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Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at These Bakeries in the Twin Cities

These 10 outstanding places are the sweetest options for croissants, cakes, and pies, and more

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Minnesota has come a long way since creating the mills that have named street signs, counties, and schools. The bakeries, for one, remain a stronghold, but a new crop of artisanal patisseries have brought in serious talent. That’s where this list comes in: from Vietnamese French croissants to gluten-free layer cakes, you’ll be awash with our picks of the best sweet treats for potlucks, picnics, and housewarmings.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Marc Heu Patisserie Paris

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383 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103
(763) 401-7930
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Paris-trained (at a 300-year old patisserie) Mark Heu, who is of Hmong descent, left native France for St Paul, two years ago, to start 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. 

Mark Heu | Official Website

2. Alma

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528 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-4909
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Egg sandwich? Banh-Mi? Lamb burgers? Like the millennial-y hang-out-all-day cafes of late, Alma seemingly offers something for everyone, as implied by the cafe’s exposed brick walls, Scandinavian wood benches, sunken pendant lamps, and brasserie-style chairs. No worry: Danishes are textbook; chocolate chip cookies brim with giddy amounts of Valrhona milk chocolate chips and nibs; financiers are spongy and floral (gluten-free, too); and their house signature, The Alma Loaf, has a welcome tang with a wonderfully crackly crust the color of malt. 

3. Trung Nam French Bakery

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739 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 229-0887
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Trung Nam’s vaunted banh-mis need no introduction. But the rest of its pastry program does. 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. They’re affordable, too, at $3 for croissants and $1 for cinnamon sugar palmiers. Cash only. 

4. Isles Bun & Coffee

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1424 W 28th St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 870-4466
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In the near 30-years since opening, Isle Bun and Coffee has stayed its course. And steady as it should: swirly buns, in a variety of flavors like cinnamon, caramel, and caramel pecan are pull-apart, sticky, yet somehow light. Along with a justifiably trademarked Puppy Dog Tail, named by the preschoolers next door — plus seriously good drip-coffee — this bakeshop near the Minneapolis Lakes is a terrific stop for an afternoon pick-me-up. 

5. Black Walnut Bakery

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3157 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 353-6552
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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; it’s pretty much anything else on its menu lures us back: for Cassis Vanilla Bavarian cake, layered with airy chiffon sponge and an intense ganache; for 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. 

Black Walnut Bakery | Facebook

6. Bellecour Bakery @ Cooks

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877 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 228-1333
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Like the gold leaf that adorns Bellecour Bakery’s magnificent crêpe cake, everything that Gavin Kaysen adds to the Twin Cities’ already bustling food scene is more than polish. Fact: Kaysen, who runs the cities’ spendiest tasting menu boîte, and who is tapped to lead all things food at the forthcoming Four Seasons Minneapolis, won a French viennoiserie competition. No wonder there aren’t any misses with his pastries and virtually every croissant derivative on offer. Just don’t leave their staff favorite (ham and cheese croissant) behind. Multiple locations. 

Bellecour | Facebook

7. Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

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272 Snelling Ave S #100
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 300-1503
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Tara Coleman has worked under such heavyweights as Stephanie Izard and John Kraus, but make no mistake: she makes 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.  

Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit | Facebook

8. La Boulangerie Marguerite

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1279 Randolph Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 699-9292
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Few places claim both croissant and old-fashioned doughnuts to fame. 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 being denser than expected but still delightfully flaky. 

9. Patisserie 46

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4552 Grand Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 354-3257
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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. 

Patisserie 46 | Facebook

10. Sun Street Breads

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4600 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 354-3414
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Although Solveig Tofte’s baking experience has spanned the world, her Minneapolis shop focuses on imbuing a distinctly American vibe with breads and pastries she invents from scratch, such as a pan loaf created in homage to the three crops grown at the Red River Valley, a farming region in Northwest Minnesota (flax, durum potatoes); a rustic, country-style loaf made from local cornmeal; or croissants finished like a soft pretzel, yielding a distinctly rich and nutty taste. More ‘traditional’ pastries from Tofte’s heritage are also offered, such as Fyrstekake, a type of shortbread cake filled with chopped almonds and cardamom. 

