When you dream up thoughts of croissants, cakes, and other pastries, surely the first city you think of is Paris. Next you might think of New York and many other cities, but you most likely wont’ think of Washington DC right away. Well, we’re here to tell you that DC has become quite the destination when it comes to baked goods. Don’t believe us? Check out this list of incredible bakeries and the delicious treats they’ve whipped up for you to try.
Pastry chef Paola Velez heads La Bodega, a bakery located inside Rose Previte’s Compass Rose. She infuses her childhood memories from the Dominican Republic and New York City to create incredible fusion baked goods. She says: “It’s the American story retold by first-generation and second-generation Americans. We’re finding a place where all of this makes sense.”
Here you’ll find baba, which is a nod to the Jewish neighborhood Velez grew up in in the Bronx, but incorporates Latin flavors like guava and cheese and dulce de leche. You will also find ube donuts, egg tarts, and rum cakes.
Sharbat is the first Azerbaijan bakery in DC and is located in Adams Morgan. Sharbat offers up treats like pakhlava (which is quite similar to baklava) and shekerbura, a delicious delicate pastry filled with ground hanzelnuts.
Ilhama Safarova, Sharbat’s owner, immigrated from Azerbaijan a few years ago. She shares: “A lot of people have told us that they had the best pakhlava ever from our bakery.” The bakery’s best seller is their layered honey cake. There are also plenty of delicious savory baked goods to sample, so come with an appetite!
Rose Ave Bakery
Opened by Rose Nguyen, Rose Ave Bakery is an Asian-American bakery located inside the Block food hall. Nguyen is a nurse-turned-self-taught-baker who has gifted us with creations like matcha swiss rolls, ube brioche rolls with ube butter, and passion fruit donuts with sweet potato brioche and raspberry sugar. Can you say wow?
Nguyen shares: “Although we are not a traditional Asian bakery, people tell me every single week how grateful they are that we exist in D.C. and that we make the Asian community so proud.”
Call Your Mother
This Park View bakery opened in 2018 and is self-described as a “Jew-ish” deli. You’ll often see lines out the door of customers waiting to get their hands on DC’s first authentic bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and delicious pastries.
Co-founder and executive chef Daniela Moreira says that she is inspired by her childhood “with my family cooking by the river in my hometown of Alta Gracia, Argentina. My dad would make a fire and my mom would make facturas (Argentinian pastries) and pan casero (traditional bread made with lard and chicharrones). My mother always made everything a little unique and with a twist—never the traditional way.”