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Lodge Bread
Photograph: Caleb Coppola

A guide to the best bakeries in Los Angeles

Load up at one of L.A.’s best bakeries, where croissants, cookies and hearty loaves of bread reign supreme.

Written by
Erin Kuschner
,
Stephanie Breijo
&
Time Out contributors
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For all the talk about Los Angeles being a gluten-free town, you’d never know it judging by the caliber of bakeries here. From the San Gabriel Valley to the Beach Cities, we’re lucky enough to lay claim to flaky croissants, pillowy loaves of bread, decadent cookies and perfectly crusted pies, whether you’re looking for a breakfast treat or a sweet dessert. In short, L.A. is a carb town, and these outstanding bakery options prove it. 

Satisfy your sweet tooth or pick up the best bread at these bakeries

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • La Brea
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A post shared by #RepubliqueLA (@republiquela) on

Some preliminary advice before visiting République: Should the phrase “Hold the bread, please” cross your mind, hold your tongue instead. The La Brea restaurant’s pastry chef and co-owner, Margarita Manzke, serves up freshly baked breads and pastries morning, noon and night, so you can order one of her incredible croissants for breakfast, the quiche of the day for lunch or a baguette to sop up those pan drippings from the dinner menu. The only catch? They don’t replenish the pastry stock throughout the day, so once an item is gone, it’s gone. (Don’t worry, they stock about 50 varieties of items daily, so we’re sure you’ll find something else to fall in love with.)

  • Restaurants
  • Downtown Historic Core
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A post shared by CLARK STREET (@clarkstreetbread) on

Some of the flakiest croissants, some of the most creative and consistent loaves, some of the fluffiest sourdough doughnuts, and an expanded café menu: all hallmarks of Zack Hall’s Clark Street Bread. The versatile bakery is found inside Grand Central Market; as a cozy coffee shop on Sunset; a bakery in Echo Park; and a café space in Brentwood. All four locations sling freshly baked loaves such as whole wheat, Danish rye and French baguettes, and stock plain and chocolate-studded croissants, artful avocado toasts and baked goods like hearty banana bread. If you catch us staring off into space, there's a good chance we're thinking about Clark Street's cardamom buns—or anything else from this team, for that matter.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 1 of 4
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A post shared by Fat + Flour (@fatandflourla)

After years as one of L.A.’s most acclaimed pop-up bakers—and after Fiona, an outstanding bakery and restaurant along Fairfax—Nicole Rucker returns with a stall inside of Grand Central Market, where you can find some of her most iconic treats as well as newer creations, such as cookie-crust pies. The light-as-air Key lime pie is a must-order if it’s your first visit, as is any sort of treat that spotlights the season’s sweetest, freshest produce in the region—be it a kind of fruit-driven custardy chess pie, a fresh-from-the-oven banana blondie, or a flaky-crusted hand pie bursting with berries.

Rucker lets the ingredients shine, especially in the sweets, but it goes for the savories, too, and savory-pie specials might find collaborations on the fillings, such as Vietnamese-leaning beef stew from Rucker's former Fiona partner, chef Shawn Pham. Always keep an eye on Fat & Flour’s Instagram to see what’s coming out of the oven, because it’s always worth picking up.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • San Pedro
  • price 1 of 4
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A post shared by COLOSSUS (@colossusbread)

Chef-owner kristin Colazas Rodriguez spearheads a spread of truly arresting pastries and some of the fluffiest-yet-sturdiest naturally leavened loaves of bread around, and has ever since her days popping up at farmers’ markets. Now, she and her husband—coffee roaster/aficionado Nick Rodriguez—run Colossus in two brick-and-mortar locations (San Pedro and Long Beach). Both spots keep lines out the door, but it’s understandable: Their delectable pastries and hearty loaves of bread are well worth the wait, but can also be pre-ordered, with a a few days of advance notice and planning.

