100 years ago, American cities were teeming with bakeries, many of them Jewish-owned. You can still find some of these classic bakery counters in certain corners of the US, and they’re truly worth a visit. What’s more, with renewed interest in made from-scratch baked goods, some of the best Jewish bakeries today aren’t more than 10 years old.
We knew we couldn’t make this list alone, so we asked our fellow foodie friends and fellow bakery-lovers to share their favorites with us. We sifted through their thoughtful recommendations to find the best 11. Let us know if you’d like to see your favorite on the list — we’re always looking for recommendations!
Zak The Baker, Miami
This rainbow-painted bakery and deli makes fresh breads and pastries daily, and offers a kosher and locally-sourced deli menu. It smokes local fish, make trays full of challahs for Shabbat (sold Friday at noon) and is always trying something new!
#Repost @todayfood ・・・ HAPPY ROSH HASHANAH! I don't know that our eyes have ever seen something more beautiful than this braided centerpiece and round challahs from @breadsbakery which are studded with flax, poppy, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and nigella seeds. Just dip in honey for a sweet new year!
Breads Bakery, NYC
Israeli baker Uri Scheft and his talented NYC-based team opened Breads Bakery in 2013, becoming famous for what many call the best babka in NYC — which is made with croissant-like dough and swirled with Nutella. The bakery also makes intricately braided challahs (watch the how-to video we made together!) and sweet and savory hamantaschen for Purim. Buy a loaf of bread and then head across the street to the farmer’s market for the perfect cheeses and fruits to pair with it.
Mansoura Bakery, Brooklyn
Mansoura Bakery is the best place for Sephardic Jewish favorites like baklava, kataifi, ma’amoul and basbousa. The family business began hundreds of years ago in Syria, where it was known as the best bakery in Aleppo. In 1961, it opened its doors in Brooklyn after living in Egypt and Paris (read the whole story on Mansoura’s website!). Today, Mansoura bakers still roll out phyllo by hand, and rumor has it that their baklava has 70 layers. Try it — it’s truly life-changing.
Ostrovitsky’s Bakery, Brooklyn
This old-school, kosher bakery counter is one that Brooklynites have been visiting for generations. At Ostrovitsky’s, you can find babkas, challahs, rugelach, hamantaschen for Purim, and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) for Hanukkah.
Oneg Heimische Bakery, Brooklyn
Head off the beaten Williamsburg trail and wander south down Lee Avenue to take in the sights and sounds of the mom-and-pop shops that line this busy corridor of Hasidic Williamsburg. Oneg Heimische Bakery is known by many for making the best babka in Brooklyn. It’s intricately swirled and filled with dark chocolate in every bite.
Butterflake Bakery, Teaneck, NJ
This old-school bakery has been a kosher standard for decades. Its lemon chiffon cake, meltaways and challah (braided and twisted into intricate shapes) are not to miss.
Tatte Bakery, Boston
Tatte Bakery is one of the “new school” bakeries on the list, which pushes the bakery menu into more innovative, multicultural directions. There’s hand-rolled Jerusalem bagels (with an egg baked into the middle!), glazed pistachio-filled tartlets, pistachio-filled croissants, challah and shakshuka. Take your time noshing in one of their beautifully designed cafes, or take a loaf to go!
Star Bakery, Southfield, MI
Star Bakery has been a Detroit-area favorite since 1915. This might be one of the only places where you can find kichel, a pastry made of egg, flour and sugar that’s baked until puffed. They’re crunchy and sweet and can be eaten as a cookie, or served savory-style with pickled herring.
Three Brothers Bakery, Houston, TX
This old-school bakery might be based in Houston but its roots are in 19th-century Chrzanow, Poland, where the original family bakery was founded. The three Jucker brothers grew up in the 1930s helping out with the family business until the family was sent to a concentration camp in 1941. The three brothers were miraculously liberated in 1945, and they opened their Houston bakery exactly four years later. Today, the bakery still makes traditional Polish Jewish cookies, breads and pastries, which are generally less sweet than American baked goods. Its rye bread is a must-try.
Canter’s Bakery, LA
Since 1931, Canter’s has been perhaps one of the busiest Jewish bakery counters (and deli!) in the US. Twice a day, it bakes babka, apple strudel, sour cream coffeecakes, rugelach, mandelbrot, black-and-white cookies, bagels, rye bread, pumpernickel, challah and more. Its chocolate chip rugelach is award-winning.
Schwartz Bakery, Los Angeles
In 1954, Schwartz Bakery became the first kosher bakery in LA. It’s still rolling out poppy seed strudels, challahs, borekas and danishes every day. This old-school institution is not one to miss if you’re in LA. Like Canter’s (above), it balances the sweet things with classic deli sandwiches on (of course) house-made bread.