Even though New Orleans’ world-famous culinary legacy is mostly based on its salty fare, the Big Easy’s sweet scene should not be ignored. Whether you’re looking for unique pastries with a local twist or fresh all-American classics, NOLA’s bakeries—which are popping up all over town—have something for every sweet tooth. Here are the best bakeries in town.
Run by Pastry Chef Kelly Fields of Besh Restaurant Group and Pastry Chef Lisa White, Willa Jean is a retro-chick cafe and restaurant serving Southern-contemporary fare, baked goods, freshly brewed coffee, and specialty cocktails. This brick-walled hotspot, opening its doors at 7 a.m. every day, is ideal for those looking to experience flavors that are indigenous to the Port City. From their buttered banana bread and corn syrup cornbread to their seared drum and chicken pot pie, Willa Jean is hard to beat when it comes to authentic austral cooking.
Breads On Oak is a locally-owned bakery and cafe serving organic bread, pastries, muffins, soups, and sandwiches. Sourced from organic farms and using all natural ingredients, this cozy-sweet spot, where bread is made from scratch inside a stone-hearth oven, also bakes a full line of vegan tea biscuits, cakes, tarts, and brownies, with gluten-free options as well. Breads On Oak is open every day but Monday and Tuesday. Favorite dishes include the Old World Miche and the Croissants and Pain au Chocolat.
Serving European pastries, cakes, breakfast, sandwiches, and coffee, Maple Street Patisserie is an Uptown bakery run by Master Baker and Master Pastry Chef Ziggy Cichowski and Executive Chef Patricia-Ann Donohue. Inspired by Europe’s bakeries, this Maple Street sweet joint features a menu filled with delicious sugary treats, such as flaky croissants, decadent dark chocolate cake with rich Belgium fudge icing, and of course, puff pastry bear claws stuffed with almond paste, raspberry, and cinnamon.
Interior of Galatoire's | Courtesy of NewOrleansOnline.com
A neighborhood bakery and cafe, La Boulangerie is located on New Orleans’ famous commercial strip, Magazine Street. Serving decadent pastries, bread, king cakes, and sandwiches, this casual space also features an ever-changing menu of weekly specials, freshly brewed coffee prepared by expertly trained baristas, homemade ice cream, and seasonal pies.
Founded in 2010 by Lead Pastry Chef Dawn Snead, Shake Sugary is a family-run bakeshop located in New Orleans’ Bywater District. Offering handmade, homemade, and all natural baked goods, this bakery is known for items like the maple bacon sweet potato biscuit and baked samosa, as well as for its vegan treats and creative custom cakes.