From sweet-cream pastries to savoury sausage rolls and breads made from ancient grains, we present a baker’s dozen of delicious options to consider as you wander Alberta’s streets, highways and byways this summer.
THE LEFSE HOUSE
Looking for road food? Order the lefse dog, a European wiener rolled in a soft flatbread (called a lefse, of course), from this authentic Scandinavian bakery. Or if you’ve set out bright and early, grab a cup of strong Norwegian coffee to go with some fattigmann (twisted donuts) or a flaky almond kringle.
Though known for its frozen DeeperMore Delicious cakes—a variety of luxurious takes on the grocery store staple—Bolo also boasts café-style offerings, sweets, and a signature CheeseWheel, a savoury circle of cheese buns made even better once it’s warmed up a bit.
In Spanish, canela means cinnamon—a spice that appears in many of this shop’s sweeter offerings. Beyond that, every item here is also plant-based, from the aromatic pear, feta and rosemary danish to the empanadas (stuffed with vegetables and Beyond Meat) to the vegan tiramisu.
If you’re in need of some relief right now, let it be in the form of a decadent cake or fresh-baked cookie. Whether it’s a gorgeous whole cake for a wedding, or a slice just for you, owner and Culinary Institute of America graduate Deidre Lotecki has exactly what you need. Watch her website: Lotecki offers seasonal pastry baking and decorating classes—once Alberta opens up again, of course.
Baskets of baguettes and mounds of cheese: this bakery makes you feel like you’re in rural France. Try the pain paysanne, a rustic sourdough with a crispy, chewy crust. It’s made with locally grown wheat that’s milled in-house and baked on the oven’s hearth.
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SUGARED AND SPICED
Expect everything nice at this tucked-away bakery known for scratch-baked, artistically whimsical cakes piled high with meringue and macarons. Nothing is pre-mixed here—it all starts with eggs delivered by a farmer, along with real fruit, fresh cream and rich butter.
Give the gift of these doughnuts and you’ll make a friend for life! Whether glazed, sugared, filled or traditional plain, anybody would be lucky to receive a dozen fried faves from this family-operated spot. Don’t forget to grab a box for yourself: They’re great for weekend eats at the cabin too!
This family-owned shop specializes in puff pastry hand pies, similar to the Cornish pasty but with fillings influenced by flavours of the Caribbean, Africa and Canada. (Savoury options range from cauliflower chickpea curry to jerk chicken, or get a sweet Saskatoon berry pie for dessert.) On top of their offering delectably flaky fare, Ubuntu is also a social enterprise: The shop provides employment and skills-development opportunities to youth in need, and makes hot lunches for students through a partnership with local school councils.
BEAR’S PAW BAKERY
Mountain air mixed with the scent of coffee and fresh-baked pie? It hardly gets better than that. Grab a sweet or savoury scone before your next big hike, and load up on fresh-baked onion-chili cheese bread for tomorrow’s lunch.
A cherished family recipe for cannoli has become the trademark offering at Sweet Capone’s, and it’s easy to understand why. The flaky, delicate pastry contains a sweet cream filling in a variety of flavours, depending on the season. Pick one up at the original bakery in Lacombe, or swing by their café location in Red Deer for an Italian-style panini or panzerotti too.
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FRENCH 50 BAKERY
Make a beeline for the ancient grain sourdough, brioche hamburger buns and the wickedly delicious Canelé de Bordeaux (not to mention locally made jams and preserves) from this Southern Alberta micro bakery. For now, orders are only available for pickup on Saturdays, so you’re best to stock up!
A gem of a bakery that’s worth the drive. Floris Blokland took over an existing outlet in 1966; he turned it into a Central Alberta institution before his passing in 2016. The shop carries on, however, and still churns out local favourites including cream Johns (filled donuts) and sausage rolls.