by Vicki Powers
Houston is the most diverse metro area in the country, passing New York City in 2010. It’s no wonder our bakeries and restaurants reflect the variety of cultural flavors representing these nationalities. Looking for authentic conchas, empanadas, milk butter bread or egg custard tarts? You’ll definitely find them in Houston, thanks to the influence from Mexico, China, Middle East, Europe and more. Newcomers to Houston might need a cheat sheet to find these amazing local businesses. Here are a few of the Houston bakeries where you can find bread, pastries and sweets from around the world without the traveling expense.
Since 1976, Abdallah’s Lebanese Bakery has been serving fresh pita bread and baked goods. The owners dub it a “mom and pop hole in the wall” that needs to be tried by everyone! Today Houstonians can buy its baked goods right at Central Market, H-E-B and Whole Foods or find its pita bread at local Greek and Lebanese restaurants – in addition to the bakery.
Photo credits: @BalancedDietKM
Explore international flavors at this small Chinese bakery in Alief,known for its egg custard tarts and mango mochi (sweet cake). And only a $1 each! It’s a cash-only spot so be prepared. They frequently sell out so it’s no surprise that Eck relates to Egg Custard King!
Robert Jucker grew up baking with his father, Sigmund, one of the original three brothers. Robert continues to use the family’s scratch-baking recipes dating to 1840 in Poland as fifth generation baker and co-owner of Three Brothers Bakery. Photo credit: Three Brothers Bakery
For five generations, the Jucker family-owned business has thrived and grown to three Houston locations. It continues to follow original Eastern European recipes for challah (egg bread) rye bread, Kaiser rolls, biales (from Poland) onion pockets, and bagels in addition to its traditional cakes, cookies and pies. Three Brothers Bakery has received national attention with awards such as “Best Mail Order Pecan Pie” in addition to national TV coverage for its three-layer Pumpecapple Piecake weighing 23 pounds at $250.
This ethnic bakery located on Chimney Rock has been serving Parisian pastries, croissants, macarons and more since 1977. A fun little touch is its bear-head foam art on the lattes and macchiatos!
This local family business started as Taqueria Arandas but expanded to the bakery business in 1993. All of its items are made from scratch daily with authentic Mexican recipes. The family came from Jalisco, Mexico. Arandas Bakery now has four locations in Houston.
For authentic Mediterranean pastries, head to Sweet Factory on Hillcroft. Its menu features baklava, stuffed graybi, mamoul, kenafe and more international flavors. The shop also sells French items such as French petit (vanilla or chocolate cookies with jam filling), fruit tart and biscotti.
This Chinatown bakery is to go-to place for amazing bread – and its Taiyaki Ice Cream. Some of the baked items include red bean donuts, egg milk butter bread and Taiwanese-style mooncakes.
Photo credit: El Bolillo Bakery
This local favorite since 1998 has a huge selection of tres leches and the largest selection of pan dulce (sweet bread) including orejas, conchas, cuellos, maridos, empanadas, and more. It recently expanded to Pasadena after noticing many of its customers came from the area. The Pasadena store is the largest of all with an open concept ready to serve customers and connect with the community.
This French boutique in River Oaks, Galleria and The Woodlands sells more than 20 flavors of macarons that can be paired with coffee or Italian soda. Watch for its two-hour baking classes offered throughout the year where you can learn to make macarons and take home your treats. Save some calories for these fantastic breads and sweet treats located throughout Houston. They can be a perfect addition to your parties, office settings or afternoon snack!