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Cincinnati bakeries


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To everyone who lives in Cincinnati and appreciates a good donut: don't ever leave.

I now live in the DC metro area and the selection of baked goods is pathetic. Sure, we have artisan breads and napoleons and maybe a few decent places to grab a muffin or scone. But say you want a donut, be it old fashioned, custard filled, or jelly. You will find that your only option for miles is Krispy Kreme. I've had their glazed donuts straight off the conveyor belt, and it was not bad, but there is no place for one-stop shopping like at Buskins or Servatii's or smaller operations like the Mt. Washington Bakery or the Virginia Bakery.

To those planning on visiting the Queen City, you must experience this. I once worked at Servattii's, so I am partial to them for Sacher tortes, Oldenburger rye, and cheese pockets (coffee cake). Their donuts are also wonderful, though the best glazed is probably at Buskins. Buskins also offers seasonal specialties such as King cake and pazkis (pronounced poonch-ki, and they are incredible). Another plus for Buskins is that in a city like Cincy where most places close between 10 pm-12am, they are open much later so they are perfect for a late night sweet.

Feel free to share more suggestions Cincinnatians... and if you are ever in the DC area, PLEASE bring me a dozen donuts and a 3-way! :laugh:

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I'm not a Cincinnatian, but get there quite a bit. The Ridge Donut Shop serves a great buttermilk donut, yes the others are good as well.

Ridge Donut Shop

3186 Woodford Rd

Cincinnati, OH 45213-1620

(513) 631-4334

What are/is King cake and pazkis?

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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....but there is no place for one-stop shopping like at Buskins or Servatii's or smaller operations like the Mt. Washington Bakery or the Virginia Bakery.

You know the Virginia Bakery has been closed for a few years now, don't you?

I still have dreams about their old-fashioned schnecken...... :sad:

My restaurant blog: Mahlzeit!

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I'm not a Cincinnatian, but get there quite a bit. The Ridge Donut Shop serves a great buttermilk donut, yes the others are good as well.

Ridge Donut Shop

3186 Woodford Rd

Cincinnati, OH 45213-1620

(513) 631-4334

What are/is King cake and pazkis?

Tell me more about these buttermilk donuts. Are there other types of pastry that are considered to be a staple in Cincinnati?

Paczki (poonch - key) are a Polish pastry. I would describe them as a cross between jelly donuts and beignets, but they are so much better. They are quite plentiful on Fat Tuesday. Cheese paczki are my favorite. Who am I kidding, cheese-filled pastry of any kind is my favorite.

Some info on Paczki here

King Cake is a traditional New Orleans favorite during Mardi Gras. The cake is decorated in the traditonal purple, green and gold Mardi Gras colors, and each one contains a prize. Gambino's bakery is considered the place for King Cake, but others here can inform me if it is the best place.

Learn about King Cakes here

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Cincinnati's big growth in the 19th century was from German immigrants. So, the German baking tradition is still alive here. Unfortunately, the beer making faded away -- Cincinnati was once home to more breweries than any city in the US -- thanks Prohibition.

Servatii and Graeter are the two old line bakers. The corner German bakery like Virginia Bakery is, alas, also a fading memory -- mostly because the old families who own them have no one to take over.

The baking tradition has encouraged some newcomers, however. Bonbonnerie and Le Cezanne come to mind. There are also a couple of artisan type bread makers sucha s Shadeau and GTC.

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Tell me more about these buttermilk donuts. Are there other types of pastry that are considered to be a staple in Cincinnati?

The buttermilk I don't think is considered a staple, but it is by far the best compared to any other cities I've had it in, so I always try to make it when there.

The key to being so good, you actually taste the buttermilk and they are not overly sweet.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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I used to live in Cincinnati, and every morning on my way to work I'd walk by Virginia Bakery and Skyline. What an olfactory overload! Virginia Bakery's schnekken(sp?) were so rich and buttery, and I miss them still. But Graeter's Ice Cream also has a bakery and their pastries and doughnuts are quite good. Their chess pie is one of the best I've ever sampled, and they have these pastries called "cheese crowns" that were a regular breakfast treat.

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Oven frenzy, what side of town did you live on, east or west? As I'm sure you remember, there's only one right answer... the side I'M FROM. :laugh: You'll be glad to know the battle continues. :laugh: I live within a mile of a Servatti's and a Busken's on the WEST SIDE and although I admit they are wonderful, I'm STILL going to whine. :cool: I had a big, fat, ugly, apple fritter from an Amish run bakery up near Akron. It was the most wonderful, warm, crispy, chewy, sweet, appley, yummy thing I've had in ages. I haven't been able to find a decent apple fritter in cincy, and I KNOW they should be here. Does anyone know of a place?

