- Layla Rethy
DC is a hotspot for bakeries and pastry shops, attracting tourists and regular metro commuters alike. There are the classics, like Bread Furst and Georgetown Cupcake, but what better time to explore new pastry shops than Valentine’s Day? Here is your guide to finding bakeries you may have never heard of to treat yourself this month.
“Yellow is the color of happiness and optimism, and even more so in our case: perhaps a ray of hope,” says Gregory Baumgartner, pastry chef at the Yellow Cafe, located in the Navy Yard just a 15 minute drive from our school. The modern cafe design decorated with lights and plants reflects the Middle Eastern-inspired sweets and brunch. Owner Michael Rafidi opened the shop in May 2020 and business has been booming despite the pandemic. A few highlights on the sweet side of the menu include orange-blossom croissants, baklava, and smoked cinnamon date molasses kouign amann. Stop by Saturday or Sunday from 8am to 2pm for some unique treats.
Rose Ave Bakery is a ten minute drive from our school, located between Downtown and Logan Circle. After being forced to close her business during the start of the pandemic, Rose Nguyen reopened in April 2020 and has since evolved from a Pediatric nurse to full time baker and entrepreneur. Her menu fuses Asian and American desserts: highlights include pandan donuts, coffee cardamom cookies, and matcha swiss rolls. Check out her instagram, @roseavebakery, to see some truly mouth watering sweets.
Two-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, author and award-winning baker Doron Petersan is the founder of Sticky Fingers Bakery located in Columbia Heights. The all-vegan sweet shop specializes in cookies, brownies, festive cake pops, and other seasonal treats. Not only can you eat these treats, but you can also have the chance to decorate them too! This Valentine’s Day pick up a heart sugar cookie set including a dozen cookies, sprinkles, and icing, and have fun decorating your dessert.
Mah Ze Dahr is an Urdu word describing the taste essence of food, its flavor, and magic that make it delicious. It's also the name of a bakery featured in the New York Times, Vogue, and Travel Leisure. The bakery was founded by Umber Ahmad, who grew up traveling around the world and quickly learned that food has a language of its own. She works closely with sustainable food providers and recently expanded from New York City to the Navy Yard, DC. Walk in the shop for sweet treats like cookies, brownies, scones, or maybe the “Mah-Ze-Dahr” bar featured in the Rachael Ray Show and Food & Wine Magazine, or go to their website for a cookie of the month subscription, bake at home set, or cookie box.
These are just four of the countless unique DC bakeries. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, consider getting a special treat for your sweetheart (or yourself). Attached is a QR code to a google map with more DC bakeshops to save to your visit list. Have a sweet holiday!