Why you have to see it: The Cronut. People come from all over the country to get the doughnut-croissant hybrid, aka a gift from the gods. The pastry is a perfect mix of crunchy and chewy, and will put a smile on anyone’s face. The small shop runs out of these gems around 11 a.m., but the shop will usually have its equally famous DKAs ready and waiting for you without a line, as well as its tarts and cookies.
Why you have to see it: Tatte’s fruit and nut tarts are second to none, and the pastries are displayed so perfectly you won’t even want to touch them.
3. Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki in Tokyo and Paris
Why you have to see it: Combining unique Japanese flavors with the art of French pastry making, Sadaharu Aoki knows how to make out of this world creations — like the green matcha croissant or black sesame eclair — that you can’t find anywhere else.
Why you have to see it: Inside Demel, you can watch pastry chefs baking and decorating cakes as you enjoy a slice of your own. There’s also a cake museum hidden in the back.
Why you have to see it: As soon as you enter Conditori La Glace, it feels like you’ve transported to another time and place. The oldest bakery in Copenhagen has beautiful window displays for every holiday; Christmas gets an especially opulent treatment. Enjoy a slice of its famous cake and coffee with whipped cream.
Why you have to see it: The tiny bakery has arguably the best croissant in Paris, as well as every flavor of escargot you could imagine. If you’re not in the mood for a bite to eat, you might change your mind after smelling the bakery’s fresh aromas.
7. Czech Stop in West, Texas
Why you have to see it: One word: kolaches. Located next to a gas station, this bakery doesn’t seem like anything special until you feast your eyes on the glorious carb-loaded case of kolaches, both sweet and savory. Do not miss the cream cheese kolache. They’re so good, they might as well be called “killaches.”
8. Pasticceria Marchesi in Milan
Why you have to see it: Pasticceria Marchesi has five-star service and insanely beautiful decor that’s hard to beat. You can enjoy its fresh chocolates and brioche while walking through its unique antique shop upstairs.
9. Bakerbots in Toronto
Why you have to see it: Bakerbot’s has mind-blowing, handcrafted ice cream sandwiches. You can choose your cookie and add ice cream flavors that range from burnt marshmallow to maple bacon.
10. e5 Bakehouse in London
Why you have to see it: The small bakery offers an in-depth bread-making course so you can take home skills to impress all of your friends. The bakery also offers a ton of savory sandwich and breakfast breads that would make anyone on Atkins cave.
Why you have to see it: The shop’s multiple locations are a sign you shouldn’t miss this place when you’re in Sydney. Bourke Street Bakery has the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and while it may not sound appetizing, the meat pie is hard to beat.
Why you have to see it: This unassuming shop’s croissants give Paris a run for its money, and tend to leave New Yorkers and Parisians speechless. The shop has every kind of pastry you could think of.
13. Tai Cheong Bakery in Hong Kong
Why you have to see it: Everyone rants and raves about Tai Cheong’s legendary egg tarts. Once you taste the silky smooth dessert, you might be running down the streets of Hong Kong shoving these things in your mouth.
14. Conditorei Schober in Zurich
Why you have to see it: You have a chance to feel like royalty in Café Schober sitting on plush chairs laced in gold. Pair your dessert of choice with their mouthwatering hot chocolate, and enjoy a break from reality. The cafe’s pastry selection is a work of art.
15. Pastéis de Belém in Belém, Portugal
Why you have to see it: Home of the original pastel de nata (custardy, crispy goodness), this bakery is one you cannot miss. Servers pop these right out of the oven onto your plate and coat them with the perfect amount of powdered sugar.
16. Tartine in San Francisco
Why you have to see it: People line up every day to nab a special loaf of Tartine’s country bread that quickly sells out. Its morning buns and pies are incredible if you can survive the line. The San Francisco bakery is a must-see if you’re craving something sweet.
17. Konditorei und Cafe Buchwald in Berlin
Why you have to see it: The Buchwald family has mastered the art of making the baumkuchen, a cake baked over an open flame and coated in an apricot or chocolate drizzle. They package the cakes three at a time for you to take home with you.
18. Hafiz Mustafa 1864 in Istanbul
Why you have to see it: Hafiz Mustafa has every flavor of Turkish delight you could possibly imagine, and its baklava melts in your mouth. It’ll probably be difficult to choose just a few things to have with your tea.
19. Boulangerie Guerin in Rio de Janeiro
Why you have to see it: This bakery has some of the best fruit tarts you’ll ever taste — just looking at the pastry cases alone might make you faint. Its espresso has also been lauded for its excellent flavor.
20. Macrina Bakery in Seattle
Why you have to see it: Macrina Bakery offers the best baked goods around, and some killer biscuits. You cannot miss the decadent caramel turtle brownie when you’re there.
21. El Pan de la Chola in Lima, Peru
Why you have to see it: Known as the coolest bakery in Peru, El Pan de la Chola has the best bread around. The place specializes in four kinds of bread, and people everywhere flock to the store to get their share. Every loaf is handcrafted in the back of the small bakery, and served with fresh Greek yogurt.
22. Cafe Savoy in Prague
Why you have to see it: Walking into the bakery and cafe will make you feel like you’ve stepped into old Europe. With checkered tiled floors and intricate molding, Cafe Savoy will make you feel like royalty. The Savoy Breakfast comes with hot chocolate and a bread basket comprised of toast, coffee cakes, nut cake, butter, and jam: a carb lover’s paradise.
Why you have to see it: Israeli chef Uri Scheft knows how to make a mean loaf of bread. Breads Bakery in Union Square has arguably the best Jewish pastries in the city. It’s especially known for its gooey chocolate babka and pastries.
24. Taxinge Slott Café in Nykvarn, Sweden
Why you have to see it: A CAKE BUFFET. Taxing Slott Café has an actual cake buffet where you can choose any slice you like. It even has a few pies and pastries mixed in, and you also get a tray to put everything on in case you go a little overboard. AND you can’t forget that the café is connected to a FREAKING CASTLE.
25. Henri Charpentier in Tokyo
Why you have to see it: Pastry chef Henri Charpentie is known for his incredible cakes that are almost too beautiful to eat. Just walking into the shop to look at the intricate creations is a treat.