When your sweet tooth has a craving that simply won’t be satisfied, it’s time to take a Music City drive and head over to visit the 10Best bakeries. Home to some of the finest cakes, brownies, cookies, breads, and muffins in the south, no matter what you’re seeking, your hankering can be found. From downtown Franklin’s famed Merridee’s Breadbasket to renowned Sweet 16th and sweet Gigi’s cupcakes, you’ll find hearty meals for lunch, sweet desserts, and a variety of treats for the night. Toast yourself and the town as you bite into a savory and melt-in-your mouth donut, sliver of pie, or slice of Elvis cake.
Nashville is home to some of the finest sounds of the south, but none sound quite so sweet as the sigh of a happy belly from a smiling mouth. Be sure to take the time to test a few of our bakeries. But, please, don’t take my word for it. Get out there and try them yourself – just be sure to grab a doggie bag for extras, and walk around soaking in the sights as your food settles. With so much to see and do in Music City, there’s always time for a treat to set the mood.
For years Puffy Muffin has been winning over pastry lovers. Selling homemade bread, rolls, pastries and muffins, they have shown a passion for divine desserts. Even after 25 years, Puffy Muffin continues to be a staple for Nashvillians seeking impeccable pastries, desserts, and cookies. It's also a favorite of ladies who lunch - with their chicken salad, and crepes, they prove that Puffy Muffin is on par for excellency. Per their mission statement: "We exist to provide an environment of excellence that distinguishes us from others, being led by the Lord, to create opportunities for growth and to produce for our employees and guests an experience of our genuine appreciation and commitment to excellence." ((615) 373-2741)
Cupcakes come in all flavors and a variety of innovative and surprising combinations. Gigi's cupcakeS start their day by baking their cakes with only the freshest ingredients. While the menu changes every day, certain staples remain constant, and you can count on sinful chocolate, very vanilla, and mouth-watering innovations to lead the way. The fall new cupcakes include: six new delicious cheesecake recipes include Classic Cheesecake, Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, Cookies & Cream Cheesecake, Lemon Cheesecake, Raspberry Cheesecake and Turtle Cheesecake. Be sure to ask to hear about Gigi's story, it's proof that perseverance and faith can lead to dreams coming true. ((615) 342-0140)
A little more southern than pastry, Pancake Pantry is renowned for its sumptuous and delicious breakfast. This legendary breakfast joint near Vanderbilt University serves one of Nashville's tastiest morning meals, especially if you're in the mood for their signature pancakes. For a delicious initiation, smother an order with your topping of choice old-fashioned maple syrup, cinnamon-cream, or even raspberry cream. If you're really hungry and flapjacks just won't do, a waitress may be able to talk you into the Grill Cook's Medley fried potatoes smothered with eggs, cheese, peppers, and who knows what else! Be sure to pay attention for who comes through the door - famous faces are often spotted here. (615-383-9333)
Provence Breads and Cafe
Established in 1996, Provence is proud to bring a bit of France to the south. Provence offers a wide variety of specialty sandwiches, breads and pastries for the crowd that flocks to one of four locations. The original (and to many, the best) is in Hillsboro Village, and the cafe itself reflects the funky character of the neighborhood. Breakfast platters and boxes are popular for take-out, and they can include croissants, fruit salad, various cheeses, muffins, danishes and scones. Coffee cakes are also popular. If you're looking for a premier Artisan Bakery and Café, Provence Breads and Cafe is the place for you. (615-386-0363)
Bread & Company
One of the favorites among locals and visitors alike, Bread & Company is a must any day of the week. With a commitment to all-natural, hand-crafted baked goods, Bread & Company has charmed taste buds all over Music City. They offer a wide array of fresh already made sandwiches, or diners can build their own. One of their specials is the Fruit tea, or fruit tea punch, which is a perfected mixture of tea, juices, sugar, and mint. It's served over Bread & Company's crushed ice and hailed as a perfect Southern summertime cooler. Half-gallons and gallons to go are available, but be warned, they go quickly. (615-771-6600, 615- 292-7323)
The Cupcake Collection
Birthday, party, celebration coming your way? Then you need a cupcake solution to toast the day. The Cupcake Collection makes a fresh batch of these appealing edibles daily, using only the highest quality ingredients. Satisfy your sweet tooth by visiting the quaint Germantown location, which is housed in a cozy, renovated cottage. The daily selection varies but always includes tempting staples like red velvet, carrot, chocolate and strawberry. Look for unique, seasonally inspired options like sweet potato and wedding cake, too. Remember that all cupcakes were not created equal. Listen to your palate and don't be afraid to try something new. (615-244-2900)
In the heart of downtown Franklin, Merridee's is a treasure among bakeries. Serving only scratch-made products, it is no surprise that Merridee's Breadbasket is one of the most popular bakeries in the area. Satisfy your sweet tooth with heavenly homemade pies, brownies, cookies, cakes and various pastries. Merridee's is also a great place for breakfast and lunch, with everything from made-to-order omelets and homemade chicken salad sandwiches to ham and cheese baguettes and the classic Philly cheese steak. They're open from breakfast to dinner, and their sandwich and salad fare are as satisfying as their delicious baked goods. Try both, and don't forget to take a side of chocolate to go. (615-790-3755)
Fox's Donut Den
On of the staples and landmarks of Music City, if you are a donut aficionado, or just a fan of melt-in-your-mouth pastry, this is the place for you. Boasting a decades-long history, Fox's Donut Den is an icon among local bakeries. Their famous, freshly made donuts come in a variety of delectable flavors, such as glazed, chocolate, blueberry cake, Devil's food cake and maple. Other satisfying sweets include apple fritters, chocolate eclairs, cinnamon rolls and turnovers. This neighborhood bakery also offers a grand assortment of bagels and muffins, as well as kolaches. So don't be a stranger, and don't be afraid to sample more than one! (615-385-1021)
When your sweet tooth simply won't be satisfied, it's time for Dulce Desserts and their sweet spread of pastries and pies. One of the best bakeries around, Dulce Desserts offers a delicious variety of sweet treats, including cakes, pies, tarts, pastries and cookies. All cakes and fillings are made from scratch, and the option to mix and match cake flavors, butter cream icing and fillings gives patrons creative license in concocting the cake of their dreams. The bakery also features a rotating menu of cupcake flavors and delightful, seasonally decorated sugar cookies. No matter your craving, Dulce Desserts promises to fulfill your desire. (615-321-8700)
When it comes to bakeries on the eastside, this neighborhood shop is a local favorite. Assorted scones, muffins, coffee cakes, cookies and other goodies are baked fresh daily, and unique cake flavors are sure to delight. The Elvis cake, which features banana cake layered with peanut butter cream and topped with cream cheese frosting, is a popular pick. Savory items are also available, and the Saturday morning egg casserole breakfast sandwich comes highly recommended. Walk off your full belly by browsing five points - there are a number of shops to peruse, from East Side Story Bookstore to Hello Cowboy and Goodbye Girl. (615-226-8367)
About Paige Crutcher
Paige Crutcher is a writer, author interviewer, book reviewer, and storyteller. When her nose isn’t between the pages of a well-worn book, she’s working on articles, traveling, or researching a new place to discover.
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