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Best Bakery 

Crixa Cakes

Berkeley may not be the first place you'd think of as being home to a world-class Eastern European bakery, but regulars at Crixa Cakes know there isn't anyplace better for a fresh-from-the-oven taste of the Old World. The Eastern European pastries and buns sold at Crixa are top-notch and authentic as they come — fragrant with spice and flecked, variously, with currents and nuts. And even if you're a more conservative baked-goods-eater who doesn't know a pirog from a kifli, you'll still find plenty familiar goodies, including what are hands-down the best fruit pies in town. During the late spring and summer, when berries and pitted fruits are in season, these pies are at their spectacular best. At $5 a slice, they aren't cheap, but you're talking about a hefty, satisfying slice — enough for two to share, but so good that you'll want the whole thing to yourself. Go early if you can: The pies (which come out at 11 each morning) and many of the buns tend to sell out early.



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