In Oakland, a baked goods renaissance is delighting sweet tooths and the bread-bewitched.
In just the last few months, a slew of new bakeries and cafes—most of them Black-, POC-, and/or woman-owned—have opened their doors in the East Bay.
Technically though, most of these oven-toasted shops aren’t new, just the logical follow-up to years of selling cakes, pastries, and bagels online, at farmers markets, or via local grocers. That’s great news not just for those who’ve already fallen for Crumble and Whisk’s cheesecakes or Starter Bakery’s kouign-amann, but for all of us who must feed the sugar-and-gluten-craving demon on the reg.
Find your favorite confections at these five new East Bay bakeries.
(Courtesy of @starterbakery)
From the wholesale bakery that made us slaves to buttery kouign-amann comes a brand new brick-and-mortar. Starter Bakery founder Brian Wood opened his first retail shop in Rockridge just a few weeks back and is already churning out flaky croissants, crusty breads, muffins, sweet and savory pies, and more. For a real treat, keep an eye out for Starter’s to-die-for seasonal kouign-amann flavors like the current offering, caramel poached pear. Order in advance online to skip the line and make sure you get the pastry you most desire before they run out.
// 5804 College Ave. (Oakland), starterbakery.com
Crumble and Whisk Patisserie
(Courtesy of @crumbleandwhisk)
Over the last decade, pastry chef Charles Farrier’s signature cheesecakes have earned something of a cult following at Bay Area farmers markets. Now those fans finally have the chance to take home his drool-worthy cakes, pies, and cinnamon rolls six days a week. Last December, Farrier opened his new Crumble and Whisk Patisserie along the McArthur Boulevard corridor in the community that raised him. There he bakes his beautiful cheesy tortes in a variety of traditional and non-traditional flavors (think beet and berry or sweet potato), along with cookies, brownies, fruit cobblers, and savory pot pies. He’s even got a handful of vegan and gluten-free favorites for the plant-based and wheat-sensitive set. Order whole cheesecakes and pies in advance or pop into the shop in person or online for a light breakfast or lunch of toasts, sandwiches, and salads and, of course, pastries galore.
// 4104 MacArthur Blvd (Oakland), crumbleandwhisk.com
In less than two years, Delah Coffee went from opening SF’s first Yemeni-style coffee house to having three distinct locations. The Oakland Delah, a beautiful space dressed in Middle Eastern and North African motifs, opened in February while their upcoming Euclid Avenue space in Berkeley should arrive in June. Along with the shop’s coffee, a dark roast made with cinnamon and cardamom and served in a traditional jebati kettle, Delah serves a range of spiced teas, refreshers, and other Yemeni favorites. Pastries include crowd-pleasing bee bites (bread stuffed with cream cheese and drizzled in honey), rose milk cake, kunafa cheesecake, and sabaya.
// 420 W. Grand Ave. (Oakland), instagram.com/delahcoffeehouse
(Courtesy of @poppy_bagels)
Riding the wave of Bay Area bagel fever is Oakland’s newest noshery, Poppy Bagels. The hand-rolled, bready goodness comes in all your favorite flavors, each made all the more enticing with decadent cream cheeses like truffle, and chivey lemony lox. Get the best of both in one of Poppy’s sandos, fat rounds of stuffed-to-the-gills bagels in combos like spicy and sweet (jalapeno serrano cream cheese and local honey), whitefish (scallion cream cheese with whitefish salad, red onion, chives, and dill), and seasonal veg (plain cream cheese, avocado, purple radish, cilantro, salsa macha, and lemon).
// 5004 Telegraph Ave. (Oakland), poppybaglesca.com
Full Belly Bakery
(Courtesy of @fullbellybakery)
You’ll have to wait a few more months for Black- and woman-owned Full Belly Bakery to open its first brick and mortar in Montclair this fall but trust us, you’re going to want to put this one on your calendar. Since 2018, Full Belly pastry chef Eva Allen has been hawking her custom statement cakes, cake slices, cookies, tarts, and more for online order and pick up (you can also find her cake jars at Oakland Roots and Berkeley Bowl). In the fall, she’ll be bringing all that deliciousness to her permanent digs not just during daytime hours but late into the evening so that sweet tooths can indulge along with a glass of Champagne after dinner. In the meantime, you can still order a signature cake online or DoorDash a box of brown sugar pecan scones, chocolate walnut shortbread, and pistachio chocolate truffles.