Our tip? Get to either location right as the bakeries open, so you can see whatever the daily specials might be in the case—after all, we go weak in the knees for the savory croissants and danishes, which change along with whatever produce is freshest.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Atwater Village
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A post shared by Proof Bakery (@proofbakeryla) on

Na Young Ma’s Atwater bakery is where locals drop in for morning coffee and baked goods like buttery croissants and brioche toast slathered with local jam. The caffeine is tops here, don’t get us wrong, but lines out the door mostly appear around noon, when the bakery brings out its famous sandwiches and tartines. Options include the likes of marinated beets, herb pesto and goat cheese; or salami, machego and chive butter (there are veg options as well) on lightly salted, still-warm-from-the-oven mini baguettes. Grab one—they go fast!—and snag one of the few seats on the sidewalk patio, where you’ll get a vista of pretty much the entire Village while you sip your coffee.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Culver City
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A post shared by LODGE BREAD COMPANY (@lodgebreadco) on

It feels like there’s nothing that Lodge can’t do. Alexander Phaneuf and Or Amsalam’s small bakery is dedicated to big loaves, but it also churns out pizzas, sandwiches, pastries and toasts that give anywhere in L.A. a run for their money. Their dedication to organically grown, seasonal whole grains put through a naturally leavened process results in a selection of bread that's drawn rave reviews from chefs and pedestrian gluten-lovers alike. At their counters in either Culver City or Woodland Hills, you’ll find goods such as cinnamon rolls, coffee cake and cookies, along with a rotating selection of loaves that can include seeded country, whole wheat, spelt and red quinoa wheat.

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  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4
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A post shared by Gjusta (@gjustabakery) on

You might miss Gjusta if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but the line should give you a hint that you're in the right place. The Venice bakery operates out of a nondescript warehouse, but after you make your way to the front of the line, you'll step inside to find a long, narrow corridor with glass cases of sweet and savory treats on the left, a working bakery behind it, and treats that are recognizably Gjusta (yeah, you've probably seen them on Instagram).

On the sweet side, slices of fruit are folded into sugar-glazed dough for a morning indulgence; that’s pistachio dust atop those gloriously flaky croissants; and there’s farmers’ market fruit woven into anything you can imagine. The bread is some of the best in town, and with sliced fish, jarred goods and other accoutrements, you’ll have a spread for days.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Thai Town
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A post shared by Friends And Family (@wearefriendsandfamily) on

This rustic, organic and locally owned morning-to-afternoon bakery and café offers some of the best pastries, quiche and cookies in the city, but we wouldn’t skip over its brunch dishes or sandwiches, either. Buckwheat pancakes and olive-oil–fried eggs are worth savoring from the sunny Hollywood spot, but we’re also more than content grabbing a quick hand pie and some canelés. What we’re saying is: Order a little of everything, no matter your time limitations, and grab a few pastries for later, too. You’ll be glad you did.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Fairfax District
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A post shared by Cake Monkey (@cakemonkeybakery) on

Cake Monkey has been supplying sweet treats to restaurants and shops around L.A. for years, but in its own storefront, those decadent, inviting, totally off-the-walls–good cakes, cookies and pastries can be found in full array. Pastry chef emeritus Elizabeth Belkind and has worked in some of the best pastry kitchens in the city (Campanile, Grace) and it’s clear in every recipe she crafted for Cake Monkey. Not sure where to even begin? She’s known for her incredible pies, chocolate babkas and her famous El Rollos, but Belkind and co-owner Lisa Olin help fill the Fairfax District case with decadent, playful treats that rotate all the time. (Pop-tart–inspired “pop pies,” anyone?) Here’s a pro tip: If you’re nowhere near the bakery, you can pop by their North Hollywood production kitchen to pick up treats.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Hollywood
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A post shared by Tartine Sycamore (@tartinesycamore) on

San Francisco’s Tartine bakery operates a handful of outposts in L.A., each with an array of the bakeries’ lauded sourdough breads and phenomenal baked goods. There’s Hollywood’s Tartine Sycamore café, plus a location in Santa Monica and another in Silver Lake. There’s no way to order incorrectly here, whether you’re hoping to bite into chewy, wild-fermented breads, sugary morning buns, the platonic ideal of a flaky croissant, sandwiches, pastries, tea cakes, sourdough-crust pizzas, quiches and, of course, Tartine’s signature open-faced smørrebrød toasts. Enjoy it all with a cup of Coffee Manufactory, the bakery’s third-wave–coffee offshoot.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Silver Lake
  • price 1 of 4
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A post shared by gemini (@geminibakehouse)

Home-bakery operation Gemini Bakehouse, from the husband-and-wife team of Conor and Hannah Smith, is now a permanent bakery that expands upon the couple’s already-popular offerings of cookies, loaves of sourdough bread, pies, biscuits and jars of jams. The vets of established spots such as Lodge Bread, Bottega Louie and Röckenwagner take preorders and walk-ups for their bread and the bakery boxes, the latter of which can come packed with sourdough cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, croissants and beyond, plus specials that might include pies, brioche rolls and cakes.

