From 2014-2017, The Well-Bred Baker has been named “Best of Western North Carolina” in the annual Mountain Xpress Contest. As far as we’re concerned, it’s always a good sign when we can’t decide whether it’s the food or service that pushes our rating to 5.
The first thing you will notice at The Well-Bred Bakery & Café in Biltmore Village is how helpful the staff is. If you’ve never been here before, the menu can be a bit intimidating. After all, how often have you had dozens of delectable pastries to choose from? It becomes a question of which one you want to try first, and frankly, that can be confusing.
Now might be a good time for an admission. Visiting The Well-Bred Bakery with friends is fun because we can all order different things and share. That said, we are not above going it alone. Whether it’s stopping by for a cup of coffee and a muffin or picking up lunch, this is the kind of café that keeps you coming back for more.
Because it’s in Biltmore Village, there’s a sense of being somewhere special. A gated brick walkway leads to the front door, covered with a maroon awning. Inside you’ll find hardwood floors, a brick fireplace, and shabby chic art. The glass cabinets near the coffee machines is where all the action is, though.
Although the signs on the wall will help you find your bearings in terms of categories of food and drink available, expect to spend time perusing the sheer volume of options behind that glass case.
We’ve broken our favorites down into categories because…well, it’s darn near impossible to narrow it down any further:
Our absolute favorite is Jamaican Me Crazy. Blended in the tradition of Italian caffedolce (sweet coffee), we tasted notes of both vanilla and caramel. It’s a little like dessert in a cup.
This is no ordinary Cream Cheese & Fruit Danish. Inside folded, flaky pastry is layers of cream cheese and whatever the fruit if the day is. You’ll want to eat it slowly because each taste is a bit like heaven.
Lunch or Brunch
This category is particularly difficult to rank because there are so many different options. The Quiche is dependably flaky and savory, the Casserole-Style French Toast is decadent and delicious, and the sandwiches each represent a classic – with a twist. One of the most memorable is the Curry Chicken Salad on Croissant. Rather than using a spicy curry, The Well-Bred Bakery uses a sweet curry and adds lettuce, tomatoes, raisins, and almonds. It’s as much an experience as a meal.
Yes, there are both breakfast pastries and fine pastries, and therein lies the thrill of this café. Although we admit that our favorite could change from visit to visit, our choice on this day was the Ginger Florentine, a delicate lace cookie infused with almonds, candied ginger, and drizzled with dark chocolate.
Famous for their cakes, we can’t get over two of The Well-Bred Bakery’s gluten free options. The first is Lemon Roulade, a flourless sponge cake with a layer of lemon-flavored whipped cream and topped with poppy seeds. The other is their Espresso Roulade, also flourless, but with a layer of ganache and espresso-flavored whipped cream. Who knew cake without gluten could taste so good?
This is the type of café you’ll want to visit more than once, mostly because you’re going to want to try something new each time.
-The Well-Bred Bakery is dog friendly, so feel free to bring your leashed pup onto the lovely courtyard.
-Due to its popularity, it can be a bit of a challenge to find a parking spot. Stick with it though. The food is worth the wait.
-There are gluten-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. There are also options for vegans and those with a nut or dairy allergies.