3 Wisconsin bakeries named among America’s best

Credit: Bea's Ho-Made, Door County

By Christina Lorey

December 1, 2023

Whether you’re looking for the perfect dessert to bring to a holiday party or the perfect cookies to put out for Santa on Christmas Eve, it’s the season of sweets and what better way to celebrate than at one of the state’s best bakeries. Three independently-owned Wisconsin sweet shops made Food & Wine magazine’s “100 Best Bakeries in America” list. Editors focused on newer bakeries that specialize in unique, and regional treats.

Here are the local shops that made the list and why:

Bea’s Ho-Made in Ellison Bay

“You will come to the beautiful Door Peninsula, and then you will keep driving and driving and driving, through some of the Midwest’s best-loved countryside. And then, finally, after all the other cherry pie come-ons, you will find yourself at the humble home of one of the very best in the state, the one with the lardy crust. Bea’s Ho-Made has been an essential part of the Door County experience for roughly half a century.”

Bendtsen’s in Racine

“The Danish Kringle is a Wisconsin thing more than a Denmark thing (sorry to Denmark, honestly). Butter-rich and filled with everything from almond to cherry to pecan, these wax paper-wrapped rings are a common sight on kitchen tables throughout the region. This standout source has been at it since the 1930s.”

DEEP DIVE: The Story Behind Wisconsin’s State Pastry, the Kringle

Origin Breads in Madison

“Sourdough loaves made with organic Wisconsin grains have made Kirk Smock something of a star in the state’s highly food-literate capital city; after a couple of years on the farmer’s market circuit, the bakery finally has a retail space of its very own.”

MORE: Wisconsin’s best bakery you’ve (probably) never heard of


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.



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