Life is short; time spent on vacations is even shorter.
So it’s okay to indulge while on a getaway; in fact, it’s encouraged and expected.
Luckily, the South is home to local bakeries and sweet shops, ready to satisfy every sweet craving you might experience while on the road. Here are five such places to whet your appetite.
And remember, calories don’t count when you are away from home having fun ~ so treat yo’ self.
Emporium Pies, with three locations in Dallas, Texas, understands sometimes only a slice of pie will satisfy your cravings. Their menu follows the seasons, so there is always something new to taste and enjoy.
Select among Nannerz, featuring bananas and house-made vanilla custard or Smooth Operator with French silk chocolate. And for those following a gluten-free diet, rejoice because Smooth Operator is available gluten-free as well.
And if one slice wasn’t enough, no worries, because whole pies can be purchased, too.
Perhaps best known for their King Cakes and Cajun Kringles®, Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans, Louisiana, offers a wide variety of items for those visiting the Crescent City and in need of a sweet fix.
Check out their Cajunollis®, complete with a sweet praline cream cheese or their hand-held pies; both can easily be consumed while on the go. Don’t overlook the petits fours or other pastries that make for a great snack or dessert now or later.
If you think all donuts are the same, you haven’t had one from Tatonut Donut Shop in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
What differentiates these donuts from others is the family recipe. Tatonut Donut Shop uses potato flour, giving the sweet treats their uniqueness.
Donut options range from glazed to sprinkle to cake and more. There are pastries, such as the “Persian,” which is Tatonut’s spin on a cinnamon bun.
And you know what pairs well with donuts or pastries? Coffee, of course! Don’t forget to get a cup of joe or a specialty coffee drink.
Word to newbies, be sure to arrive early or call ahead so you can get your order in before they are gone.
The small-batch bakery, Sugaree’s Bakery in New Albany, Mississippi, produces plenty of "big" taste with their Southern layer cakes. Buy a slice or two to sample, or if you want to go all in - an entire cake. And the best part is, if you crave it weeks later, you can always order one online.
Don’t forget to check out the bakery’s other treats like brownies, cookies and pies. With all of Sugaree’s tasty options, it’s impossible to walk out empty-handed.
With three Mobile, Alabama locations, Pollman’s Bake Shops is a must-visit for something sweet.
Whether it’s cookies, cupcakes or another type of sweet, they probably have it. And you can rest assured it’s going to hit the spot.
If you are in Mobile for a special occasion, consider preordering a cake or pie for your celebration; and of course, if it’s Mardi Gras season, you have to try their King Cake, or other Mardi Gras-themed treat.
You can never go wrong with chocolate, especially chocolate from Hot Chocolatier in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Indulge in everything from truffles to bonbons and more. It’s impossible to say no to such flavors as dark chocolate Earl Grey, milk chocolate cappuccino or white chocolate lavender vanilla.
And if that isn’t enough, there’s Hot Chocolatier’s “Squirrels,” their take on a Turtle, like the Milk Chocolate Pecan Squirrel; seasonal cakes, such as S’mores Chocolate Cake; and sipping chocolates.
Silke’s Old World Breads in Clarksville, Tennessee, is a gem of a place. Besides their various loaves of bread baked from scratch, you’ll discover German and European-style sweets of all kinds.
Pastries, cakes and other delectable goodies make up their bakery selection. Whether you follow a gluten-free diet, a vegan, or can eat anything, you can find a treat or two suitable for your taste.
Home of the season six winners of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, The Sweet Shoppe of the South in Blue Ridge, Georgia is the place to tantalize your taste buds with creative and tasty cupcakes.
Even if they aren’t your favorite type of sweets, it’s still worth stopping in to see the various flavors. You’ll find other treats, such as chocolate-covered strawberries. You won’t be disappointed in anything from The Sweet Shoppe of the South.
La Segunda Central Bakery in Ybor City, Florida, may be known for its Cuban bread, but the bakery also “dishes” up some mouth-watering treats.
Ponder over important questions such as guava turnover or flan cup; or an apple square or a walnut brownie? Just say “yes” to all. The truth is, you can’t go wrong with anything from this bakery.
If you require a sweet fix when you’re in Boone, North Carolina, head to Stick Boy Bread Company and straight to the pastries.
Indulge in a sticky bun, cinnamon roll or muffin. If you can’t decide or want more to enjoy, Stick Boy has cookies and scones, too. For something different, check out their smoothies. Satisfy your sweet tooth with either a chocolate-covered strawberry or peaches and cream mix.
Yes, BKeDSHoP in Charleston, South Carolina, has a drool-worthy line-up of yeast donuts. Lemon Blueberry Waffle? Yes! Chocolate Sea Salt? Of course! They also offer vegan donut options, like CinnamonBun and CanelaCoco, among others.
However, if you aren’t in the mood for donuts (it happens sometimes), consider their homemade pop tarts or ho hos, sure to bring a smile to your face and your stomach.
Please and Thank You (PTY), with three locations in Louisville, Kentucky, is known for their chocolate chip cookies. You can buy a single cookie, a half dozen or a dozen. For the ultimate experience, pair your order with a hot coffee drink or hot tea.
They even sell their cookie mix for you to recreate them at home. However, if you rather have them do the baking, join the PTY’s cookie club.
From jelly-filled to sprinkles, doughnuts are the specialty of Blackbird Bakery in Bristol, Virginia. Order one, two or a dozen; try different flavors or stick with your usual. Whichever way you choose, you won’t regret it.
But wait, there’s more.
Blackbird Bakery is one of those places where nearly every type of sweet lover will find something for them. Not only do they have brownies, truffles, fritters and more, but also eight flavors of ice cream.
If you walk out empty-handed, you weren’t craving anything in the first place.
photos, personal collection