Food is a basic human need, but good food is one of life’s true pleasures. If you’re in Missouri, it’s important to know where to go for every kind of offering from a sinfully sweet snack to a cake that will be remembered as long as you live. Missouri is famous for its excellent eateries, but these 10 bakeries offer some of the best sweet treats you’ll find anywhere.
Le Monde Bakery in Kansas City has been serving the Northland French bread and other baked goods since 2001, and devoted fans will be thrilled to hear that it has not only expanded its menu, but also its space. The expansion provides more room to sit down and a lunch menu to match. But even without the new space and new food choices, Le Monde will always hold pride of place in Kansas City for its world class baguettes and croissants. Other bakeries can boast about their fancy cupcakes, but nobody can hold a candle to Le Monde’s warm crusty bread.
Like many of the best eateries in Missouri, the Missouri Baking Company is located on The Hill, the traditionally Italian neighborhood in St. Louis. In business since 1924, the MBC offers the best baked good of many nationalities, including beignets, baklava, and most especially, cannoli.
A Slice of Pie in Rolla serves exactly what it says--pies by the slice and by the whole. They made 5 rules for themselves that they still follow: “Serve big pies”—their pies are usually 5-6 pounds of delicious ingredients. “Charge only what we must”—Slice prides itself on affordable pies. “All pies are handmade”—they have never deviated from this standard. “Introduce new pies frequently”—they do this through their “Pie of the Month” offerings. “Quality is paramount”—this is still their most important rule. The pies at A Slice of Pie are some of the highest quality desserts you can buy.
Fervere, nestled in the countercultural Westport neighborhood of Kansas City, has long been the reason suburbanites risked the urban streets to stand in long lines for bread. Recent unfortunate events, including two fires, have forced owners to move Fervere’s location to the other side of the state line, using the resources of Ibis Bakery in Lenexa to produce Fervere’s famous artisan breads. Missourians shouldn’t worry, though—Fervere is a Missouri bakery, and will be returning to Missouri as soon as possible. In the meantime, Lenexa is an easy drive for such world-class bread.
Amycakes bills itself as a “made-from-scratch, family-owned bakery featuring Grandma’s recipes.” They specialize in cakes and cupcakes for special occasions—including weddings, but also birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and New Year, and almost any other occasion people can come up with. The only downside to a custom-made Amycake is that they are visual works of art, and it is painful to ruin one by cutting it up. Fortunately, those feelings are driven out with the first bite!
Fancy that Cake, or FTC as it calls itself, is built around one artist named Katie, who had such a sense of what cakes should look like in order to make special occasions their most memorable, that she learned to bake so that cake could be her primary artistic medium. FTC works by custom order only, and Katie works with every customer by sketching out their perfect cake until it’s perfect. She then applies her art to the custom cake, whose insides are as perfect as their appearance. It’s safe to say that no other bakery in Missouri will go to such lengths to design and create the beautiful, delicious cake you have in mind.
Andres was founded by the Bollier family in 1955, on the top of the hill overlooking the Plaza in Kansas City. The lunch was good, but you didn’t go for the food. You went for the “confiserie,” the bakery and sweet shop, and after lunch, you spent the rest of your money buying the exquisite handmade pastries and candies that were the family’s true gift to the city. In the past decade, Andre’s has carefully expanded into new locations, making their single-serving or whole pastry offerings available to even more people.
Uknead is unique among bakeries in that their influences aren’t only classic European, but also Asian in style and taste. Americans don’t give much thought to Asian pastries, but they share certain characteristics with the best European baking traditions: Very fluffy or flaky, filled with a variety of fresh fruits, and featuring an inspiring variety of breads and buns. Uknead features all these things, plus seasonal cakes, pies, and pastries, as well as their own unique cinnamon rolls and cheesecakes.
Sugar Leaf Bakery and Café in Branson features a breakfast and lunch menu, with a full selection of cookies, cakes, cobblers, and muffins for dessert. But where they really shine is in the baked creations they come up with for weddings. Branson is a popular wedding destination, due to its gorgeous locations overlooking lakes, cliffs and valleys, so Branson bakeries have a chance to shine in this arena. Sugar Leaf outshines all its competitors with its custom made, dynamic and stunning designs.
“Back home we had family-owned stores for everything,” reminisces Delish Bakery’s owner Cheryl George. “Back home” refers to northern Mississippi, and when she moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, homesickness impelled her to create a little bit of home in her own bakery. She serves a full menu for meals, but her real joy is creating desserts that people love—and she’s never happier than when she’s challenged. “If a customer comes in with a unique request, I jump at the opportunity to take it on!”
It should be no surprise to see another bakery from The Hill make the top 10 list. Unlike many bakeries, Vitale’s doesn’t specialize in cakes, pastries, or breads—they are simply good at everything. Even among the restaurants on The Hill, Vitale’s is famous, and people come from hundreds of miles away to eat their cannolis. Vitale’s offers a retail store where you can buy their products five days a week, and a sit-down bakery where you can come and just savor their authentic taste of Italy.