Food has always been an important part of travel, but we’re putting the dessert before the meal as we round up some bakeries worthy of being travel destinations. From bakeries made famous on television to those with unique baked goods, we’re highlighting some top spots sure to satisfy all of your sweet cravings.

As seen on TV …

  • Carlo’s Bakery of Cake Boss fame has received national recognition over the years for its pastries, desserts and cakes, including a “Best Cake in America” designation from Today Show viewers. While the bakery has expanded to more than a dozen locations across the country, your best chance at meeting master baker Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro, Jr. and his family will be at Carlo’s Bakery’s original location in Hoboken, N.J.
  • Charm City Cakes, founded in Baltimore in 2002 by pastry chef Duff Goldman, is known for its unconventional creations. Flashing lights, smoke, power tools and even blow torches have graced Goldman’s cakes and made him a go-to baker for celebrities and regular guest on cooking shows, including Ace of Cakes, Iron Chef America and Man v. Food. If you’re an aspiring baker, plan a visit around the bakery’s cake-decorating classes. If you’re just popping in to sample a cupcake at Charm City Cakes’ Baltimore or Los Angeles locations, make sure these busy bakers are up for company. The in-demand bakery isn’t open to the public every day. (See its FAQ page for hours of operation.)
  • Georgetown Cupcakes is best known for its starring role in TLC’s hit show DC Cupcakes. Armed with only grandma’s recipes and a passion for baking, sisters Katherine and Sophie opened Washington, D.C.’s first “cupcakery.” Lauded as D.C.’s “Best Bakery,” it has expanded into a handful of cities, from New York to L.A. and bakes more than 5,000 cupcakes a day. If Georgetown Cupcakes is on your itinerary, try the classic red velvet cupcake or indulge in one of its seasonal or monthly flavors.


While being a “sugar artist” has taken talented bakers to the celebrity status, there are many bakeries worthy of a road trip pit stop that haven’t make their way to the big screen. Here a few more that made our list thanks to their unconventional offerings:

  • Baked and Wired in Washington D.C. has everything from biscuits and brownies to biscotti and espresso. This hip bakery also has zillabonez for your four-legged, furry friend.
  • Macrina Bakery in Seattle takes bread making to a new level. A different kind of sweet, try one of the fresh fruit muffins or scones.
  • Magnolia Bakery originated in New York City but can now be found across the country. While most know to order a cupcake, few know to order the banana pudding.
  • Proof in Los Angeles has a great mix of pastries, cookies and cakes. The twice-baked almond croissant is a must-try!
  • Sweet Mandy B’s in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood has many unique sweets to satisfy even the most intense sweet tooth. Try a Sweet Mandy B’s ranger cookie filled with coconut, chocolate chips and oats or a snickerdoodle cupcake – we don’t think you can go wrong either way.


Does our list include your favorite sweet spot? Let us know on our Facebook page!