Black Bear Bread Co.

Black Bear Bread Company - Beachy Vibes Bakery in Santa Rosa, FL
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

A neighborhood cafe and artisan bakery, located in Santa Rosa Beach. Black Bear Bread Company offers naturally leavened bread and scratch pastry baked daily in a hip, converted cottage minutes from pristine Grayton Beach State Park. Popular with tourists and locals alike, diners should expect a bustling atmosphere--and slightly higher prices in exchange for specialty coffee and locally sourced ingredients.

- The Local Expert Team

Black Bear Bread Company (BBBCo) was originally opened by Chef Phil McDonald and restaurateur Dave Rauschkolb in the charming Shops of Grayton in 2017. The pair brought their shared vision of a true artisan bakery for South Walton to life with a rustic-chic cafe and outdoor patio, echoing the same French influence as their popular croissants, danishes, and tartines. 

Black Bear now operates the adjacent Bar Room–where diners can trade lattes for wine flights, and cookies for charcuterie–and boasts a second location in the resort community of Sandestin. This Grayton Beach location offers counter service, and diners can expect a bit of a wait to snag snug cafe seating, though many folks opt for a takeout option before heading to area beaches or a drive down 30A. Black Bear offers traditional French pastry-like flaky croissants and buttery, caramelized kouign amann, alongside a sandwich list of lunch staples like BLTs, a grass-fed roast beef sandwich, and a salad of local greens dressed up with a cumin vinaigrette and served with Black Bear’s own country sourdough. BBBCo’s breakfast and lunch offerings are best paired with a Stumptown coffee beverage: the cold brew and signature lattes (the Bear latte gives a mocha a hazelnut twist, while the “Balanced Buzz” pairs lavender, Noli South CBD, and oat milk) are customer favorites. 

On a recent trip to the BBBCo, we decided to take advantage of the additional seating at Black Bear Bar Room next door, where cafe guests are welcome to dine. Rustic exposed beams, a sleek black and white motif, and inviting mid-century furniture lend easy elegance and a European flair, while still offering an undeniably laid back, “local coffee shop” feel. Prices run close to what you’d expect for a popular Emerald Coast shopping area, and a bit steeper in exchange for BBBCo’s dedication to fresh, “sensibly sourced” ingredients. 

Menu offerings include breakfast sandwiches on your choice of house-made biscuits or bread, a range of sandwiches and salads for lunch, as well as rotating specials. Pastries are made from scratch daily: croissants, danishes, bear claws, and cookies are not to be missed.

On our visit, we enjoyed the following dishes at Black Bear Bread Company:

Avocado Tartine
This breakfast favorite gets a tangy, flavorful twist with za’atar and Black Bear’s own house pickles. Diners can add an egg or smoked salmon to this item for a reasonable surcharge. Served on multigrain sourdough, which we found flavorful and well baked. Delicious!

Benton’s Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich
A hearty breakfast option, served with white cheddar, on your choice of Black Bear bread. We opted for the baguette, and it was fresh, tasty, and had just the right amount of crunch from an expertly baked crust. 

Grass-Fed Roast Beef Sandwich
A signature Black Bear lunch, and a menu standout. The roast beef sandwich features a bright fennel slaw balanced by gruyere cheese. A perfect, filling choice to take on your beach picnic 

Grains Bowl
The somewhat lighter fare in a lineup of buttery French favorites, but one that packs a substantial nutritious punch: poached eggs, farro, quinoa, pecans, avocado, greens, and fresh herbs join together here for a powered-up, protein-dense dish that stays light on the palate. 

Black Bear Bread Company offers a simple breakfast and lunch menu that highlights fresh, local ingredients and fine attention to detail. From indulgent bear claws to thoughtful salads, you can’t go wrong on a visit to BBBCo, but here’s what we recommend: order a cold brew, pull up a chair on the porch, enjoy the sunshine mixed with the sweet smells of artisanal baking while anticipating your meal–and don’t forget to pick up some extra pastries for the road. Bon appetit! 

Insider Tips:
– For the best selection of Black Bear’s incredible pastries, arrive early. Baked goods are made from scratch daily, and can sell out by the early afternoon. 
– For pickup orders, you can either call ahead or order online to reduce your wait time.