When locals want a treat, they head to this sweet boutique to scoop up Toni Rivard's OMG chocolate chip cookies (Forbes Traveler declared them one of the nation's best). And not only will you find a wide selection of cookies, Rivard also whips up everything from custom cakes, cakeballs and whoopie pies to cinnamon rolls, brownies and French pastries. In addition to the bakery range, the shop boasts an impressive stock of French gourmet products, including olive wood bread baskets and herb mills from Berard; jams, candies and honey from L'Ami Provencal, and various spreads from L'epicurien. They go all out at Easter and Christmas, so keep an eye out for seasonal goodies.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Creme de la Cookie is one of the best places in town for cake balls and custom decorated cookies.
Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to follow on Facebook to find out about special creations and deals. And don't miss the melt-in-you-mouth macarons when they have them, they're terrific.
This adorable and ultra popular pie shop, set up in a restored craftsman bungalow--is one of the sweetest attractions in the Bishop Arts neighborhood. Pie mavens, Megan Wilkes and Mary Gauntt, offer a rotating roster of seasonally flavored pies that run the gamut from old fashioned buttermilk to a banana custard topped with maple and caramel. Their signature picks include the Smooth Operator, a French silk chocolate with a pretzel crust and the Lord of Pies, a deep dish apple streusel delight. They'll package it for you to-go in a wooden basket accompanied with a wooden fork or you can have a seat in the shop and enjoy a slice with ice cream on top.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Without a doubt, Emporium Pies offers the best pies in Texas.
Ilene's expert tip: Go early to avoid the lines, or try their other location in McKinney.
Started in 1992, this place was serving up artisan breads long before they became trendy in Dallas. And ever since, the company has gone from strength to strength, shoveling out crusty loaves to a faithful following of carb-loving locals as well as to some of Dallas' finest restaurants, including The Mansion on Turtle Creek and The Four Seasons to name a few. Their fresh-baked breads run the gamut from apple cinnamon walnut loaves to braided challah, French baguettes and San Francisco sourdough. But the repertoire of daily offerings rise beyond bread, they also peddle pastries (think: scones, croissants, Danishes and rugulah) along with cookies, locally-made jams and even gourmet sandwiches. The jalapeĂ±o cheese bread, with aged cheddar cheese and diced jalapenosÂâ€“ is amazing. Don't miss the chocolate chip cookies here either.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Empire Baking Co. is the top bread supplier for many of Dallas' restaurants.
Ilene's expert tip: Follow on Facebook to find about daily specials and frequent deals. They post great recipes there as well.
From the looks of the pastry case, jammed full with a bounty of taste-tempting treats, you'd never guess that everything here has been made with nary an egg or dairy product in sight. Behold Reverie Bakeshop, an entirely vegan bakery that offers goodies that are free from eggs, dairy and refined sugar. Not only that, the bakery also whips up a terrific selection of gluten-free bread, pies, muffins, cookies, cakes and scones. And we haven't even gotten to the mouthwatering array of raw desserts. Expect to find options ranging from chocolate caramel bars to banana cream pies and pina colada cakes. Keep an eye out for specialty items that pop up on the menu around holiday time. If they have it, be sure to order the raw pumpkin cheesecake, it's phenomenal.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Reverie churns out sweet treats so sumptuous that you'd never guess they are all gluten-free.
Ilene's expert tip: Get there early for the best selection, because the goodies go fast. Note that they also do gorgeous custom made cakes, cookies and cupcakes as well.
If you haven't been to the new food hall at Dallas' downtown Farmers Market, then you're going to want to head over, if only to check out this Italian-style cafe and bakery which recently joined the ranks of venues pumping out delicious treats. The spot is the brainchild of Corrado Palmieri, an investment banker who traded in raising capital for raising the dough used in his delectable Italian pastries, reminiscent of the ones he grew up baking with his grandmother in Southern Italy. The treats, which are all made in-house, include unique delicacies like cornettos (an Italian croissant with a vanilla cream or chocolate filling) and cannoncino, a baked type of cannoli stuffed with milk chocolate or vanilla-lemon cream. Equally as good is the coffeeÂâ€“ espresso, cappuccino, macchiato and latteÂâ€“ all made out of a La Cimbali espresso machine using beans imported directly from Southern Italy. The menu changes frequently, but be aware that many items often sell out early. Best to call ahead if you want to order something specific.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Palmieri Cafe is the only place in Dallas to find authentic South Italian pastries and coffees made from a La Cimbali espresso machine.
Ilene's expert tip: Check Facebook or call in to find out what pastries are on offer. And keep an eye out for their gelato too.
