Is there any scent more enticing than the aroma of freshly-baked breads and pastries? You don't have to travel far in the Twin Cities or Rochester to find a great bakery. We've put together a list of some of the best bakeries in the area. Check them out if you're hosting a special event at your apartment or just looking for tasty treats to put on the dinner table.
Angel Food is the heavenly offshoot of award-winning restaurant Hell's Kitchen, located one level below. A seven-seat counter overlooks the pastry finishing table, where you can watch the pastry chefs work on wedding cakes, donuts and other freshly-made goodies. The menu changes from day to day and even hour to hour, but selections include items like sausage bread and cupcakes flavored with Hell's Kitchen's legendary homemade peanut butter.
Opened in 2004, the aptly-named Rustica was in the forefront of the artisan bakeries movement. It has since moved to a new location and expanded with a café featuring rustic olive, multigrain and other delicious breads in the sandwiches. Rotating selections include brioche, caraway rye and sesame seed egg braid. Don't leave without at least one of Rustica's popular bittersweet chocolate chip cookies.
This charming corner café offers outdoor seating for people-watching on sunny summer days. It's equally entertaining inside, where you can watch pastry chef Alicia Hinze at work in the open kitchen. The menu features breakfast and lunch items made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Order a layer cake or cupcakes in your choice of more than two dozen mouth-watering flavors such as Ho Ho, which channels the childhood favorite, and El Churro, pound cake with dulce de leche filling and frosting along with cinnamon streusel.
P.J. Murphy's has been in business for more than 80 years, so you know they have to be doing something right. Its commercial bakery provides breads, desserts and other items for several local restaurants. In the retail shop, donuts are a tasty bargain at 80¢ to $1. Croissants, scones, Danishes and other treats are also available at modest prices.
Daube's refers to itself as "a big city bakery in a small town." In addition to the spectacular carrot cake, Daube's is known for its kolache, a fruit-filled sour cream dough pastry originating in Czechoslovakia. Daube's Down Under, located in the pedestrian subway beneath US Bank in downtown Rochester, is a convenient lunch spot offering freshly-made soups, sandwiches, pizza and salads.
Cupcakes have been riding a wave of popularity thanks to their perfect size and ideal cake-to-frosting ratio. What's your favorite cupcake flavor? Cast your vote in the comments!