Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
It’s an awesome time to be on a high-gluten diet. (It’s also a great time to be gluten-free, but I’ll leave that celebration to someone who actually is.) Recently, Starbucks turned every one of its 430 (!) San Francisco locations into a mini bakery when it introduced La Boulange breads and pastries like open-face ham and cheese croissants and mini chocolate marble loaf cakes to its stores.
Those products haven’t hit my local Starbucks yet (they arrive in New York in September), but here are nine great new places for me to get my gluten fix on, plus one where I can experiment with a gluten-free diet.
Bakery Lorraine - San Antonio, Texas
Last fall, two Bouchon Bakery alums launched this little bakery, which also has a farmers’ market outpost. Their signature pastries are seasonal macarons (in gorgeous colors and flavors like dark-chocolate-black-currant and strawberry balsamic). Earlier this year, Bakery Lorraine engaged in Donut Palooza with another popular local bakery, The Monterey; it’s not clear who won the doughnut fight.
Bakeshop - Portland, Oregon
Kim Boyce, author of the fantastic "Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours," focuses on seasonal whole-grain pastries. Her spring menu includes rhubarb hand pies and raspberry crumble muffins; among the more permanent items are figgy buckwheat scones, sweet-and-salty cookies and coffee cake crumble.
Bien Cuit - New York City
This fantastic Brooklyn bakery has a new outpost in Manhattan, serving rustic breads such as rye and sunflower, and pastries like almond croissants, which are sensational, no doubt because they’re baked twice with brandy. This spring Bien Cuit popped up back in Brooklyn at a different location, selling bread until it runs out.
Craftsman & Wolves - San Francisco, Calfornia
The most famous item at this stylish bakery is called the Rebel Within: It’s a scallion-cheese-pork muffin with a runny-yolked soft-cooked egg baked inside. (Prior to the ban, C&W baked foie gras inside the muffin.) Other nontraditional offerings include the pain au cochon, with prosciutto, Asiago and Parmesan; scones in flavors like Thai mango, coconut, green curry or ginger; and cocoa-carrot muffins.
Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden - Austin, Texas
Last year chef Andrew Curren of 24 Diner opened this smart eating and drinking mash-up, which makes it possible to indulge in everything you love about yeast. Easy Tiger boasts breads like baguettes and ciabatta; pretzels with accompaniments like smoked Gouda and house mustard; and of course, a big fat beer menu.
Little Goat Bread - Chicago, Illinois
This bakery from Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard is also a coffee shop, deli and retail space. It’s located right next to her new diner, Little Goat. Daily breads might include peanut butter (a wheat loaf with peanut butter and golden raisins); fat bread (with smoked duck fat, pickled mustard seeds and beer); carrot, cumin and walnut bread; and beet (with pork fat, pickled beets and roasted beet puree). In early May, she’ll open a second Little Goat Bread outpost in the Chicago French Market.
Maison Kayser - New York City
The famous French baker Eric Kayser has more than 80 locations worldwide, even in unlikely places like Africa and the Middle East. His newest spot is in a more obvious setting - Manhattan’s Upper East Side - where they bake about 1,000 loaves daily. If you buy just one thing at Kayser it should be a sourdough loaf, which he bakes without commercial yeast.
Mariposa Baking Company - San Francisco, California
If I ever was to go gluten-free I guess I would have to move to San Francisco to be near this fantastic, completely gluten-free bakery in the Ferry Building. The range of products is super-impressive, from triple-chocolate brownies to cream-filled chocolate cupcakes (which they call penguinos) to herbed crackers and croutons and bagels, hot dog buns and baguettes.
Proof Bakery - Los Angeles, California
People go crazy for Na Young Ma’s cakes, such as the double-layer walnut espresso cake with chocolate ganache, and her chocolate caramel tart. Also popular are her croissants, which take three days to make.
Sweet Bar Bakery - Oakland, California
Owner Mani Niall was Michael Jackson’s first private chef, back when the singer was recording Thriller (a Thriller-performing flash mob descended on Sweet Bar when it opened). The bakery features items like “Fauxnuts” (baked, vegan, agave-sweetened doughnuts) in flavors such as banana-chocolate, cinnamon-sugar, and banana-chocolate with almond nougat. In fact, many of the products are vegan, though not the bacon-gorgonzola scones.
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YES! We LOVE Bakeshop and are lucky enough that they also set up at one of the farmer markets close to us, too. Everything is just so surprisingly delightful that I can never resist.
Regarding Bakery Lorraine;
The Monterey isn't a bakery, it's more of a tapas fusion restaurant. As far as everyone was concerned that I spoke with, Bakery Lorraine blew The Monterey out of the water. Awesome doughnuts. The coffee was also brought in from Local Coffee, an independent local shop.
Mariposa is actually in Oakland, not San Francisco–they also sell their delicious baked goods at their shop in the San Francisco Ferry Building, but their main store and bakery are in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. Glad to see the Town representing!
Some news on new bakeries in Seattle:
Former Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie winner and James Beard award semifinalist (pastry) William Leaman has just opened a new branch of his uber popular West Seattle spot Bakery Nouveau in the Capitol Hood neighborhood.
In the last year Neil Robertson (formerly pastry chef at Canlis and Mistral Kitchen) opened Crumble and Flake in the Capitol Hill neighborhood to crowds so large that he was selling out of pastries only hours after opening. One specialty that he is known for is the Breton Kounig Amann.
Former Le Pichet and Cafe Presse pastry chef Rachel Coyne is opening a pop up bakery in the amazing Book Larder in the Fremont neighborhood on May 4th. The limited selection of about 20 items will include items such as croissants, sticky toffee pudding, and pistachio praline cream puffs.
In the last year Autumn Martin, former head chocolatier at Theo Chocolates and author opened Hot Cakes in the Ballard neighborhood. The signature item is a molten chocolate cake but they do cookies, small pies and confections as well. Hot cakes also operates as a coffee shop and bar and is known for their "boozy milkshakes." On historic Ballard avenue - one of the city's top strips for dining and nightlife - the hip shop has attracted a lot of attention locally.
On the horizon, Kurt Dammeier (Beecher's Handmade Cheese, Pasta and Co., Maximus Minimus) is opening a new patisserie in the South Lake Union neighborhood called Sugar Mountain Bakery. He has brought on Lucy Damkoehler, formerly of TASTE (Seattle Art Museum), Mistral Kitchen, and Hot Cakes to run operations. Look for that later this year.
Speaking of going crazy for; if you haven't made the trip out to Wildflower Bakery in Freestone California (just inland from Bodega, where Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds was filmed) you have not lived a baked goods life to it's fullest! There are so many fabulous things on offer, but one which I will drive the two hours from my home for on a weekend is a cherry chocolate scone made with sourdough! Fantastic, and along with the goat cheese olive loaf and many other selections as an experienced baker myself, Wildflower has my attention and my heart!
Only because I let u!
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