Spicy Gingerbread in Santa Monica
Making gingerbread for Christmas is a tradition. A perfect stop for the holiday standard — in loaf or cookie form — is Ye Olde King’s Head. Located in the heart of L.A. tourist haven Santa Monica, the British bakery and shop gives you your fix of fresh ginger shortbread daily throughout December. Besides gingerbread, an assortment of jam doughnuts and tarts or a blackcurrant pie from Ye Olde bakery make for a merry holiday.
Ye Old King’s Head, 116 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica CA, USA, +1 310 451 1402
Decadent Linzer in Downtown
Downtown Los Angeles is over 9800 kilometers away from Vienna. However, luscious Austrian linzer can be enjoyed at BierBeisl Imbiss, an exquisite restaurant and bakery. Beloved throughout Austria, linzer is a hazelnut red currant cake with slices of almonds, topped off with cream. Enjoy this ethnic treat in the ample alley area at the Imbiss (a term for street food stands in Austria).
BierBeisl Imbiss, 541 South Spring St, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 213 935 8035
Sweet Tamales in East LA
Come mid-December, the rush to East L.A. for top-rated tamales is on. Tamales Lilianas has become a prized Christmas tradition, comparable to a caroling concert or a photo opportunity with Santa. Those hungry for Liliana’s popular take on the cornmeal delicacy come from all over the city and gladly wait at the counter to purchase them by the dozen or singularly. Liliana’s specialty sweet tamales on the menu are known as pasitas con piña (tamales with pineapple filling).
Delicious Jelly Doughnuts in West LA
Devouring a jelly doughnut is common throughout the year for those with a sweet tooth. This particular treat is especially enjoyed by Jews during Hanukkah to commemorate the oil from the miracle of the burning lamps. Much of the West L.A. Jewish population have a Kosher sugar rush at Delice. Dubbed as the only Franco-Jewish style bakery in the U.S., the fine pastry destination is sure to have plenty of the luscious doughnuts (or sufganiot in Hebrew), usually powdered and gooey with raspberry or strawberry filling.
Delice, 8583 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 289 6556
Portuguese Pastries in the Valley
Tucked away in a San Fernando Valley strip mall, Nata’s Pastries is a delightful must-try for sweet holiday cravings. Locally renowned as the only Portuguese bakery in Los Angeles, Nata’s tarts, cookies and other baked goods have a French artisan touch. For a special holiday treat, request Nata’s version of morgado (almond and marzipan tart) and bolo rei (‘King’ cake with dried fruits). Prepare your sweet tooth and head down to the Valley bakery, which has even tempted celebrities like Aussie couple Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.
Nata’s Pastries, 13317 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA, USA, +1 818 788 8050