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Selection of pastries Matteo/Facebook

31 Essential San Diego Bakeries

Where to find the best cakes, pastries, pies and more 

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Whether you’re looking for artisanal breads or wanting to give into your cravings for a sweet pastry, there’s no lack of bakeries in San Diego County. Offering everything from flaky croissants to Mexican conchas and even gluten-free options, here’s Eater’s roundup of essential bakeries and cafes to put on your must-visit list.

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Petite Madeline Bakery

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Located only blocks from the Oceanside pier, this neighborhood cafe bakes from scratch a superb line of sugar-dusted all-day buns, classic palmier cookies and buttery Madeleine cakes.

Rows of croissants Petite Madeline Bakery/Facebook

Prager Brothers Artisan Breads

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Brothers Clinton and Louie Prager are the minds behind this this bakery specializing in hand- formed artisan breads using fresh milled grains. Grab a loaf or two at one of three locations in the county —Oceanside, Carlsbad or Hillcrest. Also be on the lookout for seasonal items like arugula pesto rolls and mocha rye cookies.

Bread display Prager Brothers/Facebook

Elizabethan Desserts

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This Encinitas shop bakes up classic American desserts. Head in for crave-worthy cupcakes, cheesecake and sweet dessert bars too, like the sticky St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake Bar, a buttery cake with sweet cream cheese custard topped with fresh berries.

Rows of pastries Elizabethan Desserts/Facebook

Edelweiss Bakery

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One step inside Rancho Bernardo’s Edelweiss Bakery and you’ll be welcomed an endless view of breads, pastries and cakes. Taste your way through the selection by ordering slices of chocolate raspberry, Black Forest, German chocolate and more to-go.

V.G. Donut & Bakery

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In addition to the old-fashioned doughnuts, locals are partial to the sweet loaves of banana nut bread, and coffee cake in flavors ranging from honey bun to strawberry cream cheese at this classic spot in Cardiff.

Rows of sticky buns V.G. Donut & Bakery/Facebook

Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe

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Regulars head to locations in Sabre Springs and Scripps Ranch for artisan pastries incorporating local and sustainable ingredients. The bakery also has selection of made-to-order gluten-free cakes like Nutella banana and carrot cake.

Fresh baked scones Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe/Facebook

Sugar and Scribe

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Helmed by Food Network Champion, chef Maeve Rochford, this La Jolla eatery also has a savory side along with famous sweets. Go here for custom-made cakes, petite fours, cookies, breakfast pastries, and other confections as well as fresh made bread and sandwiches.

Display of pastries under glass domes Sugar and Scribe/Facebook

Michele Coulon Dessertier

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Owner and pastry chef Michele Coulon’s expertise is showcased in a variety of exquisite cakes, cookies, French macarons, and mini desserts, including Belgian chocolate and German chocolate cake.

Stacks of angel cookies MIchele Coulon Dessertier/Facebook

Paris Baguette

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Combining Asian and French dessert styles, this Korean cafe (with another local shop in Mira Mesa) offers an assortment of serve-yourself sweet breads, donuts, pastries and puddings, plus airy chiffon cakes decorated for special occasions.

Tous les Jour

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The Asian-French menu of pastries, breads, cakes, and coffee drinks are the stars of this South Korean franchise bakery in the H Mart entryway.

Tray of wrapped pastries Tous les Jour/Facebook

Wayfarer Bread & Pastry

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Crystal White’s outpost for small-batch baked goods in Bird Rock lures customers in with its creatively delicious pastries like strawberry pistachio croissants and cinnamon buns. The bakery also offers a pizza night Thursdays to Saturdays from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

Rows of flaky pastries Wayfarer Bread & Pastry/Facebook

The French Gourmet

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This landmark bakery is a favorite for cakes (try the classic Opera Torte) and traditional European pastries including Napoleons and individual fruit tarts.

Charlie's Best Bread

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Farmers market regulars will recognize this vendor but there’s also a location in Pacific Beach where they bake all their loaves in-house. Popular items include a selection of challahs stuffed with the likes of chocolate chips, poppy seeds or raisins.

Rows of unbaked croissants Charlie’s Best Bread/Facebook

La Clochette Du Coin

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This French bakery is found in the middle of Pacific Beach. The daily menu features monkey bread, loaves of levain and baguettes. Those heading in on the weekend will find Saturday and Sunday specials like pistachio escargots or olive and calibrian chili loaves.

Rows of jam-filled pastries La Clochette Du Coin/Facebook

Blackmarket Bakery North Park

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Blackmarket’s North Park location baked goods range from cookies, tarts, scones, croissants, breads, and layer cakes. The cafe also features Dark Horse Coffee and a selection of savory breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Rows of different cookies Blackmarket Bakery/Facebook

Kona Kakes Tropical Cake Bakery

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If your craving points more towards tropical flavors, consider this bakery specializing in authentic Hawaiian cakes. Choose from mini cakes, regular-sized cakes and wedding cakes with such flavors like pineapple and toasted coconut, guava strawberry, mango or haupia.

