LA is constantly being defined as a patchwork of neighborhoods, communities and cultures, and nowhere is that more evident than our international food scene. For exceptional Thai food, we head to Thai Town. For late-night Korean BBQ, Koreatown is our go-to destination. And for Armenian pastries? It's a safe bet you'll find the cream of the crop in Glendale or Little Armenia, though there are other great spots scattered throughout the city. Here are the best Armenian bakeries for picking up nazooks, Bird's Milk Cake and other traditional delicacies.
Not sure what to order at these bakeries? Here's our list of the best pastries to order at Armenian bakeries.
Art’s Bakery has fast become a favorite in the neighborhood for their buttery nazook, a sweet rolled pastry often filled with walnuts. In the market for a glamorous cake? The bakery features tiered desserts that are more like works of art, perfect for birthdays, anniversaries or other celebratory occasions.
A whole shop—nay, an entire factory—dedicated to baklava? Pinch us, we're dreaming. This Glendale bakery offers 15 variations of baklava with an assortment of nut fillings, including pistachios, almonds, cashews, pine nuts and walnuts. You can also find Baklava Factory treats at specialty grocery stores, for those times when you can't make the drive out to Glendale.
For over 15 years, Karina’s Cake House has been nestled on a central street in Glendale, a hard-to-find gem that is worth the search. Owner (and baker) Karina Tashkaplyan has gained notice for her meringue-laden Kievsky cake, followed by her Bird’s Milk cake—a richly layered delicacy with a chocolate fudge glaze. But really, when it comes to ordering a box of treats to go, you can't go wrong here.
Peek into the vast display case at Movses Pastry, an Armenian bakery that has remained a steady fixture in Glendale for over 20 years, and you might experience a mild panic attack about what to order. You could avoid FOMO by just ordering them all, but we recommend their Napolean doused in powdered sugar or the nazook, rolled with a walnut filling. Both pair exceptionally well with coffee or tea.
In the words of Panos Pastry's owner, Panos Zetlian, "If my baklavas are not good enough for my children to eat, then they are not good for my customers to eat." Famous for Armenian-Lebanese pastries, the bakery prides itself in making their baklava entirely from scratch (including the dough), and has an extensive variety to choose from. Be sure to try the Shabiet, a baklava in the shape of a turnover with a cream center. Panos Pastry opened their first location in 1980 on Hollywood Boulevard, and have since added a Glendale location.
Papillon International Bakery is one of LA's newer Armenian bakeries, best known for giving classic pastries a modern spin. They’ve especially gained popularity for their take on the classic ponchik by substituting custard with a Nutella filling. The bakery has also recently introduced a puff pastry with Nutella and marshmallow filling dusted with powdered sugar, and they have seven variations of classic piroshki including jalapeño nacho cheese and hotdog.
Situated next to Paradise Pastry, this bakery has been a Glendale staple for over 20 years. During its tenure it has expanded to cover almost an entire block on Glenoaks Boulevard, perfuming the area with the aroma of sweet baked goods. Paradise is popular for their almond cookies and beautifully decorated cakes, and is often utilized for their catering services. The bakery features a café and outside seating.
Sarkis Pastry opened in 1983, distinguishing itself as one of the first Middle Eastern/Armenian bakeries in Glendale. The pastry-filled shop has since expanded to Pasadena and Anaheim, though the original location remains their most popular. While your eye may wander to some of the more elaborate cakes and cookies, Sarkis' enormous variety of baklava (Walnut? Cashew? Pistachio? They have them all.)—should be the main focus. We recommend getting one of each.
For close to 30 years, Sasoun Bakery has grown from one location in Little Armenia of Hollywood to six locations across Los Angeles County. The reason? Their mouth-watering pastries, both sweet and savory. The bakery is best known for its lahmanjoon, a pizza-esque treat, as well as cheese and spinach boreg. First-time visitors should try them all.
Named after a notable city in Armenian history, Van Bakery is a family-run business with locations in North Hollywood and Glendale. A trip here means that you are bound to walk away with Van's two coveted types of Napoleans, or their heavenly choregs. The bakery is also ideal for catering large parties.