Food & Wine Magazine

July 2023

Danish Diagram

A chef-recommended chain of the best Danishes around the country

By Amelia Schwartz

DANISHES ARE COMPLICATED. With such a broad definition—a laminated pastry with a filling in the center—it’s difficult to pin down what exactly makes the quintessential Danish. Danishes can really be filled with anything—cream cheese or custard, fruit or vegetables, chocolate ganache or even pork barbecue. The options are endless, making every single Danish distinct and memorable.

So to discover some of the most special Danishes out there today, we took to the experts, asking each person, “What’s the best Danish you’ve ever had?” We then reached out to the person who made their favorite Danish and asked them the same question. We started with 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chef Genie Kwon of Kasama, whose long, thin, sugar-dusted ham-and-cheese Danish wowed Restaurant Editor Khushbu Shah. At the end of this long, buttery game of telephone? A list of some of the best Danishes in America today.

Wayfarer Bread, La Jolla, California

“The Nixtamal Queen from Gusto Bread is a brilliant take on a kouign-amann. It’s delicately moist and intricately layered, and its sweetness is tempered with earthy, savory housemade masa and tangy sourdough levain.”

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