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The Best Bakery Chains in America

There’s nothing like freshly baked bread or pastry, still warm as it comes out of the oven. Luckily, there are many bakery café chains in the US that serve incredibly delicious baked goods.

These bakeries infuse their baked goods with impeccable technique, artistry, and love.

So whether you need a quick breakfast on the go, an afternoon pick-me-up, or a delicious dessert, these bakery chains are sure to have what you’re looking for.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best bakery chains in America, so you can enjoy your favorite treats no matter where you are.

12. Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons is a Canadian cafe and bakery chain most famous for serving coffee and donuts.

There are over 600 Tim Hortons locations in the United States, as well as many more throughout Canada.

The first Tim Hortons location opened in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

The chain was founded and named after iconic Canadian hockey player Tim Horton.

Tim Hortons’ menu is most famous for its wide array of donuts.

Depending on your location, Tim Hortons’ donut menu may vary, but you can expect to find flavors like the old-fashioned glazed, honey cruller, vanilla cream, chocolate glazed, vanilla dip, honey dip, chocolate dip, apple fritter, and Boston cream.

Tim Hortons is also famous for its Timbits, which are donut holes.

Some popular Timbit flavors include honey dip, chocolate glazed, birthday cake, and sour cream blueberry glazed.

Finally, Tim Hortons offers other baked goods, including bagels, muffins, cookies, and croissants.

11. Bruegger’s Bagels

Bruegger’s Bagels is a bakery cafe chain specializing in New York-style bagels.

There are almost 200 Bruegger’s Bagels locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

The first Bruegger’s Bagels location was opened in Troy, New York, in 1983.

In 2004, Bruegger’s set the Guinness world record for the world’s largest bagel.

It was displayed at the New York State Fair in Geddes, New York, and weighed a whopping 868 pounds!

Of course, the Bruegger’s Bagels menu revolves around New York-style bagels.

Bruegger’s serves over a dozen bagel flavors, including plain, cinnamon raisin, egg, garlic, poppy seed, rosemary olive oil, whole wheat, blueberry, cinnamon sugar, everything, onion, pumpernickel, sesame, whole wheat everything, cheesy hashbrown, jalapeno cheddar, and five cheese.

Bruegger’s Bagels also offers a variety of cream cheese flavors, including plain, light plain, garden veggie, jalapeno, smoked salmon, strawberry, bacon scallion, honey walnut, light herb garlic, onion & chive, and sriracha honey.

Finally, Bruegger’s Bagels serves additional baked goods like chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins.

10. Great Harvest Bread Company

Great Harvest Bread Company is a Montana-based bakery and cafe chain specializing in whole-wheat baked goods.

There are over 200 Great Harvest Bread Company locations in all 50 states.

The first Great Harvest Bread Company location was opened by Pete and Laura Wakeman in Great Falls, Montana, in 1976.

All of the wheat used in Great Harvest Bread Company’s baked goods was grown in the Golden Triangle region of Montana.

Each location sets its own menu, but all locations offer delicious fresh-baked breads, cookies, and other pastries.

Some of the breads you might find at your local Great Harvest Bread Company include honey whole wheat, cinnamon chip, high 5 fiber, autumn apple, and everything.

Great Harvest Bread Company also serves delicious homemade cookies baked daily in flavors like chocolate chip oatmeal walnut, peanut butter chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, oatmeal scotchies, salted caramel, and chocolate chip.

Finally, Great Harvest Bread Company sells a variety of fresh-baked desserts, like teacakes, brownies, scones, bars, and Savannah bars.

9. Einstein Bros. Bagels

Einstein Bros. Bagels is a bakery and cafe chain specializing in bagels with nearly 700 locations in the United States.

Each day, Einstein Bros’ bakers arrive on location at 2 am to start baking the day’s bagels.

From the moment the restaurant’s doors open to the public, Einstein Bros bakes a new batch of bagels every four hours, so no matter the time of day, your bagel will always be fresh.

The Einstein Bros menu revolves around bagels and bagel sandwiches.

There are over 16 bagel flavors available at Einstein Bros, including cheesy hash brown, green chile, six-cheese, ancient grain, Asiago cheese, jalapeno cheddar, blueberry, cinnamon raisin, cinnamon sugar, chocolate chip, everything, French toast, honey whole wheat, onion, plain, and sesame.

