There's a world of baking brilliance in Central Ohio if you know where to look.
We’ve long swooned over macarons from Pistacia Vera, cinnamon rolls at Fox in the Snow, cruffins and sourdoughs from Dan the Baker. Here, we highlight a half-dozen other bakeries that deserve your attention, with delicacies ranging from All-American red velvet cupcakes to Turkish simit.
1168 Kenny Centre Mall, Northwest Side, 614-451-7110
Tucked into the Japanese Marketplace at Kenny Centre, French-influenced Belle’s Bread often flies under the radar, but Food & Wine named it one of the best bakeries in the country this year. We think they got it right. The shelves are stocked with beautiful fruit Danishes, textured melon rolls, yeasty doughnuts filled with sweet bean paste and adorable rolls drizzled with Nutella to make kitty faces.
What to order: Start with the melon rolls, Danishes and custard cream rolls.
Cakes and More
4969 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-430-8811
Starting as a home bakery and adding a Clintonville storefront in 2011, Cakes and More hides a few surprises up its sleeve. Though specializing in artfully decorated cakes, a visit to its retail shop highlights the “And More” part of the name: brownies, cake pops, cookies, a dense layered confection called Brazilian Whisper and even empanadas. The little pockets, made daily, are stuffed with chicken, cheese, veggies, shrimp and other fillings.
What to order: Don’t miss the alfajores—two delicate, buttery cookies with a layer of dulce de leche in between.Meet some of the Central Ohioans who baked their way through 2020.
J’s Sweet Treats and Wedding Cakes
1540 Parsons Ave., South Side, 614-906-8888
Owner Juana Williams has made a name for herself with intricately decorated wedding cakes (her buttercream frosting earns special accolades). Her brick-walled shop entices guests with more treats like soft chocolate chip cookies, vanilla cakes, banana pudding with homemade whipped cream, pound cakes, brownies, cheesecakes and more “edible art,” as Williams calls it.
What to order: Williams’ red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing
Salam Market & Bakery
5676 Emporium Square, North Side, 614-899-0952
You might get distracted by the butcher shop or by the shelves stocked with goods from around the Middle East, but follow your nose to Salam’s back counter for freshly baked goods like pita bread and halal meat pies. The latter often sell out, so arrive early. The warm, golden pockets are filled with a variety of meats and veggies, such as chicken, cheese, lamb kebabs or falafel.
What to order: meat pies, in whatever flavors are offered that day
Spicy Cup Café
1977 E. Dublin-Granville Road, Northwest Side, 614-547-7117
Spicy Cup (formerly Panaderia Guadalupana) is one of the city’s most notable Mexican bakeries. Its glass cases are bursting with beautiful pastries, cakes and savory selections. Guests can pick up a tray, grab a pair of tongs and load up with sugar-dusted churros, colorful cookies, cream-filled doughnuts and turnovers stuffed with guava or pineapple. Compared to their American counterparts, Mexican pastries tend to be lighter and less sweet.
What to order: the lightly sweet conchas—an airy, rounded bread noted for its shell-like patterns on top
Tulip Café (inside Espresso Air)
25 N. State St., Westerville, 216-394-6849
Turkish dishes are hard to come by in Columbus, but Tulip Café is seeking to rectify that. Though Tulip Café doesn’t have its own retail shop, you can find its delicacies regularly at Uptown Westerville’s Espresso Air coffee shop and at local farmers markets. Look for honey-drenched baklava with pistachios or walnuts, Turkish delight, or simit: circular, bagel-like breads crusted with sesame seeds.
What to order: the buttery and flaky borek with feta, ricotta and parsley worked into the layers