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Oblong pastries topped with whorls of cream that are lightly browned lay next to each other on a white background.
Sweet bites from Bellecour.
Bellecour

11 Must-Try Bakeries in the Twin Cities

The sweetest spots for croissants, tarts, fresh-baked bread, and more

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Sweet bites from Bellecour.
| Bellecour

In a way, Minneapolis was built on baking: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the rushing Mississippi River powered nascent mills like Gold Medal and Pillsbury, which have since become some of the biggest names in flour. Minnesota is the home of Betty Crocker, too — but we’ve come a long way since the days of the first boxed cake mixes. Some of the metro’s best bakeries are family-run spots that have been churning out baguettes, egg custard tarts, and chocolate croissants for decades, and in recent years, a crop of artisanal bakeries and patisseries have added serious talent to the Mill City scene. That’s where this map comes in. From Vietnamese French croissants to gluten-free layer cakes, you’ll be awash with these picks of the best sweet treats for potlucks, picnics, housewarmings, or cozy date nights at home.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Marc Heu Patisserie Paris

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Paris-trained (at a 300-year old patisserie) Marc Heu, who is of Hmong descent, left native France for St. Paul over two years ago. Here, he started his namesake bakery and brought over the kind of intricate wizardry commonly found in only the most storied of pastry ateliers. Some of his finest creations, such as vanilla Saint Honoré, are sculpted with an accordion-like symmetry; others, such as isaphan (a nod to Heu’s idol, Pierre Hermé) and several of his viennoiseries, are appealingly furled. Even his “craggier” offerings, like a rich and eggy flan, are not to be missed. A second location is in the works. 

One of the many aesthetically-pleasing desserts at this Twin Cities favorite.
Mark Heu

Trung Nam French Bakery

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Trung Nam’s vaunted banh mi need no introduction. But the rest of its pastry program may. With a dizzying variety of fruit-filled croissants (apricot, blueberry, raison, raspberry, strawberry, apple) and more unique flavors, like coconut, on offer, chef-proprietor Tony Le nails the French Asian culinary diaspora with aplomb. His pastries are ethereal and fruit-forward without being too sweet. Cash only. 

A flaky croissant that’s half bitten into sits on a white paper bag on a red table.
A coconut croissant from Trung Nam.
Justine Jones

Bellecour Bakery @ Cooks

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Like the gold leaf that adorns Bellecour Bakery’s magnificent crepe cake, everything that Gavin Kaysen adds to the Twin Cities’ already bustling food scene is more than polish. Kaysen and acclaimed pastry chef Diane Moua opened Bellecour in Wayzata, originally — after a pandemic closure, it now lives within Cooks of Crocus Hill on Grand Avenue and in downtown Minneapolis. The kouign amann here are exceptional — they’re caramely and buttery and intricately layered — and Moua’s famous crepe cake, layered with rich pastry cream, is a must.

La Boulangerie Marguerite

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Few places can make a name with both croissants and old-fashioned doughnuts. La Boulangerie Marguerite can. That’s partly because they rebranded from P.J. Murphy’s, which had a more homespun vibe. Francois Kiemde, and his wife-turned-business partner, Melissa, raised the bar on an already solid pastry program with an ample array of new patisseries, viennoiseries, and cakes. His classic croissant, based on a 30-year old recipe, remains a standout for its denser-than-expected, but still delightfully flaky, quality. 

A selection of pastries at La Boulangerie Marguerite.
La Boulangerie Marguerite

Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

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Tara Coleman has worked under such heavyweights as Stephanie Izard and John Kraus, but make no mistake: She makes St. Paul’s Snelling Avenue Hot Hands Pie her own. Home-style chicken pot pies and fried chicken biscuit sandwiches (flaky and buttery) are served atop retro red-checkered parchment in a space awash with blush pink walls and an Instagram-friendly wooden installation. Similarly, her retro-ish sweet pies (also flaky and buttery) are towering and rustic but have contemporary flourishes, such as enormous swipes of mascarpone shaped like teardrops, meringue burnished with concentric patterns, and a candied peanut topping molded like a crown.

Key lime pie at Hot Hands.
Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

Asa's Bakery

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Asa Diebolt got his start selling to bagel-hungry Midwesterners at farmers markets throughout the metro — his trademark is dense, doughy, coastie-approved bagels and bialys. (Bialys are not bagels, though they may seem similar — they’re only baked, not boiled, and have a depressed center filled with sweet roasted onions.) Now at a new, bigger location on 34th Avenue, Asa’s Bakery is serving both old favorites and new: Think smoked whitefish and lox sandwiches and an array of cream cheeses, from pink radish and shallot to a vegan smoked variety. There’s fresh bread, too. Stop by Thursday through Sunday to grab a loaf of sourdough, cheddar scallion, or deli pumpernickel before they sell out.

