Whether it's a down home style whoopie pie or a chic Parisian crème brûlée, freshly baked bread or homemade savory tarts, Atlanta's bakeries offer a little bit of everything. Just like the multicultural and populous city, the bakeries in Atlanta cater to both international tastes and Southern charms. The city has been expanding rapidly in recent years, and the culinary scene has developed to match it. This mean that there's certainly a traditional, Southern family-run ethos among the Atlantan bakeries, but this reassuring hominess doesn't compromise the high-end, gourmet quality evident in these five best bakeries in Atlanta.
Alon's Bakery and Market in Atlanta is a fresh food lover's dream. With a wide array of daily baked artisan breads, a mind-boggling variety of uniquely flavored macarons and buttery, melt-in-the-mouth breakfast pastries, Alon's has become a fixture on the Atlantan foodie scene. The market side of this bakery provides pre-prepared dishes like tarts, sandwiches and soups which are a far cry from your standard ready meal. They're homemade, using ingredients as fresh as the bakery's produce. Of course, all of this robust fare comes at a cost, so while Alon's may be the perfect place to treat yourself we don't recommend picking up groceries here if you're on a budget.
An Atlanta institution with four branches through the city, the Highland Bakery is renowned for a commitment to high quality ingredients, creative cakes and great brunch. For culinary aesthetes, the incredibly detailed and colorful cakes on display are alone worth checking out (they boast "cakes that look like sculptures", an accurate description) but Highland Bakery's muffins will keep you coming back. Everything from the pastries to the bagels are reassuringly made on-site with chemical-free ingredients for the conscientious foodie.
At Henri's, you'll be greeted by a visual feast before you have a chance to indulge in the real thing. The pastries are colorful, imaginative and covered with funky frostings or indulgent creams. Although the name is deceptively French - and the macarons are fittingly delicious - it’s Danish pastries and the good old American cookie that are among the delicacies Henri's does best. There are two branches of this bakery in the city, and both provide lunches but there's typically a long wait for a table so come early or grab your fresh sandwich in wax paper to go.
A newer bakery on the Atlanta scene, the Cupcake Factory was founded in 2007 at the height of the cupcake craze. It's proved its worth, though, and is now one of Atlanta's favorite bakeries. The cupcakes on offer are widely diverse and the menu changes weekly. Some preferred staples include the Salted Caramel or the Red Velvet cupcakes, but look out for the delicious whoopie pies or brownies which sometimes pop up on the weekly menu. The cupcakes are handmade, packed with good ingredients (no fillers!) and are the perfect balance of moist, light and creamy. A must-try for cake fans.
Sublime Doughnuts has been building a reputation for itself, with a memorably garish doughnut-themed interior and equally memorable dazzling flavors. The average holed pastry gets a makeover at Sublime; it's bigger, crispier, doughier and generally more fun than most other doughnuts out there. The variety of flavors includes dulce de leche (smothered in caramel), peanut butter cup (stuffed full of peanut butter) and Nutella (need we say more?). If you're feeling extra-indulgent, try the chocolate peanut butter ice cream doughnut burger.