Ah, the smell of chocolate and dough and challah bread! Above all, Beverlywood Bakery boasts the best chocolate rugelach in the city. A cream cheese dough infused pastry, here you can actually taste the sharp, rich taste of the cheese. Other fillings include raisins and nuts, but first-timers should stick to the purity of chocolate. Beverlywood Bakery also specializes in chocolate Danishes (replete with the inordinate amount of crumb topping), mocha cake, and challah bread.
9128 W Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 310-278-0122
Though there are multiple Schwartz Bakeries in LA, location on Fairfax is particularly good, and sells cookies and pastries so good you’ll find yourself coming back everyday.The sprinkle cookies put other sprinkle cookies to shame; the chocolate mini-Danishes are always soft and fresh. The cupcakes and cakes are also in high demand. Many a Friday afternoon this locale is filled to the brim with Orthodox Jews hustling to get all of their shopping completed before the Jewish Sabbath, and it’s easy to understand why. This is a Kosher bakery, and has a Jewish restaurant hocking pastrami and kosher dogs in the same location. In honor of Shabbat it is closed Friday evening and all day Saturday.
Locals swear by this bakery’s rye bread, challah bread, and rugelach. The mandel bread, a type of baked treat that most closely resembles biscotti, is some of the best in the city. The chocolate babka tastes like a river of rich chocolate winding its way through the softest dough. Its juxtaposition of depth and simplicity results in pure deliciousness. Small cookies also make the list of must-try items. The challah and rye breads are so good that they often sell out, so make sure to reserve one ahead of time if you know you’re going to have a hankering. The friendly old woman who works the counter adds to the old-world charm.
335 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 323-655-0534
When it comes to the combination of looks and taste, Eilat (literally) takes the cake. Their assortment of small cookies is elaborate and extensive, and their mini-cakes (such as the creamy, ethereal mocha mousse cake) add a visual and gustatory charm. The bakers truly take their time to craft aesthetically pleasing pastries. Their cappuccino cup actually assumes the shape of a cup constructed entirely from chocolate. Éclairs have the requisite frosting drizzle on top. This is a place to go when presentation matters. A Kosher bakery, Eilat also sells burekas, bite-size filo-dough pastries with savory fillings such as cheese.
9060 W Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA, USA, 310-205-8700
This is actually a fusion of Israeli and French cuisine, so while it may not convey the old-school Jewish bakery vibe, the pastries are truly outstanding. The owner of Tarte Tatin takes pride in all of the food here, but the highlight is the almond croissant, filled with the right amount of almond cream and with a flaky, buttery exterior covered with sliced almonds. Other standouts include the apricot tarte tatin and the chocolate twist. Eggs any style, baguette, labneh (a thick, creamy yogurt spread), sharp cheese, olives, and Israeli salad (chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions with a tangy dressing) are all meant for tasting and sharing while kvetching over which pastry to sample next.
9123 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, 310-550-0011