Bakeries are the ultimate destination for comfort food, artisan sandwiches and special-occasion treats (even if that special occasion is that you happen to find yourself in a bakery). California has some of the best bakeries in the world, and it’s pretty easy to find one no matter where you are in the state.
Check out some of the most delicious bakeries in California and stop by one while you StayGia:
The original location of the Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, just outside of Napa, is my all-time-favorite bakery and breakfast spot. There is also another location in Beverly Hills if you want to get your Bouchon fix between wine-tasting trips up north. There is pretty much always a line spilling out the door and down the block, but it is more than worth the wait. The Yountville location was opened in 2003 by the famous Chef Thomas Keller. He is the mastermind behind The French Laundry, which is arguably the best restaurant in the world (don’t argue). I would say to check out The French Laundry while you are in Yountville, but the waiting list for reservations can be a year or longer (better bring some saltines if you plan on waiting). The bakery has an impressive assortment of sandwiches, breakfast quiche, amazing and beautiful macaroons and of course, a variety of pastries and baked treats. Go on payday, because you are going to buy everything.
There are a few Schat’s locations and more than one baker named Schat (they’re related, but you wouldn’t want Ernie Puck’s food instead of Wolfgang’s, would you?) I highly recommend Erick Schat’s Bakkerÿ in Bishop (took me longer than I’d care to admit to figure out how to type that stupid Y with an umlaut). If you ever find yourself on a roadtrip to or from Mammoth, Bishop is just about an hour away––the perfect amount of time to build an appetite. They are famous for their Sheepherders Bread, but they have a huge selection of breads, jams, nuts, cookies and other baked goods. But if you have a long car ride ahead of you, there is nothing like one of Schat’s huge, made-to-order sandwiches. The lines may be long (long line = happy belly…I made that up) but when you are a few hours into your drive and you remember you have half a sandwich left, you’ll be super stoked that you stopped in.
You know those Hawaiian rolls you buy at the grocery store and end up eating half the bag on your way out to your car? There is actually a King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant that is open to the public. It’s located in Torrance and you can smell the delicious bakery long before you see it. In addition to their famous bread and rolls, they have a number of cookies, pastries and cakes. The Paradise Cake lives up to its name. It is the perfect birthday cake (or I-made-it-through-another-Monday-so-I’m-gonna-eat-a-cake cake), with three layers of guava-, passionfruit- and lime-flavored cake. It is beautiful to look at and even better to eat. And although it is fruit-flavored, this is by no means a “fruitcake” (so don’t save it in your attic for three years and then try to regift it). The King’s Hawaiian Restaurant is right next to the bakery and is a great place to whet your appetite before dessert.
Sugar and Scribe
Located in Pacific Beach in San Diego, Sugar and Scribe was voted the number-one bakery out of the more than fifty in the area. The bakery’s recipes have survived generations of immigration and wars (which makes sense, because people will fight each other tooth and nail to get their hands on this stuff). They have everything from cakes to cupcakes to cookies to baked breakfast goods, but their Irish specialties are where it’s at. Definitely try the biscuits, scones or some of the Irish bread with awesome additions like orange and fig or gooseberries.