Annelore’s German Bakery
308 West Chatham Street, Cary, anneloresbakery.com
At this downtown Cary bakery-cafe, look for traditional German baked goods, including savory treats such as salt- or cheese-topped soft Bavarian pretzels, and cakes, including the signature bienenstich (or bee sting cake), layered with triple Bavarian cream and almonds caramelized with local honey. You can also find Annelore’s baked goods at the State Farmers Market.
614 West South Street, Raleigh, boultedbread.com
Boulted Bread has earned a following for its beautifully textured, flavorful loaves, all crafted from organic grains milled in-house using carefully calibrated techniques and a healthy dose of fermentation. Owners Josh Bellamy and Sam Kirkpatrick have also brought their talents to Benchwarmers Bagels, a partnership with Jubala Coffee, in the Transfer Co. Food Hall.
East Durham Bake Shop
406 South Driver Street, Durham, eastdurhambakeshop.com
Ali Rudel and Ben Filippo’s bakery might be best known for its scratch-made pies—or maybe the scones, or perhaps the croissants, or the cookies, or the morning and evening buns, or—you know what, order whatever catches your eye. It’s going to be great.
The French Corner Bakery
2005 North Pointe Drive, Suite B, Durham, facebook.com/frenchcornerbakery
At this hidden Durham gem, French master baker Benjamin Messaoui churns out delectable pastries such as chocolate almond croissants and artisanal loaves in a cozy bakery setting. He also hosts baking classes.
La Farm Bakery
4248 Northwest Cary Parkway, 220 West Chatham Street, Cary, lafarmbakery.com
Master baker Lionel Vatinet helms this Cary institution, which has a third outpost in the West Cary Whole Foods. The baguettes are superb, as are any of the loaves baked with N.C.-milled grains, such as Abruzzi rye and Carolina Gold rice, and you can’t go wrong with any of the pastries, particularly the fan-favorite white chocolate baguette or seasonal scones.
Ninth Street Bakery
136 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham, ninthstbakery.com
It’s no longer on Ninth Street, but it is a hell of a bakery, cranking out all manner of top-notch breads (try the Danish rugbrod), cookies, and pastries, not to mention sandwiches for lunch (get the avocado toast with candied almonds).
111 West Parrish Street, Durham, facebook.com/LoafDurham
There’s no shortage of good dough in Durham, but if you’re looking for that classic French-bakery experience, go straight to Loaf. There’s little room for people in the space, which is dominated by big ovens and cornucopian racks of bread and pastry, so grab a sandwich loaf for the week and take your baguette to the pocket park around the corner.
Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten
2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, Durham, guglhupf.com
Don’t worry, we can’t pronounce it either. But whether you’re visiting Guglhupf for brunch or just driving by, never miss an opportunity to pop into the bakery, which uses traditional European methods to turn basic ingredients into hearty breads. You can also order a wedding or a birthday cake, as well as all manner of desserts. (A second location, the smaller Guglhupf Bake Shop, opened in Chapel Hill in 2017.)
Night Kitchen Bakehouse & Cafe
10 West Franklin Street, #140, Raleigh, raleighnightkitchen.com
In Raleigh’s Seaboard Station, Night Kitchen is known for its quality quick breads, pastries, and the hearty loaves it uses for the cafe’s sandwiches. Don’t miss the cardamom-coffee-cake pound cake or the salted caramel sticky buns.
Yellow Dog Bread
219 East Franklin Street, Raleigh, facebook.com/yellowdogbread
At the corner of Raleigh’s Person Street Plaza, you’ll find an impressive selection of daily baked loaves, scones, cinnamon rolls, and focaccia slices, plus seasonal pop tarts (don’t miss the Halloween-ready pumpkin varieties). Pair a pastry with a latte and grab a window table.
2018 Best of the Triangle Readers’ Picks, Best Bakery:
Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten, Durham County
Guglhupf Bake Shop, Orange and Chatham Counties
La Farm Bakery, Wake County.