LA’s favorite Cuban bakery

A lot of cities have their set of great bakeries. In a lot of cities, you barely need to walk a block to get some fresh baked breads. LA isn’t really a bread city, but we do still have our favorite bakeries, and we’re willing to drive out of our way to get them. Case in point: Porto’s.

Back in college, there were basically two default funraisers by student organizations. One was 85C baked goods, and the other was Porto’s baked goods. Which kind of reflects the general LA population. But while 85C is a relatively recent import, Porto’s was born and bred in LA, with roots in Cuba. According to their website, Rosa Porto immigrated to LA following the Cuban Revolution. She started off baking from her home and gained such a loyal customer base that she was able to open a storefront in the 70s. Today, Porto’s is run by her children and grandchildren and is a great pride and joy of LA, telling a classic American dream story over 5 decades and 3 generations.

LA loves Porto’s. We dutifully line up in the winding queue with lists in hand of pastries and quantities. We buy cheese rolls and potato balls by the dozen. We show up to work with bags upon bags of yellow boxes. It’s a precious combination: Large scale bakery, family-owned, bilingual, cheap, delicious. It’s a little hectic when you visit for the first time, signs and arrows, sometimes someone posted at the front door pointing you in the right direction. A small army of workers with incredible memory ducking around each other to grab your order. Numbers and trays and pre-orders and boxes and bags everywhere. But the chaos is a part of the experience, so embrace it.

the details

AddressBurbank: 3614 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA
Glendale: 315 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA
YelpBurbank | Glendale
Hoursopens at 6:30am every day, closes at 8:30p Monday -Thursday, 9p on Friday and Saturday, 8p on Sunday
COVID Hours: in car pick-up available at each location through pre-order online, open 4:30am to 6pm each day (only day of orders accepted)
Price$ – you get great bang for your buck, pastries start at <$1 each, sandwiches and meals are under $10, and whole cakes start in the $20s
Aestheticwarm and grand in an old school kind of way, like a palace for the food-loving people

good to know

Go here for: an essential LA food experience, and amazing Cuban pastries

Order this: potato balls ($1.09), guava cheese rolls (97¢), a cubano ($6.50) or medianoche ($6.25) with mariquitas ($2.99), and an 11″ fruit tart because why not it’s only $27???

Amount of time to spend: there’s almost always a line, but it moves fast. For to-go orders, you can usually get in and out in about 20 minutes. 

When to come: later in the day tends to be less hectic, it’s usually packed for breakfast and lunch

Parking: in the Burbank location, they have a parking lot that spans across a couple blocks, just watch out for the signs, as some spots are dedicated to other businesses. In Glendale, you can usually find metered parking, or park in one of the public parking structures, which usually have the first hour or 90 minutes free. 

Other things to note: 

  • They also have locations in Downey, Buena Park and West Covina, but let’s be honest, those are just too damn far.
  • If you don’t live in greater LA, you can order online and get “bake at home” items shipped.
  • You can order in English or Spanish, but definitely pay attention to who is taking your order, it get’s a little crazy and you’ll have to keep them in sight to follow over to the register.
  • They do custom cakes too, and you can pre-order there or online. Pre-ordering for pick up is generally a good idea if you’re wanting large quantities and don’t want to have to wait.

Last visited: December 2020

Last updated: December 2020

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