The Cravory

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Signature Cravory cookie flavors include birthday cake, cookie monster, salted caramel, eggnog, taro, red velvet and chocolate truffle. Mix and match a box for the office or pick up some cookie mix to bake at home.

Starry Lane Bakery

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This Hillcrest bakery whips of all of its creations without peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, gluten or soy. The daily menu include breakfast pastries, bars, cookies and cupcakes.

Bread & Cie

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A staple in homes and restaurants across San Diego, Bread & Cie sweets range from French macarons and croissants to Italian biscotti.

Loaves of unsliced bread on display Bread & Cie/Facebook

Hazel & Jade Bakery

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This tiny bakery on Fourth Avenue specializes in plant-based pastries. Items like croissants, “sausage” and cheese biscuit, or strawberry rhubarb scones will have you craving for more.

Panchita's Kitchen & Bakery

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This panderia with locations in Golden Hill, Barrio Logan, City Heights and North Park bakes up traditional Mexican pastries. Help yourself to fresh baked conchas, rolls cakes, empanadas and cookies.

Display of colorful conchas Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery/Facebook

Babycakes Hillcrest

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The cupcake trend continues at this Hillcrest shop. Marble, blood orange, lemon bavarian and tres leches are some of the flavors baked into cupcakes as well as fulled-sized cakes. There’s also a shop in Imperial Beach.

Two rows of carrot cake cupcakes Babycakes/Facebook

Owner/master baker Vivian Hernandez-Jackson channels French pastry training into delectable desserts inspired by her Cuban heritage. The traditional guava pastries, mojito cookies are both must-tries. 

Meringue topped pastries Azucar/Facebook

Phatties Bake Shop

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This relatively new entry in Ocean Beach in already making waves for its freshly-baked goods, which include desserts suitable for a variety of dietary needs, from gluten-free to vegan and keto.

European Cake Gallery

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This San Diego institution has been baking up delectable sweets since 1975. Known for their Swiss Black Forest, the menu also includes cupcakes, pies, cinnamon pull apart breads and more.

Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe

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This longtime local bakery is known for its breads and savory sandwiches in now part of the Cohn family of restaurants, but maintains its stellar sweet treats. Standout menu items are cinnamon rolls and chocolate brioche twists, based on buttery brioche dough.

Store display for breads Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe/Facebook

Extraordinary Desserts

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Fabulous cakes, cookies, and morning pastries draw crowds to this hallmark dessert cafe from master pastry chef Karen Krasne. Her signature cakes and desserts also feature at another location in Little Italy along with savory items, plus beer and wine.

Selection of different desserts Extraordinary Desserts/Facebook

Head baker Joanne Sherif (formally of Cardamom Café and Bakery) bakes up homemade Italian pastries and house-baked breads for Matteo, Buona Forchetta’s 100% non-profit restaurant. Popular pastries at this neighborhood bakery include cinnamon twists and pecan stickies. On Wednesdays-Sundays from 4-9 pm, the spot transforms into Chicchirichi serving up fried chicken.

Morning buns Matteo/Facebook

Frost Me Cafe and Bakery

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This small batch bakery turns out fresh pastries every day in Little Italy. Croissants, cinnamon rolls, scones and an unforgettable cheddar biscuit are a few selections to consider.

Solunto Restaurant & Bakery

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First founded in the ‘60s, this Little Italy landmark has a dizzying array of Italian sweets, including classic cookies, cream-filled pastries, housemate gelato and more in its bakery section.

Case of pastries Solunto Restaurant & Bakery/Facebook

Hans & Harry Bakery

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This old word European-style bakery is famous for its signature strudels, ranging from classic apple to its most popular version topped with fresh fruit and custard-like Bavarian cream.

Display of sweet pastries Hans & Harry Bakery/Facebook

Petite Madeline Bakery

Located only blocks from the Oceanside pier, this neighborhood cafe bakes from scratch a superb line of sugar-dusted all-day buns, classic palmier cookies and buttery Madeleine cakes.

Rows of croissants Petite Madeline Bakery/Facebook

Prager Brothers Artisan Breads

Brothers Clinton and Louie Prager are the minds behind this this bakery specializing in hand- formed artisan breads using fresh milled grains. Grab a loaf or two at one of three locations in the county —Oceanside, Carlsbad or Hillcrest. Also be on the lookout for seasonal items like arugula pesto rolls and mocha rye cookies.

Bread display Prager Brothers/Facebook

Elizabethan Desserts

This Encinitas shop bakes up classic American desserts. Head in for crave-worthy cupcakes, cheesecake and sweet dessert bars too, like the sticky St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake Bar, a buttery cake with sweet cream cheese custard topped with fresh berries.

