Get your fix of out-of-the-oven goodness at these local spots, from bagels to sweets and much more.
When you wake up during your stay in DC, there’s a strong possibility you’re near an awesome bakery or café. We’ve laid out an all-star lineup of just such shops in the District, from mom-and-pop classics to major national operations who’ve chosen the nation’s capital as one of their select spots.
Baked by Yael
Yael Krigman’s career path did not begin on the trajectory of opening DC’s first “cakepoppery.” The owner of Baked by Yael began baking to distract herself from the bar exam and after eight years at a corporate law firm, Krigman decided to leave and pursue baking full-time. Baked by Yael is a nut-free and kosher bakery, which not only serves show-stopping cakepops, but also has some of DC’s best bagels.
Dog Tag Bakery
Dog Tag Bakery
Enjoy some scratch-made baked goods with a purpose at Dog Tag. Every purchase goes towards empowering veterans and military families through the bakery’s fellowship program. Step inside and check out the shop’s unique chandelier and hang out in its cozy café. The menu is robust and includes pastries, breakfast and lunch options, desserts and coffee.
Cake-wich Craft Bake Shop
From decadent and extravagant cupcakes and cakes to custom cookies, Aleatra Dimitrijevski’s Cake-Wich Craft Bake Shop hits a sweet spot. The former local high school culinary arts teacher and Food Network competitor continues to give back to the community by hosting fundraisers for her Cupcake Dreams DC Scholarship and serving as a role model for success. Donations and orders can be made online.
Founded and owned by Shannon Boyle, Uncle Chip's serves up cookies and treats in Truxton Circle on North Capitol Street. Boyle wants to deliver a one-of-a-kind cookie experience, whether you pick-up in store or have the confections shipped nationwide. She spent a year working on the shop's secret recipe and that comes as no surprise as soon as you take a bite. The store is named after Shannon's own Uncle Chip, emphasizing the homespun atmosphere and offerings of the business.
Bread Furst at The Phillips Collection
Owner of Bread Furst, Mark Furstenberg, has DC business roots that date back to 1990 with the opening of Marvelous Market, the first DC bakery to offer traditional European breads. Prior to that, he wrote for The Washington Post and helped his sister open Politics and Prose. It’s no wonder that Furstenberg’s latest venture is a divinely DC gem, housed inside The Phillips Collection and stocked with the freshest products from local farmers only. In addition to sandwiches, soups, snacks, salads, lunch items and desserts, the café offers pastries, fresh loaves of bread, small groceries, grab-and-go refrigerated items and delicious coffee drinks.
Founded by pastry chef Tzurit Or in a home kitchen more than a decade ago, Tatte has turned both Boston and the metro DC area onto its special brand of baked items. With 11 locations in and around the District, Tatte has gone from Or’s house to a household name. The pastries draw a lot of attention, but a very gluten-friendly brunch menu means you can have a filling meal here as well.
With shops in Ivy City, Georgetown and Downtown, Baker’s Daughter is an all-day café that clearly knows how to serve every kind of customer in DC. The boutique spot is the brainchild of the team behind Michele’s and Gravitas, two highly acclaimed eateries in the city. At Baker’s Daughter, expect to find a delightful roster of baked goods, prepared foods, gourmet groceries, breakfast items, coffee and gifts.
There’s only one place in DC that knows how to make the perfect honey cake – including cream whipped on the stove – and also offers an Azerbaijani specialty known as pakhlava (think baklava, but with simple syrup instead of honey). Founder Ilhama Safarova wanted to bring the flavors of her hometown of Baku to the nation’s capital and has done so with flying colors thanks to her bakery in Adams Morgan. The menu is un-complicated: every item is Azerbaijani in origin. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into Safarova’s personal kitchen as you sip on a delicious cappuccino and try one of her amazing homemade items.
