You don’t have to travel to Manhattan to catch a whiff of some delicious baking.  Whether you’re in the mood for a Greektown Olive Loaf or a Chocolate Brioche, your trip to Avalon Bakery comes with a virtual guarantee you’ll find something tasty.

Located on Cass up past the Cass Cafe — another fine Detroit culinary venue — and the WDET radio station building, Avalon isn’t too hard to find.  Just look for the Spiral Collective building on the corner and you’re practically there.  The bakery is about a three minute drive south of Wayne State University’s campus.

If you’re looking for fresh bread, this IS the place to go.  The bakery only uses the best ingredients, including many organic, fair trade, or natural ingredients.  Generally there’s less junk fillers like corn syrup which you unfortunately tend to find at places like Panera.  And there’s a wealth of creative breads, like the aforementioned Greek Olive Loaf.  Coming in the door, it’s hard not to be tempted to pick out a loaf, as they’re arrayed tantalizing in miles on the bakery’s expansive countertop.

But equally appealing is the bakery’s lunch options.  Virtually every day it makes flatbreads, loaded with fresh cheese and veggies.  Even if you bring a big appetite, one piece will likely be enough to satisfy you.  And there’s a nice selection of fair trade/organic coffees and teas to accompany your classy piece of pizza.

We suggest the delicious flatbreads for lunch!

We suggest the delicious flatbreads for a filling lunch!

Prices are very reasonable — flat breads tend to be somewhere in the range of $2.99 or $3.99.  Coffees and teas can be had for under $2.00.  You can typically get a couple drinks and a couple pieces of flatbread for under $10 — a truly delicious bargain.  And the loaves come at hot prices as well — on par with the big bakery chains, but with much more TLC and creativity.

The crowd at Avalon Bakery tends to be a mix of younger hipster-esque folks, and Detroit’s sophisticated middle-aged denizens.  There’s metal picnic tables outside that make for the perfect lunch spot on a sunny fall day.

Avalon's outdoor picnic tables make the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch.

Avalon's outdoor picnic tables make the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch.

A quick tip — while you might be tempted to check out the neighboring health food grocer Goodwell’s, we suggest avoiding it.  Unlike Avalon which features friendly service and delicious food, our trip to Goodwell’s was far less pleasant.  Not only were the staff abrasive almost to the point of rudeness, but a lot of the produce was also rotting/wilted.  We called the management attempting to discuss our experience, but never received a reply.  We suggest Kim’s Produce on Woodward, which not only has a friendlier staff, but also seemed to have a fresher selection.