Charlotte Bakeries offer a lot more than bread

  By Rachel Coston

June 12, 2019

A long day calls for a slice of strawberry cake and a side of vanilla bean ice cream. Maybe you would prefer a cannoli or a macaron. We all like to indulge on something sweet every now and again, so why not check out the myriad of unique bakeries in the city? This selection of dough pushers, sandwich makers, and confectionary artists offers a diverse range of flavors from across the world in our very own backyard. 

Suarez (4245 Park Rd Charlotte, NC, 28209) 

A Charlotte-based bakery with Cuban roots, Suarez is a delectable choice. After moving to the states as a teenager, Carlos Suarez worked in various jobs before he found his passion for baking. Suarez Bakery opened its doors in 1992 and prepares daily fresh cupcakes, cakes, cookies, brownies, doughnuts, and pies. You can’t go wrong with the Kitchen Sink cookie, Tres Leches, or guava pastelitos. For a larger-than-life experience, special order their famous Texas doughnut cake with three massive doughnuts layered with cream and topped with sprinkles.

Texas Doughnut Cake. Photo: SuarezBakery.com

Renaissance Pâtisserie (6401 Morrison Blvd. Charlotte, North Carolina 28211) 

When Renaissance Pâtisserie was founded in 2013, it was just a quaint farmer’s market stand delivering some of the best French-inspired goodies in town. Now, Chef Sylvain Rivet has transformed it into an exquisite pâtisserie. The menu features viennoiserie (croissants), pâtisserie (cakes, pies, and pastries), boulangerie (bread), design cakes, gourmandise (chouquettes, macarons, madeleines, meringues), and cafe sections. Their napoleon, apple tart, and danish raisin twist are a few of the treats you can pick up. On weekends you can indulge with their kouign-amanns, beignets, and French donuts. Don’t forget to sample their seasonal menu items including a flaky apricot danish and pumpkin croissant.

French Cheese Cake. Photo: RenaissancePatisserie.com

Hong Kong Bakery (7323 E Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28227)

Hong Kong Bakery is a convenient pastry shop located in the Super G Mart off East Independence Boulevard. Here you can sample made-from-scratch Asian– and Mexican-inspired baked goods. With specialty cakes, pastries, buns, and more, this is definitely a spot to visit for pastry lovers. Pick up lunch while you are there and try one of the soft and savory buns while quenching your thirst with a refreshing bubble tea or smoothie. 

Hong Kong Bakery

Manolo’s Bakery (4405 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205)

Home of a plethora of Hispanic-style sweets, Manolo Betancur is a local business owner of one of the first Hispanic bakeries in Charlotte. Originally named Las Delicias Bakery, Betancur changed it to Manolo’s Bakery when he became the sole owner in 2018. Even with a name change the long adored recipes and welcoming staff have remained the same. Grab a delicious bolillo bread or churro when you make a visit, or grab some doughnuts, cakes, pastries, and sweet bread. Don’t forget to try the tres leches.

Photo: Manolo’s Bakery

Sunflour Baking Company (Multiple Locations) 

Sunflour Baking Company has been a local favorite for breakfast, lunch, or dessert since they opened their first location in Elizabeth in 2009. The Parrish family took over the bakery in 2014 and have now opened three additional stores. So many irresistible selections including the cinnamon rolls, almond croissants, and seasonal muffins. There are tons of seasonal cakes, pies, and cupcakes that come in flavors like German chocolate, Nutella, and limonada. If you are more into savory treats, you can pick up a ham and gruyere panini or the egg, cheddar, or avocado melt. Don’t worry if you have a dietary restriction because there is a special gluten-free and vegan cake menu.

Sunflour Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich. Photo: Sunflour Baking Company

Amelie’s (Multiple Locations) 

As you step into Amelie’s Bakery you can smell the fresh coconut macarons being pulled out of the oven. Make your way through the eccentric scenery and gaze at the unique decor and furniture. You wouldn’t expect a bakery to place mismatched chairs and tables together but for Amelie’s, it’s in their DNA. In 2007, the original NoDa Amelie’s location opened, becoming the first place in the city where can sit back and enjoy pastries 24/7. This French eatery is the perfect place to hangout, study, or get some work done while you sip on a cafe au lait or herbal tea.  

Photo: Kim Casanova

Nova’s Bakery (Multiple Locations) 

Nova’s Bakery opened doors in 1996 and has been dishing out their sensational cannolis and chocolate eclairs to loyal Plaza Midwood patrons ever since. The Novakovics family immigrated to the states from Serbia where they soon found a market for bakeries in Charlotte. The seasonal menu is just what you need for any holiday with hot cross buns, Christmas candy canes, bunny bread, and much more. Whether it’s their home-made bread, cakes, pies, pastries, or cookies, everyone will find something sweet.

Nova’s Apple Pie. Photo: Nova’s Bakery

Villani’s Bakery (901 Pecan Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205) 

The Villani’s Bakery is a New York-styled sweet stop serving up authentic Italian desserts. This locally-owned bakery started out in Concord but recently relocated to Pecan Ave in Plaza Midwood. The white chocolate cherry biscotti, amaretti cookie, and tiramisu will make you feel like you are vacationing in Italy. Enjoy any of the macarons or cheesecakes in tempting flavors like mint chocolate chip, fruity pebbles, and orange creamsicle. Make someone’s day with a made to order boston cream pie, Italian cream, and even gluten-free flourless chocolate cake.

Photo: Villani’s Bakery

WOW Factor Cakes (2400 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203) 

For over 16 years, WOW Factor Cakes have been creating custom cakes for special events. Marianne Warrick was baking at WOW Factor when Lei Christine Garcia decided to purchase the bakery in 2016 and make Warrick the head baker. Now they prepare treats for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, sporting events, and more. Delectable personalized cakes for any kind of event, they’ve even created custom confections for celebrities like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran.

J. Cole ‘4 Your Eyes Only Tour’ cake designed by WOW Factor in Charlotte on August 9, 2017.

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