In the nearly 17 years since she opened Joan's on Third, Joan McNamara has baked through every layer-cake trend, cupcake craze and pie fixation. These days, the pastry shop and café is a hotbed of early-morning egg sandwich and lunch-hour Chinese chicken salad activity, but even the best chicken salad is merely an excuse to choose from McNamara's beautifully understated oatmeal raisin cookies, banana cream pies and lemon bars. They may not win all the blogger buzz in these bacon ice cream–laden pastry times, but McNamara has been baking marshmallow crème–filled cupcakes long enough to know that trends pass. A really great apple pie? Your grandmother, and McNamara, know the answer. 8350 W. Third St., Fairfax District. (323) 655-2285,

—Jenn Garbee

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