LA Files: Pan Dulce in East LA

Pan Dulce* is a staple if you grow up in a Mexican-American household, or if you live in LA. They come in different shapes, sizes, and textures but in general, they are all covered in sugar and a symbol of your grandparents, cousins, heritage, sometimes church, and probably a Sunday morning with coffee at home. Everyone has their favorites (mine is “elote”) and they’re delicious dipped into hot chocolate or coffee.

In LA, we all have our go-to pan dulce spot. There are tons of bakeries, especially in the “old neighborhood”* as my grandma calls it. My grandma has been going to hers in East LA since she was a kid–for 80(ish) years. I grew up going to the same one and feel a little guilty about trying another bakery, even if people claim it’s better. HOWEVER; the home girl Sarah’s family has been going to La Mascota in Boyle Heights* for 80(ish) years, and I decided to try her spot this time…

It was GOOD. Like really good. Even my Grandma praised it (and maybe even converted?). They were soft, fluffy, deliciously sweet, and also big! There’s nothing worse than a pan dulce that you know could have been a little bit bigger! So shout out to Sarita (gracias mija!) for the recommendation! I’ll never miss a chance for some pan dulce on a sunny LA morning.

Pan Dulce: Mexican Sweet Bread

Old Neighborhood: a general term, but also in reference to older East-LA neighborhoods like: Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and El Sereno. 


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