Our Favorite Bakeries
Winter means the holidays—gathering with family and friends, sharing a meal, and my personal favorite, the pre-and-post-meal noshes. I’m talking about the hearty slice of bread with pesto to whet the appetite, or a piece of pastry to go along with your coffee as you catch up with old faces late into the night. Those two scenarios require two things: loved ones to share stories with, and really good baked goods. Here’s our guide to our favorite bakeries in and around Columbus.
541 S. Drexel Ave., Bexley, Ohio 43209 While most every bakery covered in this piece has a few gluten-free options, there is one Columbus bakery devoted to producing high-quality baked goods that are also completely gluten- and nut-free that we love. Cherbourg specializes in artfully made pastry and confections that also satisfy dietary restrictions. Visit Cherbourg and try gluten-free versions of traditional baked goods like lemon bars, madeleines, cream puffs, and ginger snaps; or sample some of the bakery’s more unique goods, like a rosemary polenta cake or a zucchini bread “Twinkie” with cream cheese frosting filling.
1028 Ridge St., Columbus, Ohio 43215 Artisan breads made by Dan the Baker can be found at farmers markets around Central Ohio (including the Worthington Farmers Market), coffee shops like Café Brioso and One Line Coffee, and cooperative markets like the Clintonville Community Market and the Bexley Natural Market. It’s good to know there are so many places that keep Dan the Baker’s loaves on hand because the bread is both 100% organic and heartily delicious. Dan the Baker also has opened a Toast Bar: a place to try the artisan bread paired with equally gourmet toppings.
15 East 2nd Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43201 Located in the Short North, Laughlin’s is in many ways the best of both worlds when it comes to a bakery: they bake their own loaves of bread and also a plethora of pastry and cakes. Using traditional methods, Laughlin’s creates a variety of bread, from a classic country white bread, to whimsically flavored focaccia and French baguettes, along with muffins, pies, and pastries. That list doesn’t even mention Laughlin’s cakes: nearly all of the standard great cakes—think vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, and carrot—that are available both as full cakes or by the slice.
Lucky Cat Bakery operates out of Lucky Cat Farm in Pataskala, Ohio, but you can find their goods at Columbus farmers markets, including Clintonville Market and the Easton Farmers Market. When the weather is too cold for outdoor markets, scouring small grocers around Columbus can lead to scoring some Lucky Cat. Lucky Cat specializes in breads (although they make pastry too); the folks at Lucky Cat make several different kinds of breads and they pride themselves on only using the highest quality ingredients.
59 Spruce St., Columbus, Ohio 43215 (in North Market) Omega Artisan Bakery brings hand-made breads, croissants, pastries, cakes, pies, and savory goods like ham and cheese croissants and pepperoni rolls to Columbus’s own North Market. Beyond those regular offerings, Omega also loves to create special limited-run baked goods: like an ever-changing quiche based on the season’s offerings, hot cross buns for Easter, and challah for Rosh Hashanah. Omega also offers one-off baking classes; past classes have included basic bread making, holiday brunch, a sourdough class, and one that focuses on pizza-making.
541 S. 3rd St., Columbus, Ohio 43215 A German Village pastry kitchen that also has a presence in the North Market, Pistacia Vera specializes in handmade, lighter fare. Perhaps best known for its dozen varieties of delicate Parisian macarons, Pistacia Vera also bakes a smattering of cookies, croissants, and teacakes. Pistacia Vera offers classic desserts like éclairs and tarts, while also experimenting with more adventurous confections like a Raspberry Passion Fruit Truffle Torte, which is a decadent flourless chocolate cake with passion fruit curd and a chocolate-passion fruit mousse.
657 High St., Worthington, Ohio 43085 A bakery that promises baked goods handcrafted from the finest, often locally sourced, ingredients. Sassafras Bakery crafts classic baked goods year round, like cinnamon rolls, scones, and muffins, but also has a tremendous seasonal selection. The fresh pies offered at the bakery vary by season, with rhubarb and strawberry pies opening the pie season in May and June, and pecan and pumpkin pies for the holiday season. They also make quiche and savory scones daily, if you’re searching for heartier pastry.