When Duke Bakery opened a location earlier this month at the Americana at Brand, it meant folks in Glendale had a place to pick up baked goods with Asian flavors. It also marked the third U.S. location for the Singapore-based chain — and the first outside the San Gabriel Valley.
The chain was founded by Taiwanese-born and European-trained pastry chef Allen Tsai, who opened its first location in October 2013. It has grown to 25 stores in the relatively short time since. The first U.S. store opened in Rowland Heights in March of last year, followed by outposts in Arcadia, Orange County, Pasadena and Glendale.
Duke offers artisanal bread that combines European and Japanese styles and techniques. Among the flavors of breads you’ll find on the shelves: lychee, taro, black sesame, red bean and Chinese wolfberry (also known as goji). The Fruit King is made with the notoriously stinky durian fruit. You’ll also find plenty of savory breads, from garlic breads (one of which features tuna) and cheese breads to a pizza onion toast. Plenty of the breads have walnuts and many use fermented fruit-based yeasts. Oh, and there are plenty with chocolate as well. As is the case with most Asian sweets, most of the sweet breads are mildly sweet instead of overpoweringly so.
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Duke's opening brings even more diversity to Rick Caruso’s Americana, which is home to a branch of the incredibly popular xiao long bao specialist Din Tai Fung.
Glendale also has the widest range of bakeries of anywhere in Greater L.A. You'll find a Cuban bakery, Armenian bakeries, a Filipino bakery, a Korean bakery and places to get Mexican pan dulce — all fairly near to one another. Glendale truly offers a breadth of breads (sorry!).
Glendale has been in food news quite a bit of late, much of it revolving around announcements of upcoming openings at the Americana at Brand, including Eggslut, Philz Coffee and Shake Shack. As for Duke Bakery, look for further expansion, including a downtown L.A. location.
Duke Bakery, 803 Americana Way, Glendale; (818) 246-8808.