If you’re looking for an award-winning bread program, a neighborhood gem, or the most satisfying cookies, these bakers have what you’re looking for.
Luxury cakes and pastries
812 S Summit St, Iowa City
Stepping through the front door of this neighborhood bakery is an immediate mood boost and hits reset on a bad mood, grumpy interaction, or sour note. Really. If you’re having a rotten day, take a break and treat yourself to a little break at the Deluxe. Tell me you don’t feel better. As soon as you walk in there is an array of beautiful baked goods lined up to greet you and a friendly face behind the counter to serve you. The amazing team of skilled bakers are on display so you can sip your espresso and watch someone else work a bit. The pastries here are exceptional. As mentioned, you’ll find the cases lined with bronzed butter croissants (order the apricot when available!) and beautifully assembled fruit tarts alongside an assortment of other sweet and savory delights. The quiche is superb with its crispy croissant crust and rich custard filling. Honestly, they make the best baguettes in town, hands down. Come a little early for lunch and the bakers have turned those already perfect baguettes into perfectly simple French sammies, ripe for midday pleasure. During the summer months when their ice cream is on offer, stop by for an inventive yet refined twist on classic ice cream.
Bread Worthy Bakery is a licensed home bakery in east Iowa City that creates exceptional pastries and baked goods. Their “Saturday Bake Offs” are open for pre-order throughout the winter months, but when the weather warms up, you’ll find them at the Iowa City Farmers Market on Saturdays. The ordering and pickup process is simple and streamlined, and the pre-order process gives you something concrete and guaranteed to look forward to on the weekend – impeccably baked baked goods just for you. Led by Colleen Brenann and her partner Erick Dole, the couple met at pastry school in Florence, Italy, and had dreamed of opening their own place for years. After relocating to Iowa City after working in kitchens and bakeries around the world, the team has developed a diverse menu that includes a variety of items from thinly layered and insanely good croissants and pain au chocolats to old fashioned coffee cake and beautifully nuanced cookies. . Bread Worthy makes its own flour and berries in-house and has a keen eye for quality ingredients, using only the finest chocolates, artisan organic flours and traditionally made silky French butter.
This top-notch bakery, operated by James Beard Outstanding Baker 2022 semi-finalist Aaron Hall, exists with no real brick-and-mortar location. The bakery operation is housed in a former school-turned-community center in Mt Vernon, and pre-orders are done online and available for weekly in-person pickup in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Delivery is offered by Gallop Courier. The cornerstone of Hall’s bakery is bread, and this narrow focus allows him to craft impeccable sourdough loaves that incorporate heirloom flours and ancient grains. Everything you taste from The Local Crumb, from sourdough to seeds, to brioche rolls or bagels, has all been executed with precision and attention to detail. It is more than evident that Hall is careful to produce its products based on visual appearance alone – the loaves are richly colored and beautifully shaped – but the subtle distinction in flavor profiles and variation in crumb and texture between offerings show a genuine understanding and appreciation for the art and science of baking. Local Crumb partners with many area restaurants to keep them stocked with high-quality pastries. You’ll notice his work on the menu at The Webster and on the weekend-only menu at DAYDRINK in Iowa City and Cobble Hill Restaurant in Cedar Rapids.
Rustic Hearth Bread
3531 Mt Vernon Road SE, Cedar Rapids
Rustic Hearth Bread was recently voted Food & Wine’s Best Bread in Iowa for 2022, and for good reason. The team of bakers begins by grinding its own flour before embarking on the baking of the natural sourdough breads for which it is renowned. Although the sourdough breads may be in the spotlight, the rest of their menu is also wonderful, more than worth sampling. Sandwich breads elevate everything between a pair of hearty slices, and breakfast bread — a whole-wheat loaf marbled with seeds, nuts, and dried fruit — will give you something to look forward to when that alarm goes off. the morning. The chopsticks are thick with a nice coloring and a fluffy and light interior. When asked for their recommendation, regulars who patiently lined up first suggested the pretzel rolls, followed by the cookies, before finally settling on the croissants. Not all items are made every day, but baked peppers in monthly bread specials and Saturday-specific items like filled donuts, turnovers and kouign amann. FYI: Having some of their whole-wheat pizza dough stashed away in your freezer at home is like money in the bank, so it never hurts to throw some in with your next ordered.
More delicious pleasures
For the ooey-gooey icing-laden cinnamon roll lover…
945 6th Ave Marion
According to staff, the majority of people who visit the shop have the bakery’s signature rolls in mind. Many days these sweet treats are sold at eight in the morning.
For homemade bread transformed into lunch…
Great Harvest Bread Company
5070 Lindale Drive NE, Cedar Rapids
Ask the bakery staff to turn a few slices of the finest bread into a hearty sandwich made your way, or pair it with your favorite soup for a classic combo.
For cookie lovers…
1100 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids
Make no mistake: Toffee Butter Cookies are super simple, but super good. To strangers, they might not seem like the impressive choice (check out the pies and pound cakes), but upon tasting and sharing with the family, we all got a little greedy for the last bite.
This article originally appeared in the 2022 Bread & Butter Restaurant Guide.