Where to Find the Best Holiday
Bakeries in Hudson County, NJ
A perfect pastry, a delectable doughnut, a scrumptious slice of cake – there’s never a bad time for baked goods, but the holiday season is an extra special time of year to delicious desserts. Beloved bakeries across Hudson County are churning out cherished confections to satisfy your sweet tooth and liven up your festivities. Whether you want to dig into dessert here at home or bring something special with you when visiting family for the holidays, why not try something new and something uniquely Hudson County?
Natas & Bowls
534 B Kearny Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032
203 Davis Ave, Kearny, NJ 07302
Portugal is known for many things, including Cristiano Ronaldo, sardines, tiled buildings, and nata, the small European country’s famous custard egg tarts. Tucked inside a tiny storefront along Kearny’s main drag is Portuguese perfection: warm, rich, and creamy nata custard tarts that pair perfectly with the shop’s hot and heavenly coffee (try the espresso or cappuccino). The nata tarts come in three flavors: original, Oreo, and Nutella, and if you get lucky, you may also find a seasonal pumpkin custard cup. The tarts are sweet, small, and perfect for sharing so order a big box to go so everyone can try the different flavors. The shop also recently opened up a second shop in Kearny, making it even easier to enjoy nata.
O Pão Quente d’ Avenida
244 Kearny Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032
Kearny is the place to find beautiful baked goods made in the traditional Portuguese style. O Pão Quente d’ Avenida is a local favorite known for its fresh-squeezed juices, Portuguese-style wheat bread with chorizo, and, of course, nata custard cups. While you can find these tasty items year round, come the holidays, keep your eyes open for the Bolo Rei (King’s Cake). This round fruit cake with a hole in the middle is a Christmas staple in every Portuguese household. It’s made with sweet dough, citrus zest, and is covered with loads of dried and crystalized fruit. The best part? It travels well, so it would be a great option to bring on a road trip or even a plane ride when visiting family.
La Gran Via
135 48th St, Union City, NJ 07087
This unassuming Cuban bakery in Union City has been serving up Cuban pastries and custom cakes with personalized designs since 1981. In addition to serving Cuban staples like croquetas, the fried ham and breadcrumb snack found in virtually every restaurant and snack bar in Cuba, La Gran Via offers one of the largest selections of Cuban baked goods anywhere in New Jersey. Choose from cakes and cookies, pies and pastries, and freshly-baked bread and delicious café con leche to wash it all down with.
7700 Bergenline Ave, North Bergen, NJ 07047
Formerly known as Sweets & Cortaditos, this rebranded Cuban coffee shop and bakery is back and better than ever. While you’ll find savory menu items like traditional ropa vieja, croquetas, and empanadas (note that the bakery now prepares them baked, not fried), you’ll also find must-try sweets like mini glazed cakes, guava and cheese pastries, flan, and tiramisu (which, yes, is very popular in Cuba).
Las Cubanitas Bake Shop
3704 Bergenline Ave, Union City, NJ 07087
Known as “Havana on the Hudson”, this Union City bakery is known for all things Cuban, from pasteles de guayaba (guava pastries) and empanadas to the soft, squishy, pillowy white bread that is used to make sandwiches, but is equally delicious tearing apart and eating on its own. While you can get popular Cuban treats like flan and tres leches cake any time of year, come the holidays, consider putting in a special order for a family-size version so nobody has to fight over the last piece.
201 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
371 4th St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
150 Bay St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
296 Palisade Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307
This small chain of Italian bakeries specializes in traditional antique recipes of Tuscan classics, like the almond biscuits from the city of Prato, for which the bakery takes its name. Better known as biscotti (and also known as cantucci), these sweet, slender Tuscan classics are perfect any time of year and make a great addition to any holiday spread. All baked goods are handmade on the premises daily, so they’re delicious fresh, but you can also buy them pre-packed or even have them shipped directly across the country. In addition to the traditional almond cantucci/biscotti that most people are familiar with, Prato also makes fig, chocolate, apricot, and prune flavors. Mix, match, and try them all.
95 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Though this bakery and its famous “Cake Boss” owner, Buddy Valastro, have become nationally-recognized names, and the shop now ships its famed cookies, cakes, cannolis, and pastries across the country, Carlos Bake Shop has actually been serving sweets to Hoboken since 1910. While just about anything on their menu would be a delicious addition to your holiday party, their red and green butter cookie tray just screams Christmas. You can also use their cake builder tool to create a custom cake that is enticing, elaborate, and exactly what you want it to be, with your choice of cake flavor, filling, and frostings.
Dulce De Leche
376 Central Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07037
6510 Bergenline Ave, West New York, NJ 07093
7001 Adams St #1805, Guttenberg, NJ 07093
Since 2007, this Argentine bakery has been pleasing the masses with their extravagant cakes, savory croissants and empanadas, and irresistible selection of mini pastries. Choose from mini fruit cups, brownies, coffee cups, and tarts that are colorful, craveable, and the perfect way to liven up your holiday gathering. Don’t forget to try the iconic Argentine alfajores cookies, which are traditionally made with honey and nuts, though you can also find a chocolate-covered version here.
Choc O Pain
330-332 Palisade Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307
530 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07307
157 1st St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
1500 Hudson Street, Tea Building, Hoboken, NJ 07030
244 St Pauls Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
When locals think of French bakeries, three words come to mind. Choc. O. Pain. This authentic French bakery began in 2012 with a single location and has since spread into a small mini-chain of bakeries crafting traditional French baguettes, delicate croissants, and a wide variety of pastries for people with different allergies and dietary needs. The traditional chocopain that the shop is named after is what the French call a pain au chocolat (essentially, chocolate bread), which is a flaky, multi-layered buttery pastry filled with chocolate. The sweet treat is also offered with almonds or as a vegan version. Considering Choc O Pain also prepares flourless chocolate cake, gluten-free tea cakes, and vegan croissants, it’s a great place to pick up a large box of varied baked goods to bring to a large family gathering.
Philippine Bread House
530 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
No list of Hudson County bakeries would be complete without the venerable Philippine Bread House. For over three decades, this Jersey City staple has been baking delicious desserts, including beautiful breads, perfect pastries, and custom cakes. While you’ll find a few international items like German chocolate cake, along with “Philippine versions” of French brioche (the ensaymada regular) and American pound cake (the taisan mini), the restaurant’s focus is decidedly on Filipino desserts. Think cassava bibingka cake, pandan cake (colored and flavored with the iconic green pandan leaf), and purple yam ube cake. And, of course, no meal is complete without the sweet shredded coconut rolls known as pan de coco (coconut bread), which go great with a meal or on their own. For the best selection of baked goods, arrive early in the day!