Nothing helps you get through the dim winter days like fresh-baked breads or sweet treats. Thankfully, San Diego has bakeries galore, which specialize in everything from fresh doughnuts to pies and tarts. Other bakers may also whip up fresh sourdough breads or even croissants.
Many bakeries are open early in the day. In fact, bakers may start working at about the same time that some people are staggering home from the bar or club. This ensures that customers can enjoy fresh-baked goodies even on the way into work in the morning. Some bakeries give back to the community by donating their day-old baked goods to shelters for the less fortunate, while others simply sell them at a discount.
Depending on the bakery you visit, you may find an assortment of fresh and creative breads, ranging from focaccias with fresh toppings to pretzel breads, loaves of dark rye or whole grain creations. Others may specialize in sweet treats, such as muffins, cupcakes or scones. Most bakeries offer an assortment of items, including rolls, buns, sweet treats, and sliced or unsliced loaves of bread.
If you live, work, visit or commute through North Park, you’ll be close to several incredible bakeries.
Blackmarket Bakery is “Powered by Butter”
Location: 4686 30th Street
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Near the northernmost park of North Park, right by where it fades into University Heights, you’ll find Blackmarket Bakery, a successful bakery with three different locations, including one in Santa Ana and another in Costa Mesa. The North Park location of Blackmarket Bakery is a popular destination for flavorful baked goods. In fact, they were voted the Best Bakery by San Diego Magazine for 2017.
The slogan for this bakery is “powered by butter,” an approach to recipes that they combine with sugar and high quality flours to create baked treats both savory and sweet. They focus on flavor, allowing them to provide customers with a “conscious moment of indulgence,” whatever they are craving.
The breads here include a Dutch Crunch Loaf, seeded sourdough, pretzels, rolls and even challah on Fridays. They also serve up breakfast and lunch sandwiches on their own, baked goods, and offer both beer and coffee to go with your treats.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, they have cookies, tarts, homemade marshmallows, brownie bites and several kinds of bread pudding, including their famous Cookie Monster Bread pudding. If you want something to go, pick up a Junk in a Jar, which is a mason jar with a sweet, spoonable treat inside, with new flavors and ideas regularly available.
Breakfast, Brunch and Baked Goods at Cardamom
Cardamom Cafe & Bakery
Location: 2977 Upas Street
Hours: Seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cardamom Cafe & Bakery claims to have the best croissants in all of San Diego. Based on their popularity and success, it’s clear plenty of their patrons agree!
They serve breakfast for as long as they are open, with options including egg dishes, croissant sandwiches, a Monte Cristo made with brioche French toast and quiche. They will make up omelets to order with anything you want inside, and they offer soyrizo for those who prefer to avoid meat in their meals. There are breakfast burritos, granola and even chia pudding on the menu for those who are more health conscious.
The menu here also features four kinds of eggs Benedict, including a classic, a version with bacon, a California with tomato and avocado, and a seafood lobster Benedict with shrimp and real crab drizzled in lobster sauce. They also serve French toast made with brioche bread or croissants, as well as pancakes.
Of course, they sell fresh bread, pastries and goodies, baked fresh from scratch every day, as are the sauces and other items used for their lunch and breakfast menus. Offerings tend to change based on the season, but you are sure to find something you love every time you visit Cardamom Cafe & Bakery.
Authentic Mexican Treats at Panchita’s
Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery
Location: 3803 32nd Street
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you’re craving carbs but want something a little South of the border inspired, then Panchita’s Kitchen and Bakery likely has exactly what you’re craving. There’s no question that Mexican cooks and bakers took ingredients and processes used by European bakers and put their own spin on them. You can find all kinds of authentic Mexican baked goods at Panchita’s Kitchen and Bakery.
This location in North Park is actually the newest location of this highly successful and much loved local bakery. It only opened in 2015, and the original location in Golden Hill has been in operation since 1983. They also have locations in Barrio Logan and City Heights, both of which serve ice cream as well as the fresh baked goods people queue up for.
The North Park location is the only one that offers a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a drive-though for those who don’t have time to sit down and enjoy the food on site.
They serve breakfast all day, including chilaquiles, pancake sandwiches, croissant sandwiches and breakfast burritos. For lunch and dinner, the menu includes carne and pollo asada, fresh fish, including ceviche, burritos, quesadillas and even hamburgers with fries. Look for fresh pan dulce and an impressive range of empanadas from their bakery.
A Healthy Option to Consider
San Diego Protein Company
Location: 3620 30th Street
Hours: Monday: 8 a.m. to noon, Tuesday: 7 a.m. to noon. Wednesday-Friday: 8 a.m. to noon, Closed on Saturdays and Sundays
If you are looking for a healthier option than what you’ll find at most classic bakeries, then you’re in luck! San Diego Protein Company offers what is possibly the healthiest take possible on doughnuts. They have multiple locations throughout the state and continue to grow because of the demand for the unique sweet treats they cook up. This location in North Park is their official storefront, as their other locations are inside exercise facilities and clubs.
Why would anyone every put a doughnut shop inside a gym? It only happened in this case because the doughnuts that San Diego Protein Company cooks up are delicious, high in protein and include no added sugar. In fact, each one of their “pronuts” has a whopping 16 grams of protein, making it a great pre-workout snack or recovery treat after you really push yourself.
The total calories per doughnut range from 110 for their maple and chocolate pronuts to 160 calories for their Rocky Road pronuts. Their pronut holes only have 20 calories each, so you can enjoy a half dozen for only 120 calories! Flavors include lemon coconut, Fruit Loop, cookies and cream, angel food cake, red velvet and seasonal options, like pumpkin spice. It definitely won’t taste like healthy eating!