“When the baker gives you twelve of something– and then they throw in a little lagniappe.” That is how I learned what a “baker’s dozen” meant growing up. Local bakeries are a time-honored tradition in New Orleans. Perhaps the most famous, McKenzie’s (may it rest in peace), is now something of a legend, a piece of nostalgia. As a child, my family formed its own tradition of visiting McKenzie’s and other local bakeries to pick up king cakes, turtles, Prussians, and sachertortes year after year. Over the years, the exact taste of some of these treats has dissipated in my memory; what has not faded is the memory of the warmth and joy that baked goods brought to us.
Here, we provide you with a baker’s dozen of favorite local bakeries in the hopes that they also bring you warmth and joy — and a satisfied sweet tooth.
new orleans bakeries
Breads on Oak – Old World breads, including vegan and gluten-free options, are made on site using organic flour. The light and airy bakery also whips up tarts, brownies, and other treats as well as soups, sandwiches, salads, quiches, and more. All of Breads on Oak’s baked goods are free from pesticides and GMOs. Current treats include the salted caramel pumpkin and brandy cream cake. 8640 Oak St.
ManhattanJack – Just next door, in fact, to one former McKenzie’s bakery site (now Creole Creamery), ManhattanJack is a bakery and coffee shop combo. Doughnuts, pastries, and bagels are prepared from scratch, as are sweets such as salted caramels and chocolates. It also serves breakfast and lunch items (think ham and brie croissants, scones, and sandwiches like the NYC Reuben and Cuban). Check out their extensive cookie menu — including turtles! 4930 Prytania St.
La Boulangerie – This traditional, French-style bakery underwent a transition when local chef Donald Link‘s restaurant group purchased it in 2015. Baked goods include croissants, baguettes, ciabatta loaves, challah loaves, and bagels. It is not just a boulangerie (bakery), though– it is also a patisserie (pastry shop) that sells tarts, eclairs, Key lime pie, and other sweets. Oh, and La Boulangerie’s Thanksgiving catering includes goodies like pumpkin and pecan pies and carrot cake. 4600 Magazine St.
Sucre – A regular destination for many locals to pick up sweets, Sucre is widely known for its gift collections. Macarons and chocolate gift boxes are quick and painless gift ideas. Sucre also sells handmade marshmallows (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel-flavored), “drinking chocolate” tins to make hot chocolate, and mini desserts like doberge cake, peanut butter puffs, and chocolate salted caramel cupcakes. Stay tuned for their gorgeous king cakes, which are made with metallic-looking frosting. 3025 Magazine St.
Bakery Bar – Most bakeries are early to bed, early to rise. Bakery Bar, true to its name, is open until midnight (closed on Mondays) for late-night cravings and includes cocktails. Its sweets menu features Debbie Does Doberge cakes and dobites (must haves) and salty balls, which are like cake balls. You can also get a full-on meal there, before or after dessert. Go ahead– spoil your appetite. 1179 Annunciation St.
Swiss Confectionary – Probably the most longstanding bakery on this list, Swiss has been in operation for almost a century and family-owned and operated for five generations. Well-known for providing quality wedding cakes, it also sells petit fours (traditional small cake bites), doberge cakes, rum balls, and, of course, king cake when the season is right. 747 St. Charles Ave.
Le Croissant d’Or – Literally translated as “the golden croissant,” this quaint French Quarter bakery will indeed enrich your day. Pastries and cakes are made from scratch each morning and include delicacies such as fruit-filled croissants, chocolate rum balls, and meringues. Le Croissant d’Or also takes cake orders for holidays and other occasions. 617 Ursulines Ave.
Gracious Bakery – Gracious Bakery is run by Megan Forman, the former pastry chef for Bayona who also helped to open Sucre. Gracious offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, and desserts with fresh goods made daily. It is downright impossible to even try reading the cake menu without drooling (how about the chocolate caramel cake or the passion fruit coconut cake?). If you are looking to round out your Thanksgiving meal, look no further than the caramel apple bread pudding or the cranberry sauce on Gracious Bakery’s Thanksgiving menu. 1000 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy. #100
Laurel Street Bakery – Now located near the intersection of Broad and Washington, Laurel Street Bakery got its start Uptown on Laurel Street as a true neighborhood bakery. It sells all sorts of bagels– sesame, everything, whole wheat– plus its own homemade cream cheese spreads. Laurel Street’s menu also features breakfast sandwiches, yogurt, fruit, and granola bowls, lunch sandwiches, and other baked goods. Zucchini bread, anyone? 2701 S. Broad St.
Marigny & Bywater
Cake Café & Bakery – This popular breakfast and lunch spot is a Marigny institution, a gem among the colorful Creole cottages and shotgun houses in the neighborhood. Cakes are available for special order, but Cake Café also sells goods to walk-ins, including fresh bagels and chocolate almond croissants. They offer a little bit of lagniappe with cupcakes available for $1 with any meal. Don’t miss their king cakes, available during the Mardi Gras season, which include bacon/boudin and apple/goat cheese varieties. 2440 Chartres St.
Shake Sugary – Like its treats, even the outside of Shake Sugary looks enticing. Their regular menu features sweets like vegan and gluten-free tarts (made with seasonal fruit), Key lime pie, cheesecake, ginger molasses cookies, and vegan peanut butter bars. Plus, they have a wide variety of cakes available for special order and a Thanksgiving menu including sweet potato praline pie, pumpkin gingersnap pie, pumpkin roll with maple cream cheese filling, and pumpkin spice loaves (Thanksgiving order deadline is Nov. 21). 3304 St. Claude Ave.
Bywater Bakery – This newcomer to the table, so to speak, opens its doors in early December and celebrates its grand opening on none other than Twelfth Night (Jan. 6). Bywater Bakery will offer breakfast, lunch, and baked goods. Sandwiches will be made using the bakery’s own fresh-baked bread. Other baked goods will include pies, cakes, muffins, and the like. Though it will not be fully opened by Thanksgiving, orders for Thanksgiving treats (including butter pecan praline pie and brown butter rosemary apple pie) are welcomed. 3624 Dauphine St.
New Orleans East
Dong Phong – This bakery is a short but worthwhile drive outside of the heart of the city. A staple among the Vietnamese community for decades, Duong Phong has finally received wider acclaim in recent years. The bakery menu includes both familiar and more exotic items, which highlight the rich Vietnamese culture, such as milk breads, steamed banana with sticky rice, mochi, yuca pies, flan, Chinese rice wafers, moon cakes, and Vietnamese dessert cups. Cakes are also available to order. 14207 Chef Menteur Hwy.