The permanent space also allows for a larger menu of prepared morning-to-afternoon fare such as avocado toasts, ricotta tartines and piled-high biscuit breakfast sandwiches, and, what's more, they’re sharing the space with La Sorted’s—the wood-fired pizza concept from Hannah Smith’s brother, Tommy Brockert—for a destination that’s just as much about family as it is deliciousness. Find Gemini Bakehouse at the corner of one of the more popular strip mall in Silver Lake: the one along Sunset that also houses neighbors Same Same, Moon Juice and Pho Café.

  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Santa Monica
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A post shared by Huckleberry Cafe (@huckcafe) on

Pastry chef Laurel Almerinda leads the charge at Huckleberry in Santa Monica, where homey breads, pastries and desserts are baked fresh daily. The weekend scene here can be intense, so it’s worth stopping by during the week to give yourself ample time to peruse the cookies, doughnuts, croissants and daily specials in the pastry case and decide whether you want to pair your tartine with something sweet or savory. If you are in the mood for umami, it’s hard to go wrong with a breakfast sandwich that features the trinity of gruyere, aioli and Niman Ranch bacon, for the record.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

Pastry chef Jen Yee boasts an incredible pedigree: Before the baker launched her own vegan-friendly baked-goods kiosk within Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, she helmed the pastry program at Echo Park’s Konbi, and before that, graced the kitchens of the French Laundry, Jean-Georges, and Craftsman and Wolves with her pastry skill. Today, she makes some of L.A.’s most flaky and delectable croissants, its chewiest cookies, and its inspired danishes for her weekend-only kiosk—and usually, all of it’s vegan. (Don’t worry, thanks to Yee’s skill and a little blend of non-dairy magic, even the biggest butter lovers would have difficulty telling the difference.) Be sure to show up early—as in right-when-Bakers Bench-opens early—because these treats go quickly every Friday and Saturday morning.

  • Restaurants
  • Patisseries
  • Santa Monica
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A post shared by Sweet Lady Jane (@sweetladyjanebakerycafe) on

Choose from dozens of cakes and pies—from Almond Roca to raspberry lemon—for special occasions, or just unwind with a casual a slice of this bakery’s signature crowd-pleaser, the triple berry shortcake. Or you could just gawk at the pastry display case of seasonal pies, cookies, cupcakes and croissants. Brunch and lunch menus also offer sandwiches, salads and non-sweet-tooth selections, but come on—are you really going to skip the triple berry cake? Find it across Sweet Lady Jane's bakeries, which dot the L.A. map: Encino, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Santa Monica.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Glendale
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A post shared by Porto's Bakery & Café (@portosbakery) on

All hail Porto’s. One visit to this family-owned Cuban bakery, which started as a modest cake business in Echo Park in the ’80s, and you’ll be making excuses week after week to come back for fresh-out-of-the-oven cheese rolls, decadent fruit tarts and pies, authentic Cuban sandwiches and flaky-crusted chicken empanadas. Perhaps what they’re best known for, though, are the potato balls: stuffed mashed potatoes filled with ground beef and fried to a beautiful golden brown. If you’re in the market for a birthday cake, Porto’s has excpetional deals on those as well (the tres leches is tops). They've got outposts in Glendale, Burbank, Downey, West Covina and Buena Park, and now they even offer nationwide shipping, so those potato balls are always nearby in some form or another.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • La Brea
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A post shared by La Brea Bakery (@labreabakery) on

Chef Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel are credited with single-handedly introducing Angelenos to the joys of the fresh, flavorsome loaf in the modern age; in the three decades since this venture opened, it's become a household name and grown into an international operation. The bakery’s L.A. flagship sits at La Brea and 6th Street, accommodating space for lone diners sipping on coffee and snacking on a pastry, plus turkey avocado sandwiches, decadent grilled cheese and sourdough bread soup bowls, followed by arguably one of L.A.’s best chocolate chip cookies. It’s an institution we hope will last for another 30 years—and then some.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Fairfax District
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A post shared by milk bar (@milkbarstore) on

