If your home has a revolving door of visitors during the holidays, it’s nice to welcome folks with a variety of home baked goodies—but who has that kind of time? Whether you need to pick up a quick treat for the kiddos, or pre-order a special dessert for a party, we’ve put together a list of our favorite bakeries in the Peninsula/South Bay. We hope our finds will help you out during this wonderfully busy holiday season—and remember to pick up something sweet for yourself.
Copenhagen Bakery – Photo via Jayne A. on Yelp
It’s well known that the Danes are extraordinary bakers. And since this writer is married to a Dane, I can personally promise that the Copenhagen Bakery is as authentic as it gets in California. If you need a holiday treat that truly tastes like the holidays (butter, cinnamon, sugar… yes, please) don’t hesitate to stop by. We also recommend staying for lunch, as their adjoining cafe has an endless menu of tasty Scandinavian-inspired meals sure to please the entire family.
1216 Burlingame Ave.
Hours: Monday & Tuesday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday & Thursday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
Cafe La Tartine
For those of you who are lemon meringue lovers—and let’s be honest, there’s a lot of us—this is the bakery for you. Cafe La Tartine has an incredible selection of delectable desserts inspired by Europe. And the ambiance here is so cozy, it’s perfect to go to before or after a movie downtown. Of course with sweet treats this good, you may forget about your movie plans entirely—but who could really blame you?
830 Middlefield Rd.
Redwood City, Ca
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 7 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri, 7 a.m.–11 p.m., Sat., 8 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun: 8.a.m.–9 p.m.
Photo: Denise M via Flickr
Draeger’s Market Bakery
When you need classic baked goods that taste homemade, consider Draeger’s Market Bakery your new best friend. They make a banana bread so incredible, it tastes like your mother made it. Their macaroons are insanely impressive, perfect for a holiday fete. And when your child tells you on the way to the school party that YOU were supposed to bring the cake? Don’t worry, Draeger’s cupcakes will have the teacher begging you for the recipe.
1010 University Dr.
Menlo Park, Ca
Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. every day
Photo courtesy of SusieCakes
When little (and big) mouths demand a slice of cake, take the fam here. Every day this adorable bakery sells slices of their freshly made (and always delicious) cakes. And these aren’t just any ol’ slices—the epic sizes will silence even your chattiest kid. Order a slice of their chocolate cake, and a nice cold glass of milk, and prepare to be transported back to your childhood. Good to know: Another Susie Cakes just opened in San Carlos.
642 Santa Cruz Ave.
Menlo Park, Ca
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
If you agreed to host brunch at your house and you can’t remember why (or maybe you just need an easy meal for out-of-towners), call ahead and place an order for one of Mayfield Bakery’s savory quiches. There’s both veggie and meat options, and while they’re a bit pricey (veg is $56, meat is $60), each quiche feeds 8 people, so we think the time and energy saved is well worth the cash.
Town & Country Village
855 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, Ca
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat-Sun, 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Photo: Susanne Nilsson on Flickr creative commons
If you’ve been looking for the perfect Black and White Cookie, do yourself a favor and head straight to La Baguette. Try to arrive hungry because the other goodies offered here are show stoppers as well. Located in Stanford Shopping Mall, the bakery is also a perfect place to grab a quick and savory lunch while holiday shopping with the kiddies.
170 Stanford Shopping Center
Palo Alto, Ca
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Voyageur Du Temps
When you need a special spot to take the child who already believes she’s a grown up, tell her you have a surprise and bring her to Voyager Du Temps. When you arrive at the bakery you’ll find yourself in a place so chic and modern and lovely, you’ll forget whatever was bothering you five minutes ago. The decor? J’adore! And we’re more than a little obsessed with the artisan breads, the heavenly pastries, the delicate macaroons…. let’s just say we’d move in if they’d let us.
288 1st St.
Los Altos, Ca
Hours: Monday: Closed, Tues.-Sat., 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun., 7 a.m-.4 p.m.
Photo via Jeffreyw on Flickr creative commons
Sugar Butter Flour
This bakery has the usual offerings of delicious pastries, cakes, and cookies, but what’s really special is their hand-crafted chocolates. If you’re looking for a unique and locally-made gift for a friend, a child’s teacher, or maybe even yourself, look no further. The chocolate gift boxes are available in 4, 9, 12, and 24 pieces. And with scrumptuious options like Earl Grey, Pepper Mint, and Peanut Butter Pyramid, we’ll understand if you go home with more than one.
669 S. Bernardo Ave.
Hours: Mon.-Thu.m 7 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Fri., 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Sat., 7:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Sun., 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
If you’re in charge of bringing a special cake to a fabulous holiday party, then you have to go to La Patisserie. Their Burnt Almond Cake is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, as is the Red Velvet Cake, the Chocolate Forest Cake, the Hazelnut Bliss Cake.…oh we could go on, but to be honest, we need to finish eating the rest of our cake.
19758 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Hours: Tues.- Fri., 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat., 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Zest Bakery
Raise your hand if you know someone with a gluten allergy. Okay that’s pretty much everyone. And if you’re tired of baking gluten-free treats that get thrown in the garbage (no judgement, it’s happened to the best of us), allow us to introduce you to Zest Bakery. Zest is a fabulous gluten-free bakery with tribes of loyal gluten-free fans. Not only do they have yummy (gluten-free) cookies, cupcakes, and muffins, but they also make sandwiches, ravioli, quiches, and frozen pizza crust. Bring a cooler, stock up, and go show your family what gluten-free is meant to be.
1224 Arroyo Ave.
San Carlos, Ca
Hours: Mon., Closed; Tues.-Sat., 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Let us know if we missed any of your favorite bakeries in the Peninsula/South Bay!
—Melody Morgan Sorensen