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.Read More
31 Essential San Diego Bakeries
Where to find the best cakes, pastries, pies and more
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
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16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. Bread & Cie
A staple in homes and restaurants across San Diego, Bread & Cie sweets range from French macarons and croissants to Italian biscotti.
20. 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.
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21. 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.
22. 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.
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.
24. Phatties Bake Shop
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.
25. European Cake Gallery
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.
26. Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe
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.
27. Extraordinary Desserts
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.
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San Diego, CA 92104
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.
29. Frost Me Cafe and Bakery
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.
30. Solunto Restaurant & Bakery
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.
31. Hans & Harry Bakery
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.