Photo Courtesy Le Marais

8. La Fournette | Chicago, IL

Fourth-generation baker Pierre Zimmermann uprooted from his native Alsace to Chicago and brought his family—and their baking traditions—along with him. Wife Michele directs the front of house while Zimmermann and sons craft classic sourdough-based baguettes, miches, fougasses, and rustic pavés back in the kitchen.

9. Poupart Bakery | Lafayette, LA

In 1965, François Poupart immigrated to Cajun country from Paris and quickly found a new place to call home. Not only was there no language barrier, the local palates were already attuned to his brand of classic Gallic goodies. He’s since returned the favor by adding Louisiana king cakes, doberge, and beignets to the bakery’s repertoire.

10. La Farm Bakery | Cary, NC

The endlessly quotable Lionel Vatinet often says “When you are sleeping, we are baking”—which means it’s possible to walk into his La Farm Bakery at 7 a.m. any given day and pick up one of the 15 kinds of old-world-crafted, innovatively flavored baguettes, boules, and pains de mie made fresh since midnight. None of them—especially the signature sourdough, scored-top five-pound “La Farm” loaf—would look out of place in a European farmhouse, and the French-born baker and author shares his craft via hands-on classes where he teaches tricks for re-creating those bakery conditions in the Tarheel State, thousands of miles from his native France.


  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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