A Metro Detroit Local Recommends 11 Bakeries You Should Know About

baked goods and Detroit skyline
baked goods and Detroit skyline - Static Media / Shutterstock

To those unacquainted with this Rust Belt city's food scene, Detroit might not seem like a culinary haven on par with its Midwest neighbor, Chicago. But the Michigan metropolis is home to multiple chefs earning James Beard Award recognition, along with plenty of unsung but delicious neighborhood joints. Whether you're a Detroit local or just visiting, a day spent enjoying Detroit's array of cultural sights and riverfront attractions wouldn't be complete without sampling some of the city's stellar baked goods.

Detroiters are a scrappy bunch, and this is evident in the lengths to which the city's most successful food entrepreneurs have gone to get their brick-and-mortar businesses off the ground. Many of these bakeries are deeply ingrained neighborhood hubs that support their staff and satisfy their communities. But not all Motor City bakeries are the same: some focus on patisserie — crafting exquisite, detail-oriented pastries that require a steady hand and a piping bag — while others prefer more rustic, homey offerings like pies, cookies, scones, and leavened breads.

Whichever route each bakery decided to take, the common denominator here is a reverence for flour, water, a hot oven, and a community to share in it all. I've watched the city's bread scene unfurl, having grown up in Metro Detroit and since returning as an adult, all the while enjoying visits to several of its best bakeries. For those I have yet to visit, local media and online reviews helped guide the selections below.

Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

Secret Bakery

Secret Bakery egg-topped focaccias
Secret Bakery egg-topped focaccias - leonardmaxbread / Instagram

To get his pop-up bakery noticed in Detroit's neighboring city of Hamtramck in 2018, baker Maxwell Leonard used a bit of reverse psychology: tell everyone it was a secret. His marketing tactic of keeping things hush-hush meant customers had to DM him on social media for the address to the shop he ran out of his own home, selling increasingly popular English muffins and baguettes.

The tactic worked. Leonard has since left his home operation and set up shop in the nearby suburb of Ferndale. Here you'll find Leonard's airy French country loaves, chewy baguettes, and sweets like burnt wheat chocolate chip cookies. Leonard prefers to keep his operation small and community-focused — it's not uncommon to find other local food entrepreneurs test-driving their latest creations behind his counter.

Leonard is also open to experimentation, offering pastries of the week and other surprises, and his offerings tend to draw long lines and sell out early. If you get there in time, you're likely to find focaccia and fougasse European breads. Shop hours are also limited, as Leonard only bakes twice weekly to ensure scale doesn't get in the way of this bakery feeling like a personal experience. You didn't hear any of this from us, though.


821 Livernois St, Ferndale, MI 48220

Give Thanks Bakery

three loaves of rye bread shelved
three loaves of rye bread shelved - givethanksbakery / Instagram

In 2021, Katy and Dietrich Knoer decided to purchase the Give Thanks Bakery in Rochester, just north of Detroit, having been longtime customers and passionate foodies. In just a few short years the Knoers turned the business into a Metro Detroit staple, with three locations for those looking for the freshness and conviviality of purchasing from-scratch, traditionally made baked goods from a brick-and-mortar shop.

The bakery prepares European-style breads and pastries, with good ingredients and nutrition in focus. Artisanal specialties include loaves of French levain, Parisienne baguettes, and sesame-topped golden semolina prepared using a traditional long, cool fermentation process. On Saturdays, taste the savory Mediterranean-style loaf made with rosemary and Kalamata olives.

In addition to bread, Give Thanks operates as a patisserie, glazing and filling traditional French and German pastries and cakes — like bienenstich, the "bee sting" honey-glazed cake flavored with Bavarian cream and rum — as well as Danishes, scones, and tortes. Delivery is available via Ubereats and Doordash, or stop in for a freshly poured illy Italian coffee and a friendly chat with one of the owners.