Einstein Bros also serves a variety of breakfast and lunch sandwiches made with their bagels if you’re hungry for something a little more substantial.

Finally, Einstein Bros sells other baked goods, including cinnamon rolls, strudel, muffins, and chocolate chip cookies.

8. La Madeleine

La Madeleine is a French cafe and bakery chain with over 80 locations in the United States.

The first La Madeleine location was opened by Louis le Duff in Brest, France, in 1976.

In 1983, the first American La Madeleine location opened in Dallas, Texas, near the Southern Methodist University campus.

The La Madeleine menu features a variety of French cafe-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes and an array of baked goods.

Some of the breads offered at La Madeleine include country wheat loaves, seven-grain loaves, sourdough loaves, baguettes, butter croissants, pain au chocolats, almond croissants, chocolate almond croissants, dark cherry and Greek yogurt danishes, ham and cheese danishes, blueberry muffins, and bran muffins.

La Madeleine also serves pâtisserie, which are fancy French baked desserts, like fruit tarts, chocolate tarts, lemon tarts, Sacher torte parfaits, French vanilla and fruit parfaits, and caramel creme brulees.

Finally, La Madeleine serves delicious, fresh cookies and cakes, including macarons, berries and cream cheesecakes, Linzer cookies, chocolate chunk cookies, palmiers, oatmeal raisin pecan cookies, lemon madeleines, Sacher tortes, and coconut cream cake.

7. Corner Bakery Cafe

Corner Bakery Cafe is a popular American cafe and bakery chain.

There are over 150 Corner Bakery Cafe locations in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington DC.

The first Corner Bakery was a local bakery-cafe in downtown Chicago, Illinois, that served artisanal breads and other fresh-baked sweets.

The menu at Corner Bakery Cafe offers a variety of classic breakfast and lunch dishes, like sandwiches, soups, and salads.

In addition, they serve an array of delicious sweets, including cookies, bundt cakes, and bars.

Corner Bakery’s cookies come in flavors like monster, chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal raisin, and toffee.

They also offer two different kinds of bundt cakes: chocolate and lemon.

Finally, Corner Bakery’s dessert bars include fudge brownies, cream cheese brownies, and lemon and maple pecan bars.

6. Pret a Manger

Pret a Manger is a British cafe and bakery chain specializing in sandwiches and coffee.

There are almost 50 American Pret a Manger locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Washington DC.

The first Pret a Manger was opened in London, England, in 1986.

The Pret a Manger menu features a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, and baked goods.

Pret a Manger also serves baked goods like croissants, cookies, and muffins.

Their croissant offerings include plain, almond, chocolate, and pain au raisin.

Pret a Manger’s cookie flavors include chocolate brownie, chocolate cookie, double chocolate pecan, and harvest.

Finally, Pret a Manger serves morning glory banana and blueberry muffins.

5. Panera Bread

Panera Bread is one of the most popular bakery and cafe chains in the United States.

There are over 2,000 Panera Bread locations in 48 states and Washington DC.

The first Panera Bread location opened in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1987 under the name St. Louis Bread Company.

Fun fact: the original sourdough starter used for baking sourdough bread at that first St. Louis Bread Company is still used to make sourdough at Panera today!

The Panera Bread menu features a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, flatbreads, breads, and other baked goods.

The most popular breads at Panera include French baguette, classic sourdough, country rustic sourdough, white whole grain, tomato basil, black pepper focaccia, brioche, artisan ciabatta, classic white miche, and asiago cheese focaccia.

Panera Bread also serves nine bagel flavors: cinnamon crunch, asiago, everything, plain, blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon swirl, sesame, and sprouted grain.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat, Panera offers pastries like vanilla cinnamon rolls, bear claws, pecan braids, chocolate croissants, plain croissants, mini scones, chocolate chip cookies, candy cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and lemon drop cookies.

Finally, if you’re looking for a quick breakfast, Panera Bread bakes a few different muffins, including blueberry, chocolate chip, pumpkin, and cranberry orange.

4. Paris Baguette

Paris Baguette is a Korean bakery chain specializing in Asian-inspired French breads and pastries.

There are over 100 American Paris Baguette locations in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

The first Paris Baguette location was opened in Seoul, Korea, in 1986.

The Paris Baguette menu features a variety of sandwiches and salads, as well as breads, pastries, and cakes.

