City Guide: Bakeries in Denver
I baked all last week for Thanksgiving, so it was about time someone returned the favor. Thankfully, my sweet-toothed cousin gets me, and we spent our last day in Denver with her as our bakery tour guide. We only had three hours, so it was a lot like speed-dating. We quickly purchased, sampled and moved onto the next place.
We stopped at six places, some sweet, some savory, all delicious! It was a day to be remembered, so I photographed it, jotted down some notes, and here I am... Sharing it with you.
This bread and pastry shop can be found in The Source, one of Denver's many food halls. I've been saying for years that Nashville needs one of these! They have a brewery, an art and retail space, a coffee shop, a mini market, an upscale wine and liquor store, a badass bakery (yes that's Babette's!) and a couple restaurants to boot. And offices upstairs! Who wouldn't fall in love with a space like this?
We traipsed about The Source for a bit, and landed in Babette's, where I was instantly drawn to the rows of perfectly laminated pastries, crusty breads and simple decor. It was obvious that the folks at Babette's care for their craft. Each item was flawless, and I could've eaten one of everything. I landed on the Morning Bun, a delectable, flaky and buttery pastry, its edges rolled in a thick crust of cinnamon and demerara sugar. If we had more time and less bakeries to get to, I would've gladly purchased one of everything!
Based in Portland, perfected in Denver? Maybe. It's the only Voodoo we've ever had the pleasure of visiting, so I couldn't really tell you if that's accurate. But I can't promise we won't research the other locations just to be sure!
We walked in and were instantly intoxicated by the sweet scent of sugar, melted chocolate and fried dough wafting through the air. We were transformed into what we imagined Willy Wonka's doughnut shop might look like. The bright colors. The vividly imaginative donuts. Maple. Oreo. Raspberry. Peanut Butter. Snozzberries! We immediately felt both overwhelmed and excited over what was about to happen!
And then we panicked. Realizing we were going to so many other bakeries, we held back a bit with our choices and went with some pretty classic doughnuts. I had the Old Fashioned Maple and Justin went for the Hibiscus Yeast. Mine was dense and reminded me of that perfect first bite of maple candy. Justin's was fluffy and light, and had a tart, fruity flavor that paired nicely with the barely (if at all) sweetened yeast base.
Both were glorious, but I wish I'd also snagged a Blueberry Cake and a Memphis Mafia. Voodoo's website describes the Memphis Mafia as such: "Fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top!"
So obviously we're going to Portland just for this. Buying flights now...
This quaint, little spot was tucked away in an unassuming strip mall, but my cousin marked this as one of her favorite spots in Denver. Also, I saw on Instagram that they had poptarts, so naturally we made this our longest pit stop.
The cutest shop one ever did see. A carefully designed menu, beautifully plated pastries and cookies and pies and more. This spot left me wishing for an extra stomach!
We took a really long time nailing down our choices for this place, because the variety was spectacular. We ended up with a chocolate pecan poptart and a lemon bar. Honestly, if you can stop me from getting a lemon bar at a bakery, you must have some kind of special powers, because it's not likely I'm walking away from one.
The shortbread crust on the lemon square was divine, but the poptart stole the show! That flaky crust was filled high with cinnamon, chocolate and pecans, and took me back to Thanksgiving all over again. The perfect Fall treat!
FYI: This was not a bakery stop. We had to fuel up for the final leg of our tour! Also, this place is absolutely picturesque and the coffee was stellar. We bought two bags of beans, enjoyed our Americanos, and set off to our final location(s)!
In all my deli experience, I've never been so excited to eat a bagel sandwich! Maybe it was the bright mustardy-orange vinyl booths, the harsh, New York accent of the friendly guy behind the cashier or the plump bagels piled up high like fluffy, carbohydrate pillows. Or maybe it was because I hadn't eaten anything but sugar all day! Either way, it felt a lot like entering heaven in the form of a completely authentic, Jewish deli.
We got a pastrami bagel sandwich (on egg-everything). And potato salad. Aaaand a pickle. And I wish we'd taken a stash of rugelach, potato knishes and bagel balls. Bagel balls are exactly what they sound like: cooked bagel dough in ball form, stuffed with cream cheese and rolled in their "everything" mix.
Honestly, I couldn't get over this place. It was a perfect gem. Also, I have zero food photos because we demolished it before a camera could come close. And it was beyond delectable. Sorry not sorry!
My cousin made a game-time decision to rush me over to this bakery while we waited for our food at Rosenberg's. I almost attested, but I'm so glad I didn't! The Rolling Pin Bakeshop is simply put, the cutest bakery ever. Their attention to detail shows as much in their space as it did in their pastry case.
Beautiful, ginormous four-layer cakes spanned the first bakery case, followed by several classic, French pastries. The floors were lined with perfect Parisian black and white tiles, the hutch labeled "Cream & Sugar" sat quaintly in the corner, and the guy helping us behind the counter could not be more friendly.
On our way to the airport, Justin and I talked at great lengths about our regret over not getting carrot cake. My cousin did not make the same mistake. She nabbed a slice to-go, that lucky gal. She did send us a photo of her beautiful slice of carrot cake just before she devoured it (pictured right), and she also made sure to text us again a bit later and let us know it tasted better than it looked. We're already talking about ways to deliver said cake to our sad tastebuds in Nashville.
I hope y'all enjoyed this bakery tour of Denver! Just putting this together has already enticed me to look into flights back in the summer to see cake... I mean family.
What did you think, Colorado-lovers? Did I miss anything that I should add to my list for next time??