Dec 2009

Porto’s Bakery – Los Angeles (Glendale)


Strolling around Porto’s Bakery on a bustling Saturday afternoon, it’s hard to imagine that the shop began over 35 years ago as a home-based business in Cuba. Since its humble beginnings, Porto’s Bakery has garnered a devoted following, outgrowing several locations and eventually settling into a 20,000 square foot building in the heart of Glendale.

Of all the fantastic restaurants in the city of Los Angeles, it’s Porto’s Bakery that has as come up time and again whenever a friend or acquaintance has recommended a local place for me to try. After receiving a half dozen solid endorsements for the place, I made a mental note to stop by the next time I found myself in Glendale.


After procuring a wickedly sweet suit for The Astronomer at the Glendale Galleria a few weekends back, we made our way to Porto’s Bakery to see what the fuss was all about. I knew that the bakery was beloved by many, but the crowd waiting for their piece of the Porto pie was truly staggering. The staff on hand managed the amusement park-esque lines smoothly and professionally.


Taking a cue from the customers ahead of us, The Astronomer and I ordered way more food than we had room to eat. The potato ball (85¢) was the lone savory item on our tray. The papa rellena was comprised of breaded and fried mashed potatoes filled with seasoned ground beef. The crunchy texture of the breading had me at first bite, while The Astronomer enjoyed the chili-like filling.


The guava strudel (65¢), one of Porto’s most famous baked good, was as tasty as everyone told me it would be. The mildly sweet guava jam smothered in between flaky layers of buttery puff pastry really made this little rectangular sweet shine.


The guava and cheese refugi (left – 65¢) and the cheese roll (right – 65¢) were on par with the guava strudel. The cream cheese filling in each one reminded me of Danish breakfast pastries. Puff pastry is an ingredient that I adore, but it quickly gets overwhelming. After taking a few bites from each one, we packed up the rest to go.


I knew ordering a creme brulee ($2.50) at a Cuban bakery wasn’t the smartest move, but oftentimes my gluttony gets the best of me. Much to my surprise, Porto’s creme brulee was completely competent and exceeded my expectations by a mile. The sugary crust was uniformly caramelized, and the smooth custard contained tiny flecks of vanilla bean—two hallmarks of a great creme brulee.

After just one visit to Porto’s, I totally understand why every other Angeleno is crazy about the place. The vibe is fun, the prices are more than reasonable, and the food is perfectly enjoyable. Win. Win. Win.

Porto’s Bakery
315 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: 818-956-5996

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23 thoughts on “Porto’s Bakery – Los Angeles (Glendale)

  1. That place is nuts. I was once “deputized” (read: ordered) to pick up about 300 pastries for a party at UCLA. I’d never been to Porto’s before, and O.M.G. what a madhouse.

    But it’s as you say: they manage the mayhem well. And the stuff is tasty-licious.

  2. mmm, this place sounds like a win, win, win to me as well! awesome suit, by the way. the astronomer will be extra-stylin 🙂

  3. Mmmmm Porto’s! Can’t believe this was your first time! I know what you mean about the sweet stuff getting overwhelming. I always get the spinach croissant (kind of like a spanakopita) =)

  4. You made great choices – but you didn’t have one of their sandwiches – and they are EXCELLENT! Both the cuban and the roast pork (with garlic lime sauce yummmm) are under five dollares and are very very tasty. I also really like their tomato/feta sandwich.

    And the baked goods? They are all worth eating but in a happy surprise their oatmeal raisin cookies taste homemade. 40¢ a piece I think!

  5. I loooved the cheese roll when I sampled Porto’s at Matt’s wine tasting that you didn’t come to until the end. Ahem. You just HAD to eat subpar clam pizza at Bottega Louie, didn’t you?

  6. “Taking a cue from the customers ahead of us, The Astronomer and I ordered way more food than we had room to eat!”

    Ok Catherine, next time you gals, uh guys, have that problem,
    lemme know and I’ll bee glad to provide a solution.


  7. Loove this place! I go to the Burbank one, but I’m guessing taste experiences are identical. They seem to have consistency down pat. Glad you enjoyed your treats, yay!

  8. My boyfriend loves the mango bomb! Looks like a boob. Another great place to check out in Glendale is Paradise Pastry, an Armenian bakery.

  9. Hi Gastronomer,

    I usually go to the Burbank location, but it looks like their original in Glendale is just as crazy. 🙂 Thanks for the pics and review.

  10. Next time try the Cuban sandwich, the croquettas or the medianoche preparada (a Cuban on sweeter bread with croquettas on the sandwich). I grew up in Miami, and in high school people would come around class to class in the mornings selling those guava pastries (a.k.a. pastelitos.) Porto’s is the closest thing to real Cuban food I’ve found in LA.

  11. LOVE Portos! My mom would bring a box of assorted pastries home once a month! I’ve also had friends bring over some potato balls & opera cake for my recent get togethers too!

  12. I have never been to this location – just the one in Burbank, but I LOVE PORTO’S. You get so MUCH bang for your buck here! Perfect treats to bring to parties!

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