Old Town Bakery

Worth a detour

Opened in May 2010 by Niall Bowen and his wife, Elzbieta Krysztofiak, Old Town Bakery is a local Key West favorite for pastries, pie, bread, sandwiches, coffee, and cheese. Bowen has been baking for over 25 years, and Krysztofiak is responsible for the cozy feel of the place. Dade County pine walls and exposed beams surround the small space, which can comfortably hold about five hungry guests, standing.

The front case displays croissant, muffins, scones, palmiers, sticky buns, and lemon honey pound cake. There’s also a section with cheeses, making Old Town a great spot to stop in before a picnic or a day on the water.

We’re helped by a bright and kind young lady who shares her favorites and is patient as we soak in the array of choices. It’s just before 11, which means we can still get a breakfast sandwich. Served on brioche, the sandwich is simple and good, the bacon chewy and greasy, the tomato a nice touch. The brioche is sweet and airy.

The gal’s top recommendation is tomato soup. Soup at a bakery / cheese shop? Yes, because an entire wheel of brie is melted right into it. Though you can’t see it, the cheese makes the soup rich and creamy. It is well-suited to a blustery Key West day.

A pumpkin cream cheese muffin is top-heavy, as all muffins should be. It has the texture of banana bread and the spice of gingerbread. A dollop of cream cheese has a frosting-like effect; I wish there was more of it. We also get a slice of pumpkin bread, which tastes like the same recipe and is equally as delicious.

Next, croissants. A ham and cheese has a cheesy crust and crunchy outsides; the inside could use a touch more ham. It’s beautifully layered and buttery. An apricot croissant has a gorgeous glaze and not-too-sweet apricot jam inside. It’s a bit salty, and its layers are even softer and more buttery.

The beautiful palmier is sweet, crunchy, and flaky. The peach cobbler Danish is  a mix of oatmeal-based topping on top of sliced sweet peaches with a cheesy center. There’s also a blueberry scone that’s very light on sugar and tastes like it’s made with whole wheat flour.

Finally, we get a slice of the key lime pie we’ve heard so much about. The filling is piquant, the whipped cream on team surprisingly unsweet. The moist crust is filled with layers of unexpected spice (rosemary?). It’s not the usual formula, but it is made with good ingredients and great care.

There’s no place to sit at Old Town. In late December, most customers are placing Christmas orders for pies, Valrhona chocolate walnut tarts, rum cakes, gingerbread, and brandy crumb cake with cherries and apples. The fresh bread that comes with the soup is a good indication that plenty of loaves will also be taken home for morning toast and sandwiches.

We take our haul to enjoy overlooking the beautiful Key West water. Not a bad way to start the day.

What to Eat
Old Town Bakery, Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie
A heavily-spiced crust and tart custard make the key lime pie a stand-out.
Old Town Bakery, Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffin
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffin
The pumpkin spice muffin has a dollop of baked cream cheese.
Old Town Bakery, Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Bread
The thick slice of pumpkin bread is spicy and moist.
Old Town Bakery, Ham and Cheese Croissant
Ham and Cheese Croissant
A deliciously crunchy ham and cheese croissant.
Old Town Bakery, Apricot Croissant
Apricot Croissant
The glistening apricot croissant has paper-thin layers inside.
Old Town Bakery, Peach Cobbler Danish
Peach Cobbler Danish
An oatmeal topping sits on sliced sweet peaches and a cheese danish.
Old Town Bakery, Tomato Soup
Tomato Soup
A whole wheel of brie is melted into the tomato soup.
Old Town Bakery, Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast Sandwich
A light brioche bread with cheddar, tomato, chewy bacon, and eggs.
Old Town Bakery, Blueberry Scone
Blueberry Scone
The blueberry-dotted scone is not too sweet.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday7am - 3pm
Monday7am - 3pm
Tuesday7am - 3pm
Wednesday7am - 3pm
Thursday7am - 3pm
Friday7am - 3pm
Saturday7am - 3pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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