Best Bakery - 2009
Yiya's Gourmet Cuban Bakery
Whenever some young, enterprising chef chooses to tamper with food basics, he or she runs the risk of popular revolt. And often the result is total failure. But now and then, a place such as Yiya's Gourmet Cuban Bakery arrives, executing the essentials with high ambition balanced by common sense, style, and unparalleled craft. Since opening in early January 2009, co-owners Delsa Bernardo and Abbie Cuellar have served an assortment of their simple yet sophisticated pastelitos filled with guava, coconut and cheese, and meat. And there are no high prices of the sort usually brought on by the word gourmet. In fact, all pastries cost between 95 cents and $1.25, including the hefty dulce de leche strudel. Add espresso or a smooth, not-too-sweet café con leche, and you have breakfast. Then, until 6 p.m. (AKA closing time during the summer), Delsa prepares the shop's signature lunch specials: a $5 pan con lechón and the slightly pricier goat cheese pizza on Indian nan crust. But whatever you do, don't rush off. This place was made for loitering. Slouch down on the throne-like leather sofa, sample some free wi-fi, and enjoy the modern, sun-soaked interior. Remember, though, to get a loaf of homemade bread or a half-dozen buttery croissants for the road. You'll love yourself the next morning.