By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large
The Wynwood Art District is not only just the home of 70+ galleries and museums, but it has also emerged as an area with an especially unique foodie scene.
Besides being the home of culinary gems like Coyo Taco, Kush, and Beaker & Gray– there are an array of bakeries to visit– whether it be for a treat after lunch or to get something special to bring to a party.
I decided to take the ultimate foodie adventure by walking to four different Wynwood shops, all of which with delicious pastries.
So if you have a sweet tooth, prepare to drool.
Stop # 1: The Salty Donut
If you are a local, you have likely heard of this place. It's not uncommon for the donuts to sell out even before they close.
I went on a Thursday at around 2 pm and there was quite a line, but it moved fast. It was difficult to pick, but I went for the Nutella flavor, a "24 hour raised brioche donut with Nutella filing, cocoa glaze, topped with crushed hazelnuts," which is available year-round and then I also ordered the seasonal Strawberry & Lemon donut.
They were almost too pretty to eat. Luckily, they were as tasty as they looked.
Some of the other year round donuts include the Baked Cookies & Cream, Traditional Glazed, Guava & Cheese, Maple Bacon, and Brown Butter & Salt
Some of the current seasonal donuts that were available now (February 2017) are the White Chocolate Tres Leches and the Pistachio, Orange, White Chocolate flavor, which consists of a baked pistachio cake, homemade orange glaze, candied orange zest, roasted pistachios and bottom crusted with white chocolate.
But the artisan donuts aren't the only thing worth tasting. There is a unique coffee program to select from, featuring lattes, cold brews and rotating coffees.
I tried the seasonal "Vietnamese Drop," which is a Black Cat Espresso, textured milk, topped with torched dehydrated milk and smoked sea salt.
When they say smoked, they mean it.
The barista took out a blowtorch to lightly roast the sea salt. When they called my name, I watched the others patiently waiting for their coffee look at my freshly smoked beverage with envy.
Stop #2 Bunnie Cakes
After finishing my coffee and devouring the Nutella donut (I saved the Strawberry + Lemon donut for later and started to compile a to-go bag at this point,) I made my way to the vegan bakery, Bunnie Cakes.
After a short 15-minute walk, I arrived at the cutest bakery decked out in pink with a girly floral theme filling the space.
The first items that caught my eye were the adorable mini cupcakes. There are all kinds, including the Red Velvet, Chocolate Coconut, Blueberry, Banana Chocolate Chip, Vanilla, Passion Fruit and more. They also have mini vegan doughnuts.
I ordered two mini cupcakes, a chocolate chip one and a vanilla one filled with chocolate, and also a strawberry mini doughnut because I couldn't resist their cuteness. I couldn't tell they were vegan and I could have had 10+ of these in one sitting. That's how delicious and easy to eat they were.
Mini-sized desserts means you can taste more items on the menu.
But Bunnie Cakes has cakes in it's name for a reason. The cakes are elaborate and cheery– perfect for a 6-year-olds birthday party or an upscale bridal shower. I could scroll through the store's Instagram all day. The cakes are truly pieces of food art.
There are also hot and cold beverages available to quench your thirst.
While stuffing the cupcakes in my mouth, I sat in the colorful seating area where I was asked a few times by the Bunnie staff members if I wanted something to drink or if I enjoyed my goodies.
Stop # 3: Fireman Derek's World Famous Pies
After enjoying the lovely setting at Bunnie Cakes, I ventured to my next destination– Fireman Derek's World Famous Pies.
10 minutes later after getting some glimpses of the Wynwood murals on the way, I arrived at a brick storefront.
This store was first recognized for it's Key Lime pie.
"I have been cooking for about 15 years now and 12 years ago, I started baking. I decided I wanted to add desserts to the menu of recipes I had already taught myself. Being a native Floridian and calling Miami home for the past 12 years, key lime pie was the obvious first choice. After trying many different recipes and ways of making the famed South Florida dessert– I had perfected my version of key lime pie. It was simple. 5 ingredients all fresh and all virtually homemade. Starting with the handmade graham cracker crust and juice from fresh key limes, I handcrafted something in my opinion that is truly amazing! With many of my friends and family agreeing with me about the deliciousness of my creation, I set out to find a market for my key lime pie. I started selling them to friends and family and officially created Fireman Derek's Key Lime Pie in 2008. Currently, Fireman Derek's Key Lime Pie is served at restaurants throughout Miami," writes Derek on the Fireman Derek's Key Lime Pie Facebook page.
Key Lime isn't the only flavor available at the busy store though. The Coconut Cream Pie, Pecan Pie, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, S'mores, Apple Pie, Peach Cobbler, Chocolate flan, Strawberry Pie, Mixed Berry Pie, Cheesecakes, Flan, Key Lime Flan, Coconut Flan, and Chocolate dipped Pies are all on the menu.
There are also seasonal pies like the Pumpkin Pie, available in the fall and Blueberry Pie, available in the summer. Not to mention other sweets like Whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting sandwiched by Guava white chocolate chip cookies, Nutella sticky buns, cookies, and doughnuts.
I went for a slice of the Smore's pie, which was rich and decadent. The staff was super helpful when it came to deciding which of the goodies to pick from. There is also a nice water station to keep you hydrated while chowing down on the pies or other desserts.
Stop #4: Zak the Baker
Last, but not least– I made my way to Zak The Baker. First I ended up down the block at an adorable eatery, Zak The Baker Deli, by accident. But, my mission wasn't for a delicious sandwich.
I turned around and went back to the storefront that said "Bakery."
The Zak The Baker store is bright and airy, with a modern warehouse feel. In the back you can see rows of fresh bread lofts.
The first thing I really noticed was the array of pastries in the front by the register. Depending on the day, there are croissants, cookies, banana bread, rugelachs, danishes, blueberry tarts, doughnuts, Apple Pie, Pecan Bourbon Pie, Lemon Blueberry Meringue Pie, Chocolate Caramel Orange Pie, and much more.
Even though I just had a few bites of pie, I went for a slice of the Pecan Bourbon Pie and it was my favorite item of the day.
The bakery also has a unique story. Zak Stern, the baker was once in graduate school to be a chemist. But at the age of 22, he realized that wasn't what he wanted.
"Stern narrowed his focus to bread, wine and cheese, and sought out a farm in Europe. His first experience was with a baker at an apple juicing farm in Sweden. It was there that he learned to bake his very first loaves of bread," writes "Life & Thyme."
After traveling while doing different apprenticeships and getting his heart broken, he ended up coming home to Miami. He started to work at a sandwich shop and bought in his bread for his fellow staff to try.
The owner of the sandwich shop said he should bring his bread to Michelle Bernstein, celebrity chef and owner of the former restaurant Michy’s. She loved it and the rest is history.
Now Zak's bread is available many grocery stores and restaurants all over South Florida.
If you are looking for lunch and something sweet, Zak The Bakery can accommodate both.
So there you have it. Four amazing Wynwood hotspots with delicious artisan treats all with their own flare.