A bialy cut in half with scallion cream cheese, dill, and slices of purple radish in between.
A bialy sandwich from Asa’s.
Asa’s Bakery

Panaderia San Miguel

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Panaderia San Miguel has been around since 2004: It’s one of Lake Street’s premier destinations for Mexican pan dulces and pasteles. Grab a tray and a pair of tongs and wind your way through the stacked trays of pastries. Favorites here are the conchas — crackly, delicately sweet, and puffed to the size of grapefruits — a fluffy raised doughnut stuffed with rice pudding, and a tres leches cake that lets no crumb go dry. The earlier you stop by the better, as the pastries here are baked daily and sell out.

Keefer Court

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Run by Sunny and Paulina Kwan and their daughter Michelle, Keefer Court has been a gem of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood since 1983. It may be the Cities’ best bet for traditional Hong Kong-style pastries (not to mention noodles, congee, and rice plates). Start with a savory bun for lunch, like the curry beef or barbecue pork: dense pockets of meaty flavor encased in pillowy steamed dough. For a sweet bite, the classic, custardy egg tarts can’t be beat — or try a chewy red bean sesame ball, or a coconut bun stuffed with whorls of cream.

Patisserie 46

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Kentucky-native, London-trained pastry chef John Kraus is several things — lauded chocolatier, former instructor at the French Pastry School in Chicago, and a one-time team captain representing the United States at the Coupe Du Monde de la Patisserie, the famed Olympics of pastry competitions. But he’s a baker at heart. Now, he presides over the Bread Lab, a production and training facility, while running both Patisserie 46 and its newer outpost, Rose Street, with his wife Elizabeth. All a roundabout way of saying that his breads — like a stellar miche and a unique baguette, made with a combination of rye and wheat flour — are flawlessly constructed. As are the kaleidoscope of cakes and confections on offer. 

John Kraus is the mastermind behind Patisserie 46.
Patisserie 46

Black Walnut Bakery

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It’s not just the vaunted kouign-amann — buttery with an armor of caramelized gloss — that makes Black Walnut so iconic. Everything on its menu lures us back. There’s cassis vanilla Bavarian cake, layered with an airy chiffon sponge and an intense ganache. In addition, find radiant lemon tarts, and, of course, for croissants (consistently flaky across both sweet and savory offerings). Custom order cakes, sized up to 9”, are recommended for special occasions. 

Almond croissants at Black Walnut Bakery.
Black Walnut Bakery

Rustica

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Pastry maven Shawn McKenzie wooed the Twin Cities with tahini cookies, chocolate babka, and Turkish scones at Café Cerés. In March of this year, she joined Rustica Bakery, a local icon since 2004, as executive chef and patissier. All the classics are still around, from the cross hatched- miche loaf and baguettes to kouign amann and bittersweet chocolate cookies. For a dreamy dessert fix, try the roasted banana tart, ringed with spheres of mascarpone mousse.

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Marc Heu Patisserie Paris

One of the many aesthetically-pleasing desserts at this Twin Cities favorite.
Mark Heu

Paris-trained (at a 300-year old patisserie) Marc Heu, who is of Hmong descent, left native France for St. Paul over two years ago. Here, he started his namesake bakery and brought over the kind of intricate wizardry commonly found in only the most storied of pastry ateliers. Some of his finest creations, such as vanilla Saint Honoré, are sculpted with an accordion-like symmetry; others, such as isaphan (a nod to Heu’s idol, Pierre Hermé) and several of his viennoiseries, are appealingly furled. Even his “craggier” offerings, like a rich and eggy flan, are not to be missed. A second location is in the works. 

One of the many aesthetically-pleasing desserts at this Twin Cities favorite.
Mark Heu

Trung Nam French Bakery

A flaky croissant that’s half bitten into sits on a white paper bag on a red table.
A coconut croissant from Trung Nam.
Justine Jones

Trung Nam’s vaunted banh mi need no introduction. But the rest of its pastry program may. With a dizzying variety of fruit-filled croissants (apricot, blueberry, raison, raspberry, strawberry, apple) and more unique flavors, like coconut, on offer, chef-proprietor Tony Le nails the French Asian culinary diaspora with aplomb. His pastries are ethereal and fruit-forward without being too sweet. Cash only. 

A flaky croissant that’s half bitten into sits on a white paper bag on a red table.
A coconut croissant from Trung Nam.
Justine Jones

Bellecour Bakery @ Cooks

Like the gold leaf that adorns Bellecour Bakery’s magnificent crepe cake, everything that Gavin Kaysen adds to the Twin Cities’ already bustling food scene is more than polish. Kaysen and acclaimed pastry chef Diane Moua opened Bellecour in Wayzata, originally — after a pandemic closure, it now lives within Cooks of Crocus Hill on Grand Avenue and in downtown Minneapolis. The kouign amann here are exceptional — they’re caramely and buttery and intricately layered — and Moua’s famous crepe cake, layered with rich pastry cream, is a must.

