Best Bakery: Pekara

(originally published as part of the Best of C-U edition of buzz magazine on 11/13/2008)

You don’t have to stop by Pekara’s location on 116 N. Neil St. to enjoy the bakery’s fine products. In fact, if you’ve ever bought muffins or pastries at Bar Guiliani or Espresso Royale, there’s a good chance Pekara baked them.

Pekara Bakery and Bistro, founded January 2005 by Serbian immigrant Ruzica Cuk, specializes in traditional European-style baking.

“Nothing is too sweet,” said Assistant Manager Karla Herzmann. “Our portions are smaller than typical fare, and our products contain no trans fats or margarine.”

The bakery serves as a one-stop shop for baked goods. In addition to their ample selection of savory and dessert crepes, Pekara offers cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, danishes, baklava, kolaches, croissants, baguettes, cinnamon rolls and loaves of bread.

“We offer a really wide variety of things, and we can make anything you want,” Herzmann said. “We get a lot of European students looking for what their parents made.”

Herzmann prided the business on its attention to quality.

“We make everything from scratch; we order nothing,” she said. “You’re not going to find a crêpe as good as ours anywhere else in town.”

Pekara also sells soups, sandwiches, omelets and salads.