“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. 8640 Oak 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. 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 delicious 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. They also have gorgeous king cakes, which are made with metallic-looking frosting. 3025 Magazine St. and 622 A Conti 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.
Willa Jean – Chocolate croissants, milk and cookies, and a frozen Rosé, (Frosé) are just some of the delicious items on the Willa Jean menu. Located in the light and bright South Market District in downtown New Orleans, this bakery offers breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, and lots and lots of baked goods. Stop in for a meal, then get a go-box full of goodies to take home to the family. 611 O’Keefe 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?). Now with three New Orleans locations, you have plenty of chances to get your hands on something sweet. 1000 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy. #100, 2854 St Charles Ave., and 4930 Prytania St.
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 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 including traditional and vegan king cakes. 3304 St. Claude Ave.
Bywater Bakery – Bywater Bakery offers breakfast, lunch, and baked goods. Sandwiches are made using the bakery’s own fresh-baked bread. Other baked goods include pies, cakes, muffins, and the like. Make sure to give their Breafast Geaux Cup a try with eggs, bacon, cheese, and shrimp and grits. 3624 Dauphine St.
New Orleans East
Dong Phong – This bakery is a short but worthwhile drive to New Orleans East. A staple among the Vietnamese community for decades, Dong Phong has finally received wider acclaim in recent years, including being named as one of the James Beard Award Foundation’s “America’s Classics” most recently. 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.