Food Trends: Fresh Out of the Oven with Bakeries in O.C.

New bakeries are on the rise right here in Orange County. Here are a few of our favorites serving up breads and more.
FKN Bread San Juan Capistrano
FKN Bread.

Photo courtesy Benjamin Epstein.

FKN BREAD is named for the young sons of owners Dave and Bree VandenBerg: Finn, Kane, and Nash. Dave was born in San Juan Capistrano and raised in the house where FKN Bread was created. Consider the jalapeno-cheddar sourdough loaf and sourdough cinnamon bun. The baklava croissant and sea-salt peanut-butter dark-chocolate cookies are worthwhile ventures, too. Merchandise featuring the bakery’s acronym is a top-seller. 31760 CAMINO CAPISTRANO, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, FKNBREAD.COM

The county’s first kosher-certified and nondairy bakery, THE BLESSED BRAID presents Jewish baked goods including five kinds of the braided egg bread challah, such as poppy seed and marble chip. Other offerings include Ukrainian kamishbroyt with cherries and raisins; airy, sugary kichel; and onion-and poppy-topped bialies. Owner Cheryl Honig also makes pecan drops, Belgian street waffles, and butterscotch haystacks. All are displayed under cloches amid colors of the Israeli flag. 16277 LAGUNA CANYON ROAD, IRVINE, 714-587-2850

With SCRATCH BAKERY CAFÉ steps from Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island
is now bookended with bakeries. Choices at Scratch include sweet and savory croissants, fancily topped éclairs, and English muffins that aren’t flat like store-bought. Marble is practically a theme: There’s a hazelnut ganache marble cake, a marble rye loaf, and three kinds of hot pastrami sandwiches on grilled marble rye. A neon “love at first bite” sign on a wall of black crepe roses sets the vibe. 561 NEWPORT CENTER DRIVE, NEWPORT BEACH, 949-524-8200

Founded in Japan but based in Taiwan since 1986, SUNMERRY BAKERY applies Japanese technique to Taiwanese pastries and desserts. In California, the chain has absorbed locations of Happy Lemon, serving its salted-cheese teas alongside Sunmerry’s prepackaged green tea croissants, egg sandwiches, barbecued pork bolos, and gigantic puffy walnut cookies. Sunmerry’s no-frills second O.C. location replaces a grass jelly dessert shop but offers those teas, too. 13908 BROOKHURST ST., GARDEN GROVE, 714-462-6888

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