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The 16 best bakeries in San Jose & the South Bay

The 16 best bakeries in San Jose & the South Bay
Photo: Icing on the Cake/Instagram
By Brianna Richard - Published on December 08, 2021.

Bakeries are for joy. Between the smells, the delicate handmade treats, the colors, and the flavors, a good bakery is a magical place. There are some incredible bakeries in the South Bay for every occasion, and when it's time for some comfort food, this is where you should head. Most of these bakeries are small, family-owned businesses with a long history in the community that you will want to support. And whether you like pies, cupcakes, freshly baked bread, doughnuts, pan dulce, or empanadas, the South Bay has it all. Check out these sixteen locations and make a wish list for them all.


Charlie’s Cheesecake Works

Best Bakeries in the South Bay

Charlie's Cheesecakes is one of a kind. Charlie's Cheesecake Works, which is located in San Jose's Almaden Valley, was founded by Charlie Major in 2002. Every morning around 7:30 a.m., the Open sign illuminates, and Charlie himself is hard at work making just about any type of cheesecake you can imagine. Charlie will give you a free magnet just for stopping by his shop, which is covered in pictures of his grandchildren. The cheesecake poppers are delicious, and they're made with fresh vanilla made from scratch. If you're dining for one or need enough for a wedding, you can order assorted flavors in as little as three. Some of the best cheesecakes in the area can be found at Charlie's. Majors claims that more than four million cheesecake poppers have been sold to date. Anyone who visits Charlie's Cheesecakes will agree that there are no better cheesecakes in the world.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082684555
1179 Redmond Ave, San Jose

 


Milohas

Leading Bakeries in San Jose

Milohas has a cult following, which is well-deserved. Milohas is derived from the Spanish words "mil hojas," which roughly translates to "1,000 layers." The pastries and empanadas here are all made by hand and have delicate layers and great depth of flavor. Milohas was founded in 1999 by a Colombian family using recipes from their grandmother. The savory empanadas are possibly the most comforting food I've ever eaten. They're made in small batches, by hand, and baked fresh to order. The guava finger is their most popular dessert. Guava fingers are a fluffy pastry dough filled with a sweet guava goo and served warm, shaped like a finger. This is the kind of place you'll want to visit when you're sick and need comfort food, when you have a special occasion and need catering, or when your friends visit from out of town and you want to take them somewhere special.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4087843736
4662 Meridian Ave, San Jose

 


Icing on the Cake

Top-Notch San Jose Baked Goods

Icing on the Cake is known for its long lines and sold-out baked goods. This spot has everything: cakes, pies, cupcakes, loaf cakes, bread pudding, cookies, and a variety of gluten-free and vegan options are all available. Mr. Pete's Tail Waggin' Treat for pups is a must-try for dog lovers. The banana cake is their most famous flavor, which may sound strange to some. It's fresh, light, and fluffy, with a cream cheese frosting on top — and even if you don't love bananas, it's worth a shot. Arrive early or place your order ahead of time. They'll sell out of their baked goods almost every day of the week because the icing on the cake is that good.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083542464
50 W Main St, Los Gatos

 


Peters' Bakery

Top Bakeries in the South Bay

If you've ever been to a party in San Jose, you've almost certainly had a slice of burnt almond cake at some point. San Jose did not invent the burnt almond cake, but its bakeries have elevated it to new heights — and Peters' Bakery does claim to have originated the recipe in 1936. Long-standing bakery rivalries between San Jose cousins have erupted over burnt almond cake, but that's a story for another day. Many have attempted to replicate it, but Peters' Bakery makes the best burnt almond cake. The bakery is tucked away in a strip mall on the East Side, but it is known far and wide. If you have a family gathering coming up, stop by Peters' and you'll quickly become a family favorite.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082583529
3108 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose

 


