Creme de la Creme

Our 20 favorite bakery destinations for decadent, shameless indulgence.



(page 3 of 4)


 

Potomac Bakery

Dormont & Mt. Lebanon
Some baked goods look cute and delicious when they’re very, very small—think petit fours or miniature cupcakes. But when it comes to cinnamon buns? The bigger and swirlier, the better! Fortunately, this bakery, a fixture on Potomac Avenue since 1927, agrees. And its huge cinnamon buns are to die for. More great morning treats include the bear claws, danishes, maple strips and fruit kuchen. The delicious brownies (plain or with nuts) are also hugely popular and have been a specialty since the bakery’s early days. A huge array of cakes—everything from jelly rolls and rum cakes to angel food or “cupcake” cakes—round out the tempting offerings.

1419 Potomac Ave., Dormont, 412/531-5066; 689 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, 412/531-5067, potomacbakery.weebly.com
 

Kribel’s Bakery

Brookline & Pleasant Hills
The oh-so-good cannoli at this bakery hits all the right sweet, creamy notes. We could talk for quite a while about the Napolean, with its stacked layers of pastry filled with vanilla custard and drizzled in chocolate. The bakery has been family-owned and operated for 60 years, and it’s perhaps best-known for its cakes: The menu of choices will make your head spin, with long lists of specialty items like almond batter mini petit fours or angel food baby cakes. Yet if a classic yellow birthday cake with chocolate frosting is what you crave, that’s available, too. When it comes to a sweet reward, this bakery knows how to dole it out.

546 Brookline Blvd., Brookline, 412/531-1944; 28 Old Clairton Road, Pleasant Hills, 412/653-1717, kribelsbakeryofpittsburgh.com


 

Prantl’s

Shadyside & Market Square
Lots of bakeries make a terrific burnt-almond torte, but nobody can argue that this bakery churns out one of the very best: layers of thin, moist yellow cake filled with custard and generously frosted with vanilla then crowned with crunchy, sugary, crystallized almond slices. The Shadyside bakery provides a charming old-fashioned counterpoint to Walnut Street’s slick chain shops and displays lots of colorful specialty cookies that taste as good as they look. When you need satisfaction, try the chocolate-peanut butter bar—why reinvent the wheel when it tastes this good? Long a fixture in the East End, the bakery expanded in 2008 with a second site, located in Market Square.

5525 Walnut St., Shadyside, 412/621-2092; 438 Market St., Market Square, 412/471-6861, prantlsbakery.com
 

Lincoln Bakery

Bellevue
Adored for fluffy cakes and delicious fillings that range from cherry and raspberry to chocolate pudding and white-chocolate mousse—not to mention
essentially perfect buttercream frostings—this 65-year-old bakery has enough sweet choices to make any cake lover swoon. You can’t miss the lemon torte: three layers of dreamy white cake and lemon filling, frosted with buttercream that is just sweet enough to balance out the bright citrus flavor. Want to try something different? Order the miniature mango mousse, which looks like a small package but delivers big tropical flavor.

543 Lincoln Ave.; 412/766-0954
 

La Gourmandine Bakery and Pastry Shop

Lawrenceville
A perfect miniature lemon tart with crispy sable dough; divinely flaky croissants; sweet and tender madeleine cookies; the city’s best sweet baguette. These are just a few of the joys of this authentic French bakery owned by pastry chef Fabien Moreau (see profile, below). Among the bakery’s many taste-as-good-as-they-look desserts: Stunning opera cake layered with chocolate cocoa mousse, coffee pastry cream, and three layers of almond sponge cake, and religieuses, essentially a double-stack of gloriously light cream puffs filled with vanilla or chocolate custard and topped with white fondant. Yet for all its glorious French-ness, there is nothing fancy or pretentious here—just a neighborhood bakery anyone would be lucky to live close to.

4605 Butler St.; 412/682-2210, lagourmandinebakery.com

FABIEN MOREAU » la gourmandine
In 2010, French native Fabien Moreau opened a bakery and patisserie in Lawrenceville that rivals any you’d find on the Left Bank. He trained in Paris at LeNotre, one of the world’s most prestigious pastry schools. But if you think that makes him fancy or affected, think again.

Pittsburgh has gained a true gem in this down-to-earth baker whose main goal seems to be recreating his favorite childhood treats.

“I don’t try to do a big showcase or something crazy — I prefer to focus on the classic flavors,” he says. By this, he means plain, almond and chocolate croissants (and, yes, these are the flaky, buttery, delicious and totally authentic versions you’ve been searching for) and brioche, as well as traditional desserts like lemon tarts and easy-pleasers like chouquette, which are little bowls of choux pastry sprinkled with sugar.

“The chouquette cost 30 cents apiece, and I just love to see the kids come in and buy four for a snack. It reminds me of being young,” he says.

Yet while he offers plenty of everyday treats — from baguette to pain aux raisins, those delicious custard-y raisin rolls so hard to find outside of France — the pastry cases at La Gourmandine are also stocked with gloriously grown-up desserts. The beautiful Opera Cake layers almond sponge cake with cocoa-chocolate mousse and coffee buttercream inside dark-chocolate glaze, and the Tarte aux Fruits shows off perfect berries atop handmade vanilla pastry cream in a buttery shortbread crust.