Multiple locations

White Wolf

matcha mille crepe cake
matcha mille crepe cake - White Wolf Japanese Patisserie / Facebook

It's hard not to press your nose up against the pastry case at this self-described Japanese patisserie in Clawson, Michigan. The pastry shop doubles as a café serving espresso drinks and savory items, and specializes in bread, pastries, and plated desserts inspired by Japan's culinary styles.

To stand out amongst the area's growing list of exceptional bakeries, White Wolf's owners, affiliated with the neighboring sushi restaurant Noble Fish, sought to combine classic French techniques with a simple Japanese aesthetic. The resulting pastries are both elegant and whimsical. Take the highly photogenic mint-green mille crepe cake: Layers of eggy, matcha-infused crepe are topped with pastry cream for a dramatic, striated presentation. White Wolf isn't shy about putting its unique spin on classic European-style cakes, like Mont Blanc, tiramisu, and chocolate chiffon, either.

Though Europe has a strong reputation for its boulangeries, Japan's baking traditions are also deeply ingrained, which the bakery demonstrates through its range of Japanese breads — some of which include ingredients imported from Japan. Try the soft, pillowy shokupan (aka Japanese-style milk bread), anpan bread filled with red bean paste, or yakisoba pan, the Japanese noodle sandwich.


(248) 268-3349

31 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017

Warda Pâtisserie

colorful baked goods from Warda
colorful baked goods from Warda - Warda Pâtisserie / Facebook

In 2022, Algerian-born Warda Bouguettaya earned Outstanding Pastry Chef honors from the James Beard Foundation for her eponymous Midtown patisserie, Warda. Since then, Bouguettaya continues to demonstrate an unrelenting dream of providing flavors without borders through an inventive array of international pastries. Bistro tables rest atop checkered floors at this elegant, minimalist cafe. Delights from Bouguettaya's native Algeria sit alongside classic French quiches and choux pastry, Russian honey cake, cream-filled maritozzi (one of many types of Italian desserts), and a selection of stuffed, savory tortas inspired by varied global flavors.

From cookies to cheesecake, at Warda, every detail in the multi-pronged patisserie process starts from scratch. Each pastry eats like a poem: Parisian flans are scented with black sesame, coconut, and Assam tea. Entremets are garnished with edible flowers, and local dairy products are used for the crème fraîche.

Offering this range of baked goods is no easy feat. Yet despite the impeccable attention to detail and widespread accolades, at its core Warda remains an independently-owned neighborhood pastry shop. Bouguettaya remains true in spirit to the patisserie's humble beginnings, grateful for the farmer's markets, pop-ups, church basements, and shared kitchen spaces she cooked in long before opening her own shop.


(313) 262-6977

70 W Alexandrine St, Detroit, MI 48201

Sister Pie

hand holding plated pie slice
hand holding plated pie slice - sisterpiedetroit / Instagram

Tucked away in Detroit's brick-laden West Village is Sister Pie, a women-led neighborhood bakery and pie shop. Here you'll find owner Lisa Ludwinski and her team serving not just pies, but oversized cookies, seasonal muffins, scones, egg-topped galettes, and community-minded ethos.

Sister Pie's corner shop has been open for almost a decade, providing the surrounding community with a gathering space to enjoy a warm slice of pie and a hot cup of coffee. Their ultra-flaky, extra-thick, dramatically crimped pies come in a rotating selection of seasonal flavors, with recent offerings including salted maple, coffee chess, and the rhubarb-packed Rhuby Thursday. This iconic Detroit bakery offers classes on preparing their all-butter pie dough (the secret to the flakiness? Cold butter and apple cider vinegar), how to create hand pies, and the fundamentals of baking cookies.

The bakeshop rolls out more than just pie dough, but Ludwinski decided to make pie the shop's focus for two reasons: to display the bounty of locally grown produce available in Michigan, and to emphasize Sister Pie's ethos of community and sharing. Aside from being an excellent pie shop, Sister Pie is a socially conscious business aiming to be good environmental stewards while providing employees with fair wages, development opportunities, and benefits.


