city's best new bakeries to open is an unexpected hit inside LACMA. C+M is Coffee + Milk, which they serve—Inteligentsia with Clover milk, if you're asking—alongside nostalgic riffs on pop tarts and Oreo cookies. Of course, being the Patina Group—chef Josh Graves also does pastry for the museum's restaurant, Ray's—you won't find ordinary retro throwbacks. Instead, familiar favorites include must-try, handheld pies—buttery, refined and irresistible—and delicate Meyer lemon curd and lavender-sprinkled pop tarts that showcase Graves' sophisticated hand and knack for pastry. The perennial goodie, chocolate chip cookie, is made with plentiful bits of chocolate and is one of the best around.

  1. Mid-City West
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Short Cake

  • Price band: 2/4

On the heels of the unveiling of the much anticipated burger destination Short Order, came the opening of its sweet counterpart Short Cake—both located in the Original Farmers Market and from Nancy Silverton and the late Amy Pressman. No La Brea Bakery 2.0, Short Cake offers its take on greasy spoon classics like fruit pies and classic yellow cake. Other nostalgic sweets include snickerdoodle—buttery, light and not too sweet—and peanut butter bars that are as satisfying as they are refined. We're happy to start the morning with the breakfast cookie—powdered sugar-dusted discs flecked with dried blueberries, Grape Nuts and crunchy bran flakes—while we can't get enough of the hazelnut croissant and seasonal pies crowned with an oat crumble. The secret ingredient: love. Baker Hourie Sahakian offers her goodies with heart (not sass) that's completely infectious.

 

 

  1. Mid-City West
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MIlo + Olive

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Westside's flour queen Zoe Nathan follows up the frilliness of the beloved neighborhood fave Huckleberry with Milo + Olive—an ode to all things wood-baked. Mini cupcakes, eclairs and lemon bars are replaced with (vegan) chocolate-banana and pistachio cakes, whole wheat croissants—they'll convert any traditionalist—and killer skillet bread. Housemade breads include multi-grain baguette, whole-wheat potato bread, ciabatta and bagels—a good effort, but they miss the chewiness of a New York deli round. Instead, opt for yeasted offerings like donuts that change daily and brioche that's filled with a tangy and creamy crème frâiche center. 

  1. Santa Monica
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Sycamore Kitchen

  • Price band: 2/4

Karen Hatfield takes a detour from her fine dining Hatfield's—Karen oversees pastry, while and her husband Quinn mans the savory side—with a casual bakery/cafe that serves the breakfast and lunch crowd with morning pastries and sandwiches served on housemade bread. Take home a loaf (or half) of rustic, country bread or stuff yourself silly with sugar from the wide selection of pastries. While the addictive salted caramel pecan bobka roll is a must and quickly becoming a signature favroite, other baked goods are hit or miss. Opt for dense, moist cake loaves (dark-ale-spice gingerbread, blackberry-lemon polenta cake), seasonal fruit tarts and cookies—we like the toasted pecan sandie and berries and cream. Bonus: Late afternoon sweet-seekers are rewarded with half-off pastries at 4:30pm.

  1. Mid-City West
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Semi Sweet Bakery

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This Downtown newbie opened last December, but owner and chef Sharlena Fong has years of pastry cred under her belt. Having worked at some of the most haute kitchens (Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, Bouchon Bakery), Fong amped up the baked goods selection at nearby Nickel Diner and made maple-bacon donuts a city-wide craving. Semi Sweet does a riff of the famed creation with a maple-bacon sticky bun made with light, albeit a bit dry, brioche. Stick to donuts—savory-sweet chicken fritters are battered, fried and glazed, while the best pastry award goes to the show-stopping strawberry shortcake donut. If Proust had his madeleine, then any good American had the strawberry shortcake Good Humor bar, which is just what the crumb-coated cake round tastes like.

 

 

  1. Downtown
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Maison Giraud

  • Price band: 2/4

Francophiles rejoice at Alain Giraud's Pacific Palisades restaurant, whose bakery turns out some of the best viennoiseries this side of the Seine. At the helm of the bakery program is wunderkid Noubar Yessayan, Giraud's longtime head baker who followed him from the now-shuttered Anisette. Take away freshly baked baguette—or slather it with butter and homemade seasonal preserves during breakfast service—and sample one of everything from the restrained selection of sweet treats. Our favorites include fruit-filled danish, rich and bittersweet chocolate-filled pain au chocolat, and the ubiquitous pâtisserie staple, croissant—buttery, flaky and one of the best in the city.

  1. Pacific Palisades
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Users say

2 comments
Gerson E
Gerson E

Where can I find a bakery open at 6am with freshly baked breads ?

jason
jason

there is a great new ice cream sandwich shop, called YoKuMon. For just $2, you get a premium ice cream with freshly baked cookies. It's conveniently located at Culver City, 10 min from LAX. It's talk of the town for quality, fun experience and great pricel. Everyone in LA should check it out.