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15 Essential D.C. Bakeries

Where to find whole grain sourdough, giant cupcakes, Azerbaijani sweets, and Filipino cheese rolls

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A sweet from Un je ne sais Quoi
| Un je ne sais Quoi/Facebook

During the pandemic, solitary activities have made making sourdough a national hobby; a qualification for good food has become how well it travels as people turned to take-out; and everyone has needed something to brighten their day (like cake). It’s no surprise that some bakeries are thriving despite the shut downs and constant “pivoting.”

And for bakeries, D.C. has some of the very best. While this list is limited to 15, there are many more excellent bakeries in the D.C. area and beyond. Some excellent options, like Buttercream, are temporarily closed.

Here are 15 essential to D.C.’s bread and sweets scene.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bayou Bakery

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Bayou Bakery has cornered the market on sweets and other foods from Louisiana and across the American South, from sugar-topped beignets to satisfying muffulettas stuffed with briny olive salad, cured meats, and cheese. Chef and owner David Guas is a Louisiana native and his knowledge of the cuisine is immediately apparent on the menu. Beyond the bakery, there are boozy daiquiris; soul-warming gumbo with a dark, complex roux; deviled eggs, and market items like pepper jelly. Indoor dining and patio seating. Take-out and delivery available on ToastTab.

powdered sugar topped beignets
Fluffy, powdered sugar-topped beignets are just one of the New Orleans foods Bayou Bakery expertly brings to the D.C. area.
Bayou Bakery/Facebook

MASTIHA | Artisan Greek Bakery

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Kensington’s Mastiha specializes in Greek pastries like baklava (classic, pistachio, rosemary chocolate, and fig), fresh pita (with optional spreads such as house-made hummus, feta pesto, and fava dip), and phyllo with fillings like lamb. There’s no traditional storefront here, so plan to take orders home. Online ordering is also available.

baklava
Baklava at Mastiha comes in flavors like rosemary chocolate.
Mastiha Official

Fresh Baguette

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Fresh baguettes are obviously a point of pride at this mini-chain bakery by the same name. Bakers use a cold-dough process, house-made “levain,” and French baking equipment. There’s also a solid line-up of sandwiches, topped ciabatta, cake, and quiche, and flaky croissants. Online ordering here.

cinnamon roll dusted in pearl sugar
The cinnamon roll at Fresh Baguette is dusted in pearl sugar.
Fresh Baguette/Facebook

Bread Furst

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This James Beard Award-winning bakery in Van Ness serves up fluffy, dimpled foccacia; breakfast items like pain au chocolate; brunch frittatas and bagels with gravlax; and quick French lunch staples like a baguette stuffed with ham, butter, and a tiny zing of Dijon. Call for curbside pick-up, and order online for pick-up and delivery.

Ham and butter on baguette
Ham and butter on baguette is a classic French offering at Bread Furst.
Bread Furst/Facebook

Bakeshop

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With a massive list of rotating macaron flavors, lovely cakes, and a cupcake menu that runs the gamut from butter white to flavors like 7up and Nerds, it’s easy to see why this bakery has gained a following. There are also plenty of vegan options. Online ordering and delivery available.

confetti cake with a slice out of it
Bakeshop has a full list of cakes.
Bakeshop/Facebook

Baked & Wired

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Georgetown’s locals-favorite coffee shop and bakery dishes out colossal cupcakes, among other baked goods. Widely known as one of the very best cupcake spots in the city, the bakers at Baked & Wired swirl fresh strawberries into the strawberry cupcake and top the cinnamon-laced, Texas sheetcake cupcake with rich chocolate pecan frosting while it is still warm. The lines can get long, but kind service and the view of the glass dome-covered confections lined up on the Carrera marble bar help.

A swirl of red cherry buttercream on top of a chocolate cupcake sitting on a marble countertop
Cherry buttercream tops a chocolate cupcake at Baked & Wired.
Baked & Wired/Facebook

Un je ne sais Quoi...

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Opened by French expats, this petite bakery near Dupont Circle specializes in the merveilleux, a meringue cake that originated in Belgium and is common in the north of France. The pistachio Paris-Brest shines just as bright though. Limited indoor seating and outdoor seating. Call for take-out and delivery.