The fresh-baked breads from Paris Baguette include baguettes, brioche rolls, croissant loaves, milk bread, multigrain bread, raisin bread, and soft cream bread.

Paris Baguette’s delicate pastries include red bean bread, sugar mochi donuts, tiramisu tarts, pain au chocolats, pain aux raisins, pasteles de nata, choux cream bread, matcha mochi donuts, cream cheese donuts, croissants, croissant donuts, almond pastries, blueberry cream cheese pastries, and buttercream bread.

Finally, Paris Baguette offers a variety of delicious cakes, including chocolate strawberry, red velvet, mocha, souffle cheesecake, cappuccino, chocoholic chiffon, mixed berry and soft cream, blueberry chiffon, and blueberry yogurt.

3. Tous le Jours

Tous le Jours is another popular Korean bakery chain that serves Asian-inspired French baked goods.

There are over 1,600 Tous le Jours locations worldwide, including over 70 in the United States.

The first American Tous le Jours location opened in 2004.

The Tous le Jours menu offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, breads, pastries, and cakes.

Tous le Jours’ delicious breads include taro buttercream bread, potato cheese bread, milk pillow bread, purple sweet potato loaves, milk cream bread, brioche buns, red bean bread, whole milk loaves, butter pan bread, custard buns, corn pan bread, and cloud cream bread.

The fresh-baked pies at Tous le Jours include danish buttercream bread, chocolate pretzel pastries, custard and almond pastries, garlic and cheese croissants, ham and cheese croissants, sweet cheese and blueberry danishes, and Greek yogurt cherry danishes.

Tous le Jours also offers delightful donuts, like jumbo twist donuts, red bean donuts, sesame donuts, sweet rice donuts, and kimchi croquettes.

Finally, Tous le Jours makes impeccably decorated cakes in flavors like chocolate cloud, orange cream, mocha cloud, earl grey latte, mango cloud, triple berry cloud, green tea cloud, peach, strawberry cloud, and blueberry yogurt cream.

2. Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien is a café and bakery chain specializing in baked goods, salads, and sandwiches.

There are 50 Le Pain Quotidien locations in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington DC.

The first Le Pain Quotidien location was opened by Alain Coumont in Brussels, Belgium, in 1990.

In 1997, the first American Le Pain Quotidien location opened on Madison Avenue in New York City.

Depending on where you are in the US, the Le Pain Quotidien menu may vary slightly, but you can always expect delicious salads, sandwiches, and baked goods.

Le Pain Quotidien serves a variety of viennoiserie, or laminated yeasted pastries, including croissants, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins, butter brioche, and hazelnut flutes.

Le Pain Quotidien also offers an array of specialty pastries, like almond croissants, chocolate almond croissants, cheese danishes, apple turnovers, chia seed muffins, blueberry muffins, and quinoa spelt scones.

1. Au Bon Pain

Au Bon Pain is a fast casual café and bakery chain that serves baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and salads.

There are nearly 90 Au Bon Pain locations in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington DC.

The first Au Bon Pain location was opened by Louis Kane in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1978.

The Au Bon Pain menu features a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, and baked goods.

Au Bon Pain’s fresh-baked breads include asiago breadsticks, ciabatta, country white bread, rustic baguettes, semolina bread, multigrain baguettes, tortilla wraps, and whole wheat tortilla wraps.

Au Bon Pain also serves a variety of bagel flavors, including asiago, cinnamon raisin, everything, jalapeno cheddar, plain, sesame, and skinny wheat.

For breakfast, Au Bon Pain serves a ton of croissants, like almond, apple, chocolate, ham and cheese, plain, and spinach and cheese.

Finally, Au Bon Pain serves many different cookies and brownies if you’ve got a sweet tooth.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many bakery and cafe chains throughout the US, drawing inspiration from places as diverse as New York, Montana, Korea, and France.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect baguette, the ideal pain au chocolat, or a dozen delectable donuts, use our list to find a bakery near you and enjoy your favorite treats.

Last Updated: December 16, 2022

About the Author

Eril Eti is the founder of Shopfood.com.  He has over a decade of experience in consumer goods and launched many products sold at retailers like Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Kroger, Publix, and more.

Eril loves food, traveling, and trying out new restaurants. Outside of work, you can find him on a hiking trail in New England or playing soccer with his kids.