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The Top California Bakeries for Gluten-Free Goodies

The Top California Bakeries for Gluten-Free Goodies

Whether you want to eat a donut now, or need a crusty baguette to go, head to one of California's bakeries to get your gluten-free goodies.


7 min read

February 13, 2024

The days of unappetizing gluten-free options are long gone. Over 3 million people across the country now follow a gluten-free diet. As the number of Americans abstaining from gluten continues to rise, more restaurants are stepping up to accommodate these dietary restrictions. Additionally, many gluten-free bakeries have opened in recent years—especially in California—using modern techniques and new ingredients to craft delicious desserts, breads, and pastries.

Whether you’re craving coffee and a donut, wanting a sandwich made with freshly baked sourdough bread, or needing a crusty baguette to go, head to one of the following gluten-free bakeries in California to get your fix. At these locales, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

San Francisco Bay Area

The Top California Bakeries for Gluten-Free Goodies
Artisanal bread from California's gluten-free bakeries will completely change your perception of gluten-free baked goods. With incredible flavors and a range of textures, these breads will leave you craving another loaf.

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Flour Craft Bakery

Address: 129 Miller Ave #300, Mill Valley, CA 94941; 702 San Anselmo Ave
San Anselmo CA, 94960 

What started as a gluten-free granola company blossomed into a successful bake shop for gluten-free foodies. After selling their granola for several years at farmers markets in Marin County, Flour Craft Bakery founders Rick Perko and Heather Hardcastle decided to open a full-on gluten-free bakery. In 2013, they debuted their flagship location in San Anselmo.

The duo continues to offer their famed granola along with a wide array of artisanal goods, including breads (French baguette, walnut sourdough, focaccia with olive oil and sea salt), pastries, cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. The San Anselmo and Mill Valley bakery locations also offer breakfast and lunch items such as seasonal quiches, sandwiches, soups, and salads.

Mariposa Baking Company

Address: 5427 Telegraph Ave d3, Oakland, CA 94609, United States

This dedicated gluten-free bakery has been a local favorite since it opened in 2004, boasting an impressive assortment of delectable breads and sweets crafted from seasonal, local ingredients. Whether you crave a rich triple-chocolate brownie; a chocolate-raspberry whoopie pie or a toasted sesame bagel smeared with silky cream cheese—Mariposa Baking Company has it. 

Third Culture Bakery

Address: multiple locations - 2701 8th Street Berkeley CA; 1310 S California Blvd Walnut Creek, CA; 549 Irving Street San Francisco CA

This beloved Berkeley bake shop combines Asian flavors with French baking techniques to create such unique treats as Japanese curry scones and matcha custard cakes. But the bakery’s true claim to fame is its mochi muffin. Made with a base of mochiko sweet rice flour, the gluten-free confection is baked to golden perfection and then sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds.

Though the muffins look unassuming in appearance, they are packed with savory toffee flavors (from the coconut sugar); grassy, floral notes (from the pandan herb), and hints of nuttiness (from the seeds). Another gluten-free option is the mochi waffle, which can be topped with house-made chantilly cream and sweet raspberry jam or with organic bananas, rich cocoa nibs, and a burnt caramel drizzle. Regardless of what you get, pair your treat with a matcha latte or the Golden Yogi (matcha with turmeric-infused rice milk and a bit of honey). 

Central Coast Region

The Top California Bakeries for Gluten-Free Goodies
Satisfy your sweet tooth while sticking to your diet at the state's premier gluten-free bakeries. With dozens of treats to choose from, a single trip just won't do.

Lilac Pâtisserie

Address: 1017 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Situated in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, Lilac Pâtisserie crafts an array of confections that are as delicious as they are beautiful. And they are all gluten free and made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The sleek, French bistro–inspired storefront boasts cases of Instagram-worthy baked goods such as colorful fruit tarts, mouthwatering cupcakes, and of course, cakes.

Between the delectable bananas foster, the jaw-dropping chocolate sea salt caramel, and the ginger spice cake—it’s hard to pick just one. But remember there’s no wrong choice here. If all the desserts weren’t enough to satiate you, Lilac also offers breakfast and lunch options in its café, including quiches, toasts, omelets, soups, salads, and sandwiches.

Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery

Address: 1420 41st Ave suite b, Capitola, CA 95010

The only gluten-free bake shop in the Santa Cruz area, this hot spot draws crowds every day of the week—and for good reason. Though it’s a dedicated gluten-free facility, the scrumptious treats here attract those with and without gluten sensitivities, serving up an impressive assortment of unique donuts, pastries, and desserts.

Savory goodies abound, too, such as spicy salami and Manchego cheese twists; hearty muffins packed with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives; and buttery bacon-cheddar rolls. You can even special order various items, including pizza crust, scones, breads, pies, and croissants.

While there are many mainstains at Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery, certain offerings rotate each week, but one thing is for certain: No matter when you go to this Capitola shop, you’ll find something to love and leave with a smile on your face.