Sun Street Breads | Facebook

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1. Marc Heu Patisserie Paris

383 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
Mark Heu | Official Website

Paris-trained (at a 300-year old patisserie) Mark Heu, who is of Hmong descent, left native France for St Paul, two years ago, to start 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. 

383 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55103

2. Alma

528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Egg sandwich? Banh-Mi? Lamb burgers? Like the millennial-y hang-out-all-day cafes of late, Alma seemingly offers something for everyone, as implied by the cafe’s exposed brick walls, Scandinavian wood benches, sunken pendant lamps, and brasserie-style chairs. No worry: Danishes are textbook; chocolate chip cookies brim with giddy amounts of Valrhona milk chocolate chips and nibs; financiers are spongy and floral (gluten-free, too); and their house signature, The Alma Loaf, has a welcome tang with a wonderfully crackly crust the color of malt. 

528 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

3. Trung Nam French Bakery

739 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104

Trung Nam’s vaunted banh-mis need no introduction. But the rest of its pastry program does. 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. They’re affordable, too, at $3 for croissants and $1 for cinnamon sugar palmiers. Cash only. 

739 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55104

4. Isles Bun & Coffee

1424 W 28th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

In the near 30-years since opening, Isle Bun and Coffee has stayed its course. And steady as it should: swirly buns, in a variety of flavors like cinnamon, caramel, and caramel pecan are pull-apart, sticky, yet somehow light. Along with a justifiably trademarked Puppy Dog Tail, named by the preschoolers next door — plus seriously good drip-coffee — this bakeshop near the Minneapolis Lakes is a terrific stop for an afternoon pick-me-up. 

1424 W 28th St
Minneapolis, MN 55408

5. Black Walnut Bakery

3157 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Black Walnut Bakery | Facebook

It’s not just the vaunted kouign-amann — buttery with an armor of caramelized gloss — that makes Black Walnut so iconic; it’s pretty much anything else on its menu lures us back: for Cassis Vanilla Bavarian cake, layered with airy chiffon sponge and an intense ganache; for 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. 

3157 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

6. Bellecour Bakery @ Cooks

877 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
Bellecour | Facebook

Like the gold leaf that adorns Bellecour Bakery’s magnificent crêpe cake, everything that Gavin Kaysen adds to the Twin Cities’ already bustling food scene is more than polish. Fact: Kaysen, who runs the cities’ spendiest tasting menu boîte, and who is tapped to lead all things food at the forthcoming Four Seasons Minneapolis, won a French viennoiserie competition. No wonder there aren’t any misses with his pastries and virtually every croissant derivative on offer. Just don’t leave their staff favorite (ham and cheese croissant) behind. Multiple locations. 

877 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105

7. Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

272 Snelling Ave S #100, St Paul, MN 55105
Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit | Facebook

Tara Coleman has worked under such heavyweights as Stephanie Izard and John Kraus, but make no mistake: she makes 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.  

272 Snelling Ave S #100
St Paul, MN 55105

8. La Boulangerie Marguerite

1279 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55105

Few places claim both croissant and old-fashioned doughnuts to fame. 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 being denser than expected but still delightfully flaky. 

1279 Randolph Ave
St Paul, MN 55105

9. Patisserie 46

4552 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Patisserie 46 | Facebook

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. 

4552 Grand Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419

10. Sun Street Breads

4600 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Sun Street Breads | Facebook

Although Solveig Tofte’s baking experience has spanned the world, her Minneapolis shop focuses on imbuing a distinctly American vibe with breads and pastries she invents from scratch, such as a pan loaf created in homage to the three crops grown at the Red River Valley, a farming region in Northwest Minnesota (flax, durum potatoes); a rustic, country-style loaf made from local cornmeal; or croissants finished like a soft pretzel, yielding a distinctly rich and nutty taste. More ‘traditional’ pastries from Tofte’s heritage are also offered, such as Fyrstekake, a type of shortbread cake filled with chopped almonds and cardamom. 

4600 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55419

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