Florida prides itself on its abundance of high-quality bakeries, catering to all tastes and cravings. Whether you hankered for a delectable pastry or just need some freshly-baked treats, the Sunshine State has you covered. While many bakeries make grandiose claims about being the best, it's the ones with a long-standing presence that truly prove their superiority. However, that doesn't mean we should discount newer establishments. If you have a sweet tooth or a desire for warm, fresh bread, you won't want to miss these 8 delightful bakeries scattered throughout Florida.
Locals in South Florida consistently rank this bakery among the best. So who are we (or anyone else) to argue? “You can’t go wrong,” says one critic, no matter what you try. “But the almond croissant is amazing.” Breads, croissants, cakes, tarts, miniature pastries and homemade chocolate candies. Also a signature dish: homemade “natural color” macaroons. Sandwiches are made freshly every half hour. The deli also offers fancy European style products such as foie gras, merguez and boudin. Caviar, yes, that too. This place has been a staple in the area since opening in 1986.
Bloggers who find this place somewhat off the beaten track are often surprised. They generally describe it as a “hidden gem” at an unpretentious location. The bread is made daily and distributed to restaurants and other businesses all over the area. Cookies are made from scratch, of course. And cakes are moist and flavorful. This former commercial baker known for providing products to others not long ago added a restaurant and pub that serves a variety of food, including beer and wine. So in addition to a good cannoli, you can get burgers and Italian beef sandwiches on ultra-fresh bread.
You can get cakes, cookies, tarts and pastries but the thing that makes this place famous is a long-time Florida favorite: key lime pie. It’s made with 100 percent real key lime juice and a hand-made graham cracker crust filled with all-natural custard. This place sounds like a television series because it all started in Flo’s home. Everything is still hand-made, of course. There are a few sandwiches and other standard dishes, as well. You can ship products to yourself or friends at a gift shop. The serving staff is known for its friendliness.
It’s not that difficult to find good Cuban bakeries in South Florida and this one’s been called the “quintessential Cuban bakery.” It’s been on several “best” lists, as well. But this shop not only offers good Cuban but also outstanding French pastries. Besides “pastelitos” or Cuban pastries filled with guava and tuna, they also bake an assortment of eclairs and napoleons, among others. Open for 35 years, El Brazo bakes every hour. So, fresh is not an issue. Café con leche is also worth trying.
A testimonial to this shop is the many high-end clubs and hotels that serve its products. Mikkelsen’s Pastry Shop was established in 2000 by Elizabeth and Paw Mikkelsen. He grew up in a Danish pastry shop owned by his parents. Because of their hospitality background, they started as commercial providers before retail demand convinced them to take their made-from-scratch standards to the retail market. When they decided to also offer retail service, they wanted to “continue in the tradition of uncompromising quality found at the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons with the warm and friendly atmosphere of your local, family-owned, European pastry shop,” says their website. Customers can specify what they want in custom-made pastries.
Talk about tradition! This bakery is more than a century old. The bakery’s claim that “years of perfecting and tireless hours of toil” have paid off in creating one of the best providers of breads and baked goods in Florida. Today’s owners facetiously say they use the same time-honored traditions that their “great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great” grandparents used. The bakery started in the late 19th century when Juan More from Spain fought in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, where he discovered a recipe for Cuban bread. He brought it to Florida (see where the “great, great” grandfather reference came from?). Their bread is famous throughout the area and well-known because so many commercial sites use it.
This has to be the world’s most kid-friendly bakery. Sure, bakeries give kids cookies. But on their regularly scheduled Wednesday tours, kids don’t just get a cookie. During what Cinotti’s calls “learning experiences for kids, youngsters see how the six-foot-tall mixers work and learn how the bread slicer works (keep your hands far away)”. But the professional bakers also let some of the kids help decorate a cake. The warm and friendly approach has long characterized Cinotti’s over its five generations of baking. You can find first-rate breakfast and lunch offerings as well, according to bloggers who have dined there.
A smaller self-styled “artisan bakery” with hand-made bread and pastries, plus a gourmet market, a café and weekly wine tastings. In addition to its baked products, the shop says its painstaking efforts extend also to bistro foods such as sandwiches. Breads are typically made with unbleached flour and fresh ingredients. There are specialty breads every day such as leek or challah. There is an assortment of fine wines. Also, gift options that includes French glassware and old-fashioned European cookie molds and ceramics. All dishes are hand-made.