The Baker's Dozen
19 Jan 2015
When only an authentic French baguette will do, get in line early at this artisanal bread shop on Folly Road. French expatriate chef Mathieu uses only all-natural flours, sea salt, and yeast to craft baguettes, brioche, multi-grain breads, and croissants. A substantial breakfast / lunch menu features eggs, French toast, and sandwiches and salads. Pair a baguette sandwich layered with turkey, brie, arugula, and balsamic reduction with a steaming bowl of French onion soup—mais oui!
Bakehouse Charleston is an innovative bakery/cafe on East Bay Street creating “New American” goods that are preservative-free. Cakes, brownies, cookies, pies, tarts, muffins, scones and other confections are made fresh daily. Baked goods can be enjoyed in the cafe or taken out. Bakehouse applies an “international palate” to everything from eclairs to tarts; custom made cakes for special events are designed to be as lovely to look at as to eat. The cafe also serves specialty coffees and local micro-brews and features a light lunch menu of quiche and strata.
Brown's Court Bakery
Located in a restored building in what was in the past an area called Brown's Court, the bakery is the embodiment of the quintessential downtown Charleston eatery. The historic property on St. Philip Street is a blend of past and present, showcasing an original fireplace with chimney intact, surrounded by austere contemporary design. Brown's Court Bakery offers a wide assortment of freshly baked breads such as brioche, challah, French, flatbread, multi-grain, vegan, burger and dog buns, pretzels, and a Dutch crunch bread called tijgerbrood. A daily happy hour features discounted baked goods.
Cupcake delivers everything sweet in its signature pink baker's box. Focusing on cupcakes and cupcakes alone, the founder Kristin Kuhlke Cobb concentrates on crafting innovative flavors and toppings that have garnered local and national praise. Sourcing from a repertoire of 50 cupcakes, the bake shop rotates through offerings like salted caramel, mocha chip, and bourbon pecan seven days a week. Cupcake also fills custom orders for special events and celebrations of the holiday season.
Think: a savory/sweet cloud of fluffy dough flavored with peanut butter and fiery Sriracha, and you've got a “nutty rooster,” a Diggity Doughnuts favorite. Pair it with a “red eye”—a brew of organic coffee laced with three shots of espresso—and you've got quite a tasty eye-opener. Owner Ambergre Sloan still operates her doughnut truck, but now serves her organic, whole wheat, vegan wares from a bake shop on Meeting Street. Plans are afoot to add fried pies, malasadas, and gluten free doughnuts to the menu.
Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe
Local provisions and Lowcountry cuisine are the hallmarks of this downtown eatery. Fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, fried chicken and waffles, and crawfish Benedict are just a few of the daily specials. Dixie's heirloom tomato pie has been featured in Southern Living magazine, and the Food Network's On the Road has dropped in for a sampling. Located on State Street near the former Dixie Supply Hardware, owners Allen and Kris Holmes dig deeply into their family recipe trove to deliver authentic Charleston food and baked goods with their own innovative spin.
Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts
Making life sweet on Upper King Street, Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts bakes its goodies from scratch with all natural ingredients. On any given day a selection of 12 flavors from the doughnut shop's inventory of over four dozen are available. A sampling: Mexican Chocolate - chipotle, cinnamon orange chocolate glaze garnished with candied orange peels. Pumpkin - pumpkin cake doughnut with dulce de leche. Apple Bacon Fritter - a fritter made from bacon infused dough filled with Granny Smith apple. Kulfi - cardamom pistachio filling, mango glaze. Strawberry & Champagne - strawberry filling with champagne infused glaze. The Italian - Frangelico filling, toffee glaze topped with almonds. Chinese five spice doughnut holes. Need we say more?
Kaminsky's Baking Co.
Kaminsky's has been ruling from its roost on historic North Market Street for decades. With over 250 freshly prepared desserts cycling through the case every day, the sweet possibilities are endless. The dessert offerings also include a solid list of ice cream sundaes and milkshakes. An intimate cafe with exposed brick and late night hours, Kaminsky's is a popular after dinner spot, offering specialty coffees and espresso, chai tea latte, ciders and iced beverages. Spiked beverages include dessert martinis, hot toddys, Irish coffee, and other liqueur-laced coffees.
Normandy Farm Artisan Bakery
Famous for its crusty, moist European-style loaves, Normandy Farm has been Charleston's preeminent bakery since opening at its original location on Society Street in 1999. Owner Mike Ray, who studied at the Ecole Française de Boulangerie et de Patisserie d'Aurillac in France, eventually moved to a larger property in West Ashley. He has been dishing out baked goods, hearty sandwiches (ham and Gruyere croissant!), and desserts to happy customers ever since. Normandy Farm also supplies fresh bread to some of Charleston’s best restaurants, and recently expanded its retail presence downtown on Society Street, next door to the original shop.
Saffron Cafe and Bakery
Originally opened as a bakery in 1986, Saffron quickly expanded into a full service restaurant offering an eclectic mix of Southern and international breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare in addition to handcrafted breads, pastries, and desserts. One approaches the dessert counter at Saffron like “a kid in a candy shop,” dazzled by the array of goodies under glass. From cookies, scones, and croissants to lavish pastries—the Napoleon is amazing—Saffron has something for every sweet tooth. Owner Shahram Aghapour features a traditional Middle Eastern tea brewed in a large samovar for a novel beverage to enjoy with dessert.
New York transplants and architects turned bakers, Bill Bowick and David Bouffard are among the enterprising small business owners helping to transform Charleston's Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood. Their baked goods follow the seasons with fresh, local/regional fruits such as lemons, blueberries, peaches, strawberries, apples, pumpkin, and sweet potato rotating on and off the menu. Choose from imaginatively flavored tarts, cupcakes, coffeecakes, pies, and a list of specialty items that includes handmade dog biscuits. Sugar also provides goodies and guidance for weddings and special events.
This cozy cafe on Pitt Street in Mount Pleasant's Old Village had been satisfying the sweet tooth of locals and visitors-in-the-know for several years before offering a farm to table dinner experience. One of Sal Parco's several popular eateries, the Village Bakery features daily baked pastries such as scones, sticky buns, muffins, cookies, cakes (the hummingbird is a long time favorite), pies, cupcakes, and bagels. Also available is a menu of salads, specialty sandwiches, and housemade soups.
Wild Flour Pastry
Acclaimed pastry chef Lauren Mitterer saw her dream come true when she opened Wild Flour Pastry in 2009. Armed with a degree in Baking & Pastry from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, she was driven to pursue her vision of creating deconstructed versions of comfort desserts. Sweet scones and savory ones such as ham and cheddar, cookies, bars such as strawberry oatmeal and double chocolate brownie, sweet breads, muffins, and quiche compose the Wild Flour menu. Cakes are made in six sizes and Metterer invites clients to build their own.