If previous stories didn’t give it away—see here and here—there are two things this editor loves: desserts and traveling (okay, and also shopping, but that’s literally another story). Recently, D.C. has gotten a lot of recognition for its culinary scene, and pastries are no exception. Remember when Bon Appétit named D.C. its restaurant city of the year in 2016? For instance, at District Doughnut, doughnuts are a science (really, the pastry chef is also a scientist and makes gastronomic doughnuts), zero preservatives are used, and everything is made from scratch daily.
And let’s not forget that one of our favorite cupcake shops, Georgetown Cupcakes (below on our list), originated here, and Ladurée recently opened its first D.C. location. Who else is excited? Ahead you'll find everything from one-of-a-kind doughnut flavors to freshly baked chocolate croissants and orange blossom macarons at our nation’s capital’s seven best bakeries. Scroll through to choose your first stop on the D.C. dessert tour.
We’re not necessarily proud of this fact, but we’ve tried a lot of cupcakes. And Georgetown Cupcakes remains one of our favorite shops. The location in Georgetown was the first to open in 2008 (this editor has frequented the one on Mercer in New York City and the one on Robertson in Los Angeles a lot of times. Hey, it’s where all the shopping is!). Chocolate lovers should try the Chocolate Ganache or Chocolate Squared.
3301 M St. NW, Washington, D.C.
We’re swooning over Buttercream Bakeshop’s Instagram. Choosing which image to feature was the hardest decision we’ve had to make today (do us a favor and scroll through them all here). If you’re in the District, drop in for freshly baked cookies, doughnuts, cakes, and pies. Or if you have an event, dream up a cake and order it in advance.
1250 Ninth St. NW, Washington, D.C.
This dreamy Parisian bakery recently opened its first D.C. location in Georgetown, with a second spot slated to open in Union Station. We, of course, love Ladurée’s macarons (in any flavor, really) but are equally obsessed with its chocolate croissants and eclairs.
3060 M St. NW, Washington, D.C.
We want to eat all of the carbs at Bread Furst. Enjoy everything from Danishes to doughnuts and light fare (including salads) at this bakery located in the Van Ness/Forest Hills neighborhood.
4434 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
If you’re in Capitol Hill, you must visit District Doughnut. Thought up by two friends and a scientist/pastry chef, each doughnut here is a gastronomic creation. Try flavors like dulce de leche, cannoli, and brown butter. While we’re on the subject, also try Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. Here, you can order a sandwich on a glazed doughnut if you’d like. The gourmet doughnut shop also bakes artfully designed doughnuts like the one pictured, in flavors like classic vanilla glazed, crème brûlée, and apricot lavender.
District Doughnut, two locations in DC; Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, 1308 G St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Pies the size of cupcakes? Yes, please. Just picture how cute they would be for a wedding! Started by three sisters, this brick-adorned bakery in Georgetown serves seasonal pies like Apple Caramel Crunch, plus a number of sweet pies including key lime and classic pecan in addition to savory options like chicken pot pie.
3423 M St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Baked and Wired
This charming Georgetown bakery and coffeehouse bakes small batches using family recipes. Try Baked and Wired’s “cakecups,” any one of its coffee cakes (from cardamom to pear pecan), and its breads to take away. Homemade avocado toast, anyone?
1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Have a favorite from the list? Share with us what you order in the comments below.