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.