(313) 447-5550

8066 Kercheval Ave, Detroit, MI 48214

Detroit Institute Of Bagels

latke, egg, and pastrami bagel
latke, egg, and pastrami bagel - dibdetroit / Instagram

Those familiar with Detroit Institute of Bagels 1.0, which was shuttered during the pandemic, were happy to hear about the return of this Jewish bakery and delicatessen in February 2023. DIB (the name is a playful reference to the city's famed Detroit Institute of Arts) specializes in the obvious — boiled-then-baked bagels — but also Jewish comfort foods like breakfast sandwiches, matzo ball soup, and even latke fries.

Launched by two brothers, Detroit Institute of Bagels provides modern generations with classic Jewish deli fare, such as a recent Hanukkah special of a bagel overstuffed with latke, egg, pastrami, caramelized onions, and spicy cream. DIB 2.0 has bold new branding, complete with its very own bagel mascot that graces the walls and to-go boxes, plus an updated menu.

The shop also offers a selection of deli sandwiches built on bagels or its fresh Jewish rye, sourdough, or whole wheat bread. Expect classic fillings, like turkey breast and whitefish salad. Options like smoked tempeh and roasted beets ensure that plant-based eaters feel welcome at this deli, too. And of course, no bagel shop is complete without an assortment of schmears, made all the more contemporary with unique mix-ins like lemon zest and strawberry jam.


(313) 512-8292

4884 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48208

Sweet Potato Sensations

slice of orange velvet cake
slice of orange velvet cake - sweetpotatosensations / Instagram

For over 30 years, Sweet Potato Sensations has served the Old Redford neighborhood and its surrounding community with tasty, affordable, sweet-potato-tinged baked goods that go well beyond pies. The shop began not with a pie, but a cookie. Not a fan of traditional Thanksgiving candied yams, founder Cassandra Thomas created a recipe for sweet potato cookies that would appeal to the holiday-tuber penchant of her husband Jeffery. Little did they realize that this cookie compromise would launch the couple on a journey to start their own cookie business, and eventually, an entire bakery.

At Sweet Potato Sensations, the theme is, unsurprisingly, sweet potatoes. The root's orange flesh fills varied pies, mingles with cream cheese for an extra special cheesecake filling, and is folded into cake batter and ice cream. Even the red velvet cake is tinged orange. The sweet potato pie selection includes versions made with coconut, topped with pecans, or even a sugar-free option. If you're looking for something just for yourself, try one of the miniature single-serve sweetie pies.

In 2014, this sweet-centric bakeshop expanded its offerings to include savory options, like fried chicken and Belgian sweet potato waffles, salmon croquette sandwiches, and black-eyed pea and collard green soup. In addition, the community-minded bakery serves as a neighborhood general store and gathering place.


(313) 532-7996

17337 Lahser Rd, Detroit, MI 48219

Good Cakes And Bakes

caramel cake slice on plate
caramel cake slice on plate - goodcakes_andbakes / Instagram

Good Cakes and Bakes owners Michelle and April Anderson can add Beyoncé to the list of diners who've been served their baked goods. The duo behind the bakery provided treats for the celeb when she was performing in Detroit in 2023. That same year, the eatery was named as a semifinalist for Outstanding Bakery by the James Beard Foundation.

This Detroit-based bakery, which delivers nationwide, features an array of colorful, organic cakes and treats. Many of the baked goods come in vegan versions, including a strawberry crunch cupcake and brownie slices. The options include nods to the bakery's Southern roots, including the exceptionally moist 7Up Pound Cake made with organic butter and the effervescence of lemon-lime soda, while the Southern Caramel Cake is made with a topping based on a family recipe with 65 years of history.

In July 2023 the couple launched their second location, on Columbia St. in bustling downtown Detroit. The new bakery includes all the cake-and-cookie mainstays of the original, plus additional breakfast options and ice creams.


