Yesterland

La Brea Bakery

Café and Express

 
Downtown Disney District
Disneyland Resort
La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

La Brea Bakery isn’t just the brand for excellent, but expensive, artisan bread at your local grocery store. It’s also a well-known restaurant on La Brea Avenue in Yester Los Angeles—with a second location at Yester Downtown Disney.


This isn’t one of those restaurants deep in Yester Downtown Disney that you won’t see unless you go deep into the shopping and dining district. You can’t miss La Brea Bakery. It’s right on the Esplanade. Even guests who take a tram from the structures are dropped off near it.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

Many doors

If you want to eat here, you have a decision to make. Café or Express? In fact, a sign won’t let you enter the door that appears to be a main entrance.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

“This is not an Entrance”

Let’s start off by heading to the right for the Café, a table service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with indoor and outdoor seating.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

La Brea Bakery Café menu

How about an entree, such as Pan-fried Salmon, Blackened Fish Tacos, Spaghetti Meatball, Fusilli Alfredo, Fettuccini Chicken Brandy Cream, or Oven-roasted Chicken? The menu changes over time.

Or maybe you’d prefer a sandwich, such as a Chimichurri Steak Sandwich, La Brea Bakery Burger, Turkey Avocado & Bacon, Spicy BBQ Bacon Chicken, Turkey Bacon Panini, Grilled Cheese, or B.E.L.T. Sandwich. In case you don’t know whet the final one is, it’s essentially a BLT with two over-easy eggs.

The menu also offers soups, starters, salads, desserts, breakfast, a “For the Kids” menu, draft beers, and bottled beers. If you want a beer while you’re visiting Yesterland Park—which is dry (at least before May 31, 2019) unless you can get into Club 33—La Brea Bakery is a short walk from Main Street Station. You don’t need a Park Hopper, as you would if you wanted to get a beer at California Adventure. And it’s closer than any other Downtown Disney bar or restaurant.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

La Brea Bakery interior

Perhaps a table service meal would take more time then you care to spend away from the parks. No problem. Head to the Express instead.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

Express side

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

Express Menu

You can get breakfast until 11:00 a.m. and soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods, and beverages the rest of the day. You order at a counter. Anything that requires preparation will be brought to your table.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

Counter

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Photo by Allen Huffman, 2001

Outdoor seating

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2022

“Exit Only”

La Brea Bakery has convenient restrooms. But don’t think of using them if you haven’t bought anything.


La Brea Bakery was one of the original tenants of Downtown Disney, which opened at the Disneyland Resort on January 12, 2001.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Tony “WisebearAZ” Moore, 2000

La Brea Bakery under construction in 2000, with the Soarin’ building behind it

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2001

La Brea Bakery in 2001

As the two photos above show, La Brea Bakery originally looked different. The Café side did not have protected outdoor seating. The signature chimney was missing. And the building had a smaller footprint.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Concept art © Disney

Early concept artwork showing the expanded La Brea Bakery

On January 3, 2012, La Brea Bakery Café began an expansion to add an exhibition bakery, a new kitchen in the Express area, and an awning over outdoor seating in front of the full-service Café section. The expansion would allow La Brea Bakery Café to bake fresh breads, pastries, sweets, flatbreads, and focaccias on-site—providing wonderful aromas and allowing new menu choices.

According to the Disney Parks Blog on February 2, 2012, “The Café will feature menu items inspired by La Brea Bakery’s founder, Nancy Silverton. From double-dipped French toast and fontina strata at breakfast to burgers, salads, panini and authentic Italian focaccias made fresh throughout the day, the focus will be on fresh, healthy and flavorful foods.”

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Photo by Allen Huffman, 2017

Same fountain, new restaurant look similar to the concept art

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Signature chimney after the La Brea Bakery expansion

It seemed that La Brea Bakery would always be there. After all, it had a great location between the World of Disney store and the entrance to Disney California Adventure, near the parking structure tram station. It had a recognizable and respected brand name, thanks to La Brea Bakery artisan bread sold in grocery stores in North America, Asia, and Europe. There was only one other La Brea Bakery Café restaurant, the popular flagship location on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Chris Bales, 2022

In its final full year, 2022

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Chris Bales, 2023

Sign on La Brea Bakery the day after it closed permanently, 2023

On Monday, January 9, 2023, Aspire Bakeries, the owner of La Brea Bakery, announced that its Café locations in Los Angeles and Downtown Disney District in Anaheim had closed permanently that morning. According to the press release, the company had made a “strategic decision to exit the restaurant business and continue its focus on growing the La Brea Bakery business through retail grocery and foodservice locations.” There would continue to be licensed La Bakery Café counters at Reno Airport, JFK Airport, and Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center.

The news was a shock and surprise.

The following four photos are all from the day after La Brea Bakery closed.

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Chris Bales, 2023

Café side, closed

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Chris Bales, 2023

Express side, closed

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Chris Bales, 2023

Overhangs at locked doors, good for protection from the rain

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Chris Bales, 2023

Outdoor tables on the Express side still in place, but unappealing due to the weather

La Brea Bakery at the Disneyland Resort

Photo by Chris Bales, 2023

Signs already removed by January 15, 2023

The prime location would not sit empty long.

On the day that La Brea Bakery closed, the Disney Parks Blog announced that a new temporary tenant would open the following month. With the Express side becoming a grab-and-go Earl of Sandwich and the Café side becoming a table service Earl of Sandwich Tavern, fans were delighted. Earl of Sandwich had been sorely missed since it closed its previous location in a different part of Downtown Disney in January 2022 due to redevelopment there.

Why temporary? It’s because a newly-designed, newly-built Porto’s Bakery is planned for the location.


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Updated January 16, 2023