Do you love a delicious pastry, freshly baked donut, or loaf of bread? Kansas adopted the nickname the Wheat State in the early 20th century as a leading producer of the nation’s wheat production. The breadbasket of the world, the state’s bakeries are equally plentiful today.
While this list by no means includes all Kansas bakeries or pastry shops, you may discover one or two places to add to your travel bucket list.
TASTY PASTRY & COFFEE SHOP, CLAY CENTER
If you can leave Tasty Pastry Bakery & Coffee Shop (511 Court Street) with only one donut, it will be a miracle. The aroma of freshly baked pastries hits you when you enter the door. Glass displays hold stacks of homemade donuts and nut rolls.
The morning I arrived, the place was packed with small groups of diners at every table. Kids approached the counter, ready to order a cinnamon roll or cookie.
Tasty Pastry Bakery & Coffee Shop is open every day except Sunday. Arrive early to order the best pastry selection. The coffee is hot, and the donuts are fresh.
MUNCHERS BAKERY, LAWRENCE
I lived in Lawrence for nearly seven years, and like most residents, I knew that Munchers Bakery (925 Iowa St.) was the place to select a soft, pillowy donut. The highly-rated bakery, open 24 hours a day, has been in business for over 30 years.
The glass cases are filled with donuts of all kinds, but it’s the cream cheese donut that keeps residents asking for more. Whether you’re craving an early morning or late-night sweet treat, Munchers Bakery’s selection gets the job done. I recommend ordering a cinnamon roll.
SERAPHIM BREAD, SALINA
I discovered Seraphim Bread (228C S. Santa Fe) on Instagram and knew I wanted to visit the shop when in Salina. Located inside Spillman Plaza in downtown Kansas, the artisan bakery produces fresh bread and pastries daily.
Residents in line in front of me said they like to stop in and purchase the sweet tools or muffins. I chose a Scotch Roll (hard-boiled egg surrounded by sausage and baked bread) for my breakfast treat as well as a ham and cheese biscuit for the drive home. Both choices were delicious.
AMANDA’S BAKERY, ABILENE
I heard that Amanda’s Bakery & Bistro (302 N. Broadway St.) was where the locals dine for breakfast. The downtown hangout is located in an old drugstore building in the heart of historic Abilene. They serve baked goods and breakfast originals and prepare specialty coffee drinks.
While the bakery is known for its scratch-made pastries, we chose to order two savory bagel sandwiches and lattes. I never turn down a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich. The meal was delightful.
VARSITY DONUTS, MANHATTAN
Serving “donuts that make people happy,” Varsity Donuts has been serving warm, fresh donuts to the masses since 2011. I arrived early, hoping to find full cases of donuts and boy was I surprised at the large selection. My choice? A delicious maple glazed donut sprinkled with bits of bacon.
The second-best aspect of stopping in Varsity Donuts is learning about the building’s historic charm. It still has the original flooring, counter, and barstools from its days as a soda fountain. Look up, and you’ll discover pages of K-State yearbooks hanging overhead dating back to 1939.
THE FEATHERED FRENZY, BELLEVILLE
The Feathered Frenzy, located inside The Feathered Nest (1914 M. St.), is where you go if you’re craving a scratch-made pastry and a cup of coffee. I ordered a perfectly baked scone from the espresso bar to pair with a frothy latté.
A local hangout for Belleville residents, visitors to The Feathered Nest are surrounded by furnishings and home decor that is available for purchase. As soon as I walked in, I knew my wallet was in trouble. They also sell jars of Kansas-made gourmet foods and chef’ tools to complete one’s kitchen.
PARK STREET PASTRY, OLATHE
A one-minute drive from Junque Drawer is Park Street Pastry (103 E. Park St.), where lovers of authentic European desserts and sweet treats go. Pastry Chef Douglas Flick’s loyal customers know they can find freshly made cinnamon rolls, a popular breakfast choice, ready to order.