SusieCakes

Leading San Jose Bakeries

SusieCakes has a charming story behind it. Susan Sarich's passion for baking began at an early age. Her grandmothers, who called her Susie, were extremely close to her as a child. She used to bake with her grandmothers after school, learning their recipes and special touches. After opening the first SusieCakes in Los Angeles' Brentwood neighborhood, Sarich went on to open multiple SusieCakes locations, using her grandmothers' recipes, which she had written on 3x5 cards and had loved for years. SusieCakes' motto is that if you can't spell it, you won't be able to cook with it. They make their cakes by hand with simple ingredients. If you're craving a cupcake, they make batches of them every day in a variety of delectable flavors. The chocolate is deep and rich, while the lemon is light and dreamy. You can't go wrong at Susie Cakes, no matter what flavor you try.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4084462253
1109 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

 


Flower Flour

Top-Notch Bakeries in San Jose

Flower Flour is the place to go if you want a ridiculously over-the-top cake that bears no resemblance to a cake and could win a food competition. They can create anything you can imagine. Cakes in the shape of unicorns and faux hamburgers can be found in the store window. Chef Ani Sarhadian founded Flower Flour, and to make these custom cakes over the top and everything you could ever want, she employs a variety of methods and techniques. They also have daily made-to-order pastries and macarons in a variety of flavors. 

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082790843
896 Willow St, San Jose

 


Pink Elephant

Best San Jose Baked Goods

It's impossible to discuss bakeries in the South Bay without mentioning pan dulce, and Pink Elephant serves some of the best pan dulce in the area. They open at 5 a.m. every day, so you can get your fix for breakfast. Of course, coffee and Mexican hot chocolate are available to accompany your treats. Since 1978, this family-owned bakery has been baking, and their recipes have stood the test of time. If you want to share, they also sell tres leches, flan, and mini pan dulce. So make a point of visiting Pink Elephant for your next breakfast or family gathering.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4089233436
415 S King Rd, San Jose

 


C’est Si Bon

Leading Bakeries in San Jose

For over 30 years, C'est Si Bon has been satisfying people's sweet tooth all over the world! It began as a small bakery in Australia, serving handcrafted Persian cookies. C'est Si Bon arrived in San Jose 15 years later. Sepi, the founder, and her daughters run this family business, which specializes in custom cakes, pastries, and cookies. The flavors of their cupcakes are irresistible. Oreo cookies, burnt almonds, strawberry milkshakes, and rainbow funfetti with rainbow frosting are among the treats available. 

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082662253
1375 Blossom Hill Rd #38, San Jose

 


Stan’s Donut Shop

Top-Notch San Jose Baked Goods

Stan's donut shop, hands down, has the best classic donuts in the area. Stanford Wittmayer, a WWII veteran, and his wife founded Stan's. They had nine children, all of whom worked at Stan's as children. Their children and grandchildren continue to run the business and delight visitors with Stan's recipes. There is always a line out the door, but don't let that deter you; it moves quickly. They also have a continuous assembly line of fresh donuts so you can enjoy them while they are still hot and steamy. Go to Stan's if you're having a bad day. You can sit at a long counter where you can order root beer floats and hot jelly donuts. The decor is all from the 1960s, and the family who runs the establishment is friendly and welcoming. You'll thank me later.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082965982
2628 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara

 


Psycho Donuts

Top Bakeries in the South Bay

If you've never had the pleasure of dining at Psycho Donuts, you're in for a treat. This isn't your run-of-the-mill doughnut shop. There isn't a single elderly lady in an apron who will serve you an old-fashioned. Pens that look like syringes, local horror artwork is for sale, and doughnuts named after classic horror movies are all available at Psycho Donuts. One of the most popular choices is the "Cereal Killer," which is covered in actual cereal. The Valley Fair Mall location is open seven days a week, but the Campbell location is only open on weekends, so gather your friends, choose a classic 1980s thriller to watch, and pick up a dozen donuts from one of their shops.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083784540
2006 S Winchester Blvd, Campbell

 


Greenlee’s

Leading San Jose Bakeries

Greenlee's should just take all of my money. Greenlee's first opened its doors in San Jose in 1924. Greenlee's locations began to spring up all over the place as their cinnamon bread became very popular — and it has won awards and can now be shipped all over the country. They serve hot coffee, cinnamon bread waffles, and killer breakfast burritos every day starting at 6 a.m. Everything about this place is excellent, and one of the things I admire about Greenlee's is that it was founded by a strong female family. As their family grows older, they continue to teach younger generations of women how to be strong by working at Greenlee's. Nothing here disappoints, and patronizing Greenelee's means helping to support a local family who has raised generations of strong women in our community.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082874191
1081 The Alameda, San Jose