(313) 468-9915

Multiple locations


assorted macarons at Cannelle
assorted macarons at Cannelle - cannellemattknio / Instagram

With two locations in Metro Detroit, Cannelle is a premier French patisserie, mastering the art of the butter croissant and the chocolate-vanilla éclair. Before opening up his business, chef Matt Knio first developed his deep appreciation for the craft of artisanal foods by working on an Ivory Coast cocoa bean plantation. Knio would later study pastry making at France's prestigious Académie de Versailles before working as a Ritz-Carlton pastry chef and eventually opening up his own Detroit outposts.

At the patisserie's downtown Detroit location, the interior is as opulent and luxurious as the pastries themselves. White marble flanks the countertops lit by a sparkling chandelier, all part of a design collaboration between Knio and his wife. Shelves are filled with baskets of golden pastries that glimmer from the morning's final brush of egg wash.

Here you'll find croissants in as many flavors as there are layers of laminated dough, from savory za'atar and Asiago cheese varieties to sweet chocolate, almond, and custard-filled options. In addition to pastries, the bakery offers bread selections to keep your pantry stocked for the week, including baguettes, focaccia, and braided brioche. Don't miss the colorful macarons that fill the pastry case, beckoning you to pretend, just for a moment, that you're in Paris.


Multiple locations

On The Rise Bakery & Café

bread loaves in plastic bags
bread loaves in plastic bags - ontherisebakerycafe / Instagram

If you meander through downtown's Solanus Casey Center and find On The Rise Bakery, you'll assume it's like any other: treat-filled baskets flank the counter, offering brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and huge snickerdoodles. Gleaming white subway tiles look immaculate behind a pastry case of full-sized cakes for pickup. A chalkboard sign lists the day's specials.

Yet here "On The Rise" isn't simply a reference to the bread — it's a mission statement. As an additional dining offering from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, a ministry that feeds thousands of Detroiters in need, On The Rise is committed to employing bakers who are looking to turn their lives around. In addition to employing previously incarcerated individuals, the bakery's proceeds support social services and educational opportunities to assist the community. Any bread that's not purchased by closing time is donated to the Capuchin service center to help feed the hungry.

On The Rise offers affordable yeasted breads, like farmer's rye and monastery white (a nod to the bakery's monastical sponsor), along with sweet treats. They scoop softball-sized balls of dough onto sheet trays to bake their jumbo cookies. This is the bakery to visit for classic comforts like pineapple upside-down cake, magic bars, and banana pudding, with special-order cakes available. The bakery also offers lunch options such as chili and deli sandwiches for anyone in the community stopping by on their lunch break.


(313) 922-8510

1780 Mt Elliott St, Detroit, MI 48207

Avalon International Breads

Avalon cookies on tray
Avalon cookies on tray - Avalon Bakery & Cafe on Canfield / Facebook

Avalon International Breads is a pioneer in the city's artisanal bread-baking movement. The bakery began in 1977 when co-founder Jackie Victor decided the economically distressed city could benefit from bread made with 100% organic flour and a business centered around community. To fund the project, the founders relied on selling vouchers to family and friends called "Bread Dough" — with each voucher good for an equivalent value in bread when the time came to fire up the ovens.

Since then, Avalon has become a veritable institution within the city of Detroit, with two city-center cafes and grocery store outposts around the Metro area. Recently, the bakery established a new flagship location offering full breakfast and lunch menus, plus a coffee bar and cocktails to sip on while you brunch. Food continues to center around all things baked, with sandwiches made on the bakery's signature 313 white bread, toasted challah rolls, and thick-cut sourdoughs. Fresh cookies are always popular — and a good deal on Fridays, when customers who buy a cookie get a second one for 25 cents.

During the quarter-century that it's been in business, Avalon has been central to the revitalization of the city, especially the Midtown and Cass Corridor neighborhoods. Avalon is a business that emphasizes community and fair pay for employees. The bakery continues to set the standard for small businesses in the Metro Detroit area.


Multiple locations

Read the original article on Tasting Table