Experience the Authentic Taste of Central American Pan Dulce at This Mid-City Bakery

Experience the Authentic Taste of Central American Pan Dulce at This Mid-City Bakery

Finding a decent hidden restaurant is simple, provided you know where to look. Salvadoran panadería La Usuluteca is located in Mid-City, a historically Black area in downtown Los Angeles.

Situated to the west of Arlington Heights, the restaurant marked its tenth anniversary last year, having opened its doors in 2013. In order to begin working in his family’s business, an ethnic grocery store specializing in Salvadoran goods, founder and co-owner Juan Torres moved to California from El Salvador in 2008.

The top five Salvadoran pan dulce that you simply must experience in an L.A. bakery are the ones we selected. After tasting them, you may also ask yourself, Where have these pastries been all my life?


How are you not in love with Budín? Similar to monkey bread or French toast, this delicious dessert is a bread pudding dipped in panela (unrefined cane sugar) syrup and topped with caramelized plantains. It tastes like sweet molasses since it is made with unprocessed sugar.

This dish can be readily customized by adding additional ingredients, including chocolate chips, raisins, or nuts. Budín is typically served warm, golden-brown, and is a great way to use up any stale bread you may have lying around.

Budín is also popular in other Latin American nations, such as Mexico and Puerto Rico, albeit some of the varieties use anise seeds.

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Quesadilla Salvadoreña

A sweet cheese pound cake that resembles cornmeal is one of the most well-known Salvadoran delicacies. Traditional baking components like eggs and white sugar are used in this pan dulce, but Parmesan cheese adds a unique flavor.

Experience the Authentic Taste of Central American Pan Dulce at This Mid-City Bakery

The cake’s top is sprinkled with sesame seeds, which adds a subtle nutty flavor. Rice flour is used to make some variants. Salvadorans typically indulge in the dish during family get-togethers or breakfasts with coffee, when a little sweetness and sugar are in order.

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La Peperecha

The bakery’s window display has a brilliant red pastry that instantly draws your attention: la peperecha. It is described as “a soft, cinnamony, golden sandwich of crumbly pastry, oozing with panela syrup” on the La Usuluteca menu.

To create a colorful dessert, tint the white sugar garnish with red food coloring (if red sugar isn’t easily accessible for purchase). La peperecha is a perfect snack for any time of day or as a delicious evening meal.

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Semita De Piña

The pineapple jam-filled pastry known as semita de piña is a top seller at La Usuluteca. In El Salvador, pineapple is a popular fruit that adds a ripe sweetness between the layers of bread dough in pastries. The dough tastes like a chewy graham cracker.

Experience the Authentic Taste of Central American Pan Dulce at This Mid-City Bakery

Notes of cinnamon from the pineapple preserves come through when the dough is sprinkled with sugar before baking. It’s a delicious pastry with several jam filling options, including fig, mango, and guava (which have a somewhat better flavor than a homemade Fig Newton).

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You’ll have to go with milhojas if you like light puff pastries. The dish is composed of layers of flaky dough, filled with white meringue and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Meringue is often placed on top of the second layer of puff pastry, and pastry cream is sometimes mixed in and distributed on the first layer. Milhojas are normally sliced into rectangles and then briefly chilled. This nostalgic dish is well-liked in Spain and Latin America.

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To Conclude

A lovely tour through Salvadoran sweet breads, La Usuluteca provides everything from the traditional Quesadilla Salvadoreña to the colorful La Peperecha. So the next time you’re in the mood for something different and delectable, visit Mid-City and find these hidden treasures for yourself.

La Usuluteca offers a variety of delicious options that will entice your taste buds and take you to the heart of El Salvador, whether you favor the flaky layers of Milhojas or the comforting sweetness of Budín.