Rose Ave Bakery
Billing itself as an “Asian-American bakery,” Rosie Nyugen’s shop located right next to the Woodley Park/Adams Morgan Metro stop is so much more than that. Rose Ave Bakery makes its own donuts with a signature brioche, offering black sesame, pandan coconut and ube (filled with a purple cream) flavors. The creativity continues throughout the menu: there’s a caramelized croissant filled with guava jam and sweet cream cheese and a Saigon cinnamon banana cookie (a staff favorite that pairs perfectly with a cup of joe).
Opening a sister location – and a bakery no less – to a world-renowned restaurant is a risky venture. The folks behind Albi – including Chef Michael Rafidi – did it without breaking a sweat in the form of YELLOW. The Levantine menu offers mezze, hummus and pita as well as pastries that weave in French techniques and coffee offerings that pay tribute to Arabic culture. Visit YELLOW’s locations in Navy Yard and Georgetown and be on the lookout for a flagship set to open in Union Market in 2024.
Founded in 1995 in by close friends Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald, Levain Bakery has grown from a small bread shop inspired by conversations about baking to a nationwide operation. Levain made its bones with its take on the chocolate chip walnut cookie, but do not let that stop you from trying other concoctions at the Georgetown locale, from banana chocolate chip loaf cake to cinnamon butter brioche to ciabatta bread made in-house.
Breakfast pizza from Seylou in Shaw - Breakfast places to eat near the convention center in DC
Seylou is serious about its baked goods. The name means “eagle” in the Mandinka language of West Africa and trust us: this place flies high with incredible whole grain pastries and delicious bread (made with a time-honored fermentation process) from a wood-fired brick oven. The World Bread Awards recently awarded the bakery’s Pain au Levain with the major honor of America’s Best Loaf. We also highly recommend the flaky and chewy whole grain chocolate croissant.
Visit this gem in Adams Morgan when you need an adorable pick-me-up. The downstairs area features a counter full of treats. Lounge on the shop’s balcony and enjoy your cake slice, brookie or vegan Oreo cupcake. And don’t worry, they’ve got everything else too: cookies, brownies, bars, squares, cheesecake and cakes made to order.
If you’re a vegan living in DC, there’s a strong possibility you’ve been to Sticky Fingers. The shop’s all-vegan menu includes its popular glazed doughnut, one of the city’s best and only available on weekends. On weekdays, there are plenty of other treats to choose from, as well as a savory menu. Sticky Fingers’ cowvin cookie is a local favorite. Founder Doron Petersan is a two-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.
Baked and Wired
One of DC’s most popular bakeries is known for its “cake cups,” which are generously portioned with an unusually even ratio of moist cake to icing. A little more punk than your run-of-the-mill cupcakery, B & W wants to serve you a funfetti flavor called “Uniporn and Rainho.” For better or worse, there are about a million other things you’ll need to try here (pie slices, blondies, cookies, something aptly named the OMG bar...). Oh, and they also serve some of the most beloved hot chocolate in the District.
From the brilliant mind of Dr. Winnette McIntosh Ambrose (another Cupcake Wars winner) comes Souk. Located just down the street from The Sweet Lobby, another Ambrose venture, the Eastern Market locale showcases sweet treats with an international flair as well as mouthwatering sandwiches (think a nori croissant or a pear-brie spice bun). You can also shop for more than 200 spices from around the world and grab a cup of coffee.
Lucky for us, the name doesn’t say it all: French Baguette also offers croissants, cakes, pastries, quiche, a raclette tart and so much more. Their signature baguettes are made with, and we quote, “a cold-dough process and equipment imported from France.” Authenticity is the name of the game here. Between kouign amanns, croque monsieurs, yuzu tarts and mille-feuilles, we think Paul Hollywood would be proud.
A humble shop on Adams Morgan’s bustling 18th Street NW has a major mission: baked goods for the gluten-free crowd. Not just a few treats, but everything in the store: sandwiches, bagels, chocolate babka, bread, lemon bars, cookies, etc. Rise offers nut-free and dairy-free products as well.