Don’t call the frosted beauty in the box above a Pop Tart. It’s a flaky, buttery, raspberry hand tart—with rainbow sprinkles!—and it’s from one of the best damn bakeries in the South.
Wild Love Bakehouse in Knoxville, Tennessee, has only been around since the tail end of 2015, but it’s already earned national accolades. Founded by Meg and Shaun Parrish, the owners of craft coffeeshop Old City Java, Wild Love has done wonders to ingratiate itself locally—hiring the friendliest workers (seriously, what are these people on? We need some!), sourcing eggs and other ingredients from Tennessee farms, and, most importantly, filling its bakery cases with things everyone wants to eat: to-die-for ham and Gruyere croissants, moist lemon olive oil cake, delectable rye pecan thumbprint cookies with chocolate ganache and sea salt, etc.
The kitchen has floor-to-ceiling glass, so you can see where the magic happens, and there is a huge string-lit patio for kibitzing. The only downside is that most of the indoor seating gets hogged by the never-ever-leaving-and-barely-eating laptop brigade. Can’t win ’em all.
1625 N. Central St., Knoxville, TN; 865-200-8078.