Any good bakeries/cake shops in Denver?
I used to live in San Francisco where there was no shortage of good bakeries (Tartine, Miette, Dianda's, etc) but I recently moved to Aurora right outside Denver and I really don't know where to go for good desserts. Does anyone have any suggestion? French bakeries would be lovely... I like stuff that is not too sweet and American places/grocery stores always go crazy on the sugar. Thanks!
I moved from the Twin Cities and also miss the amazing bakeries they have there. I have tried most options around Denver and been underwhelmed. We need more interesting bakeries in this town! But I highly recommend these two favorites:
Wooden Spoon bakery in the Highlands area. They have good cinnamon rolls (my absolutely favorite baked good), along with brioche breakfast sandwiches, quiche, and a nice case of American-style baked treats like cupcakes and creative bar cookies. Everything I've tried there has been very good and they have a more interesting selection than other bakeries I've tried. Another plus is that Wooden Spoon is on a fun street in an interesting neighborhood and not an anonymous stripmall.
Pierre Michel in Highlands Ranch (in an anonymous stripmall). This tiny bakery is run by a French family and they have a great selection of delicious croissant-based pastries. This includes all sorts of fruit fillings, savory fillings, chocolate and nutella. They also have bread, but don't do other pastries like cakes and cookies. And they have a full menu of salads, sandwiches, and egg breakfast dishes. But their biggest drawback is hours. They are not open on Sunday and only til about 1pm the other days. When they sell out of most of their pastries, they put up the closed sign and shut down for the day. I've been there at 12:45 on a Saturday and been turned away. But make the trip to the south suburbs for the best French fruit pastries in town. I had a pear chocolate pastry that almost made me cry.
I just tried four of the five places mentioned here, and here are my thoughts.
I loved Daniel's of Paris. They have great individual-sized refrigerated pastries, like mousse cakes and something called a togolais which I had never had before, but loved (it's chocolate covered chocolate mousse over a slice of almond flavor short pastry). And almond-based tarts. They also have great cookies, including sables and long thin chocolate dipped cookies. And they have great looking croissants and bread type items. Oh, and the owner's name is Jim; he told me he bought it from Daniel about ten years ago. Note, their bakery is carry-out only, no seating. It's located in a strip mall and there's plenty of parking.
Katherine's was remarkably similar to Daniel's, with an almost identical assortment of items, from the togolais, to sables and dipped cookies, and almond tarts, etc. In fact, they were so similar that I wonder whether Katherine may have once worked with Daniel or Jim. If I had to give a slight nod on quality, it would be to Daniel's, but really, the difference is minor. Katherine's operates primarily as a cafe for dining there, but of course you can get anything there to go. Katherine's has a small parking lot that is shared with one or two other stores facing it; when I was there, at an off-hour (mid-afternoon on a weekday), their lot was full. But if you drive through it to the alley, you'll find plenty of space for parking on the side street that the alley directs you to.
Gateaux does indeed have some nice individual-sized as well as miniature-sized pastries such as petit fours and creme puffs etc - not as impressive, say, as the ones at Daniel's, but decent. There was almost nothing in the way of non-refrigerated items like cookies, croissants, breads, etc. It was easy to park right in front. Gateaux also has the advantage of being right next to downtown, for those who live and/or work nearby.
Le Trompeau was a total disappointment. They had nothing in the way of refrigerated pastries; I didn't even see a refrigerated case. They had a VERY small selection of non-refrigerated items such as cookies and danish-like items. I wasn't all that crazy about what I tried.
I did not get a chance to try Michel Pierre. Of the ones I tried, though, Daniel's was the clear winner, with Katherine's a close second.
Here's the info for these bakeries:
Daniels of Paris
12253 East Iliff Avenue
Aurora, CO 80014
Katherine's French Bakery, Cafe & Catering
728 South University Boulevard
Denver, CO 80209
1160 North Speer Boulevard
2950 South Broadway
Englewood, CO 80113
Michel Pierre French Bakery
3624 East Highlands Ranch Parkway
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
I've attached photos below.
Katherine's closed the retail store in Aurora but they still have their shop in Bonnie Brae. Highly recommend their pastries and cakes.
Daniel's of Paris is in Aurora but I have not tried
Le Trompeau is wonderful
Have heard Pierre Michel in Highlands Ranch is great but have not tried