We might not expect some of best baked goods in the U.S. to come out of Houston, Texas. The city is normally hailed as a national leader in BBQ cuisine, but in fact the Texan hospitality extends to indulgent, sinful and delicious delicacies of a sweeter kind. The fourth largest city in America has an impressive range of bakeries on offer. Perhaps you're looking for some fresh, gourmet burger buns for your barbecued patties? Or maybe you're searching for some sugary donuts or a chocolaty treat for afters? Of course, you could be looking for a taste of something more exotic - Indian baked goods, or Mexican delicacies, for example. Houston offers all that and more. Whether you're in the market for fresh baked bread or epicurean pies, you'll find the best of the best at these five top bakeries in Houston.
Pondicheri is an Indian restaurant and bakery where traditional American favorites meet unique Indian desserts. The average chocolate chip cookie goes stellar when mint, coconut and almond are added. Sweet 'n' salty gets a whole new meaning when it comes in the form of a masala cookie (we're serious). The baked goods at Pondicheri heavily feature heart-healthy ingredients like flax, rye and pumpkin seeds, all rendered delicious with exotic hints of flavors like lemon, saffron and coconut. The desserts here are a delight for any foodie with an adventurous streak or a taste for Indian cuisine.
Many dessert lovers have grown weary of the cupcake - after a brief love affair with the treat, we're wondering what more can be done with the tried and tested formula. Houston's Crave Cupcakes answers our skepticism with aplomb. With a different menu every day, there's a flavor for every occasion and whim - from the traditional chocolate or vanilla cupcakes to the slightly more risqué Margarita flavor (it's key lime with margarita glaze) or the white chocolate and macadamia nut (if it’s good enough for a cookie, it’s good enough for a cup cake!). Quality ingredients and generous, flavorful frosting make these perfectly moist mini cakes a treat that's worth the many calories.
Photo via their official site.
Moeller's Bakery has been around since 1930, and although its tiny size and retro decor are true to the vintage nature of this family run Houston institution, this all belies some of the most innovative baking in the city. While artisan bread is all the rage these days, the traditional floury rolls of Moeller's have maintained their home baked, fluffy goodness and the cakes and Danish pastries are a luxuriant treat that could be straight out of your grandmother's kitchen. Tradition doesn't stand in the way of progress here, as Moeller's has built up a reputation for producing consistent, reliable quality - not to mention their famous petite-fours!
The Flying Saucer Pie Company is, as you might expect, dedicated to great pies. When a bakery chooses to offer just one thing, it can be a risky move but the pies are good enough to justify their own menu. Fruit and cream pies are the menu's mainstays. There's traditional apple pie, of course, but there are some more unique options including pineapple and cherry. The cream pies are sinfully stuffed variations on the classic formula, with the banana cream a menu triumph. Around holiday season The Flying Saucer Pie Co. really comes into its own, offering Houston's favorite Pumpkin and Mincemeat pies.
This authentic Mexican bakery serves up some of the best bread in the city. Unpretentious and plain, simple desserts are the order of the day here - it's the high quality of the fare here that makes this Houston-based bakery chain a favorite. Whether you're in the market for crispy, melt-in-the-mouth churros or soft, frosted Pan Dulche, El Bolillo should be your bakery of choice. The simple, satisfying baked goods here are a refreshing change from the many boutique French patisseries popping up around the city these days which too often lack soul and authenticity.