It's hard to match the sensation of stepping into a space filled with a doughy aroma. There's just something about the smell of a freshly baked loaf of bread that warms the heart and fills the soul (and the stomach too). As Miami's culinary landscape thrives, the city's bread, pastry, and dessert scene is gaining momentum.
Today many more eateries are whipping up warm batches of breads in-house instead of outsourcing. The same can be said about desserts and pastries, such as light and airy croissants and delicately designed fruit tarts and specialty cakes. From operations helmed by internationally recognized chefs to neighborhood favorites, family-run spots, and delivery-only options, these are the ten best bakeries in Miami-Dade.
1. Bachour Bakery + Bistro
James Beard Award semifinalist Antonio Bachour and chef Henry Hané have given Miami one of its greatest gifts: Bachour Bakery + Bistro. Located on the southwest corner of Brickell World Plaza, it features the combined sweet and savory talents of these two chefs, with a full bistro menu complemented by a large assortment of pastries. Before Bachour opened, Miami severely lacked a place to purchase artistically driven pastries, something in which cities such as Paris, New York, and Rome take pride. Inside, find danishes, brioche, and a variety of flaky croissants (including gianduja, almond, and Miami-inspired guava and cheese), along with a selection of signature desserts such as bonbons, macarons, petite cakes, tarts, and large specialty cakes. All baked goods are made in-house daily, and many spotlight seasonal fruits. All pastries can be eaten there or taken to-go.
2. Zak the Baker
This Wynwood bakery is more than a one-stop shop for sourdough loaves and other sweet and salty baked goods. It's part bakery and part café, putting diners right in the middle of owner Zak Stern's bustling operation. The day's offerings, both with baked goods and menu items, are seasonal and depend upon what's freshly available. Breads include Jewish rye, plum fennel and rye, country wheat, and sourdough, and daily plates are listed on a chalkboard. There's always a soup, along with several open-faced sandwiches and mixed salads. One of the bakery's most popular dine-in dishes is Stern's breakfast sandwich. It's made with sourdough multigrain bread, which contains oats, flax, sesame, millet, and pumpkin seeds. A thin egg omelet with sharp cheese is used as the base of the sandwich, and a few slices of avocado are layered on top. Then sprouted alfalfa and chopped tomato are added, and house-made chili aioli is drizzled throughout to add an extra kick. Weekends are especially busy at Zak the Baker, so give yourself ample time to grab a loaf or stay for a meal.
3. Bunnie Cakes
As Miami's first vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-conscious bakery, Bunnie Cakes makes sweets accessible to all. Its flagship in Wynwood features a medley of baked treats, including large and small cupcakes, whoopie pies, doughnuts, small cakes, brownies, cakes in a jar, and cookies. It offers coffee, tea, water, and natural sodas, plus a few tables where customers can sit. Every baked good comes in a variety of flavors, including red velvet, guava, chocolate, and vanilla, all made using mostly organic ingredients.
4. Fireman Derek's Bake Shop & Cafe
When it comes to pie, Fireman Derek's takes first place. Years ago, Derek Kaplan, a City of Miami firefighter, began selling key lime pies on a Coconut Grove corner. Now his heavenly creations attract long lines wrapped around his Wynwood storefront. Keep an eye out for his apple pie, topped with caramelized apples and spicy cinnamon, or his beloved key lime version, which boasts a thick and creamy center with a pleasant citrus bite. Or go salty with Kaplan's quiches, including spinach and feta. All pies can be purchased by the slice or whole. The shop serves freshly baked cookies and muffins, as well as brews from Panther Coffee.
5. True Loaf
Located in Sunset Harbour, one of South Beach's quieter areas, True Loaf brings a quaint neighborhood bakery to Miami Beach. Specializing in sourdough, the eatery uses organic flour to bake brioche, croissants, loaves, muffins, and scones. Besides baked goods, True Loaf also offers a handful of sandwiches Thursday through Sunday. Flavors rotate but include a choripan packed with Miami Smokers sausage, pickled red onions, and chimichurri; a BLT with house-cured bacon and tarragon mayonnaise; and roast beef topped with goat cheese mousse and caramelized onions. Stop by for lunch and leave with a loaf.
6. Buena Vista Deli
Located in midtown, this French bakery/café is known for all things sweet and savory. Come for a pillowy croissant with just enough flake; grab a ciabatta, loaf, or baguette to-go; or snag a dessert from the bakery case, such as a Paris-Brest with hazelnut cream; a chocolate layered opera; or a coffee éclair. Consider the bakery's best seller too — the strawberry Napoleon. The neighborhood spot also serves a hearty French breakfast, which comes with coffee or tea, orange juice, homemade jelly, and a basket of warm toasted breads.
7. Breadman Miami
It wouldn't be Miami without a Cuban bakery. Located just off the southbound Palmetto Expressway, Breadman adds a modern twist to traditional Cuban classics. Find ultra-flaky pastelitos stuffed with ground beef and sweet plantains, or Nutella and sweet, creamy cheese. There’s also a large selection of sandwiches, including cubanos, medianoches, and the shop's signature — the Supermeng — which piles shredded steak, chopped onions, American cheese, and fried eggs onto a Cuban roll.
8. Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
This family-owned bake shop in Pinecrest stays true to its name. The vibrant space is packed with just about every sweet treat you might crave. Find a large selection of cupcakes, including chocolate topped with vanilla creme, or maple bacon sprinkled with candied bacon. Flavors rotate depending on the day. The café is known for its small but tasty dessert shots too, which are available in a range of flavors, including key lime pie and red velvet. If a sugar craving strikes Friday or Saturday night, it's the only local bakery in town that's open late — "until the last person leaves," which is usually around 1 a.m.
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9. Lola the Baker
Laura Rivera's sweets shop, Lola the Baker, might not have a storefront, but her innovative confections are worth a mention and a taste. Rivera specializes in a bevy of desserts, from beer-infused cupcakes to large cakes, cake pops, cakes in a jar, and even canine treats. She works out of her garage, which she transformed into a makeshift bakery. Her cake-in-a-jar creations were inspired by a desire to send her baked goods to out-of-towners. Now Rivera is known for cramming flavors such as banana flambé and burnt marshmallow, red velvet with chocolate ganache filling, and Tortuga rum cake and vanilla rum into jars. Most of the treats can be made gluten-free and vegan. The sweets are made-to-order and can be delivered across South Florida. A dozen small cupcakes costs $10; a dozen large run $20. Visit lolathebaker.com.
If you're craving the best of Miami's pastry and dessert scene but are unsure of where to go, Jarly is for you. The Miami-based startup delivers a box of baked delights, including breads, cookies, and brownies made by local artisans, right to your doorstep every month. Customers can choose one of two subscription plans: a box delivered once a month ($20) or twice a month ($40), plus a $5 delivery fee. Each box is filled with five to seven items from one featured local baker. Bakers change from month to month, so subscribers won't encounter the same one twice. Goods are delivered the first Thursday of each month. They're made that morning and are best when eaten within three days. Previous boxes have included dark-chocolate cookies, red velvet cupcakes, pistachio crisp muffins, honey cakes, triple-chocolate brownies, and sweet and soft blueberry scones. Visit jarly.me.