Macaron, chocolate ganache, semi-candied cherries in Kirsch brandy
Macaron, chocolate ganache, semi-candied cherries in Kirsch brandy.
Un je ne sais Quoi.../Facebook

Sharbat

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The most popular item at this Azerbaijani bakery in Adams Morgan is the honey cake with thin layers of light cream whipped on the stove. Compared to the heavy, dense desserts that are common in the U.S., Azerbaijani pastries are light and airy and rely on nuts to enhance flavors. Detailed handiwork is on display on the shekerbura, a crescent moon-shaped, hazelnut-stuffed pastry that features on intricate design on its shell.

Eater D.C.’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year energizes sleepy Mount Pleasant with rustic baguettes, breakfast sandwiches, guava turnovers, dimly lit dinners, and an undeniable devotion to fermentation. Served on a sweet potato roll, the hit breakfast sandwich includes brisket pastrami that’s brined for two weeks, smoked for eight to 10 hours, crusted with peppercorns and coriander, and steamed until tender. On top of that, tender farm eggs, white cheddar cheese, and fermented chile hot sauce complete the sandwich. No indoor seating during the day. Reservations for indoor seating during dinner are available on Resy. Online ordering here.

Rose Ave Bakery

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Baker and daughter of Vietnamese refugees Rosie Nguyen whips up Filipino cheese rolls, mochi crullers popping with purple ube icing, Vietnamese coffee cream-filled doughnuts, and green matcha chocolate chunk cookies sprinkled with flakes of sea salt at her lauded bakery in The Block food hall. The bakery allows advance ordering for weekends.

Sticky Fingers Bakery

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All-vegan bakery Sticky Fingers, a Columbia Heights staple run by Food Network competitor Doron Petersan, went through a major shift this year when it went national, shipping its baked goods and cake and cookie mixes all over the country. There is even a three-month cookie subscription. Sweets are still available for local pick-up though through Sticky Fingers and Fare Well.

piping cupcake icing
Sticky Fingers specializes in vegan baked goods.
Sticky Fingers/Facebook

Seylou Bakery

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Unique among D.C.’s bakeries, Seylou is the first and only D.C. bakery to operate an in-house mill. The Blagden Alley bakery is committed to the traditional ways of baking as owner Jonathan Bethony mills whole grains and ferments his loaves before popping them into an imported, wood-fired oven. The result is some of the post impressive loaves of pain au levain, einkorn, and others. Plus, the bakery’s whole grain sourdough becomes the base for pizzas each Friday night. Pre-orders and delivery available through the website.

cross-section of a whole grain croissant
A whole grain croissant made with freshly milled local and organic flour at Seylou
Seylou/Facebook

Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

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This sleek, NYC import arrived in D.C. in 2020 with plenty of celebrity endorsements from tastemakers like Oprah Winfrey and Tom Colicchio. Raised in Michigan by Pakistani parents, owner and baker Umber Ahmad worked as a financial consultant who helped others build their brands before she opened Mah-Ze-Dahr. Don’t sleep on the brioche doughnut filled with vanilla pastry cream and dipped in sugar mixed with ground vanilla beans. Online ordering and delivery available.

choux filled with vanilla cream
Vanilla cream spills out of choux
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery/Facebook

Pluma by Bluebird Bakery

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Super-fresh pastries, like pistachio croissants, ham and cheese croissants, and monkey bread come from dream team proprietors Camila Arango and Tom Wellings, who provided D.C. restaurants with wholesale baked goods for years. Call ahead for in-store pick-up. Delivery available through UberEats, GrubHub, and Postmates.

sugar-dusted morning buns
Pluma by Bluebird’s morning buns run $4.50 each.
Pluma by Bluebird/Facebook

From the folks behind macaron hub The Sweet Lobby, this globally inspired bakery and cafe on Barracks Row is a source for bread, baked goods, pastries, and Vigilante coffee. The biscuits come in several flavors: aged cheddar scallion, caramelized onion with currant and mustard seed, and fresh rosemary.