Los Angeles Area

The Top California Bakeries for Gluten-Free Goodies
Gluten-free cupcakes are just as tasty as they are cute. Kiss FOMO goodbye and take a bite out of wholesome desserts crafted in Los Angeles.

Erin McKenna’s Bakery

Address: 236 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

A New York City import touting gluten-free, good-for-you treats (not to mention vegan and kosher options), Erin McKenna’s Bakery has been satisfying sweet tooths since 2005. Now serving its famed confections in Los Angeles, Californians can finally see what all the fuss is about. The daily-changing menu is rife with tempting offerings—including brownie cupcakes, sweet blueberry crumb cake, indulgent cookie sandwiches, moist banana chocolate chip bread, frosted pumpkin loafs, and savory coffee-crunch donuts.

But one dessert that should not be missed is the signature Big Fun Frost (BFF): vegan soft serve that can be decorated with such goodies as cookies, brownies, and chocolate or caramel sauce. And since everything is crafted with wholesome ingredients, you can indulge without feeling too guilty.

Rising Hearts Bakery

Address: 21825 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303

A small shop tucked away in an unassuming Culver City strip mall, Rising Hearts Bakery will raise your spirits and make your heart happy as soon as you take a bite out of its scrumptious gluten-free confections. With display cases offering an assortment of mouthwatering treats—from muffins, to bagels, to scones, to cupcakes, to brownies—there’s no shortage of items to choose from.

Customer favorites include the rich and creamy mocha cheesecake, indulgent carrot cake whoopie pie, savory maple-pecan cupcake, chewy molasses cookies (try them in a “cookiewich” stuffed with frosting), and mini plum pies.

The bakery even provides take-and-bake products such as pizza dough, bread loaves, burger and hotdog buns, and rolls—making it easy to enjoy more gluten-free goodness in the comfort of your home.

Sweet Laurel Bakery

Address: 15279 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Step inside this blush-hued bake shop in Pacific Palisades to discover indulgent yet healthful treats. Many of which are made with five or fewer ingredients—that are crafted from wholesome, organic products and free of gluten, grains, and refined sugars (though you would never guess it).

Every cake is almost too gorgeous to eat, but it would be a waste to not enjoy the luscious slices. Whether you choose the decadent chocolate cake infused with raspberry jam, the creamy lemon-coconut cake, or the moist and colorful matcha cake, you can’t go wrong.

Delectable cookies, mini cupcakes, muffins, and brownies abound, too, and all pair well with the numerous coffee and tea drinks on the menu. If your experience leaves you feeling inspired, sign up for one of the bakery’s workshops or classes, or buy the Sweet Laurel Cookbook and try recreating your favorite confection at home.

Twice Baked

Address: 8185 E Wardlow Rd, Long Beach, CA 90808

Gluten-averse foodies flock to this dedicated gluten-free bakery in Long Beach to get their fix. Boasting an expansive menu of pastries and desserts, Twice Baked provides something for every desire. From the lavender-citrus bundt cake, to the savory cranberry-pistachio biscotti, to the heavenly chocolate chip cheesecake, to the Circus Animal cookies, and to the classic vanilla cupcakes adorned with rainbow sprinkles.

And if all that wasn’t enough, the bake shop also crafts a variety of breads (sourdough, brioche, cinnamon raisin) and pizza crusts (infused with basil and garlic) alongside vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free options.

San Diego Area

The Top California Bakeries for Gluten-Free Goodies
Sweet, decadent baked goods are hard to resist. Whether you find yourself at the grocery store, farmers market, or a specialty bakery, San Diego has everything you need to satisfy your cravings.

Deanna’s Gluten Free

Address: 2250 S Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025

Don’t be fooled by this mall bakery’s unassuming appearance. Though it lacks the treat-lined shelves and display cases typically found in bake shops, it offers delectable gluten-free goodies you can’t get anywhere else in Escondido. Including snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookies, fudgy brownies, red velvet cupcakes, and banana bread.

While certain desserts and pastries can be purchased at the storefront, customers must order other items online, such as breads (cinnamon raisin, whole grain, flatbread, rolls), pizza and pie crusts, hamburger and hotdog buns, flours, and baking mixes.

Starry Lane Bakery

Address: 3925 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

This cozy San Diego bake shop is marked by its white-and-blue striped awning on Fourth Avenue, serving scrumptious baked goods made without animal products, nuts, soy, or gluten. There’s a mind-boggling assortment of confections in the display cases stretching across the bakery, holding everything from pastries, to pies, to bread, to cookies, to cakes.

Popular items include the mini desserts (caramel cream bundt cake, cherry pie, pop tarts), luscious cupcakes (cookies and cream, devil’s food cake, banana split), classic cookies (sugar, maple, chocolate chip), crispy biscotti (chocolate cherry, lemon ginger, cinnamon), and unique scones (orange cardamom, lemon rosemary, vanilla cranberry). Many also come here specifically for the fresh-baked breads such as herb flatbread, pretzel rolls, and sandwich loafs.

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