5 Best Bakeries

Bakeries of Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, and Norfolk

Sugar Plum BakerySugar Plum Bakery
1353 Laskin Rd., Virginia Beach
7 a.m.–6 p.m.,
Saturdays 7 a.m.–5 p.m.

Why we like it: From the moment you enter this sweetly intoxicating place, prepare to be overwhelmed by an incomparable selection of cookies, donuts, cupcakes, muffins and cakes plus a great varietyof breads ranging from classic Italian or sourdough to olive bread with kalamata olives and rye. The quality of each flaky pastry, crumbly pie and out-of-this-world cream horn will guarantee a return visit ... probably the next day ... as soon as they open. The coolest part is that they serve the needs of people with disabilities—even more of a reason to visit.

Artisans Bakery And CafeArtisans Bakery & Café
711 Washington St., Portsmouth
11 a.m.–3 p.m.,
Friday–Sunday 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Why we like it: Located on the first floor of a Queen Anne Victorian, this is the ideal place to come on a quiet afternoon when you feel like escaping to Europe for the day. Choose from unique selections such as financiers, limoncello square tarts and hamentashen (shortbread-like pastries filled with fruit preserves). Prefer savory over sweet? Handcrafted breads are baked on the premises and used as the binders for gourmet sandwiches.

201 College Pl., Norfolk
9 a.m.–6 p.m.,
Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Why we like it: You’ll be sold from the first whiff of exhilarating chocolate in the air, but when you actually taste these cocoa confections ... wow. Take, for example, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bombe—rich, fluffy peanut butter mousse atop a chocolate brownie bottom, encased in decadent chocolate ganache and dotted with gold sprinkles. Aside from the sinfully satisfying desserts, we love the friendly, personalized demeanor of mother and daughter owners Pat Marshall and Lee Anne Horan, who know most customers by name but still treat first-timers like family.