Recently, talented bakers have been leaving cities to open shops in quieter spots. Some move to escape high rents; others see opportunity along road-trip routes. After all, how better to soothe a tired traveler than with a fresh pastry and a strong cup of coffee? So put on the brakes—or plan a trip—to try these tasty treats.
The mountains, the valleys, the views… everything is bigger in Alaska. That includes the sourdough hotcakes at Talkeetna Roadhouse, which spill over the sides of a dinner plate. But what truly sets these pancakes apart is the starter they’re made from, which has been thriving since Teddy Roosevelt was in office. Though you might be stuffed afterward, don’t skip the bakery: All the treats—such as Rudy in a Parka (a pig in a blanket made with reindeer sausage)—are available to go.
On March 10, 2018, when Lyon transplants Pascal and Pascale Merle opened Les Pascals Patisserie et Boulangerie in Glen Ellen, the shop sold out of pastries. The frenzy has barely cooled since, as locals and visitors flock to the bakery for an authentic taste of France. Look for less common regional specialties such as the tarte Tropézienne—a buttery, cream-filled brioche typical of Saint-Tropez. And the espresso drinks? Perfectly made, bien sûr.
It would be easy to zoom right by Alicia’s Sugar Shack in Sugar Pine, en route to the Sierra Nevada high country. The red cabin that hides the bakery-café could pass for a mountain home but for the crowd of cars outside. The dessert selection changes daily, but you can bank on caramel sticky buns so gooey that they require a fork.