Great Bakes: Pastry

Flaky and fancy or just sweet and simple, Indy is filled with clutch confectionaries. Check out our list of some of the best shops around town to grab a fresh-baked pastry.

Circle City Sweets

Cindy Hawkins has been baking for more than 20 years, opening Circle City Sweets to Indianapolis customers 18 years ago. It’s no surprise the little pastry shop sells out every day. Hawkins’ pastries are perfection. It’s been said that if you don’t arrive when their pastry stand in The Amp opens, you might not get what you came for—especially the prized almond croissant. This twice-baked, crispy, marzipan-filled delicacy is worth the early morning wake-up call, as are a baker’s dozen of Circle City Sweets macarons, muffins, and, Cindy’s favorite, canelé—a small French pastry flavored with rum and vanilla, with a creamy custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust. 1220 Waterway Blvd., 317-632-3644

Le Petit Gateau

You’d imagine someone with dozens of state fair blue ribbons for pastries might look a little like your grandma or your great-aunt, but 44-year-old Chris Holland is far from a sweet old granny making pies for the fair. This self-taught hobbyist baker decided after winning yet another competition that starting a business may actually be a good career move—one that would allow him to do what he loves every day instead of just in his spare time. Holland enrolled in culinary school, and the rest is history. Le Petit Gateau opened in Carmel in November of 2023, a hard-earned dream realized, serving up fresh-baked French pastries, filled croissants, desserts, scones, and specialty cakes. 525 N. End Dr., Carmel, 317-408-5500

Mamá Inés Mexican Bakery

Colorful conchas, danishes, meringues, and more line self-serve shelves that stretch down both sides of the shop. If you come early, you can grab warm cinnamon rolls, croissants, and festive fruit- and nut–filled strudel. Friendly staff offer help if needed, but you are otherwise on your own to select a sweet confection with trusty tongs and a silver pan in hand. With three locations from Lafayette to Indy’s west side, Mamá Inés has been a pastry-lover’s paradise for more than 22 years. Rosa Gaeta opened her first location in Lafayette almost 10 years after relocating from Mexico in 1990—when she discovered there was nowhere close to buy the Mexican pastries and breads she so loved. She decided she would have to make them herself. All these years later, the legendary bakery named after her mother Inés is where she and her daughters continue to put out delicious, sweet delicacies every day. 2001 W. Washington St., 317-955-7399; 3822 Georgetown Rd., 317-744-8111; 518 Sagamore Pkwy N., Lafayette, 765-446-2629

Rene’s Bakery

If you meander through the tiny little back streets of Broad Ripple Village, you’ll find the hidden gem that is Rene’s Bakery. Owner and pastry chef Albert Rene Trevino arrives before dawn and doesn’t leave until after the sun has been down for quite a while. That’s the dedication that Rene has for his craft. Rolling out hundreds and hundreds of croissants weekly—by hand, no less—he and his staff provide not only flaky, soft laminated pastries, cookies, cakes, tarts, macarons, and scones, but also a wide variety of European artisan breads, including brioche in varying sizes, challah, focaccia, baguettes, and an outstanding multigrain loaf. I recommend getting to the quaint little pastry shop early if you want to guarantee finding the items you are looking for, because they go fast. 6524 N. Cornell Ave., 317-251-2253