I can't say I've visited them, but we do have quiet a few micro-breweries in the over-the-rhine area and across the river in Covington. Been meaning to hit the Hofbrau House, for kicks. And for what it’s worth, I couldn’t live without Skyline chili.

-therese

Many parts of a pine tree are edible.
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I haven't been able to find a decent apple fritter in cincy, and I KNOW they should be here. Does anyone know of a place?

Gosh, I know I had a good apple fritter at one of those pick-your-own-apples places just north of Cincy... but that was a few years ago so who knows if it is still there, plus it might just be a Fall thing.

I grew up on the East Side, but being from a big Catholic family, I had to leave the city because I was related to EVERYONE! :wink:

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Oven frenzy, what side of town did you live on, east or west?  As I'm sure you remember, there's only one right answer... the side I'M FROM.  :laugh:  You'll be glad to know the battle continues.  :laugh:

In Cincinnati,I lived in Gaslight Clifton for around 8 years. So many good places to eat in that neighborhood! I still miss it, all of it!

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Ah the best bakery in Cincinnati--is there no more. Used to be a small, dusty store front where a baker named Avi Bear made the best pastries in the world. We would go there for special occasions and I would try not to let my husband go by himself because he would come home with about $100.00 worth of everthing! Then Avi got jazzy and moved out to Kentucky where he still makes things for,restaurants, but not retail. Sigh.

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I haven't been able to find a decent apple fritter in cincy, and I KNOW they should be here. Does anyone know of a place?

Gosh, I know I had a good apple fritter at one of those pick-your-own-apples places just north of Cincy... but that was a few years ago so who knows if it is still there, plus it might just be a Fall thing.

I grew up on the East Side, but being from a big Catholic family, I had to leave the city because I was related to EVERYONE! :wink:

Very funny! :biggrin:

There are some beautiful apple orchards along the river near Hebron KY.

They used to sell wonderful fresh apple fritters in the fall but stopped a couple

years ago. You could also pick your own apples. I forget the exact price, but I think it was something like a half bushel for $8.00. They don't do it anymore because of insurance problems. Big bummer.

Many parts of a pine tree are edible.
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I used to live in Cincinnati, and every morning on my way to work I'd walk by Virginia Bakery and Skyline. What an olfactory overload! Virginia Bakery's schnekken(sp?) were so rich and buttery, and I miss them still. But Graeter's Ice Cream also has a bakery and their pastries and doughnuts are quite good. Their chess pie is one of the best I've ever sampled, and they have these pastries called "cheese crowns" that were a regular breakfast treat.

As I may have mentioned, I have a deep afinity for cheese pastries. A Wisconsin cheese danish is my absolute favorite. Would you please describe the cheese crowns for me? I am curious to know how they are different. Do they have icing or any other type of topping?

Among the Cincinnati contingent (including those who no longer live there), does anyone attempt to create these items in their own kitchen?

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I used to live in Cincinnati, and every morning on my way to work I'd walk by Virginia Bakery and Skyline. What an olfactory overload! Virginia Bakery's schnekken(sp?) were so rich and  buttery, and I miss them still. But Graeter's Ice Cream also has a bakery and their pastries and doughnuts are quite good. Their chess pie is one of the best I've ever sampled, and they have these pastries called "cheese crowns" that were a regular breakfast treat.

As I may have mentioned, I have a deep afinity for cheese pastries. A Wisconsin cheese danish is my absolute favorite. Would you please describe the cheese crowns for me? I am curious to know how they are different. Do they have icing or any other type of topping?

Among the Cincinnati contingent (including those who no longer live there), does anyone attempt to create these items in their own kitchen?

Cheese crowns: danish pastry baked in a deep muffin or brioche tin, center filled with sweetened cream cheese, then topped with a bit of brown sugar struedle, drizzled with powdered sugar icing. I want one NOW!! And no I've never tried to recreate one in my kitchen. I mean, I doubt I could do it justice anyway, and do I really need a kitchen full of cheese crowns?

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On the non-sweet side there is the Shadeau bakery downtown which funnels their Fantastic french bread etc. out to Silverglades small specialty grocery on the east side. I have seen people glare at each other over the last loaf of this bread and it can get nasty when the bread is gone. :biggrin:

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Cheese crowns: danish pastry baked in a deep muffin or brioche tin, center filled with sweetened cream cheese, then topped with a bit of brown sugar struedle, drizzled with powdered sugar icing. I want one NOW!! And no I've never tried to recreate one in my kitchen. I mean, I doubt I could do it justice anyway, and do I really need a kitchen full of cheese crowns?

OMG! :shock:

I'm checing out fares to Cincinnati right now. Those sound good!

Now if they just came wrapped in bacon! :biggrin:

Ovenfrenzy - Thank you for the description. They sound wonderful.

