Although our bakery scene in Pittsburgh is somewhat small, the emergence of several high quality, creative bakeries over the past few years has been encouraging.
Sure, there are the big guys that have been around seemingly forever like Prantl's, Oakmont Bakery, and Breadworks, but what about little neighborhood spots where you can get a buttery croissant or a danish that's a work of art?
Fortunately, these types of artisan corner bakeries have been popping up in recent years. Everything from crusty breads to gluten free goodies to French pastries can now be found right here in the Burgh.
Lucky for you, we have no shame when it comes to bakery hopping (yes, we're making that a thing) and are here to clue you in on where to go to get your fix of baked goods.
As with most of our guides, this list is only a selection of bakeries we've visited to date. As we visit more bakeries in Pittsburgh we will update this article accordingly!
Madeleine Bakery in Wilkinsburg / Regent Square
One of the newest bakeries in the city, Madeleine Bakery is located in Wilkinsburg near Regent Square. This spot wins hands down the award for most adorable bakery in the city, but they're more than just a pretty face- they're serving up beautiful French pastries and breads like croissants, kouign amann, bouchons, madeleines, and baguettes, as well as loaves of sourdough, cookies, scones, and muffins for good measure.
Besides their namesake pastry which is a delicate little cake that's spongy with a hint of lemon, we've tried their cookies and croissants. The cookies were a bit crunchier than I like my cookies, but the chocolate chip and sea salt is a great flavor combination. The croissants are by far the best thing we've had here, and probably some of the best in the city, simultaneously light and rich with supremely flaky layers and a heavenly crackle on the outside.
We've heard rumors that the kouign amann are also to die for, which we believe given that they're basically amped up croissants with crunchy caramelized sugar on the outside. They typically only offer these babies during the week, however, and they are known to go quickly.
Madeleine Bakery is located at is located at 609 S Trenton Avenue in Wilkinsburg right on the border with Regent Square.
Five Points Artisan Bakeshop in Squirrel Hill / Point Breeze
Located in Squirrel Hill, Five Points Artisan Bakeshop has an extensive bread menu with the likes of baguettes, several kinds of sourdough, rolls, and other breads available on certain days of the week like challah, ciabatta, and dark rye. But they haven't forgotten about pastries and cookies- you'll find croissants, danishes, tarts, scones, and muffins. There's even sandwiches Tuesdays through Saturdays.
We indulged in a a mushroom and green onion tart here which was rich, well-seasoned, and packed with different kinds of mushrooms, not to mention the flaky crust. This was served at room temperature which was the only downside – once we warmed it up at home it was even better, although the flakiness of the crust suffered a little.
We also took a loaf of sourdough home which had a nice airy crumb and crackly crust. Our favorite thing here so far has been the apple danish: buttery, flaky layers of pastry are the resting spot for tender, creamy, sweet-tart baked apple slices. Delicious!
There is a table where you can stand and snack, but in general this more of a grab and go spot. We can definitely see returning here to try some of the other types of bread.
Five Points Artisan Bakeshop is located at 6520 Wilkins Avenue in Squirrel Hill at the border with Point Breeze.
La Gourmandine in Multiple Locations
La Gourmandine is a superb French bakery with several locations around Pittsburgh. We've visited the cozy, tiny spot in Lawrenceville as well as the new and expansive storefront in Hazelwood, but there are also locations in Mt. Lebanon and downtown.
All manner of traditional French goodies are available including breads, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, and quiches. Their croissants are some of the flakiest we've had in the city, and the baguettes are heavenly as well. But let's face it, we're a sucker for fancy French sweets, and the creations here hit the mark.
The moelleux au chocolate is their take on a lava cake- heat it up just a little before eating it and the center turns into a gooey, rich, dark chocolate wonder. The foret noire is also amazing with a fluffy chocolate mousse and cherries in the center surrounded by a thin dark cocoa coating on the outside.
La Gourmandine has four locations around Pittsburgh, the above photo is from the Hazelwood location at 5013 Second Avenue.
Grandview Bakery in Mount Washington
Located in the business district on Mt. Washington's Shiloh Street, this bakery is a great place to pop into if you're coming up the Monongahela Incline, or if you're in the neighborhood to check out the awesome views of the Pittsburgh skyline.
Although Grandview Bakery does bake a small selection of breads, the sweets are really what you need to come in for. Cakes, cookies, pastries, muffins, brownies, donuts, and pies are all part of the deal here.
Having lived within walking distance of this bakery for a few years, we can tell you that our all time favorite goodies here are the lemon bars. The shortbread crust is buttery and sugary and unlike any other lemon bar crust we've had before. The lemon filling is creamy and just sweet enough, while the crusty layer of powdered sugar on top balances the tartness of the lemon. Divine!
Another really awesome thing about Grandview Bakery is their selection of baking supplies. In fact, their selection of sprinkles, molds, flavorings, sugars, boxes, and packaging supplies occupies nearly half of their storefront space. It's enough to make any baker's heart swoon!
Grandview Bakery is located at 225 Shiloh Street on Mount Washington.
