Who doesn’t love the tantalizing aromas and rich tastes that accompany freshly baked goods? Even if you’re not handy in the kitchen—or you don’t have the time to bake—you no doubt love to visit a local bakery on occasion for exactly those reasons.
These 10 Massachusetts bakeries are the best of the best. Whether it’s warm bread fresh from the oven, a delicate cannoli, or a pie, you won’t be disappointed when you visit one of these very special places.
With three locations—two in Boston and one in Cambridge—Flour Bakery + Café has garnered praise from the New York Times, Gourmet magazine, Newsweek, and more. Known for their crusty baguettes, soft loaves of homemade bread, and sweet treats like chocolate truffle tarts and lemon curd cakes—there is something to tempt your palate, and everyone else’s, too. In addition to their baked delicacies, the café serves delicious salads and sandwiches to eat in or to go.
Bova Bakery, located in Boston’s North End, is known for its vast array of Italian sweet treats. Enjoy a taste of the season with a rich pumpkin cannoli. Phantom Gourmet voted Bova’s tiramisu the best in the entire country. Open 24 hours a day, guests can also treat themselves to traditional Sicilian pizza for lunch, dinner or a late night snack. Place your bakery order online if you’d like, and pick it up at a scheduled time.
Dubbed by customers as an “old school bakery,” Diane’s Bakery in Roslindale is known for its muffins, scones, and cinnamon rolls. Some compare Diane’s to the bakeries of their childhoods with its homemade bread and rich, fudgy brownies. Regulars love the freshly baked ham and cheese croissants—the perfect way to start off any day.
When John and Janet D’Orsi began making homemade gingerbread houses in their Stoneham, Massachusetts home, they likely had no idea their hobby would wind up being the business it is today. Located in both Winchester and Wakefield, the Gingerbread Construction Company, is known these days for their decadent muffins and delicious cupcakes as much as for their amazing gingerbread creations. They serve some pretty impressive coffee in both locations, too.
Even though BakerBaker doesn’t have the longevity of some of these other top Massachusetts bakeries, they will no doubt gain it over time. Known for their lemon squares and carrot cakes—just for starters—the bakery is also open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Serving up bakery specialties like egg sandwiches on homemade bread and chicken pot pie, customers find fare that is hearty and delicious when they walk through these doors.
Touted as an artisan pastry shop and café, Athan’s Bakery—with locations in both Brookline and Brighton—brings the tradition of an old European bakery and café to the Boston area. Featuring pastries, cakes, tarts, chocolates, cookies and baklava, there is something to satisfy every sweet tooth at Athan’s. And if that isn’t enough, the bakery and café features gelato, too. If you’re simply looking for a rich, satisfying cup of coffee, they’ve got that as well.
A small family-owned and operated business, Bread & Chocolate Bakery Café in Newton Highlands is known for their muffins and scones as well as their Kugelhopf Morning Bun, which is served with a warning—must love butter! Their dessert menu is broken up into Small Desserts (featuring brownies, tiramisu, eclairs, lemon squares and more) and Big Desserts (featuring entire Boston Crème Pies, Red Velvet Cakes, Carrot Cakes, and Old Fashioned Pound Cake. In addition, they serve a wide array of sandwiches, salads, homemade mac and cheese, meatballs, and more. You won’t leave hungry when you visit Bread & Chocolate.
Lexington is home to Royal Pastry Shop, where for close to 70 years they have provided too many repeat customers to count consistently delicious homemade cakes, cookies and pastries. They are known for filling their fresh eclairs with real custard—not vanilla pudding—and for those with a penchant for the pillowy dessert, that means the difference between the average and the sublime.
Visit the website for Cape Cod Cakes if you’re looking to order the best wedding or celebration cake around. Made by Julie Driscoll, who was educated at one of the finest pastry schools in New York, your cake will be a delicacy as well as a show piece. Recognized by Cape Cod Bride Magazine, as well as several other noted publications, Cape Cod Cakes provides more than what your average bakery sells for wedding and celebrations. The website features photos of some of their finest cakes. Schedule an appointment to learn even more.
Staffed by highly-skilled cake artists, pastry chefs and bakers, the Bean Counter Bakery in Worcester features cakes that are works of art. In addition, they create luscious fruit tarts, pies, cupcakes, tortes and more. Known for their use of Belgian chocolate, pure Madagascar vanilla, and other top quality ingredients, everything ordered here is the best it can possibly be. Oh, and their coffee and espresso are award-winning. Does it get any better than that?
Whether you feel the need to satisfy your sweet tooth or you’re looking to order something amazing for a special meal or event, the sky’s the limit in Massachusetts. You’ll surely find everything you need—and more—on this list.