I work in one of the best bakeries in Charlotte one day a week, but I like to stray from Amelie's once in awhile to taste the other sweet treats the city has to offer. I recently took my mom on a Charlotte bakery tour to show her some of my favorite spots, because really, show me a woman who doesn't love a baked good. So if you're looking for something to do this Valentine's Day, here's a delicious itinerary to share with anybody you're a little sweet on!
Sunflour Baking Company 2001 E. 7th St.
This is my favorite breakfast bakery, with from-scratch sweet and savory pastries made from local ingredients. Sunflour uses organic flour from Lindley Mills in Graham, and their eggs and buttermilk are sourced from Cackleberry Farm in Concord. Start your day with a blueberry "pop tart" like I did, and you'll get to savor jam from Hazel's Jams just down the road. My favorites, though, are the hazelnut orange roll and their morning glory muffin. Also not to be missed: homemade croissants, quiche, and fresh-churned ice cream. Sunflour also offers sandwiches for breakfast and lunch and features a few local craft beers.
Suarez Bakery 4245 Park Rd.
Suarez Bakery serves up the kind of breakfast pastries I grew up with: doughnuts, bear claws, and danishes. They also make the completely homemade version of one of my childhood favorites: the cream horn. But this time, my mom and I both went home with their elephant ear, a crispy round of puff pastry topped with cinnamon and sugar. So good with coffee - yum! Note: Tizzerts shares the same bakery space and offers homemade (and quite lovely) cakes and cupcakes.
Polka Dot Bake Shop 1730 E. Woodlawn Rd., Ste. H
Charlotte's first cupcake bakery is still one of my all-time favorites for single serving cake. Their cupcake menu rotates during the week, with special flavors featured every day. I have to say that I used to not be a cake fan, but this bake shop is one of the places that has officially turned me into a cake lover. Some of my favorite flavors: key lime pie, cookies and cream, and strawberry shortcake.
Davidson Chocolates 123A East Blvd.
I am so happy to have a neighborhood chocolate shop! Though it's more a confection than a true baked-good, how could I leave chocolate off the tour? Davidson Chocolates has a case of traditional and creative truffle flavors, as well as other chocolate candy creations. I am sad that the garlic truffle was out when I visited, but I am certainly curious about that one! For Valentine's Day, they have a special pomegranate truffle that sounds amazing: half milk and half dark chocolate ganache with a hint of pear and honey. Yes, please!
Great Harvest Bread Company 901 S. Kings Dr. / 6420 Rea Rd.
Before Paul and I started making our own bread for sandwiches, we'd make our weekly trip to Great Harvest for one of their delicious loaves. But we still stop in regularly for their scuffins, a muffin-scone hybrid which combines the best of both baked goods: a little sweet, a little savory. Their focaccia is also amazing and, really, anything is that comes of out of this well-known national bakery chain. Their menu changes every month, with the selections rotating daily. Both Charlotte locations now offer sandwiches on their slices, so this is a great place to grab lunch (and one of their Savannah Bars for dessert) and end your tour!