The 12 Best Bakeries in America

If you’re a fan of pastry, bread, and all things gluten, there’s never been a better time to live in the United States. We’ve entered a new renaissance of star bakers, who are rejecting the traditional wisdom about playing things safe and opening bakeries with their names proudly on the marquee that serve up incredible and unique offerings.

Today, we’re rounding up the best bakeries in the United States. Each has their own specialty — some craft amazing loaves of sourdough bread, while others specialize in delicate macarons, pastries, and other confections that will leave you wanting more, long after the last crumb is gone. If you’re a pastry fan, use this list to plan your next vacation, and you won’t be disappointed.

Tartine – San Francisco

Tartine bakery in San Francisco was founded by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson in 2002, after a chance meeting at culinary school led to them becoming business partners. Although it wasn’t an instant success, they’re now known around the world for their incredible sourdough bread — the deep, dark crust and perfectly open crumb has inspired legions of fans around the world who line up in the wee hours of the morning for a chance to purchase their bread before it sells out. If you can’t manage the (usually hour-long) wait for the bread, pick up one of their croissants or chocolatines, which are baked until deep brown and almost dripping with butter.

Levain – New York City

Although Levain Bakery was originally founded as a destination for delicious bread, the item that quickly put the bakery on the map was the massive chocolate chip walnut cookie that has become their signature item. The cookie weighs a full six-ounces and is an amazing combination of sweet and gooey on the inside, and crunchy and salty on the outside. You can now order these cookies by mail, or you can head to their flagship store on 74th Street in New York City to pick one up in person.

Dominique Ansel Bakery – New York City

Another incredible New York baker who has made a name for himself in one of the most competitive markets in the world is Dominique Ansel. It was at his eponymously named bakery in Soho where he invented the Cronut, a confection that quickly went viral and put his name on the map not only in NYC, but worldwide — Ansel’s bakery has a new flavor of Cronut every month. He is also known for his inventive pastries like the Magic Soufflé, Gingerbread Pinecone, and his Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot. In addition to these being incredibly delicious, they’re intensely creative and tap into nostalgia in a way that has eluded many other bakers.

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