As a one-month newbie to Cary, I’ve been thrown a lot of recommendations for places to eat. By far, the most mentions were for all these quaint bakeries, some of which have expanded their businesses to include lunch items and specialty drinks. Some are designed for a quick cupcake drive-by while others have adapted their interiors to take you to a different country and culture.
Here’s the full rundown, focused on local bakeries that produce in-house baked goods from daily made artisanal bread to indulgent cakes and exotic pastries.
Annelore’s German Bakery
Downtown Cary – 308 W. Chatham Street
Definitely a one of a kind in Cary is Annelore’s German Bakery which opened it 3,600-square-foot shop 2017 in downtown Cary. The handmade confections produced daily in their shop are based on old-world family recipes, some of which date back generations. Using local ingredients, the bakery is based on traditional Munich and Viennese konditoreiens, better known here as cake shops. Their expansive displays feature a sweet side of royal tortes, classic german chocolate cakes, their famous honey drizzled “Bee Sting” pastries and a savory side including bavarian pretzels, loaves of fresh bread and turnovers stuffed with various vegetables, cheeses and meats.
Baghdad Bakery & Market
Chatham Square – 744 East Chatham Street
Baghdad Bakery is located amongst many culturally rich shops in the Chatham Square shopping center and is known for its assortment of traditional Iraqi bread and various desserts. Top choices here are their samoon bread and khubiz bread. Their shop is also known for its retail of fairly priced authentic spices and ingredients common in middle eastern dishes.
Chanticleer Cafe & Bakery
Wellington Park – 6490 Tryon Road
Chanticleer‘s bakery items are made fresh daily on-site and can be paired with a coffee made by local roaster, Joe Van Gogh. Their display case features croissants, danishes, cookies, brownies, colossal cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, macarons and more. Their unique name and logo were derived from the Canturbury Tales rooster named Chanticleer. Their reason behind it is that Chanticleer was a magnificent rooster that started off the day with pride and they hope to bring that same pride and artistry to their customers. Chanticleer also serves breakfast and lunch items.
Crema Bakery & Espresso Bar
Cornerstone – 1983 High House Road
Crema is a unique player in Cary’s bakery game as it serves up Korean-style bread, french inspired pastries, bubble teas and quality, on-site roasted coffee. The independent, family-owned shop is nestled into a shopping center and is popular with laptop campers on weekday mornings. Their differentiator, the Korean-style baked goods, include mocha buns, green pea buns, and sweet potato buns. All items are freshly made in the store and there is indoor and outdoor seating available.
Great Harvest Bread Co.
Waterford Center – 1240 NW Maynard Road
“Bread the way it ought to be” is the slogan customers see on their way into Great Harvest Bread Company, a locally owned bakery with retail options and indoor seating. The owners are a husband and wife duo with four kids and their mission is to bake phenomenal bread for their community and have fun in the process.
With over 10 years under its belt, Great Harvest Bread Co. has evolved to also include sandwiches, salads, soups and gluten-free products on their menu. The bakery offers both everyday breads and goodies and some that change with each month or day of the week. Some of their classics that are always being made are Chocolate Brownie bread, Extreme Cinnamon Swirl bread, Whole Grain Cinnamon Rolls and a selection of sweets from cookies and scones to brownies and muffins.
Hot Breads Cafe & Bakery
Parkway Commons – 1901 NW Cary Parkway
Owner Shipra Jain moved from India to America in 1998 and decided to open up Hot Breads as a way to take customers back or show them for the first time how special the foods from the streets of India can be. Just barely into the southern end of Morrisville, this bakery serves up Indian style pastries and colorful custom cakes with a menu of exotic sandwiches and spicy delicacies including Chaat, Puri and Kachori.
La Farm Bakery
Preston Corners – 4248 NW Cary Pkwy and 2 other locations
Have you ever wanted to hop on a plane to France just to be able to have a taste of some of the flakiest croissants and expertly crafted bread on earth? Well good news, you can have that experience without leaving Cary.
La Farm is known for two major selling points- the authentic French atmosphere and the man behind the bread, Lionel Vatinet — a James Beard Award winner and master baker, a title held by less than 200 people in the US.
“La Farm is where an old-world European bakery meets an American cafe,” said La Farm Corporate Trainer, Christina Jones. “We try to create a marriage between all of our local North Carolina vendors and the European style.”
La Farm started in its flagship location at Preston Corners, where customers can find not only bakery items, but also breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and coffee offerings too. The Preston Corners location opened its doors 20 years ago and they’ve only continued to grow, now with locations in downtown and western Cary and a fourth in the works at RDU airport. According to Jones, the RDU location will start off as a grab n’ go spot in early May 2020 and will evolve into a full cafe in November 2020.
La Michoacana Bakery
Mayfair Plaza – 114 SW Maynard Rd
In the back of the Food Lion shopping center on SW Maynard is La Michoacana, a Mexican bakery with many reviews online raving about their tres leches cakes. They also serve Concha, a traditional Mexican sweet bread roll, cookies and empanadas. The bakery is also home to a selection of authentic Mexican groceries.
Once in a Blue Moon Bakery & Cafe
Ashworth Village – 115 W. Chatham Street, Suite G
This spot is nestled in a shopping area just off of the main drag of Downtown Cary at the corner of Academy and Chatham. Specializing in baked goods, cafe eats and baking classes, Once in a Blue Moon is a staple to the downtown area. They are open for breakfast and lunch crowds and offer a wide variety of cookies, custom made cakes, pies and more. The interior is warm and inviting for those looking for a nook to enjoy a morning or afternoon bakery splurge.
Sugar Buzz Bakery & Cafe
Salt Box Village – 1231 Kildaire Farm Road
Manger and head cake decorator of Sugar Buzz, Jules Madding, calls the atmosphere of the shop “quirky” with a painting of Chewbacca as the centerpiece wall decoration of the bakery. Madding has been the shop’s head cake decorator for 2 years following her completion of the four-year pastry program at Wake Tech.
Half of the offerings in the Sugar Buzz case are gluten-free and two of their most popular items are their chocolate tortes and eclairs. With just a few spots to sit and enjoy a sweet treat, it is a common grab n’ go spot for locals to swing in for a cupcake, brownie or cookie.
It is my hope that this guide will bring you through the doors of one of Cary’s fine bakeries very soon! Did I miss one? Let me know in the comments.
Story and photos by Ashley Kairis.