In Richmond it’s often the simple, no-frills establishments that have the best food, and Linda's Bakery is no exception. The small pastry shop boasts everything from Guatemalan Chicken Tamals to colorful birthday cakes. It’s a sort of one-stop shop for everything you would need for a party.
Sugar-coated, fruit-filled pastries are a hallmark of Linda’s. Strawberry, mango, guava, and more can be found within a cakey pastry that’s often covered in colorful crystalline sugar. The cake can be a little dry, but the sweet, fruity insides help balance out the texture that could otherwise become too crumbly. The sugar coating is perfect for those with a demanding sweet tooth, but for the average consumer the sheer quantity of it might be a little much.
Beyond the fruit-filled pastries, Linda’s Bakery has available just about every traditional Mexican pastry one could imagine. Orejas, conchas, and a dozen other colorful pastries of all shapes and sizes —if you want it, Linda’s Bakery has it.
Perhaps most important for the early-morning pastry consumer is that Linda’s has very good coffee. It’s unclear what kind they brew, but it’s well roasted and certainly not watered down. Their cafe mochas make a good companion to just about anything on their menu. Linda’s has a wide variety of teas available, too, which pair well with the lighter pastries.
Interestingly, beyond the array of baked goods and tamals at Linda’s, there is also a wide variety of piñatas for sale. Families throwing a birthday party for their child can pick up their Barbie piñata, Barbie cake, and a bunch of snacks from the small grocery sections and suddenly they’d have just about everything they would need for a party.
One of the best parts about Linda’s is that most of these baked treats run under a dollar each, making it dangerously easy to indulge on a dozen pasties in one sitting —if you are so inclined.
The interior of Linda’s is made colorful by the bright pastries and piñatas, but the bakery is fairly plain beyond that. A simple linoleum table with a couple chairs makes up the bakery’s sitting area, but it works fine for the small space. Besides, Linda’s Bakery is more of an in-and-out operation. Whether you’re picking up a couple items for dinner or a snack in the morning, it’s not a place to hang out for long.
Like any good bakery, Linda’s is a professional operation. The small shop churns out several dozens of freshly baked goods —from crusty bread, to sweet strawberry cakes, and everything in between —day after day with good consistency.
Among the handful of Mexican pastry shops around the city, it’s hard for one to point to what makes one pastry shop any better than another, and the difference usually comes down to friendliness and general customer service. The people working at Linda’s were friendly, even if a language barrier stood between us and a longer conversation, and they even gave me a free pastry for the sake of it.
Linda’s is simple, and that’s a good thing. Grab a coffee, a concha, and get on your way. The reliable flavors and diverse array of goods ensures that you’ll be coming back again soon.
3431 MacDonald Ave, Richmond
Tel. (510) 234-4001
Sunday - Saturday: 6 am to 8 pm
View their Yelp page here.
Photo: Spoon and Chair