Ten Great Bakeries in Orange County

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Dave Lieberman
Picket Lane Bakery @ Irvine/UCI Farmers Market... that ciabatta!
Ten years ago, so-called food "pundits" predicted the demise of bakeries at the hands of the Atkins and South Beach diets. We rolled our eyes then, and we were right, because there's never been a better time to get baked goods in Orange County. From Scandinavian to Vietnamese, from French to Mexican, we are chock-a-block with great places to get bread, cake and pastry. This list was culled from literally a hundred candidates; if your favorite didn't make it, it's not because it's not any good--but let us have it in the comments!

10. Great Dane Baking Company

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Dave Lieberman
You have to know what you're looking for at the Great Dane; the display cases showcase the mainstream of what every bakery in the county does. What's special, though, are the actual Scandinavian items. It's the only place in Orange County to bake limpa bread, dream cookies, and cardamom rolls. Not everything is available every day, but a phone call a couple of days in advance is normally all that's needed.

11196 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos; 562-493-6899; greatdanebakery.com.
Additional location at 6855 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach; 714-842-1130.


9. Le Croissant Dore

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Le Croissant Doré
When you see the line at Le Croissant Dore in Little Saigon, do some mental math. At least two out of every three people in line are there for the fruit tart, widely considered the best example of its kind in all of Southern California. Get one, but also try their chausson aux pommes--apples in a crackly, hot, buttery shell--and their pain au chocolat. If you still have room, take a table and order one of the main dishes they serve.

9122 Bolsa Ave., Westminster; 714-895-3070; lecroissantdore.com.

8. Panadería Las Tres Princesas

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Dave Lieberman
The most hidden gem in Santa Ana is this Oaxacan bakery, nestled in a dingy shopping center about a hundred feet south of the Crush. The usual assortment of pan dulce is supplemented by pan dulce de anís, with just a faint tang of licorice flavor, and rolls stuffed with morsels of Juquilita chocolate. The bolillos and teleras are top-notch and baked several times a day to provide maximum fluffiness. In winter, forgo the coffee in favor of the champurrado--a cup of champurrado and a pan dulce is all you need to start your day.

2736 N. Bristol St., Santa Ana; 714-542-2131; no website.
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21 comments
Asiapacific
Asiapacific

What about Pacific  Whey? Why is there no mention of this bakery? Do the bakeries have to pay to be on this list????

Asiapacific
Asiapacific

Pouls bakery, Tustin ave in Orange has been closed since xmas, WHY??? Any news of re opening the bakery?

HBOMBER
HBOMBER

Wow.  I am fired up for some new bakeries and breaking out my fat pants!

The "Ranchito" on Westminster and Springdale has a really really good panaderia, as is the rest of the market, my favorite market by far.  Juice bar, cheese bar, salsa/ceviche bar, full blown carniceria.I think C'est Si Bon sandwiches are as good as it gets but their bread alone doesn't stand up to the Banh Mi Baguettes found in Westminster.  Particularly Banh Mi and Chi Cali for baguettes.  Van's Bakery next door will knock your freaking haole socks off with their croissiants and coffees, just no baguettes.

Mr anderson
Mr anderson

There are many fine bakeries but if anyone wants the most absolute best baguette that is perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with the most intoxicating fresh bread aroma and not get your lips cut and scratched there is only one place...Saigon bakery on Westminster/Magnolia blvd. The baguette here makes everything 10x better with your eggs or pate esp when it's nice and warmly baked. And each baguette is about a generous 3ft and only $1.

I know it sounds like I'm know the business or something but it's just I have wasted so much money and time all my life buying expensive, over rated, hard as wood baguettes that claim to be so good but you cannot even put your mouth around it let alone eat it.

Partypoodle
Partypoodle

Rachel at Blackmarket Bakery will even teach you how to whip up some deliciousness - she offers baking classes.  I took a class with some work friends and we had a blast making and eating the yummy results!

Partypoodle
Partypoodle

Rachel at Blackmarket Bakery will even teach you how to whip up some deliciousness - she offers baking classes.  I took a class with some work friends and we had a blast making and eating the yummy results!

Reza Shaeri
Reza Shaeri

No list of top OC bakeries is complete without Asal Persian bakery in Irvine!

Xcholo
Xcholo

French's has beeen a source for fine baked goods for many years, dont dis them now cause they are not trendy!

Jerbrooks
Jerbrooks

Can not believe the BEST bakery in OC was not even on the list, C'esr Si Bon on Riverside in Newport Beach !!!

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Hmm...Tres leches at Panadería Polaza on McFadden over Panadería Las Tres Princesas.

BuggleB
BuggleB

Can anyone enlighten me on the need to buy dozens upon dozens of buns from 85 bakery? Unless you are buying for a party/meeting, have a super large family or are able to eat three dozen in one seating, I don't understand why people buy so much at once. The buns don't taste good the next day and by the following day, they're pretty much inedible. Microwaving for a few seconds does not help. 

Is there is a secret I am not aware of to prolonging their shelf life? Or am I just spoiled that I live close enough to eat them fresh daily and don't have to be a bun hoarder?

guest
guest

The owner of Poul's past away. For various reasons the bakery could not stay afloat.

JoeBlowww
JoeBlowww

Agreed.  This list fails without any mention of Assal Bakery.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

I know... I detected the scent of hipster too. 

Asiapcific
Asiapcific

I agree, that has been around a long time & is of great quality!!!

JB
JB

Though I can't speak about the pastries, the bread at C'est Si Bon is excellent...it deserves to be mentioned just for the bread alone.  If I was hosting a Super Bowl party or any other gathering that required crusty baked dough, I'd double park on PCH in front of a police cruiser in a heartbeat to run into C'est Si Bon...the bread is that good

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Your Franglais handle confuses me et c'est pas sympa.

C'estNotNice
C'estNotNice

What a clever, well thought out response.  Just because C'est Si Bon isn't in Santa Ana or Tustin doesn't mean that it's not good. Or great, for that matter.

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