HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Bristol Farms Bakery counter: good?

I went into Bristol Farms for the first time today. Everything at the bakery counter looked amazing? Is it? Anything in particular worth getting?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I haven't had anything from there in a very long time, but the only thing worth getting there is bread. I have been consistently disappointed by any of the gorgeous looking bakery goods I've purchased. They do a decent job on bread, though. Note: I'm basing this on the Long Beach store.

    1. I used to get the rugguleh all the time (at Beverly Blvd Doheny store) but its gone downhill. They stopped putting enough of the sugar topping and jam into the mix. I've complained to the manager but they changed bakers and didn't see to care too much. The cookies are good if you want to pick something from the counter - I usually stick with chocolate toffee, snickerdoodle and oatmeal raisin.

      1. Some of their items are good...just good...such as their chocolate mousse cake and their fruit tart. I just noticed today that Bristol was ranked as the having the "Best Cupcakes" in the OC by the Register...I am not a cupcake fan, but the strawberry and red velvet looked very good! Their breads on the other hand are usually very good...such as the baguettes and foccacia...and they usually have Poulain from Paris on most days.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TravelPath

          Agree, Bristol Farm's baguettes are pretty good

        2. Like CynD I have been pretty consistently disappointed by the good-looking stuff at Bristol. I'm not a particularly big fan of their breads either--they'll do in a pinch but I think Breadbar is consistently better (albeit at a higher price point), and for the most part we are more consistently satisfied by the breads at Gelsons as well (both the Gelsons house breads and the Victor Benes rye breads and challahs). I do like a few things at the Bristol bakery, but they tend to be the homelier items--the giant chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies, the sugar cookies, stuff like that. Have never tried their cupcakes that I can remember, so perhaps the OC Register recommendation TravelPath mentions is worth checking out.

          1. I haven't tried much except their cappuccino chocolate chip muffins, and those are AMAZING.

            1. I go with my nephew when I have babysitting duties because without fail each and everytime they will offer the little rascal a free cookie.

              Of course, I then make him share the cookie with me. Is it any good? Sure, for a freebie it ain't bad at all.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Making a little kid share a cookie with you.... Now THAT is true 'Hound behavior! Hats off to you, ipse...

              2. Very disappointing for what you pay. We once got cupcakes there. The most gorgeous cupcakes you could imagine. Took one bite and threw them away. They were dry and still frozen! The sugar cookie I got a week later was great however.

                1. I like their peach pie, especially since they also make their pies in a small individual size. I've gotten the peach pie many times and always good. Their coffee cake was also delicious but I haven't had that in a long time.

                  As for their cakes/cupcakes, they (South Pasadena) told me, upon me pressing them, that the cake mix and frosting come from the same supplier that supplies supermarket chains, and it's the same thing. Just decorated more prettily.

                  1 Reply
                  1. So gorgeous...so mediocre. I used to get bread but haven't for years.

                    1. I love their baguettes. I go to the one on Sunset Fairfax corner. Not the sourdough one, just the regular.

                      1. I agree with everyone else. Everything is "eh."

                        I've never had anything offensive, but I've only stuck to the cookies and those layered filo dough things. We called them elephant ears when I was growing up, but I can't recall the actual name.

                        That's what I hate about bakeries. Everything looks amazing. Never any way to know unless you try.

                        1. got a huge "outrageous brownie" at the Newport Beach location for $3.50 and it tasted waxy and not so great. I also got a Sprinkles cupcake from across the street (next to Gelato Paradiso) and it was one of the worst cupcakes I've had, greasy frosting, overmixed cake batter that tasted like cake mix and not even doctored cake mix. Got the same cupcake at Sprinkles Beverly Hills location and it was worlds better. In fact, it was really good.

                          1. if you're anywhere near a gelsons, skip bristol farms and go to gelsons instead---same sort of stuff, better quality at gelsons, less expensive at gelsons.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: westsidegal

                              The quality of the Gelson's bakeries varies by location. My experience with the Gelson's bakeries in Encino and Pacific Palisades has been great (maybe they're keeping with the old Viktor Benes recipes), but the one in Northridge has been such a disappointment that I avoid it. I can do better baking at home.

                            2. I think I had a macaroon there once that was decent. However that was pre-Albertson's

                              I assume you know that Abs and Bristol are owned by the same conglomerate.

                              Which worked in my favor yesterday when Albertson's had Copper River Salmon at $9.99 per pound.

                              1. Remember, despite the high-falutin' name and image, Bristol Farms is a branch of Ralph's and uses many of th same central kitchen or bakeries.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Diana

                                  has anyone elsetried that cappuccino muffin? I haven't seen it at Ralphs or Albertsons and I swear it's good.
                                  ok one time it was dry but that was only once.

                                  1. re: CookieEater

                                    I kind of like those cake slices that Ralphs sells but I gotta say I love the cakes by the slice at Vons (Pavilions). I bought myself a couple for my birthday and the fancy carrot cake slice stole my heart. I also liked the chocolate fudge which was really, really sweet but that's the way I like it. The tres leches wasn't so bad, but I like Porto's best so far.

                                  2. re: Diana

                                    It is a branch of Albertson's, not Ralphs.

                                    1. re: carter

                                      Actually it was a subsidiary of Albertsons, Inc. but Bristol Farms is now a wholly owned subsidiary Supervalu, Inc.


                                      1. re: sel

                                        So is Albertsons. I know someone who works at one of their supply centers. The same produce also winds up at Superior Super Warehouse, for about 1/3 the cost.

                                        BTW that Copper River salmon was delicious.