Visitors to the Monterey Peninsula can’t help but notice that the area is blessed with an extremely high number of fine bakeries.

In the words of one Yelper: “Okay, teeny, tiny Monterey has at LEAST four fabulous bakeries. How come in Newport Beach we have zero???”

We don’t know why, and we’re certainly not about to question our good fortune. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Parker-Lusseau Pastries • 539 Hartnell, Monterey

This weathered white adobe with a petite porch looks as if it were transported from another era… and the savories, croissants, and pastries are as delectable as any you will find in the finest Parisian patisserie.

Paris Bakery Cafe • 271 Bonifacio, Monterey

A downtown tradition, the almond croissants (especially if you’re lucky to get one warm from the oven) are to die for. But you will have a mighty difficult time stopping there when faced with an extensive display of pastries pretty enough to paint.

Pavel’s Backerei • 219 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove

Pavel’s is yummy and reasonable – check out the Texas-sized glazed donuts for only $2.50. (And oh, those apple fritters and the gigantic cinnamon rolls… and don’t get me started on the bombolinis!)

Patisserie Bechler • 1225 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove

You’ll swoon from the sugary aroma when you walk in the door. Locals rave about the quiches and the French macarons (colorful little bites of heaven in flavors like caramel sea salt and pistachio). And the adjoining cafe is a good spot for breakfast or lunch.

Pastries and Petals • Mission & 5th Ave., Carmel

Hard to find but definitely worth the search. Surrender to their scrumptious cheesecake and red velvet cupcakes, lemony treats, breakfast muffins and warm cinnamon pull-aparts… accompanied by a delicious latte or cafe mocha, of course.

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