By Kat Kinsman

There may be no better way to start the day than with a little something French. Sweet or savory, that’s your call—but unless you feel like waking up at 4 a.m. to make it, you’re going to need a nearby pâtisserie or boulangerie to get your croissant, cannelé, boule, or baguette fix. Here are 11 classic and contemporary bakeries across the country that are rising to the occasion, offering masterfully-made French pastries and breads, integrating regional flavors and ingredients, and earning a legion of local devotees.

French Taste
Photo Courtesy Ty Milford for St. Honoré Boulangerie

1. Bakery Lorraine | San Antonio, TX

Anne Ng and Jeremy Mandrell fell in love on the late shift at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley and opened up a place of their own where they vowed to bake the best croissants in all of Texas. The range of their French pastries varies with the seasons, but their always-available, innovatively flavored (think green apple, cereal milk, caramel apple, and dark chocolate cassis) macarons have become something of a local obsession.

2. St. Honoré Boulangerie | Portland, OR

Honoré is the patron saint of bakers, and master baker Dominique Geulin has been among the faithful since his childhood in coastal Normandy, spent learning traditional bread techniques from his father. The methods are sacrosanct, but Geulin now proudly places sustainability and local Pacific Northwest ingredients—like direct-seeded, eco-friendly flour from Shepherd’s Grain—at the fore in honor of his adopted home: Portland.

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  1. I would also highly recommend Nathaniel Reid Bakery in Maplewood, MO (St Louis) He is classically trained at the Paris Cordon Bleu and he is an amazing talent. His bakery has a web site and a Facebook page . And here’s the link to a preview opening article. I spend several weeks in Paris every year and his chocolate Sambava is the best chocolate pastry I’ve had anywhere. Thank you for taking a look at his work.

  2. For years I have been lamenting the lack of real French bakeries where I live in North Texas. We have a chain called La Madeleine, but the past few years, the quality of the baked goods is what I’d call “meh – prepared for the masses.” I’m glad to know that a great French bakery is only a 4-1/2 hour drive/1 hour plane ride away. 😉 I do wish I’d known this before we were at The Pearl last spring break, tho!

    Fortunately, we do have a great place nearby to get macarons called Chelle’s, but a girl needs a St. Honore every now and again,too!


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