Dallas' best bakery? The local Francophiles who stake out this bastion of baguettes think so, and with good reason. The shop's hearth-baked boules, crusty baguettes and buttery croissants are as good as any found across the Atlantic. And the pastries: eclairs, tarts and the like Ââ€“are worth a browse too. But if you want something more substantial to start the day, sneak into a space at one of the tables on the patio and settle in with an espresso and a slice of quiche or a bowl of house-made granola. Boulangerie also churns out lunchtime fare, from savory croissants to croque monsieurs and rustic style sandwiches. Do make sure to try the caneles--little bell-shaped cakes with caramelized crusts and custardy centersÂâ€“they are always a winner. Time it right and you could snag a fresh one straight from the oven.
Recommended for Bakeries because: For the best baked French-style baked goods in town, Boulangerie is the only place you need to know about.
Ilene's expert tip: For those who are on the run, there's another location (Village Baking Company) located nearby off Central Expressway and University.
Without a doubt, Society Bakery whips up the best cupcakes and whoopie pies in town. But don't take our word for it, just ask Ellen DeGeneres and Food Network's Duff Goldman, who declared them to be among the best in the country. And it's pretty easy to see why: the cupcakes, which come in a dozen or so mouthwatering flavorsÂâ€“ from vanilla salted caramel to key lime and coconut cream, are nothing short of ethereal. Ditto for the whoopie pies. The peppermint red velvet (red velvet cake with a peppermint cream cheese icing sandwiched in-between) is Goldman's favorite, but we think the bread-pudding ones really take the cake. Speaking of cakes and pies, Society does a smashing job with both. They also pump out everything from muffins and petite fours to cookies and brownies. After something more savory? Society serves lunch in the form of jazzed up toasts and sandwiches.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Society Bakery has cornered the market on cupcakes, and they turn out killer cookies and other bakery delights as well.
Ilene's expert tip: Society Bakery has three locations across the city. Keep an eye out for special offers, which are routinely posted on Society's social media.
It's difficult to findÂâ€“ and virtually impossible to park up closeÂâ€“ but that hasn't stopped folks from pouring into Andrea Meyer's bijou sweets boutique. And it's easy to see why: the place is a Gallic gold mine of tasty treasures, that include everything from tarts and tea cakes (think citrus madeleines and chocolate almond financiers) to French-style pastries, cookies and scones. You really can't go wrong with anything in the pastry case, but you'd really be missing out if don't try the macarons, they're what the place is best known for. Choose from the likes of pistachio, hazelnut, coffee, salted caramel and tiramisu. Or better yet, order up a box of twelveÂâ€“ that way you can taste them all. And don't pass up the eclairs either, the lavender honey ones are always a choux-in.
Recommended for Bakeries because: The macarons tend to get all the hype, but this place rocks when it comes to eclairs too.
Ilene's expert tip: Follow the shop on Facebook to find out about seasonal specials and occasional deals.
Though it has only been opened less than a year, Haute Sweets is already shaping up to be one of the city's hottest bakeries. Which is especially surprising since the place is located in an off-the-beaten-track shopping strip near White Rock Lake in East Dallas. But while the shop may be new, its owners, Gianni Santin and Tida PichakronÂâ€“ are not. The pair had previously built up a following for their macarons and other show-stopping confections through their catering business which had a storefront in Trinity Groves. They have also been featured on shows such as TLC's Fabulous Cakes and Food Network's Sugar Inventions. In addition to macarons, in flavors ranging from cookie butter to red velvet, they turn out tarts cakes, pastries and cookies. Whatever you order, be sure that the lemon scented olive oil cake (crowned with fresh berries) is at the top of your list.
Ask any Dallasite where to find the best macarons in town and they'll point you to Rush Patasserie, a venerable sugar haven run by pastry maven and Le Cordon Bleu alum Samantha Rush. Rush's ethereal macarons, which come in indulgent flavors ranging from rose and raspberry to violet, pistachio and apricot brandy Ââ€“are likely some of the most authentic you'll find this side of the Atlantic. But Rush's sugary spectrum covers more than macarons, she also knows her way around all sorts of other French pastry treats, including tarts, madeleines, mille-feuilles, eclairs, pain au chocolat, croissants and cakes to name just a few. Speaking of cakes, Rush excels at those too. So much so, that she was asked to create one to present to writer Maya Angelou for her 80th birthday. Even better than cakes are Rush's signature Un-Cupcakes, a decadent mash-up of frosting, toppings and cake all neatly compacted in a jar. Just make sure to plan ahead since items like macarons are mainly available through pre-order and most of the other goodies often sell out before midday.
Recommended for Bakeries because: Samantha Rush makes the best and most authentic French macarons in town.
Ilene's expert tip: The shop is open Friday through Sunday, but it's a good idea to call before coming to be sure there's anything left. Also note that macarons must be ordered in advance.