Sweet and savory: gourmet, baked goodness in all shapes in sizes



The word “bakery” brings to mind loaves of bread, and perhaps some cookies. However, the numerous establishments in Salt Lake City that fit into the “bakery” category greatly outdo this rather stale image. Whether you’re looking for French pastries, Italian focaccia, German soft pretzels and plunderschneckes, surprisingly delicious doughnuts, or even a wedding cake, you’ll find yourself faced with a world of bounty pouring forth from Salt Lake City’s ovens.

Those in the market for a traditional American-style bakery should swing by Mrs. Backer’s Pastry Shop, a 70+ year Salt Lake City institution famous for its elaborately decorated brownies, cupcakes, cookies, and fine cakes. If you feel like toning it down on the sweet scale, stop by Great Harvest Bread Company, located at 9th and 9th in Sugarhouse. This whole-wheat bakery crafts delicious and hearty breads and fresh, to-order sandwiches on them. Get a steaming hot cup of coffee there, and enjoy a sample of “normal” or dessert breads, too! And though it’s not a typical bakery in the strictest terms, Banbury Cross Doughnuts makes a delicious fleet of crispy, moist and fluffy doughnuts every day that should not be avoided.

Those longing for some flavors from overseas are in luck when in Salt Lake City–a place rife with French, Italian, and even German-owned and operated bakeries. For French flair, go to Bakers de Normandie, Glaus French Pastry Shoppe or Pierre Country Bakery & Café. Italian food lovers should stop by Carlucci’s Bakery or the Tulie Bakery. And those in the mood for German cuisine should head to Vosen’s Bread Paradise.



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Alright - Banbury Cross is admittedly not a traditional bakery rife with bread. However, this Utah institution has been a famous staple in Salt Lake cuisine and culture since its opening in 1986. Specializing in delicious - even gourmet - doughnuts, this unique Salt Lake establishment also offers a variety of other sweet goods. If the glazed, chocolate, old fashioned, raised, maple frosted, cinnamon crumb, strawberry frosted or cake doughnuts won't satisfy you, consider instead trying a cinnamon roll, muffin, orange roll, or apple fritter. If you're picking up doughnuts for breakfast, you can also purchase milk, orange juice, and coffee here.


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For more than 50 years, the Glaus French Pastry Shoppe/ Beau Brummel Bakery has treated Salt Lakers to some of the best French baked goodies in town. A bakery in the strictest of terms, this bakery boasts an entire menu filled with items fresh out of the oven. While most will stop by to pick up homemade bread, pastries, danishes, cookies or pies, this establishment is also known around the valley for making fine cakes. Today, the Glaus French Pastry Shoppe continues this reputation at the same Highland location, offering up everything from chocolate eclairs to fruit-filled tarts.


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Mrs. Backer's Pastry Shop
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


 

Elaborately decorated cakes are Mrs. Backer's specialty, and designs range from simple assemblies to absolutely elegant creations that boast intricate poinsettia or daffodil blossoms. In addition to the fine cakes, tarts, tortes, cookies, and trays of baked goodies have made Mrs. Backer's popular for over 70 years. Here you won't just find run-of-the-mill baked goods; everything, from brownies to pastries and cupcakes, is adorned with individualized flair. Whether you're planning a wedding, or simply crave a satisfying treat, stop by Mrs. Backer's. Swing by the bakery and grab a to-go selection of fine baked goods for the whole family.


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Located in Sugarhouse, Schmidt's Pastry Cottage enjoys the reputation of being one of Salt Lake City's finest bakeries. Schmidt's specialty is fine cakes - not just delicious cakes, but beautiful and creative ones at that. As such, this bakery has become a staple establishment for wedding and party cakes. However, you needn't require a wedding to stop by Schmidt's. The bakery offers numerous other baked goods that can be enjoyed by the casual shopper. From tortes and eclairs to croissants and sourdoughs, Schmidt's is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Even those ordering sugar cookies or cupcakes will find themselves in for a gourmet treat.


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Great Harvest was started as a grass roots bakery in the late 1970s by a pair of then college students. Making fresh-ground, whole-wheat breads, the bakery was a wild success and took off like wildfire around the nation. Today this Salt Lake City edition occupies a corner in the bustling 9th and 9th neighborhood. Offering a wide selection of fresh-baked breads, cookies and pastries, this bakery is filled with warm, tantalizing smells from the oven and is run by friendly employees that greet every customer on their way in. Grab a loaf of bread to-go, a selection of fresh cookies, or order a custom-made sandwich with delicious, healthy toppings.


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This French bakery is a real central valley treat. Stop in any day of the week to enjoy Pierre's renowned breads and baguettes. Sourdough, whole wheat, rye, cheese bread and Italian focaccia represent just a sampling of the fresh-baked goodness here. The bakery's selection of delicious flakey croissants, sweet and savory crepes, quiches and croque monsieur all pair excellently with their gourmet drip coffees and espresso drinks. Those coming for a full meal may also choose from the many soups, salads and sandwiches offered. The sandwiches are all made on fresh house breads, which range from walnut to rye, and are packed with fresh vegetables and meats.


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Vosen's is Utah's own authentic German bakery that specializes in a variety of amazing baked goods. Owned and operated by German-born master baker Markus Vosen, this bakery creates breads, pastries, baguettes, rolls, desserts and seasonal goods. Offering items like soft pretzels, streusels and plunderschneckes, as well as French, onion, and walnut baguettes, the bakery also serves terrific seasonal and holiday-inspired goodies like christstollens and zimtsternes (yuletide cinnamon stars), strawberry tartlets (in summer), and plum pies (in autumn). Those who have ever enjoyed the wonders of German baking know that this bakery warrants a visit. Beware: Vosen's is closed on Sunday and Monday.


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Carlucci's is a hungry person's paradise. Offering an excellent selection of baked goods, as well as gourmet, cafe;-style breakfasts and lunches, this Italian establishment gives you the opportunity to enjoy delicious foods and dishes with flair. The breakfast menu contains a broad selection of creative quiches, omelets and other specialties like tofu scramble, yogurt and house-made granola and ham and cheese croissant sandwiches. At lunch time, you can choose from sandwiches that range from hummus to garlic & herb goat cheese, turkey bacon & avocado and baked Italian marinated tofu. Opt for a half sandwich and enjoy the house-made soup or any number of salads. The bakery produces more than two dozen varieties of pastries, as well as a large selection of cakes in bread.


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Tulie Bakery
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren


 

Tulie Bakery enjoys a prime location just north of the 9th and 9th intersection in Sugarhouse, and adjacent to Trio Cafe;one of the city's most popular modern Italian eateries. This tempting little gem offers some of the tastiest light fare in all of Salt Lake City. With a menu that ranges from hot, pressed sandwiches to pastries and cakes, the Tulie Bakery challenges you to find a reason NOT to visit. For breakfast, try a quiche, bread pudding, pain au jambon or creme fraiche coffee cake. For any other meal of the day, enjoy a turkey, brie and avocado Panini, or perhaps try a sopressata, pesto or mozzarella, tomato and basil one instead.


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Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine

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