Bakeries. No, not Panera or Krispy Kreme or the doughnut dept. at your local grocery store. I’m talking about the bakeries that have been around since Main Street was literally the main street. Restaurants phase out, old factories get turned into lofts, general stores get replaced with Target, yet bakeries are one of the few few-and-far-between footsteps that remain with stories of the past. While I’m a fan of the contemporary cake pops and the new French pastry cafes with the to-die-for croissants, June’s Collection of Places and Spaces is dedicated to the traditional bakeries of Milwaukee.
I like the idea of simpler times. While mildly inefficient, I like the concept of the going to a different grocer for each food group. The ingredients were not a mystery, they were obviously locally produced, and the sense of pride and expertise each grocer would have had for his or her product would have been unmatched (and contrary to present times, you wouldn’t have been overcharged 30% for these characteristics).
There was something a little different to each, and as each was in a different area of town, mke’s historical roots strangely remain intact and evident. Italian pastries on the East Side, larger-scale stores on the South Side, and the fancier bakeries specializing in cheesecake delicacies West of downtown. Immediately upon stepping foot into the tile-floored stores, smelling the baking dough, and seeing hundreds of sweet confections taunting me behind glass counters, I got a little taste of years past when little kids would get a nickel to spend on a cinnamon roll or doughnut hole. Unfortunately due to complaints from my waistline, I could not visit each bakery special to Milwaukee; so, I picked out four I’ve always wanted to try:
A Collection of Spaces and Places: Traditional Milwaukee Bakeries
1. Peter Sciortino’s Bakery: 1101 East Brady Street Milwaukee, WI 53202
Go here for: turnovers, cannoli, eclairs, and other bites to fill your pastry cravings.
2. Simmas Bakery: 817 N 68th St Milwaukee, WI 53213
Go here for: unbelievable cheesecake- the lemon poppy seed was honestly the best I’ve
3. National Bakery & Deli: a variety of locations
Go here for: breads and doughnuts- my cinnamon swirl was soft, fresh, and each bite had the perfect
amount of cinnamon sugar swirl.
4. Nino’s Italian Bakery: N88w16683 Main St. Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Go here for: lunch- they have a variety of Italian subs, paninis, and sandwiches along with
great cookies for dessert.