I recommend scanning the bakery case and the menu before ordering breakfast or lunch. I was searching for lighter fare and chose a flakey scratch-made croissant filled with chocolate. The chef could be seen in the kitchen busily cooking eggs for someone’s breakfast order.
The lunch menu includes multi-layered sandwiches, salmon cake, BBQ meals, and more. Sandwiches come with a classic side garden salad.
HANA’S DONUTS, KANSAS CITY
Hana’s Donuts (2131 S. 34th St.) is tucked away in a neighborhood just waiting to be discovered by donut die-hards. Entering the parking lot, I saw one customer after another exit with boxes of goodies. The smell of donuts filled the air.
Inside, a family with several kids ordered a big box of donuts. Each child pointed at their choice. “I want the one with sprinkles!” the youngest boy exclaimed. Before their order was complete, the dad added, “and a dozen of the cinnamon bites, please.”
The display case was filled with every kind of donut you could imagine. Apple fritters the size of your hand. Blueberry cake donuts. Cinnamon rolls. And classics like maple long johns and old-fashioned crullers.
BIJOU CONFECTIONARY, HUMBOLDT
Homemade macarons. Blocks of fudge. Soft cookies. Bulk candy. You’ll find all of it, plus nostalgia bottled sodas, available at Bijou Confectionary (810 S. Bridge St.). I recommend stopping by to select a sweet treat after having lunch next door at HoneyBee Bruncherie. Cookies sell out quickly.
Use a scoop and bag to stock up on bulk candy priced at $10/lb. My lemon macaroon was perfectly soft, and the no-bake cocoa cookie lasted only minutes.
350 DEGREES BAKERY, LINDSBORG
Freshly baked goodies await your arrival at 350 Degrees Bakery (118 S. Main). It is hard to choose between cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, and Swedish Kringler, a flaky puffed pastry. The Swedish specialties sell out quickly, so plan to visit before the lunch hour.
Buy a bag of Rusk, which are pieces of cinnamon rolls double-baked to yummy goodness. They’re perfect for dunking into your coffee.
Another stop to make in Lindsborg is Crown & Rye (121 N. Main St.), a Swedish restaurant known for serving homemade pie and pastries.
THE DONUT WHOLE, WICHITA
The Donut Whole (1702 E. Doublas Ave.) is where cake donut lovers feel right at home! Maple Bacon, Cookie Monster, Lavender, Peaches and Cream…you name it, you’ll probably find a whacky flavor inside the donut case.
I recommend buying a couple of donuts, a coffee, or bottle of milk, and then heading to the lounge to enjoy them. Pinball machines, books, and games makes the experience a ton of fun. Don’t forget to take a selfie in front of the building’s many murals.
BAGATELLE BAKERY, WICHITA
On any given day, especially during lunch, Bagatelle Bakery (6801 E. Harry St.) sees a steady stream of customers. People arrive craving homemade empanadas, bierocks, or quiche. While some customers stop by to pick up a loaf of freshly baked bread, others stay for a meal that never disappoints.
Don’t think of leaving without having dessert. One look inside the glass case and you’ll want one of the pastries. Lovers of Bagatelle Bakery adore their artistic cakes for special occasions.
OTHER BAKERIES I’VE ADDED TO MY TRAVEL BUCKET LIST
I’ve kept notes over the years about other notable bakeries that I’d like to visit when road tripping through the Sunflower State. My short list includes Sweet Pea’s Bakery (Seneca), 1900 Barker Bakery and Café (Paola), Rye (Leawood), Best Regards Bakery and Café (Overland Park), and Mad Eliza’s (Holton).
If you’re someone who loves to order a steaming cup of coffee with their breakfast, please read my blog post, Kansas Coffee Shops You Simply Must Visit. While many of the coffee shops are not a bakery per se, they often serve scrumptious baked goods.
What other Kansas bakeries should I add to my travel bucket list? Please comment below with your suggestions.