La Boulangerie Marguerite

A selection of pastries at La Boulangerie Marguerite.
La Boulangerie Marguerite

Few places can make a name with both croissants and old-fashioned doughnuts. La Boulangerie Marguerite can. That’s partly because they rebranded from P.J. Murphy’s, which had a more homespun vibe. Francois Kiemde, and his wife-turned-business partner, Melissa, raised the bar on an already solid pastry program with an ample array of new patisseries, viennoiseries, and cakes. His classic croissant, based on a 30-year old recipe, remains a standout for its denser-than-expected, but still delightfully flaky, quality. 

A selection of pastries at La Boulangerie Marguerite.
La Boulangerie Marguerite

Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

Key lime pie at Hot Hands.
Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

Tara Coleman has worked under such heavyweights as Stephanie Izard and John Kraus, but make no mistake: She makes St. Paul’s Snelling Avenue Hot Hands Pie her own. Home-style chicken pot pies and fried chicken biscuit sandwiches (flaky and buttery) are served atop retro red-checkered parchment in a space awash with blush pink walls and an Instagram-friendly wooden installation. Similarly, her retro-ish sweet pies (also flaky and buttery) are towering and rustic but have contemporary flourishes, such as enormous swipes of mascarpone shaped like teardrops, meringue burnished with concentric patterns, and a candied peanut topping molded like a crown.

Key lime pie at Hot Hands.
Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

Asa's Bakery

A bialy cut in half with scallion cream cheese, dill, and slices of purple radish in between.
A bialy sandwich from Asa’s.
Asa’s Bakery

Asa Diebolt got his start selling to bagel-hungry Midwesterners at farmers markets throughout the metro — his trademark is dense, doughy, coastie-approved bagels and bialys. (Bialys are not bagels, though they may seem similar — they’re only baked, not boiled, and have a depressed center filled with sweet roasted onions.) Now at a new, bigger location on 34th Avenue, Asa’s Bakery is serving both old favorites and new: Think smoked whitefish and lox sandwiches and an array of cream cheeses, from pink radish and shallot to a vegan smoked variety. There’s fresh bread, too. Stop by Thursday through Sunday to grab a loaf of sourdough, cheddar scallion, or deli pumpernickel before they sell out.

A bialy cut in half with scallion cream cheese, dill, and slices of purple radish in between.
A bialy sandwich from Asa’s.
Asa’s Bakery

Panaderia San Miguel

Panaderia San Miguel has been around since 2004: It’s one of Lake Street’s premier destinations for Mexican pan dulces and pasteles. Grab a tray and a pair of tongs and wind your way through the stacked trays of pastries. Favorites here are the conchas — crackly, delicately sweet, and puffed to the size of grapefruits — a fluffy raised doughnut stuffed with rice pudding, and a tres leches cake that lets no crumb go dry. The earlier you stop by the better, as the pastries here are baked daily and sell out.

Keefer Court

Run by Sunny and Paulina Kwan and their daughter Michelle, Keefer Court has been a gem of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood since 1983. It may be the Cities’ best bet for traditional Hong Kong-style pastries (not to mention noodles, congee, and rice plates). Start with a savory bun for lunch, like the curry beef or barbecue pork: dense pockets of meaty flavor encased in pillowy steamed dough. For a sweet bite, the classic, custardy egg tarts can’t be beat — or try a chewy red bean sesame ball, or a coconut bun stuffed with whorls of cream.

Patisserie 46

John Kraus is the mastermind behind Patisserie 46.
Patisserie 46

Kentucky-native, London-trained pastry chef John Kraus is several things — lauded chocolatier, former instructor at the French Pastry School in Chicago, and a one-time team captain representing the United States at the Coupe Du Monde de la Patisserie, the famed Olympics of pastry competitions. But he’s a baker at heart. Now, he presides over the Bread Lab, a production and training facility, while running both Patisserie 46 and its newer outpost, Rose Street, with his wife Elizabeth. All a roundabout way of saying that his breads — like a stellar miche and a unique baguette, made with a combination of rye and wheat flour — are flawlessly constructed. As are the kaleidoscope of cakes and confections on offer. 

John Kraus is the mastermind behind Patisserie 46.
Patisserie 46

Black Walnut Bakery

Almond croissants at Black Walnut Bakery.
Black Walnut Bakery

It’s not just the vaunted kouign-amann — buttery with an armor of caramelized gloss — that makes Black Walnut so iconic. Everything on its menu lures us back. There’s cassis vanilla Bavarian cake, layered with an airy chiffon sponge and an intense ganache. In addition, find radiant lemon tarts, and, of course, for croissants (consistently flaky across both sweet and savory offerings). Custom order cakes, sized up to 9”, are recommended for special occasions. 

Almond croissants at Black Walnut Bakery.
Black Walnut Bakery

Rustica

Pastry maven Shawn McKenzie wooed the Twin Cities with tahini cookies, chocolate babka, and Turkish scones at Café Cerés. In March of this year, she joined Rustica Bakery, a local icon since 2004, as executive chef and patissier. All the classics are still around, from the cross hatched- miche loaf and baguettes to kouign amann and bittersweet chocolate cookies. For a dreamy dessert fix, try the roasted banana tart, ringed with spheres of mascarpone mousse.

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