If you somehow haven’t heard, renowned New York City bakery Milk Bar opened up shop in the CityCenterDC development a few weeks ago at 1090 Eye St NW. It’s the super-popular bakery’s first branch in D.C., and it’s already drawing long lines as residents wait to get their hands on everything from creative cookies to shakes and parfaits. I’m personally a fan of the blueberry and cream cookies.
Milk Bar is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, but who really wants to spend an hour or more in line just to get some pastries? Luckily, the DC area is home to many fantastic bakeries of its own. Here are a just a few of the many great places that can satisfy your sweet cravings without the need to budget a whole afternoon of waiting.
Baked and Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St, NW
Move over, Georgetown Cupcake. Locals know that Baked and Wired is the neighborhood’s best spot for grabbing baked treats and fulfilling caffeine cravings. The highlight is what the shop calls “cakecups” – they’re essentially huge cupcakes that could be easily shared between two people, if you’re feeling generous. The dirty chai flavor is excellent, as is the unicorns & rainbow recipe, which is classic vanilla cake with heart confetti mixed into the batter and topped with cream cheese icing. They also serve cookies, brownies, cakes and a whole assortment of sweet treats. In the summer, there’s even homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches.
The bakery also recently opened A Baked Joint (440 K St. NW), a spinoff location near Mt. Vernon Triangle. The menu is quite different (no cakecups here), and features toast, sandwiches and even late-night pizza.
1515 N Courthouse Rd. Arlington
901 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
This southern bakery celebrates the best of New Orleans food and culture. In the morning, you can grab a plate of beignets or build a custom buttermilk biscuit breakfast sandwich. Lunch options range from andouille sausage sandwiches to spicy smoked tuna, and there are even weekly dinner specials. There are all the expected bakery items along with several gluten-free options like seasonal scones and “crack” cookies.
4434 Connecticut Ave., NW
This Van Ness neighborhood bakery is an excellent stop for homemade breads, from baguettes to whole grain bread and even challah on Fridays. It’s the place to get your fix for European breads and pastries without leaving town. If you’re hungry for more than carbs, there’s a selection of lunch sandwiches – try the classic ham and butter on baguette – and seasonal salads.
Dog Tag Bakery
3206 Grace St., NW
Also in Georgetown, Dog Tag Bakery is just a few blocks over from Baked and Wired. The store is tucked away off M street and was founded as a work study program for military veterans. But its honorable mission aside, the products speak for themselves. Go for breakfast or lunch sandwiches – the turkey, brie and cranberry is a must – or to pick up a scone, a slice of cake or a loaf of bread for dinner.
3460 14th St., NW
This Columbia Heights bakery serves up traditional French pastries like croissants and pain au chocolate. Bread lovers can load up on things like baguette, rustic sourdough and ciabatta. Tasty savory sandwich optinos include goat cheese and prosciutto, portobello mushroom and chicken pesto.
963 Palmer Alley, NW
RareSweets is another member of the growing CityCenter complex. Choose from a selection of classic and seasonal cakes like graham and Concord grape or pumpkin and bourbon cocoa. You can even buy mini cakes or call in a custom order. There’s also a full slate of rotating ice cream and sorbet flavors, breakfast pastries and sweet cookies and bars.