Posted by Wafa K. | Posted on February 29, 2012
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
-George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright
I really do not understand the purpose of dessert without chocolate.
Cakes, cookies, puddings, etc that do not contain chocolate confuse me because I cannot wrap my mind around the point of their existence. That may just be my view as a chocolate-enthusiast, and while I am obviously very biased, I do also have a pretty decent palate for pastries. Baltimore, believe it or not, has quite a few bakeries that can provide your sweet/pastry/indulgent tooth with something to satisfy it. This list would make Marie Antoinette proud, I am sure of it.
Fenwick Bakery (North Harford Road)
This bakery finds it origins in a love story. A young couple began it in 1913 and since then, generations of the same family (until very recently when it acquired new owners) have maintained the amazing quality of baked goods that they sell. Seriously, their goods are amazing. They are one of the few scratch bakeries left in Baltimore and it shows. If you go to this bakery, you have to try their Baltimore Peach Cake. And their pastries. And their doughnuts.
Bonjour (Mount Washington)
I am a firm believer that nobody outside of the French borders (or really outside of Paris or Lyon) should attempt to make macarons, it just ends up badly with dry cookies and sticky paste. Just leave it to the professionals. But Bonjour’s macarons make me give up on that elitist world view (albeit temporarily). Their baguettes, croissants, napoleons and brioches are also to die for. This bakery will just make you feel like you’re in the 7e arrondissement in Paris. And who doesn’t want to be there?
Patisserie Poupon (Inner Harbor)
If you can bake a pear tarte in the shape of a pear, that is an art form I can 100% support. This bakery is well-known in Baltimore for its scrumptious and gorgeous wedding cakes, but since I have only ever seen them I can’t comment on how delicious they are. Their pastries, however, I have had. Many times. This bakery actually is one of the few where I will break my chocolate-only rule, their Spanish fruit cake is so Mediterranean (and therefore perfect) that it will give you such a moment of happiness.
Dangerously Delicious Pies (Federal Hill)
Rodney Henry’s Dangerously Delicious Pies is a multi-store operation that will convert somebody who is lukewarm about pies (i.e. me) into a pie enthusiast. Pecan filling with chocolate glaze happens to be my favorite. Just the typing it out makes me want to grab a slice. They have the usual lemon, apple, blueberry, etc pies but also chicken and lamb pies that be a meal. I promise you, even if you try one of their pies, it will make you a pie enthusiast.
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop (Little Italy)
Any list of bakeries in Baltimore would be incomplete without a shout out to Vaccaro’s. While I am sure their bigger-is-better philosophy would confuse actual Italians, in Charm City we appreciate the aesthetics of cannoli that is as big as our head. They have Monday night specials of all-you-can-eat-desserts, and their biscotti and cream puffs are fabulous. Also their gelato, while it isn’t a baked good, is pretty darn good. They have their exalted reputation with Hopkins students for a reason, so make sure sometime during your time in Baltimore to indulge in their goods.
Ultimately, I know there are probably dozens of bakeries in this city I have not had the pleasure of exploring but these fives rank amongst my favorites. So if you haven’t had the opportunity yet, go on and indulge a little.