Rows of pastries Elizabethan Desserts/Facebook

Edelweiss Bakery

One step inside Rancho Bernardo’s Edelweiss Bakery and you’ll be welcomed an endless view of breads, pastries and cakes. Taste your way through the selection by ordering slices of chocolate raspberry, Black Forest, German chocolate and more to-go.

V.G. Donut & Bakery

In addition to the old-fashioned doughnuts, locals are partial to the sweet loaves of banana nut bread, and coffee cake in flavors ranging from honey bun to strawberry cream cheese at this classic spot in Cardiff.

Rows of sticky buns V.G. Donut & Bakery/Facebook

Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe

Regulars head to locations in Sabre Springs and Scripps Ranch for artisan pastries incorporating local and sustainable ingredients. The bakery also has selection of made-to-order gluten-free cakes like Nutella banana and carrot cake.

Fresh baked scones Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe/Facebook

Sugar and Scribe

Helmed by Food Network Champion, chef Maeve Rochford, this La Jolla eatery also has a savory side along with famous sweets. Go here for custom-made cakes, petite fours, cookies, breakfast pastries, and other confections as well as fresh made bread and sandwiches.

Display of pastries under glass domes Sugar and Scribe/Facebook

Michele Coulon Dessertier

Owner and pastry chef Michele Coulon’s expertise is showcased in a variety of exquisite cakes, cookies, French macarons, and mini desserts, including Belgian chocolate and German chocolate cake.

Stacks of angel cookies MIchele Coulon Dessertier/Facebook

Paris Baguette

Combining Asian and French dessert styles, this Korean cafe (with another local shop in Mira Mesa) offers an assortment of serve-yourself sweet breads, donuts, pastries and puddings, plus airy chiffon cakes decorated for special occasions.

Tous les Jour

The Asian-French menu of pastries, breads, cakes, and coffee drinks are the stars of this South Korean franchise bakery in the H Mart entryway.

Tray of wrapped pastries Tous les Jour/Facebook

Wayfarer Bread & Pastry

Crystal White’s outpost for small-batch baked goods in Bird Rock lures customers in with its creatively delicious pastries like strawberry pistachio croissants and cinnamon buns. The bakery also offers a pizza night Thursdays to Saturdays from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

Rows of flaky pastries Wayfarer Bread & Pastry/Facebook

The French Gourmet

This landmark bakery is a favorite for cakes (try the classic Opera Torte) and traditional European pastries including Napoleons and individual fruit tarts.

Charlie's Best Bread

Farmers market regulars will recognize this vendor but there’s also a location in Pacific Beach where they bake all their loaves in-house. Popular items include a selection of challahs stuffed with the likes of chocolate chips, poppy seeds or raisins.

Rows of unbaked croissants Charlie’s Best Bread/Facebook

La Clochette Du Coin

This French bakery is found in the middle of Pacific Beach. The daily menu features monkey bread, loaves of levain and baguettes. Those heading in on the weekend will find Saturday and Sunday specials like pistachio escargots or olive and calibrian chili loaves.

Rows of jam-filled pastries La Clochette Du Coin/Facebook

Blackmarket Bakery North Park

Blackmarket’s North Park location baked goods range from cookies, tarts, scones, croissants, breads, and layer cakes. The cafe also features Dark Horse Coffee and a selection of savory breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Rows of different cookies Blackmarket Bakery/Facebook

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Kona Kakes Tropical Cake Bakery

If your craving points more towards tropical flavors, consider this bakery specializing in authentic Hawaiian cakes. Choose from mini cakes, regular-sized cakes and wedding cakes with such flavors like pineapple and toasted coconut, guava strawberry, mango or haupia.

The Cravory

Signature Cravory cookie flavors include birthday cake, cookie monster, salted caramel, eggnog, taro, red velvet and chocolate truffle. Mix and match a box for the office or pick up some cookie mix to bake at home.

Starry Lane Bakery

This Hillcrest bakery whips of all of its creations without peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, gluten or soy. The daily menu include breakfast pastries, bars, cookies and cupcakes.

Bread & Cie

A staple in homes and restaurants across San Diego, Bread & Cie sweets range from French macarons and croissants to Italian biscotti.

Loaves of unsliced bread on display Bread & Cie/Facebook

Hazel & Jade Bakery

This tiny bakery on Fourth Avenue specializes in plant-based pastries. Items like croissants, “sausage” and cheese biscuit, or strawberry rhubarb scones will have you craving for more.

Panchita's Kitchen & Bakery

This panderia with locations in Golden Hill, Barrio Logan, City Heights and North Park bakes up traditional Mexican pastries. Help yourself to fresh baked conchas, rolls cakes, empanadas and cookies.

Display of colorful conchas Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery/Facebook

Babycakes Hillcrest

The cupcake trend continues at this Hillcrest shop. Marble, blood orange, lemon bavarian and tres leches are some of the flavors baked into cupcakes as well as fulled-sized cakes. There’s also a shop in Imperial Beach.