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Best Bakery for Pastry in St. Louis?

Like the title says, I'm interested in recommendations for the best bakery/bakeries for pastry in St. Louis. I'll be staying downtown but I'm willing to travel for someplace special. Probably want to keep it inside I-270 though.

Also for pastries, the menu at Baileys Chocolate Bar sounds intriguing; is it as good as it sounds?


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  1. MO Baking Co. on the Hill is awfully good. Cash only. Bailey's is good, and quite a late-night scene. Good regular food and chocolate boozy drinks as well.

    1. La Bonne Bouchée and Nadoz are two I would think of. Might also consider Rue Lafayette as I have heard good things, but I haven't been there personally.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wekick

        I went LBB the other day for breakfast, which I found very unimpressive, and while they have lots of pastries and varieties, the raspberry croissant was soggy and unimpressive.

        1. re: ddfry3

          Haven't been there for breakfast in years but eat lunch there from time to time and it has always been pretty good. Sad about the raspberry croissant. Maybe it was held over or frozen or ....microwaved? Microwaves should be banned from bakeries. I generally get a fruit tart or a piece of cake if I am having dessert.
          If you ever get up to Springfield, Il, try the croissants from Incredibly Delicious. Everything else pales in the light of this croissant. They have chocolate ones but not raspberry.

          1. re: wekick

            Been to ID, don't remember what I had. Don't get through there too often anymore, used to all the time en route from Quincy where my parents live, to Champaign, where I lived for 20 years, and 11 years during that time when a had a very pt job there while living in Champaign. Springfield is weird - some food things are really quite good, and then other food areas are wastelands! Btw, according to ID's site, they have raspberry and cream croissants!

      2. Having brain freeze but there's a new little place inside the city limits on Watson --Ah, yes, Pint Size Bakery. Small, one-woman show, much less of a mass-produced feel than some others. I think some things at Mo Baking are far, far better than others. Bonne Bouchee is outside the 270 perimeter, Nadoz can be good but I suspect not everything is fresh every day and that seems to be the case with PSB.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lemons

          La Bonne Bouchée is only 0.3 miles west of 270, so not much past and that is why I mentioned it. Haven't been to PSB yet but did admire them for having all new product everyday. You would be hard pressed to find that at many if any other places.

          1. re: wekick

            I can second the suggestion for Nadoz, which is also pretty close to downtown (at least their LIndell location). I have only been for Sunday brunch, but the pastries they set out for the brunch are incredibly tasty and some of the things in the display cases look just beautiful. I like Missouri Baking on the Hill, it is a very traditional bakery of the type that used to be all over the city, some things are very good, some are only okay...if you go, do be sure to get a few of the amaretto macaroon cookies...they're wonderful, my favorite thing there. If you are particularly interested in bakery-specialties of our fair city, be sure to have a slab of gooey butter cake somewhere, Park Avenue Coffee has good gooey butter, and they're just a few storefronts away from Bailey's. Oh hey...I just checked the website for PInt Sized Bakery...in the old pizza shack on Watson, huh...sounds like the perfect place to grab a sweet to go with my sandwich from LeGrand's grocery just up the street. Looks great, I'll have to check it out, thanks lemons!

          2. re: lemons

            LOVE this place. Just went for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The second this weekend.


          3. I really do not like Bailey's Chocolate Bar. At all. I keep wanting to like it and keep giving it another chance, but every time I am there, the service is sub-par. To me, the desserts are pretty heavy and not very imaginative. But it is always packed so what do I know? If you are in that neck of the woods, 33 Wine Bar is next door and very charming, IMHO.

              1. Will be back there this summer for the first time in years. Re bakeries, am remembering the era of Miss Hullings (Seven Layer Cake) and of The Busy Bee (Lady Baltimore Cake) and am wishing for a time machine.

                1. Miss Hulling's-style split lemon and split chocolate cakes are sold at Straub's now. The real thing, it tastes like, at least through the cloud of a couple of decades of doing without. Maybe, maybe, maybe the chocolate isn't quite as good as it once was, but the lemon surely is.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: lemons

                    My dad always got my mom a split lemon birthday cake. I looked forward to it as much or more than she did.

                    1. re: wekick

                      Hmmm. Actually my birthday is TOMORROW. Maybe I need to make arrangements for one of those after all instead of bakign myself a blackberry cobbler. Yes, that does sound like a winner.

                      1. re: lemons

                        treat yourself, after this last year you deserve it.

                        and as I've been telling others with recent B-Days, it hasn't been a heat wave, it's been a blaze of glory to remind the rest of us.

                        1. re: hill food

                          Thank you for the kind words. And yes, that's dessert tomorrow night with a home-cooking small-town Midwest dinner like I grew up with except for Popeye's Fried Chicken. As MFK Fisher said, "I myself do not own a frah-kell," referring to how people pronounced frying kettle somewhere - i'm thinking it must have been the short time she taught @ Piney Woods. So it's corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes and potato salad and chicken and split lemon cake.

                          1. re: lemons

                            How did you like the Hullings Lemon Cake? The last time I bought one from Straubs it was around Christmas and the cake was very disappointing. Dry and little flavor. I'm thinking that maybe it was the time of year that was the problem. They had dozens and dozens of them sitting in stacks. Probably made weeks before I bought it. I grew up in Dogtown and we often went to the Hullings downtown or the one that sat on the little wedge area near the Hi Pointe Theater. And my cake of choice for my birthday was their lemon cake, although the chocolate was everyone else's favorite.

                            1. re: judio

                              Well. Funny you asked. In March when DH died and we had gangs of people here, someone went to Straub's and bought one and people fought over the last piece. Second one just as good. This time the texture was good, and the frosting outside pretty lemony but inside there seemed to be no filling that had any flavor, whether it was lemon curd or more of the frosting. (It was so scant it was impossible to tell which it was.)

                              Not up to standards.

                  2. Due to the extreme heat, I cancelled my plans to travel around the city to try the pastry at various places. The one bakery I visited was Rue Lafayette, which I liked a lot. I wrote about it in my detailed trip report at www.chow.com/topics/860779

                    Thanks for the suggestions!