This East Bay bakery is one of many cultural ties and talents. Here at Saffron Cafe and Bakery, there are Mediterranean dishes and Middle Eastern plates to enjoy, as well as a "global foods market" section full of takeaway goods, but we'll just focus on the baked goods--for now. Visit Saffron for scones, muffins, danishes, croissants, and other pastries with an impressive variety of flavors and fillings. There's a loaf of bread to suit every taste, too, including baguettes, multigrain, 9-grain, 10-grain, sour dough, Jewish Rye, hand-braided Challah, semolina, sun-dried tomato, and many more. The skilled bake-staff at Saffron also offers wholesale and advance group orders, and welcomes special event catering as well.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Saffron is a powerhouse among local bakeries, with dozens of treats to attract any sweet tooth. What's more, there's breakfast and lunch plates, too.
Clare's expert tip: Saffrons strengths lie is offering an impressive variety of each type of bread, pastry, and sweet treat on the menu. We suggest tackling the long list of cheesecakes.
A true bakery, Normandy Farm specializes in unique breads and has a wide variety to choose from, like the Palmetto Beer bread, which uses leftover grains from a local brewer and orange rosemary loaf, made with the freshest ingredients. A massive mural decorates the wall, greeting guests when they enter. The shop also serves muffins, scones, sandwiches, and sweets, including the irresistible raspberry pecan bar and salted caramel blonde - a twist on the classic brownie. The cafe is also in the midst of a new project that customers will love: roasting their own coffee. Be aware that they are close on Sundays.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Whether it's in their bakeshop or at the Charleston Farmers Market, consistently fresh, chewy loaves from Normandy Farms is a hit with any bread lover.
Clare's expert tip: Visit the Broad Street or Society Street Normandy Farm Bakery locations for carry our loaves, sandwiches, and more!
Located right on East Bay Street, the Bakehouse Charleston feels like a modern cafe with a cozy southern flair. They serve up preservative-free delicacies that are baked fresh each day. In addition to coconut vanilla cookies, truffles, and muffins the shop specializes in unique beverages. Try the orange creams smoothie, toasted marshmallow cappuccino, cinnamon bun latte, or red velvet hot chocolate. A separate meeting room boasts a long table and over-sized bookshelf. The new-American style shop also whips up picture-perfect wedding cakes, pies, quiches, and tarts as well as locally-brewed beers. Bakehouse Charleston is open 7 days a week, and offers free WIFI--so you can linger as long as you'd like.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Bakehouse offers a high standard of baked goods and treats, and the location is nearly unbeatable--mere steps from many of Charleston's most popular historic sites.
Clare's expert tip: Is there a bad time for baked goods? What about a best time? Any time you pop into Bakehouse Charleston, snag a freshly roasted cup of coffee with your regular pastry.
What is it about cupcakes? We loved them when we were kids, and some of us never lost that affection. Luckily for us, expert cupcake makers are "opening shop" all over the country, and Charleston has its very own cupcake specialists: Cupcake Down South. Choosing from the array of flavors may prove to be difficult; depending on the day, you might try lemon-blueberry, best seller red velvet, praline, chocolate chip mint, cinnamon swirl, rocky road, with classic chocolate and vanilla versions available every day, all made from scratch. You'll find vegan cupcakes in store every Wednesday and Friday. Are you already a fan of Cupcake Down South? Book them for special event or wedding catering!
Recommended for Bakeries because: A variety of flavors that rotate daily, but always (always!) taste great.
Clare's expert tip: Yes, Cupcake Down South does offer gluten-free cupcakes!