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When I found myself in Downtown Cincinnati for meetings, I often stopped at the Servati Pastry Shoppe on Sixth Avenue fot something and coffee. I love it all except for their banana nut muffins (IF Servati was the place that I remember that unfortunately sprinkled PEANUTS on their banana nut muffins. If I am wrong, well, it was all good).

The Virginia Bakery in Clifton Gaslight (one of my old neighborhoods) did indeed sadly shut down. The chain location of Big Sky Bread in Clifton (where I often went for all sorts of bread and dessert breads) also closed. However, the last time I checked, there was a location in Oakley.

Nobody has mentioned the Bonbonnerie. It's in O'Bryonville and has FABULOUS everything. Their petit fours are to die for. Many restaurants in Cincinnati use them for their desserts, if I remember correctly.

-Ophelie

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When I found myself in Downtown Cincinnati for meetings, I often stopped at the Servati Pastry Shoppe on Sixth Avenue fot something and coffee. I love it all except for their banana nut muffins (IF Servati was the place that I remember that unfortunately sprinkled PEANUTS on their banana nut muffins. If I am wrong, well, it was all good).

The Virginia Bakery in Clifton Gaslight (one of my old neighborhoods) did indeed sadly shut down. The chain location of Big Sky Bread in Clifton (where I often went for all sorts of bread and dessert breads) also closed. However, the last time I checked, there was a location in Oakley.

Nobody has mentioned the Bonbonnerie. It's in O'Bryonville and has FABULOUS everything. Their petit fours are to die for. Many restaurants in Cincinnati use them for their desserts, if I remember correctly.

-Ophelie

Oh, the Bonbonnerie! It was a bit beyond my means when I lived in Cinci, but sometimes a friend and I would splurge. I'd get coffee and one slice of something, or a scone. They had amazing apricot scones, served with clotted cream. Mmm, clotted cream. I have some in my fridge spiked with brandy- maybe I need to bake up some scones...

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Nobody has mentioned the Bonbonnerie. It's in O'Bryonville and has FABULOUS everything. Their petit fours are to die for. Many restaurants in Cincinnati use them for their desserts, if I remember correctly.

Although I no longer live in Cincinnati, I will come back to get married in May. My wedding cake is going to be from the Bonbonnerie... I can't wait! I had so much fun tasting cakes there. It is also a wonderful place to go for tea. You get 3 tiers of treats with your tea, from scones to sandwiches to petit fours. Also, many local resturants, such as Dewey's Pizza, offer Bonbonnerie desserts, most notably, their opera cream cake. mmmmmm.....

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Although I no longer live in Cincinnati, I will come back to get married in May. My wedding cake is going to be from the Bonbonnerie... I can't wait! I had so much fun tasting cakes there. It is also a wonderful place to go for tea. You get 3 tiers of treats with your tea, from scones to sandwiches to petit fours. Also, many local resturants, such as Dewey's Pizza, offer Bonbonnerie desserts, most notably, their opera cream cake. mmmmmm.....

Well that does it, I’m going to have to get there. I’ve only been there one time, but remember being dumb struck by the petit fours, beautiful and delicate.

And this is a bit off topic but, Pomi's in Clifton has, in my humble opinion, the most amazing pizza and lasagna. Their garlic bread can reduce me to tears.

-therese

Many parts of a pine tree are edible.
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  • 1 year later...
Bump!

I'm flying to Cincinnati tomorrow night to spend the weekend with friends who live there.  Are the places mentioned here still open?  I'm very excited for pastries, Cincinnati-style.  :smile:

Jenny, sorry that I missed your addition to this thread until this morning. I hope you found that all the places referred to as open are still there today.

How was your visit?

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Nobody has mentioned the Bonbonnerie.  It's in O'Bryonville and has FABULOUS everything.  Their petit fours are to die for.  Many restaurants in Cincinnati use them for their desserts, if I remember correctly.

-Ophelie

I love the Bonbonnerie. My aunt lives down the street from there and when we visit it is a daily ritual to go and get scones.

S. Cue

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  • 3 months later...

Servatii Pastry Shop and Deli, many locations. Main location 3774 Paxton, Oakley 513.871.3244. Downtown location 35 E. 6th, 513.421.2253.

Bonbonerie, 2030 Madison Road, O'Bryonville 513.321.3399

Graeter's, many locations. Web Sitefor a list.

Le Cezanne, sadly, closed earlier this summer. The owner is the new executive chef at one of the hotels in Moscow -- the Ritz, I think. I heard last week that someone is opening a new pastry shop at the Wyoming (neighborhood name) location.

Shadeau Breads, 1336 Main Street, Over the Rhine 513.665.9270.

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