Allegro Hearth Bakery in Squirrel Hill
Allegro Hearth Bakery is a longtime establishment in Squirrel Hill baking up breads, cakes, pies, quick breads, and other pastries. We appreciate that they have a huge variety of breads available like rye, challah, focaccia, as well as more interesting ones like kalamata olive, chocolate cherry, and honey sesame.
We recently enjoyed a loaf of sourdough which had a good crackly crust and a soft interior with a medium crumb. We've also tried the lemon bars with a buttery, crumbly base layer and a gooey lemon topping. It was good, but our favorite lemon bars are still at Grandview Bakery.
Allegro Hearth is located at 2034 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill
The Butterwood Bake Consortium in Lawrenceville
This spot is hipster hangout meets Victorian style tea parlor and it specializes in lavish layer cakes. The cakes are truly works of art, piled high with multiple layers and extravagant fillings and garnishes. A cream colored Victorian couch dominates the seating area while red velvet curtains line the windows. The whole experience feels decidedly indulgent but somehow necessary.
We tried a chocolate layer cake which was dense but still moist with a rich chocolate flavor, perfect for getting your chocolate fix on. We also really enjoyed the brown butter blondie which was gooey, slightly salty, and buttery- it was even served warm.
For drinks check out the fancy hot chocolate with the steamed milk, chocolate, and whipped cream served separately on a fancy silver platter so you can concoct the drink yourself. There's even an espresso bar complete with beans from local roaster KLVN – the cortado we had was a great foil to the decadent desserts.
One of the best things about this cafe is that they're open late – until 11PM Wednesday through Saturday, and 9PM on Sunday (at the time of publishing). Get down to Lawrenceville to check them out!
The Butterwood Bake Consortium is located at 5222 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
Priory Fine Pastries in East Allegheny (North Side)
This spot on East Ohio St. in East Allegheny (also referred to as Deutschtown) on the North Side has been around since 2004 and serves up a variety of sweet pastries and baked goods like cookies, cupcakes, cakes, pies, and donuts. There are a few small tables inside if you just can't wait to indulge in the sweetness until you get home.
On our visit we tried a mini chocolate raspberry bundt cake, a buttercream donut, and a blueberry muffin. The muffin was surprisingly tender and moist with a sprinkling of demerara sugar on top for a delectable crunch. The donut, stuffed with fluffy vanilla buttercream and covered in a chocolate glaze, was not overly sweet which we appreciated. The chocolate cake was by far the winner here with a dense, rich cake hiding a raspberry jam filling. A dollop of whipped cream and a fresh raspberry topped it all off. We will definitely be back for this one!
Priory Fine Pastries is located at 528 E Ohio Street in Allegheny East (North Side).
Breadworks Bakery in Perry South (North Side)
Breadworks Bakery has been around since 1979 serving up, as you might surmise from its name, just high quality breads. They supply lots of the restaurants in the area so chances are you've probably eaten their bread before without realizing it.
Although you can purchase their bread at dozens of stores around the city (like Penn Mac and Wholey's in the Strip District), there's something exhilarating about visiting their main bakery in the North Side and seeing the huge scale of their operation. The workers here are always the nicest – more often than not they'll give you a breadstick or roll to nibble on while you decide on your order.
The breads here tend towards traditional (like sourdough, rye, and rolls) but they do offer a selection of more rustic, crusty breads like ciabatta, rustic Italian, and six grain. We're always amazed at how huge the loaves are here for such a low price.
A few tips: they are cash only, so make sure you come prepared. Also, they offer half off all breads the last half hour before closing (5:30-6PM on weekdays; 2:30-3PM on Sundays at the time of publishing), making their already great deals even better.
Breadworks Bakery is located at 2110 Brighton Road in Perry South (in the North Side).
Prohibition Pastries in Point Breeze
Prohibition Pastries fills an interesting bakery niche by using local spirits and beers to flavor their goodies. Hand pies, pies, cupcakes, quiches, cakes, cookies, and breads are all on offer here.
On our visit we tried a Whisper of Whiskey cupcake which was a chocolate cupcake filled with a whiskey-spiked dulce de leche filling and topped with chocolate icing. The cupcake could have been a little more moist but the dulce de leche filling was addicting for sure, and they certainly didn't skimp on the frosting either.
Prohibition Pastries is located at 7105 Reynolds Street in Point Breeze.
Jean-Marc Chatellier's in Millvale
It surprised us to learn that there is a French bakery in Millvale, but there is one indeed and it is legitimate- it's owned by a baker (Jean-Marc) from Brittany, France, and it's been around for over 25 years! This spot bakes up a variety of macarons, specialty cakes, croissants, danishes, palmiers, strudels, tarts, and quiches.
We are suckers for the kouign amann, which are made from buttery, flaky croissant dough but with a layer of crunchy caramelized sugar on the outside. They are rich and savory but just sugary enough to satisfy our sweet tooth.