 


Frost Cupcake Factory

Top-Notch Bakeries in San Jose

Have you ever seen a cooking show on the Food Network that featured a local business and thought to yourself, "Man, I'd really like to go there?" Frost's backstory is quite remarkable. Andrea Buswell grew up in the Bay Area and has always had a passion for baking. She worked in the corporate world for over 15 years before being laid off unexpectedly. It was a sign to her that it was finally time to do something she was passionate about. When she first opened Frost, the fun rotating flavors like aloha pie and coffee toffee crunch were an instant hit. She later appeared on the Food Network show "Cupcake Wars," where she competed against top bakers from across the country. Andrea in fact won the "Cupcake Wars" competition, and has been providing the South Bay with delectable and unique cupcake flavors ever since. A calendar of rotating daily cupcake flavors can be found on their website. Warning: once you've tried these cupcakes, you'll want to visit Frost on a weekly basis.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4088669866
1305 N Bascom Ave I, San Jose

 


The Giving Pies

Best San Jose Baked Goods

Who doesn't enjoy a slice of pie? The traditional holiday and family get-together food is pie. Giving Pies also gives back to the community, so it's a win-win situation all around. Voahangy, a French baker, founded Given Pies. She wanted to open a bakery and bake pies, but she also wanted to help kids. As a result, she started Giving Pies, donating the proceeds from each pie to the E-Sports Foundation, which works with children from all over the area. If that isn't enough to entice you to come, the pies will. Because the pies are truly that good, this establishment has received a solid five-star rating on Yelp. You'll want to try them all, especially with flavors like chocolate coconut, and apple almond. Don't worry, you'll be able to do it. Giving Pies sells mini pies so you can sample them all while also helping children.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4084750563
569 W Alma Ave, San Jose

 


La Patisserie Bakery

Leading Bakeries in San Jose

I would have returned to La Patisserie just for the Guava Cake if you had told me that was all they had. Instead, they offer a huge selection of desserts, including every type of cake imaginable, European pastries, fruit tarts, pies, and Creme Brulee. The deserts around here are breathtaking. As if anyone needed an excuse to visit aside from the guava cake. The baked goods are light, fluffy, and creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness. La Patisserie creates stunning wedding and birthday cakes, as well as cakes for any occasion. One of the most popular menu items is the Princess cake. If you've never had a princess cake, they're both beautiful and delicious — it's a light sponge cake topped with a thin layer of marzipan and filled with cream and fruit. You'll have a new favorite if you get one for the next birthday party.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4084464744
19758 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino

 


Manresa Bread

Top-Notch San Jose Baked Goods

It's like going to Grandma's house when you visit Manresa Bread in Los Gatos. You will be pampered with delectable baked goods and warmly welcomed. There are three locations in the Bay Area, but you must choose one quickly and arrive in Manresa early. By noon, they've usually sold out of their most popular pastries and baked goods. What's better than coffee and warm, freshly baked goods than Manresa's Verve Coffee? If you've never tried Verve, it's a Santa Cruz-based shop that serves up some of the best coffee in the world, all of which is produced in a sustainable manner and sourced from all over the world. Verve Coffee, chocolate croissants, freshly baked quiche, and piping hot baguettes? It's possible that you'll never want to leave.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4084025372
276 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

 


Lawsons Bakery in Morgan Hill

Top Bakeries in the South Bay

Lawsons is the real deal. If you make the trip out to Morgan Hill, the smells and sights alone will have you purchasing far more baked goods than you intended. They serve everything from scones to cinnamon rolls to cookies on their extensive menu. The beignets are perhaps the best thing on the Lawson's menu. They're served warm with a decadent caramel dipping sauce. They'll fool you into thinking you're in New Orleans. Did I mention they have a fantastic breakfast menu as well?

Visit WebsiteCall: 4087794991
15862 Monterey Rd, Morgan Hill