Souk’s offers global sweets.
Souk/Facebook

Bayou Bakery

powdered sugar topped beignets
Fluffy, powdered sugar-topped beignets are just one of the New Orleans foods Bayou Bakery expertly brings to the D.C. area.
Bayou Bakery/Facebook

Bayou Bakery has cornered the market on sweets and other foods from Louisiana and across the American South, from sugar-topped beignets to satisfying muffulettas stuffed with briny olive salad, cured meats, and cheese. Chef and owner David Guas is a Louisiana native and his knowledge of the cuisine is immediately apparent on the menu. Beyond the bakery, there are boozy daiquiris; soul-warming gumbo with a dark, complex roux; deviled eggs, and market items like pepper jelly. Indoor dining and patio seating. Take-out and delivery available on ToastTab.

powdered sugar topped beignets
Fluffy, powdered sugar-topped beignets are just one of the New Orleans foods Bayou Bakery expertly brings to the D.C. area.
Bayou Bakery/Facebook

MASTIHA | Artisan Greek Bakery

baklava
Baklava at Mastiha comes in flavors like rosemary chocolate.
Mastiha Official

Kensington’s Mastiha specializes in Greek pastries like baklava (classic, pistachio, rosemary chocolate, and fig), fresh pita (with optional spreads such as house-made hummus, feta pesto, and fava dip), and phyllo with fillings like lamb. There’s no traditional storefront here, so plan to take orders home. Online ordering is also available.

baklava
Baklava at Mastiha comes in flavors like rosemary chocolate.
Mastiha Official

Fresh Baguette

cinnamon roll dusted in pearl sugar
The cinnamon roll at Fresh Baguette is dusted in pearl sugar.
Fresh Baguette/Facebook

Fresh baguettes are obviously a point of pride at this mini-chain bakery by the same name. Bakers use a cold-dough process, house-made “levain,” and French baking equipment. There’s also a solid line-up of sandwiches, topped ciabatta, cake, and quiche, and flaky croissants. Online ordering here.

cinnamon roll dusted in pearl sugar
The cinnamon roll at Fresh Baguette is dusted in pearl sugar.
Fresh Baguette/Facebook

Bread Furst

Ham and butter on baguette
Ham and butter on baguette is a classic French offering at Bread Furst.
Bread Furst/Facebook

This James Beard Award-winning bakery in Van Ness serves up fluffy, dimpled foccacia; breakfast items like pain au chocolate; brunch frittatas and bagels with gravlax; and quick French lunch staples like a baguette stuffed with ham, butter, and a tiny zing of Dijon. Call for curbside pick-up, and order online for pick-up and delivery.

Ham and butter on baguette
Ham and butter on baguette is a classic French offering at Bread Furst.
Bread Furst/Facebook

Bakeshop

confetti cake with a slice out of it
Bakeshop has a full list of cakes.
Bakeshop/Facebook

With a massive list of rotating macaron flavors, lovely cakes, and a cupcake menu that runs the gamut from butter white to flavors like 7up and Nerds, it’s easy to see why this bakery has gained a following. There are also plenty of vegan options. Online ordering and delivery available.

confetti cake with a slice out of it
Bakeshop has a full list of cakes.
Bakeshop/Facebook

Baked & Wired

A swirl of red cherry buttercream on top of a chocolate cupcake sitting on a marble countertop
Cherry buttercream tops a chocolate cupcake at Baked & Wired.
Baked & Wired/Facebook

Georgetown’s locals-favorite coffee shop and bakery dishes out colossal cupcakes, among other baked goods. Widely known as one of the very best cupcake spots in the city, the bakers at Baked & Wired swirl fresh strawberries into the strawberry cupcake and top the cinnamon-laced, Texas sheetcake cupcake with rich chocolate pecan frosting while it is still warm. The lines can get long, but kind service and the view of the glass dome-covered confections lined up on the Carrera marble bar help.

A swirl of red cherry buttercream on top of a chocolate cupcake sitting on a marble countertop
Cherry buttercream tops a chocolate cupcake at Baked & Wired.
Baked & Wired/Facebook

Un je ne sais Quoi...

Macaron, chocolate ganache, semi-candied cherries in Kirsch brandy
Macaron, chocolate ganache, semi-candied cherries in Kirsch brandy.
Un je ne sais Quoi.../Facebook

Opened by French expats, this petite bakery near Dupont Circle specializes in the merveilleux, a meringue cake that originated in Belgium and is common in the north of France. The pistachio Paris-Brest shines just as bright though. Limited indoor seating and outdoor seating. Call for take-out and delivery.