Christina Tosi brought her world-famous Milk Bar bakery to Los Angeles, and it’s full of whimsical cakes and cereal-milk soft serve. The 4,000-square-foot space is home to cooking classes, an experimental baking program and, of course, a retail outlet where you can purchase Tosi’s signature layer cakes, truffles, pies, cookies, cookbooks and even merch. You can order cakes in advance, or simpy swing by for the selection in the cold case near the registers. And when you see the light go on near the lab, you know something good is about to come out of the kitchen window—that means that a creative, fun and totally one-of-a-kind experimental treat is ready for purchase.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4
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A post shared by Superba (@lifesuperba) on

From Venice to North Hollywood to Pasadena, Superba’s baked-goods empire is slowly growing, and for that we are glad. The breezy café on the Westside offers toasts, salads and sandwiches on a lush all-day menu, while the coffee shops to the east sling snacks and milkshakes. But all of the pastry cases are stuffed with the likes of croissants, sugar-dusted morning buns, biscuits, citrus-zested cinnamon buns, scones, cookies and more—all worth an order (or a few orders; good luck staying away from these spots).

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Chinatown
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A post shared by Phoenix Bakery Inc (@phoenixbakery) on

Phoenix Bakery is known primarily for its cakes, first and foremost, but we’re obsessed with the almond cookies, the puck-sized moon cakes and everything else in the pastry case. Founded in 1938 by the Chan family, this bakery attracts sweet-toothed fans looking for their famous strawberry whipped cream cake, which is available daily by the slice (or order 24 hours in advance for the whole shebang). You’ll also find traditional Chinese pastries and a selection of European goods, like eclairs, fruit tarts and cream horns. Our pro tip? Check the beverages in the fridge to see if there’s any fresh soy milk, too.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Frog Town
  • price 1 of 4

From homespun Instagram operation to one of L.A.’s favorite wholesale vegan bakeries, Just What I Kneaded eventually landed a bake shop of its own. Now Justine Hernandez’s charming pop-up and wholesale bakery whips up entirely plant-based, market-fresh scones, cookies, cinnamon rolls and more in a Frogtown brick-and-mortar, with a full coffee program in this sunny, casual space. If you get there quick enough, you can usually catch some of the daily savory breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos before they sell out, and they’re positively stuffed with plant-based cheese, eggs and meats—as well as seasonal veggies—to get you through the day.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Downtown Arts District
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A post shared by Bread Lounge (@breadlounge) on

The artisanal breads, pastries and nuanced eats at the Bread Lounge make every carb worth it, tenfold. Tucked away at the edge of the Arts District, this low-key café and natural-yeast bakery is truly a hidden gem. Wash down one of their mouthwatering focaccias or fresh sandwiches with a rich coffee and a streusel, and be sure to grab some to-go goods on the way out: They regularly stock bags of fresh cookies, such as biscotti, as well as whole loaf cakes such as hazelnut espresso bread, chocolate cake, or banana bread.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Sierra Madre
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A post shared by Poppy Cake Baking Company (@poppycakela) on

This adorable, friendly bakery has been a neighborhood staple in Sierra Madre for years, and it's fast becoming a go-to at its second location, in Arcadia. Whichever outpost you pick, Poppy Cake supplies local residents with freshly baked loaves, sandwiches and pastries. Pop by for a butter, chocolate or almond croissant in the morning—or perhaps one of their beloved apple bear claws—or stop in for a sandwich in the afternoon; Poppy Cake makes everything from an Italian to a vegetarian pesto-laced sandwich.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Downtown Financial District
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A post shared by Pitchoun Bakery & Café (@pitchounbakery) on

The aroma of freshly baked breads could easily lure people out of the office in DTLA or Beverly Grove, and with good reason: These pastries are some of the cutest and best French baked goods in town. The family-owned cozy café boasts elegant, Parisian-inspired pastries and loaves made daily. Beyond French sweets and baguettes, the café serves up seasonal salads, sandwiches, tartines, quiches, soups and more. Think: house-baked bread topped with prosciutto, ricotta cheese, pine nuts, fig, rosemary and drizzled with olive oil—and the ingredients make all the difference.

Looking for something different? Check out these Armenian bakeries.

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