It’s a brick oven that matters at the Village Bakery. From it emerge artisan bread loaves, muffins, Danishes, scones, sweet and savory croissants, and thin-crust pizzas.
Nothing is less than excellent in this earnest shop: fruit in Danishes is intensely fruity; croissants are unimaginably flaky; sandwiches on house-baked bread are cleverly conceived and generously executed. The pizza menu includes all the usual toppings, plus pies made with rosemary-infused potatoes, butternut squash, wild mushrooms, and spinach with feta cheese. Sticky buns are butter-rich and crowded with big chunks of nut. Biscotti are too hard to eat as-is but a long dunk in coffee makes them downright wonderful. Scones come sweet or savory; and some of the sweet ones sport veins of flavor laced throughout the dough.
Beyond an inviting menu for eating on-premises, there’s a whole roster of brick oven bread loaves that demand attention. Sourdough, ciabatta, focaccia, and 9-grain breads are available every day and whole-wheat sourdough is baked every day but Sunday. Single-day specials include raisin-pecan bread Friday, Jewish rye Wednesday, and whole wheat walnut Saturday.
Eating at the Village Bakery is very pleasant. There are cozy indoor seats, but the best place to be is out on a broad, open-air patio where a canopy of trees dapples tables with Blue Ridge Mountain sunlight.