When Joan’s on Third opened on the west side of 3rd Street in 1995, that part of town didn’t have much going for it. Since then, the area between The Grove and Cedars-Sinai hospital has grown into a hub of gourmet restaurants and laid-back cafes, boutiques, art galleries—and cupcake bakeries. In fact, there are so many cupcake bakeries lining this street a cupcake crawl can be organized to sample all of them.
With empty stomachs and a pair of good walking shoes (comfortable enough for a 1.5 mile stroll), let’s explore West Hollywood, cupcake-style.
189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles
No cupcake tour would be complete without a visit to the bakery that started it all: Sprinkles Cupcakes. Less than 3 miles east of the flagship location in Beverly Hills, the spot inside the Grove offers the same decadent flavors that fueled the country’s love affair with cupcakes, but without the crazy lines. Among the 28 different flavors, the most popular is red velvet which is available in gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free varieties.
8104 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles
Because these faux-donuts are baked, they can absolutely be enjoyed on a cupcake tour. After all, cupcakes are just fonuts without the hole in the middle. Established in 2011, Fonuts specializes in vegan and gluten-free baked treats that taste just as good as, or even better than, traditional fried donuts. The best part is that we can continue binging on sweets without the extra guilt. Not to be confused with Cronuts, another sinfully delicious treat in Santa Monica.
Sweet E’s Bake Shop
8215 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles
When a cup-sized cake is still too large, the bite-sized versions at Sweet E’s Bake Shop are the perfect fit. Founder Erica and her team have been distributing their mini two- or three-bite cupcakes with their food truck since 2009, but it wasn’t until 2010 that they opened their store front in Beverly Hills. In addition to their tiny cupcakes, they specialize in cake pops, vegan brownies, cake push pops and even stuffed cookies.
Joan’s on Third
8350 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles
The storefront of Joan’s on Third is feels like a bustling European market. The fridges in front are stocked with exotic cheeses like black truffle brie and salami and the walls are lined with an assortment of local and international dried pastas, jams and snacks. It’s easy to get distracted in a space overflowing with so much action, but we must not forget the cupcakes. By far, the tastiest and most popular cupcake to try at Joan’s on Third is the Joan’s Cloud, a chocolate cupcake topped with marshmallow fluff then covered in chocolate.
8389 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles
For the easily bored and the adventurous cake connoisseurs, Magnolia Bakery offers a different cupcake flavor every day of the week. The bakery first started concocting their unique treats on New York’s Bleecker Street in 1996 and eventually made their way to the West Coast. Among many mouthwatering flavors are the German chocolate cake with coconut caramel pecan icing and the “PB&J” with peanut butter cake, jelly filling and peanut butter buttercream.
143 S. Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles
Celebrity cupcake bakers and cupcakery to the stars, Georgetown Cupcakes is best known from its show “DC Cupcakes” on TLC. Georgetown Cupcakes opened in 2008 after Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis both left their careers in fashion and venture capital to pursue their passion of baking. The shop has since spread to New York, Boston, Atlanta and Los Angeles, offering seasonal favorites like cherry blossom and lavender earl grey tea cake along with classical chocolate and vanilla. As the last stop on the 3rd street cupcake tour, Georgetown Cupcakes calls trendy Robertson Blvd. its home, right next to the top fashion designers in the nation.
Originally published on LosAngeles.com.