By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 31, 2020 at 9:02 AM Photography: Sarah Laux

We’re lucky in Milwaukee, because we have an array of bakeries that keep life here sweet.

Miller supplies restaurants with its amazing pretzels, Eat Cake makes great cakes and Troubadour brings yummy treats to all the Colectivo locations. There are also ethnic bakeries and neighborhood places that dish up deliciousness all around town.

Here is a list of 8 of my favorites, in no particular order. These, of course, are not the only Milwaukee-area bakeries.

1. Amaranth

3329 W. Lisbon Ave., (414) 934-0587

In addition to bringing a little life to a strip that could use a boost, Amaranth also makes some of the crustiest, airiest, most delectable bread in the city.

2. Grebe's

(PHOTO: Grebe's)

5132 W. Lincoln Ave., West Allis, (414) 543-7000

There are so many reasons to love Grebe's, which has been around since 1937, from the bread to the cakes and other sweers. But the reason I love Grebe's is the crullers and especially the cruller bites that give you more crunchy surface area than any other cruller in the world that I've tasted. The ones dipped in chocolate up the ante and they even do apple ones, too.

3. Cranky Al's

(PHOTO: Cranky Al's)

6901 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 258-5282

Located just across the street from Rocket Baby in East Tosa, Cranky Al's is the Milwaukee area's go-to donut headquarters, with a wide variety of flavors and styles, including a great apple fritter and a Nutella-filed. Some mornings the line is out the door.

4. National Bakery

3200 S. 16th St., (414) 672-1620
5637 Broad St., Greendale, (414) 423-4620
13820 W. Greenfield Ave., Brookfield, (262) 827-4097

Generations of South Siders have flocked to National each weekend for ham and rolls. Your grandma bought rolls here and so should you. And, when you can, grab a paczki (or three) and skip the pecan fingers at your own risk.

5. Rocket Baby

6822 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 502-7323

Come for the bread – like the crusty, yet light as air, pan de mie, or a honkin’ big, rustic country miche sourdough – and stay for the house-made brioche, pop tarts, multi-hued macarons or insanely good chocolate croissants.

6. Sciortino's

1101 E. Brady St., (414) 272-4623

A chocolate walnut cookie encased in sugar? That’s a tutu and it’s best sampled at Sciortino’s where Italian cookies abound. Stepping in here transports me to my childhood, and the sweet treats my grandmother – who worked in an Italian bakery – brought home to us after work. I’ll take a pound of tutu and a pound of the chocolate cookies with a whole hazelnut on top.

7. Miss Molly's Cafe & Pastry Shop

(PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

9201 W. Center St., Wauwatosa, (414) 249-5665

This spot on 92nd and Center has been searching for the perfect match of a tenant and if you ask me, Molly Sullivan is just that. A warm and welcoming spot for a coffee, the real treats here are the cakes, pies and pastry.

8. Simma's

Simma's Bakery cakesX

(PHOTO: Simma's Facebook)

817 N. 68th St., Wauwatosa, (414) 257-0998

Cakes, cakes and more cakes! There are conventional cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes ... plus, all kinds of other delectable goodies (including hot cocoa bombs, which are all the rage, and incredible eclairs) at this family owned bakery.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.