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As you load up a tray of Japanese-meets-European baked goods at this lovely seven-month-old Platt Park bakery, your eyes will almost certainly be bigger than your stomach—but don’t judge yourself too harshly. With options including puffy brioche buns bursting with sweet red-bean paste, beef-curry-filled fritters, savory tuna rolls, doughnuts sparkling with green matcha sugar, and epic pain d’epi braided with bits of bacon, it’s a carby paradise.
Take home: An assortment of colorful fresh fruit pastries
We all know (and love) pita. But what about “samoon” and “khubz”? These lesser-seen Middle Eastern flatbreads, along with other baked goods—pizza-esque “manakish” sprinkled with za’atar; meat-stuffed pies called “fatayer”; and feta-filled, flaky “sambusak” pastries—are baked fresh daily at this 10-month-old Aurora shop, owned by Iraqi-born husband-and-wife team Bassam and Marta Salih. Grab an assortment of breads, and don’t even think about leaving without some of Shahrazad’s honey-soaked baklava.
Take home: Pistachio-topped phyllo rolls filled with sweet cream called “lady fingers”
Denver’s loss was Longmont’s gain when Steve and Catherine Scott packed their proofing baskets and relocated from the Source in RiNo to Boulder County in February. At their bigger, brighter new home, you’ll still find naturally leavened breads, flaky croissants, and Breton butter cake. But now, come 3 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends, you can also settle into one of the restaurant’s community tables (or order takeout at the bar) for wood-fired pies, cocktails, side dishes, and desserts.
Take home: A Swedish cardamom sticky bun
The ovens that fueled Babettes Artisan Breads (see above) in the Source didn’t stay cold for long, thanks to Portuguese-born, Venezuelan-raised baker Ismael de Sousa. He opened Reunion Bread Co. in that space three months ago, and Denverites have been gobbling up his crusty loaves, salty-sweet granola, and flaky pastries ever since. Having baked everywhere from South Africa to England to Miami, de Sousa is also introducing locals to possibly unfamiliar treats, including lemony Portuguese egg tarts.
Take home: “Golfeados,” aka laminated brioche buns soaked in anise-infused syrup and topped with salty Cotija