Perfect to pair with a cup of coffee in the morning or as the centerpiece for afternoon tea, scones have the unique distinction of being both comforting and nostalgic. LA’s favorite bakers mix up both traditional and innovative recipes. At Proof and Clementine, the classic currant scones make an appearance, while at Short Cake the scone flavors are as diverse as the eclectic Farmers Market. At Hart & the Hunter, current offering are filled with candied kumquats or fresh strawberries. A few bakeries offer up phenomenal cups of coffee to pair with their scones. The next time you are jonesing for a scone, these Los Angeles bakeries and restaurants offer the best in town.
6333 West 3rd Street Stall #316
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hourie Sahakian makes several scones at Short Cake, with her signature Sesame Date being the star of the show. Tahini and fresh dates are added to the tender dough to make the nuttiness of the sesame and the sweetness of the dates transform into one stellar scone. Sahakian also bakes up a more classic Buttermilk with Dried Blueberries, an adventurous Curry Raisin, and some childhood memories in a Campfire scone with all of the elements of a s’more. For a savory option, try the Feta Scallion scone too. Check out the whole bakery case for crispy croissants, fruit pies, cookies and more. Don’t miss ordering a coffee of espresso drink from their coffee bar Single Origin for coffee and espresso made with Verve and Handsome coffee beans and house made ingredients like salted caramel and chocolate ganache for lattes.
143 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
James Beard-nominated pastry chef Karen Hatfield fills the rustic bakery case at Sycamore Kitchen with some of the best pastries in LA or anywhere. Her Oatmeal Brown Butter scone stands out as one of the stars on the menu. “We wanted to do a whole grain scone and started playing around from different recipes,” shares Hatfield. “This one has oats, a little wheat germ, ground coconut, that set the texture and consistency apart for normal scones. It is surprisingly tender despite all of the different grains, partly due to the fact that it has eggs in it, which most don’t.” Brown butter is very widely used throughout menus at both Sycamore Kitchen at Hatfield’s. Their first company was even called Brown Butter. Go for the scone, stay for breakfast or lunch and enjoy the sunny Sycamore Kitchen patio.
Clementine Beverly Hills
9346 Civic Center Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The new Clementine location in Beverly Hills means there is one more place to get your hands on their delicious baked goods. Their flavorful Apricot Ginger scone is always on the menu. Other scone flavors include Cranberry Semolina, Chocolate Pear, Strawberry, and a gluten-free Pecan scone. Clementine also offers bake-at-home scones, sold frozen in a mini size by the half. For afternoon tea every Thursday, they serve a selection of loose-leaf teas, an assortment of tea sandwiches, warmed currant scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, and petit pastries. Reservations are required.
3156 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Head up to Atwater Village for the hand-made small batch bakery creations of Na Young Ma. Her classic, not-too-sweet Currant scone with hints of citrus zest hits the spot. Proof is also known for plain, chocolate, almond and ham and cheese croissants as well as quiche cookies, cakes and tarts. Don’t miss the black sesame financier and the sandwiches at lunch plus the added bonus of coffees made by Cognoscenti Coffee, one of the best coffee bars in LA. Every morning Proof is filled with customers from the neighborhood and fans who travel far and wide to satisfy their pastry cravings.
The Hart & The Hunter at the Palihotel
7950 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
At The Hart & The Hunter at the Palihotel, current seasonal offerings include a Kumquat scone and a luscious Strawberry one, with more seasonal offering on the way made by in-house pastry chef Sarah Lange. This is also the place to get a perfectly crafted and ultra pretty cappuccino by latte art expert Nicely Abel made with Handsome Coffee to sip while you dig into one of Lange’s scones. The Hart & The Hunter’s inviting dining area is filled with images of woodland creatures and makes for a great place to enjoy a light breakfast or a heartier one courtesy of the Eggslut truck Monday through Friday, parked outside to make eggs for hotel guests and visitors. Though still relatively new The Hart & The Hunter has become known for their biscuits with house-made jam and pimento cheese, hearty salads, and a dinner menu with modern versions of southern classics. Don’t miss Lange’s refreshing lemon ice box pie too.
Sugarbird’s Kei Okumura studied pastry in Paris and makes some of the best scones in town. Okumura fills her table with more than a dozen scone flavors every Sunday morning at the Larchmont Farmers Market. Stand by her market booth for a few minutes and quickly you will notice many regulars stopping by for their favorite Green Tea with white chocolate chip scone. Taste it once and be ready to wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about another one. Sugarbird scones can also be found at the South Pasadena Farmers Market on Thursdays and the Larchmont Farmers Market on Sundays, and their sweets or teas at these locations.
Julie Wolfson (@juliewolfson) is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers travel, lifestyle, art, pop culture, cocktails and food for Cool Hunting and several other media outlets. Most days you’ll find her out and about in Southern California and around the world tracking down stories about talented people doing amazing things.