From Tokyo to Paris, every region in the world features iconic treats that set them apart from the rest. In neighborhoods across the globe, you’ll find a favorite bakery beloved by both locals and tourists lucky enough to stumble upon them. We’ve rounded up the top-rated bakeries and their one-of-a-kind confections that keep people coming back for more.
- Van Wonderen Stroopwafels, Amsterdam
Every bakery in the Netherlands features the famous stroopwafel, a crispy wafer sandwich held together with gooey caramel. At van Wonderen Stroopwafels, the freshly baked treats are pretty standard; what sets them apart is the location on Kalverstraat, which is considered one of the most beautiful streets in Amsterdam. Arrive early for the freshest stroopwafels and make sure to buy extra because these confections are so delicious, you’ll have a hard time sharing with others.
- Henn-na Café, Tokyo
Meaning “Strange Café” in Japanese, this bakery and café lives up to its name with a unique employee, a friendly and efficient robot named Sawyer. While serving up to five cups of java at a time, the world’s first robot barista is programmed to entertain customers with clever one-liners—“Would you care for a delicious coffee? I can make one better than human beings around here.” The café also offers the Poursteady machine, which serves up cappuccinos, espresso, hot chocolate, and lattes with a robot smile.
- Fauchon, Paris
Established in the late 1800s, Fauchon continues to be a major influence on French gourmet foods. The famous baker Auguste Fauchon opened his fine foods establishment on Place da la Madeleine in the 8th arrondissement of Paris where it still stands after a century of renovations and expansion. Today, there are 76 Fauchon bakeries in 20 countries, a popularity that comes from exquisite macarons, raspberry tarts, and other traditional French confections. Bon appetit!
- Carlo’s Bakery, Hoboken, New Jersey
Established by Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro, Jr., Carlo’s Bakery is featured on the TV reality series Cake Boss, which follows Buddy and his cake crew on a slew of sugarcoated adventures. This famous bakery is known for elaborately decorated specialty cakes for any occasion. The baking crew also made headlines when they made the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest organic cake in 2011. Made from natural and fair-trade ingredients, the 4-foot-long cake was made for the Garden State GreenFest and was big enough to feed 500 people.
- Claridge’s, London
Afternoon tea is an English institution, so get ready for scones and crumpets at Claridge’s, the historic five-star hotel and restaurant. Prepared fresh daily by expert pastry chefs, the traditional menu features a combination of sweet and savory delights, including British specialties like Cornish clotted cream and pastries with fresh seasonal fruit. Most importantly is the tea, which comes in 24 different flavors to perfectly complement your food. Thanks to Oscar Wilde, cucumber sandwiches are the ultimate symbol of British aristocracy, especially when served in the dining room, which is decorated in the luxurious art deco style.
- Pasteis de Belem, Belem, Portugal
Found all over Portugal, the pastel del nada is the country’s national treat thanks to its simple yet oh-so-delicious custard recipe that’s been passed down through the generations. You can get pastel del nada at any bakery but the Pasteis de Belem is something special; it’s the original bakery of the famous Portuguese dessert. Located in Belem, the central coastal region, this historic bakery features fun-sized, made-from-scratch vanilla custards with a flaky pastry crust. Sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar, these addictive desserts are usually sold out by the late afternoon, so get there early for the best selection.
- Ne-Mo’s Bakery, U.S.A
Using a beloved family recipe, Ed Smith began baking and selling their now famous carrot cake square in 1975. His delicious treats became legendary thanks to a tradition of wholesome ingredients like farm fresh eggs, high-quality butter, and fresh fruit. Individually packaged, Ne-Mo’s treats make the perfect on-the-go snack for your coffee or tea break.
- Conditorei Schober, Zurich
If you’re in the mood to indulge, take your dessert experience to the next level at Conditorei Schober, a historic bakery that takes you back to the opulent extravagance of Old World Europe. Feel like royalty with plush, gold-rimmed chairs and to-die-for hot chocolate made from scratch. While you warm up from the brisk air of the Swiss Alps, peruse their pastry selections, which look like finely detailed works of art that are almost too pretty to eat.
- Tai Cheong Bakery, Hong Kong
Locals and tourists rave about Tai Cheong’s legendary egg custard tarts; they just can’t get enough. With a flavor similar to traditional vanilla custard, the Hong Kong style has a silky smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture that is seriously addictive.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, you can have your cake and eat it too, especially at these legendary bakeries around the world. Life is short, eat cake!