You may not have heard about Panaderia Vera’s on Davis Street, just two blocks away from upscale Set & Co. and Joy Macarons. But those with an early shift at Davis Street Coffee know that sometimes you want a cortado and house yogurt and granola, but sometimes—6 a.m., when the morning is cold and the world is not feeling quite awake—you want the gaiety of purple, blue, and yellow oilcloth on tables and the smell of freshly baked pastries wafting from a kitchen that feels as though it’s been humming since long before you were awake. Vera’s is the right place—humble, family-run, perfect.
A jovial fake parrot is perched above the tongs that hang from a beam in the center of the cramped, cheerful room. Below are the trays you’ll use to pile treats from the cabinets and standing racks that line one wall. Against the other wall are gallon jugs of milk behind the sliding doors of the fridge; coffee, powdered creamer, and sugar; and watermelons.
The first time I heard of Vera’s it was by word of mouth. Then I saw a young woman staggering out of an unremarkable store front under the weight of a large cake. I was struck by the way she echoed the illustration painted on the window: an elaborate, four-tiered wedding cake, three or four times life size. Ah, this was finally Vera’s—Pasteles Para Todas Occasion.
A note to the beleaguered: if the brightly colored cookies don’t brighten your day, the pineapple jam stuffed into crimped pastries and spread between fluffy scone-like cookies infallibly will. And the pan dulce is very good with milk.