Their tartlets are also adorable with a variety of colorful fruit toppings bathed in a glistening sugar layer. The apple one has a super thin layer of sliced apples and a creamy custard underneath. They're almost too pretty to eat – almost!
Another unique specialty at Jean Marc is their Breton buckwheat cake. The texture of these cakes is really dense and to me is reminiscent of a really dense blondie brownie. They're nutty, buttery, and even better warmed up as they get a little soft and gooey.
Pro tip: Things sell out early on Saturdays (many items are gone by about 9 or 10 am) so set your alarm if you want to pick up something specific!
Jean-Marc Chatellier's is located at 213 North Avenue in Millvale.
Bethel Bakery in Bethel Park
Bethel Bakery is a South Hills institution famous for their gourmet and delicious special occasion cakes. Although we didn't try any cakes on our visit, we did try an orange dreamsicle cupcake which was a vanilla/orange cupcake topped with a huge amount of frosting. It was quite sweet but definitely lived up to the dreamsicle name.
We also tried an old fashioned donut and some mini cherry cheesecake bites that had a nicely spiced crumb layer on the bottom, a rich and creamy cheesecake filling, and a sweet-tart cherry topping.
Our favorite thing here was probably the buttercream donut which is exactly as it sounds. It's a large donut that is built basically like a sandwich with the filling being the buttercream. The donut itself was soft and pillowy, and the buttercream was also light and fluffy. The whole thing was so airy we almost forgot about the calories.
Bethel Bakery is located at 5200 Brightwood Road in Bethel Park, PA.
Potomac Bakery in the South Hills
Potomac Bakery with locations in Dormont and Mt Lebanon has a small, neighborhood bakery feel. But don't let its size fool you – the treats here are mighty good. They offer breads, muffins, donuts, coffee cakes, cookies, pies, cakes, and other desserts.
On our visit to the Dormont location we tried a few flower shaped iced sugar cookies. These cookies were tender and soft, and they reminded me of the Christmas cookies my mom made growing up.
We also tried a cannoli which had a filling that was a little more dense than I'm used to but it was a perfectly delicious iteration. The shell seemed a bit thick and crunchy.
Our favorite thing here was the chocolate delight which was a moist chocolate cupcake topped with buttercream, and the whole thing was covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate. The buttercream was very rich and buttery, while the bitterness of the dark chocolate helped rein in the sweetness of the whole thing. Yum!
Potomac Bakery is located at 1419 Potomac Avenue in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.
Oakmont Bakery in Oakmont
Oakmont Bakery definitely wins as one of the largest bakeries in the Pittsburgh area. With dozens of display cases showcasing elaborate sweet and savory treats, this spot is a destination in itself – we drove half an hour just to check it out, and it was entirely worth it.
On the more savory side of things, you can find breads, bagels, rolls, and sandwich rings here. We tried out an everything bagel that didn't quite have as much onion and garlic flavor as we would have liked, but had a surprisingly delicious chewy texture. We also nibbled a croissant which lacked a crackly, crusty outside but was buttery and spongy (rather than flaky) on the inside.
It seems as the sweeter side of things is where Oakmont excels, if the fancy gourmet cakes and cupcakes on display are any indication. For sweets you'll find cookies, donuts, pastries, pies, and even chocolates like truffles and buckeyes.
We tried a maple twist which was almost like a cinnamon roll but in rectangular form. The rich, yeasty, eggy dough mingled with layers of cinnamon sugar and was topped with a sweet maple frosting. This was so rich and decadent that we could only eat a few bites at a time!
Oakmont Bakery also has seasonal specialties which on our visit were paczki and king cakes. Paczki are Polish pastries that are made from a yeasted dough, stuffed with fruit or other sweet fillings, and fried almost like a donut. We picked up two of these beauties, one stuffed with a whipped cream, and one stuffed with a prune filling. They were both heavenly but the prune one was our favorite with its thick, jammy filling that wasn't too sweet and a light but rich glazed dough. We were lucky we ate these at home, otherwise we would have been tempted to order more! (Paczki are only available from mid-January until Lent.)
Oakmont Bakery is located at 531 Allegheny Avenue in Oakmont.
Prantl's Bakery in Market Square and Shadyside
To round out this list, we head to what is perhaps Pittsburgh's most famous bakery- Prantl's.
Prantl's has two locations in the city (one in Market Square and one in Shadyside) and is known for a number of conventional baked goods ranging from cookies to whoopie pies. But what they're famous for (and truly win national awards for) is their burnt almond torte. This one is a white cake that is covered in icing and topped corner to corner with almonds.
As I am quite allergic to tree nuts, Jeremy had to wait quite some time for the stars to align to try this one. Namely when he made it down to Market Square on a week day during the day without me. He said the several year wait was worth it for this sugary and deeply nutty treat. Unfortunately, it is one I'll never be able to try for myself!
Prantl's Bakery is located at 438 Market Square downtown and 5525 Walnut Street in Shadyside. Jeremy visited the downtown location.
Have a favorite bakery we haven't visited yet? Comment below to let us know about it. We'll check it out and add it into this guide on a future visit!
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