Run by Allison Smith, a graduate of the local culinary institute, Glazed Gourmet is so popular that the shop itself is often closes earlier than planned due to selling out of all of their delicious doughnuts and coffee! This sweet spot is open Tuesday through Friday beginning at 7am, and weekends beginning at 9, and it's highly advised to go early to beat the crowds, even if you're planning to make Glazed Gourmet's doughnuts your dessert. Why the word gourmet in their name? Glazed Gourmet sources their ingredients locally, and hand makes each and every doughnut with care. That means no preservatives, no frozen pre-made dough, no food coloring, and no artificial flavors. What's more, the 12 daily varieties of doughnuts are highly irresistible, with flavors such as Vegan Chocolate Mint, Apple Pie Cheddar, Mexican Chocolate, Sweet Potato and Maple Bacon making regular appearances.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Although they specialize in cupcakes, anything you order at Sugar is sinfully-good.
Clare's expert tip: Hit Upper King's Glazed Gourmet early if you're planning on securing some doughnuts for today's breakfast or tonight's dessert--Glazed is only open until they've sold out!
This neighborhood home-turned-bakeshop serves up some of the most talked-about bread in all of Charleston. You'll see Brown's Court bread and baked goods at local grocery stores, shops, and on many a fine restaurant menu. All the traditional break offerings are there, like Focaccia, Brioche, Challah, and a delicious French Baguette. There are baked goodies, too; think pastries like muffins, scones, and cookies. It's a nice little spot to enjoy a treat and a coffee when you're on the north side of downtown. Pull up a seat on the sunny Browns Court Bakery porch and your morning is made, Charleston style!
Recommended for Bakeries because: Take a cue from many local Charleston restaurants, both casual and upscale--Brown's Court Bakery bakes fantastic bread.
Clare's expert tip: We're not lying: Brown's Court offers a 'baked goods happy hour' every day of the week, with discounted goodies 5pm - 7pm.
This wildly popular food truck opened a brick and mortar shop at 616 Meeting Street just north of downtown Charleston, and immediately began collecting regular customers. Selling a wide variety of either organic vanilla cake or whole wheat doughnuts, Diggity Doughnuts serves up off-the-wall flavors that change daily, and often sell out. Diggity Doughnuts always serves egg and dairy free doughnuts, and there is a new gluten-free flavor on the menu each day. Try one of these unexpected flavors: The Nutty Rooster with Sriarcha and peanut butter, Key Lime Pie, Maple & Brown Sugar, Cappuchino, The Starla strawberry and jalapeno flavor, Summer Blues lemon blueberry, or even Dill Pickle or Roasted Garlic flavors! Of course, classic chocolate and sugar icing doughnuts are available, too. Diggity Doughtnuts brings vegan desserts to the masses, alongside coffee, tea, and homemade chai tea, green juice and smoothies.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Yes, you heard us correctly: doughnuts in amazing flavors that are also vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free! No more reasons needed to pick up a dozen.
Clare's expert tip: Vegans, egg-free, gluten-free and dairy-free eaters rejoice! Diggity Doughnuts has your dessert plans locked down with their organic, small batch doughnuts!
This beige, white, and Robin's egg blue-colored bakery and dessert shop is small, but hard to miss among Cannon Street's residential buildings and businesses. Sugar Bakeshop has been a massive hit among both locals and visitors to Charleston since opening its doors in 2007, bringing in a growing circle of walk-in sweet lovers as well as special order party and event patrons. From day one, this uber-cute bakery has made local produce sourcing a priority, and the freshness of their ingredients is showcased in a major way among the flavors of their cakes and cupcakes. Call ahead to Sugar Bakeshop for a custom made celebratory cake or cupcake batch, or simply stroll into the shop for a taste of their regular and seasonal menu items, like the Vanilla Blueberry, Lime Curd Coconut, Strawberry and Orange Cupcakes. Tarts, cookies, and pies are also available on a grab-and-go and made-to-order basis daily.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Need special event catering or wedding cakes and cupcakes? Sugar's got you covered. Need a quick treat on weekday? Sugar's your destination for any occasion.
Clare's expert tip: There's limited seating within the Sugar Bakeshop walls - plan to grab and go or take your goodies outside to their garden courtyard.