As impressive and delicious as his creations might seem to us, Moreau sees everything as a work in progress.

“Even if you follow the steps perfectly, you can’t be sure you’ll have a perfect result,” he says, explaining how a too-hot kitchen makes it especially important to fold in the butter very quickly so the pastry stays light and flaky. Moreau adds that it’s essential to make a fresh batch of croissant dough each morning to prevent the yeast from getting “lazy.” When you talk to Moreau, it seems that knowing exactly what can go wrong is his great motivator. Luckily for us, this means everything from La Gourmandine tastes just right.

Sweet Tip: Chances are that even if something here seems unfamiliar, it’s a tried-and-true classic in France—so don’t neglect pastries with unfamiliar names, like the Paris-Brest (choux dough filled with delicious hazelnut cream) or the Religieuse (two-tiered pastry filled with vanilla or chocolate pastry cream and covered in white fondant).
 

Mantsch’s Blue Bonnett Bakery

Homestead
The Danish pastries are a good reason to travel a little further down Eighth Avenue in Homestead to this bakery that's been in operation since 1954. Loaded with fruit, nuts and icing, they are delicious treats for any time of day. One devoted fan orders a large version in lieu of a birthday cake each year. Savory ethnic specialties, such as bolbaki, are also available: These small, firm bread balls are typically steamed and mixed with sauerkraut for Eastern-European Christmas. Another popular offering is paska bread, made for Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays.

338 Eighth St.; 412/462-4957
 

Pastries A-La-Carte

Pleasant Hills
Don’t miss this pastry shop’s specialty desserts, including the gorgeous “Georgia peach” cookies, which are homemade sugar-rolled vanilla sandwich cookies with peaches-and-cream filling. The many labor-intensive pastries here often take two full days to prepare from scratch, and the results truly show in every bite. Try any one of the specialty tortes, such as the heavenly chocolate—or, since a variety of torte sizes are prepared daily, sample more than one flavor. After opening in 2004, the shop has continued to build on its great reputation and offers 30-plus cookie varieties, breakfast pastries and all kinds of delicious cakes. We’re especially partial to the simple but sublime fresh-cut apple pie.

81 Clairton Blvd.; 412/653-2236, pastriesalacarte.com

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
Top Dentists 2016

Top Dentists 2016

The Pittsburgh region's 368 premier dentists across 8 specialties.
The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

The longtime Pittsburgh television personality had been suffering from liver cancer.
Ladies Night: W Bowl Championship Football Game Comes to Pittsburgh

Ladies Night: W Bowl Championship Football Game Comes to Pittsburgh

Co-owned by Franco Harris, the W Bowl brings together players from across the Women’s Football Alliance in a fierce competition.
Pittsburgh Health & Fitness Start-Up Expands Nationwide

Pittsburgh Health & Fitness Start-Up Expands Nationwide

For more than a year, Fitt has helped Pittsburghers discover new, local ways to exercise and eat healthy. Now, the ‘Burgh-based start-up is expanding its reach to a dozen new cities.
Young Pirate Fan Star of the Show in Pirates' Marathon Win

Young Pirate Fan Star of the Show in Pirates' Marathon Win

Starling Marte's homer in the 18th inning beat the Washington Nationals Sunday but we wonder if the game's real MVP was actually in the stands.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
Top Dentists 2016

Top Dentists 2016

The Pittsburgh region's 368 premier dentists across 8 specialties.
The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.
Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

The first crop of chefs in the Strip District restaurant incubator are four real.
A Clear Head, A Cannon for an Arm

A Clear Head, A Cannon for an Arm

After his first taste of big-league ball, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow is ready for his close-up.
Edit Module

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

Remembering “Chilly Billy” Cardille

The longtime Pittsburgh television personality had been suffering from liver cancer.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
A Thyme and Place

A Thyme and Place

Old friends Tricia Cohen and Lisa Graves reconnect via Facebook and collaborate on a historical cookbook.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


After Dark Hall of Fame: Sharp Edge

After Dark Hall of Fame: Sharp Edge

The local pubs that fly the Sharp Edge banner remain a favorite for top-notch beer and tantalizing grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Up-and-Down Bucs Survive First Half With Hope Intact

Up-and-Down Bucs Survive First Half With Hope Intact

The Pirates did just enough in the days before the All-Star break to embrace the second half of the season with anticipation if not expectation.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Sanuk’s Yoga Sling Sandal are super comfy yet chic.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

Reviews of "Ghostbusters" and "The Infiltrator," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Perfect Shot: Wedding Photographers’ Favorite Moments

The Perfect Shot: Wedding Photographers’ Favorite Moments

We asked these Pittsburgh wedding photographers to share some of their most-memorable photos — and the stories behind them.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates Grand Reopening

Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates Grand Reopening

The new, larger location in Squirrel Hill features an expanded selection of handcrafted merchandise.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

The university landed in the top 10 schools for disabled students seeking an online education.

Comments