Macaron, chocolate ganache, semi-candied cherries in Kirsch brandy
Macaron, chocolate ganache, semi-candied cherries in Kirsch brandy.
Un je ne sais Quoi.../Facebook

Sharbat

The most popular item at this Azerbaijani bakery in Adams Morgan is the honey cake with thin layers of light cream whipped on the stove. Compared to the heavy, dense desserts that are common in the U.S., Azerbaijani pastries are light and airy and rely on nuts to enhance flavors. Detailed handiwork is on display on the shekerbura, a crescent moon-shaped, hazelnut-stuffed pastry that features on intricate design on its shell.

Ellē

Eater D.C.’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year energizes sleepy Mount Pleasant with rustic baguettes, breakfast sandwiches, guava turnovers, dimly lit dinners, and an undeniable devotion to fermentation. Served on a sweet potato roll, the hit breakfast sandwich includes brisket pastrami that’s brined for two weeks, smoked for eight to 10 hours, crusted with peppercorns and coriander, and steamed until tender. On top of that, tender farm eggs, white cheddar cheese, and fermented chile hot sauce complete the sandwich. No indoor seating during the day. Reservations for indoor seating during dinner are available on Resy. Online ordering here.

Rose Ave Bakery

Baker and daughter of Vietnamese refugees Rosie Nguyen whips up Filipino cheese rolls, mochi crullers popping with purple ube icing, Vietnamese coffee cream-filled doughnuts, and green matcha chocolate chunk cookies sprinkled with flakes of sea salt at her lauded bakery in The Block food hall. The bakery allows advance ordering for weekends.

Sticky Fingers Bakery

piping cupcake icing
Sticky Fingers specializes in vegan baked goods.
Sticky Fingers/Facebook

All-vegan bakery Sticky Fingers, a Columbia Heights staple run by Food Network competitor Doron Petersan, went through a major shift this year when it went national, shipping its baked goods and cake and cookie mixes all over the country. There is even a three-month cookie subscription. Sweets are still available for local pick-up though through Sticky Fingers and Fare Well.

piping cupcake icing
Sticky Fingers specializes in vegan baked goods.
Sticky Fingers/Facebook

Seylou Bakery

cross-section of a whole grain croissant
A whole grain croissant made with freshly milled local and organic flour at Seylou
Seylou/Facebook

Unique among D.C.’s bakeries, Seylou is the first and only D.C. bakery to operate an in-house mill. The Blagden Alley bakery is committed to the traditional ways of baking as owner Jonathan Bethony mills whole grains and ferments his loaves before popping them into an imported, wood-fired oven. The result is some of the post impressive loaves of pain au levain, einkorn, and others. Plus, the bakery’s whole grain sourdough becomes the base for pizzas each Friday night. Pre-orders and delivery available through the website.

cross-section of a whole grain croissant
A whole grain croissant made with freshly milled local and organic flour at Seylou
Seylou/Facebook

Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

choux filled with vanilla cream
Vanilla cream spills out of choux
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery/Facebook

This sleek, NYC import arrived in D.C. in 2020 with plenty of celebrity endorsements from tastemakers like Oprah Winfrey and Tom Colicchio. Raised in Michigan by Pakistani parents, owner and baker Umber Ahmad worked as a financial consultant who helped others build their brands before she opened Mah-Ze-Dahr. Don’t sleep on the brioche doughnut filled with vanilla pastry cream and dipped in sugar mixed with ground vanilla beans. Online ordering and delivery available.

choux filled with vanilla cream
Vanilla cream spills out of choux
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery/Facebook

Pluma by Bluebird Bakery

sugar-dusted morning buns
Pluma by Bluebird’s morning buns run $4.50 each.
Pluma by Bluebird/Facebook

Super-fresh pastries, like pistachio croissants, ham and cheese croissants, and monkey bread come from dream team proprietors Camila Arango and Tom Wellings, who provided D.C. restaurants with wholesale baked goods for years. Call ahead for in-store pick-up. Delivery available through UberEats, GrubHub, and Postmates.

sugar-dusted morning buns
Pluma by Bluebird’s morning buns run $4.50 each.
Pluma by Bluebird/Facebook

Souk

Souk’s offers global sweets.
Souk/Facebook

From the folks behind macaron hub The Sweet Lobby, this globally inspired bakery and cafe on Barracks Row is a source for bread, baked goods, pastries, and Vigilante coffee. The biscuits come in several flavors: aged cheddar scallion, caramelized onion with currant and mustard seed, and fresh rosemary.

Souk’s offers global sweets.
Souk/Facebook

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