When’s the last time you’ve walked up to the longest glass case containing the largest collection of Mexican pastries you’ve ever seen? When it comes to a traditional Mexican bakery, Mi Tierra Café Y Panaderîa is hard to resist! In fact, the display cases are so packed with fresh, colorful baked goods they can seem a little overwhelming on your eyes and taste buds.

Mi Tierra, as you know, is one of San Antonio’s world-famous landmarks. It’s been around since 1941 when Pedro and Cruz Cortez opened it as a three-table café for early-rising farmers and workers at our Market Square, El Mercado. Today, Pedro’s and Cruz’s children and grandchildren continue the family tradition of serving great Tex-Mex food, huge margaritas and big-hearted hospitality at Mi Tierra, which now seats over 500.

The panaderia (bakery) is run by master baker Don José, who learned how to make traditional pan dulce while working in a bakery in Mexico at an early age. With his enthusiasm and passion for baking bread, he soon became a Master Baker. He came to San Antonio in 1984 and now keeps those Mexican traditions alive at Mi Terra.

Here’s a look (clockwise in the photo, above) at four of my favorite panes dulces:

Orejas: Glazed and flaky pastry with cinnamon and sugar

Pan de Huevo: Dense, rich and not too sweet, topped with sugar

Churros: Cinnamon sticks with caramel, crème, plain, strawberry and vanilla fillings

Yoyo de Fresa: Traditional cake with strawberry jelly filling

Don is also known for his pecan pralines – big, buttery and packed with over a half a cup of pecans per piece. Visit the Mi Tierra website for descriptions of all Don’s traditional panes dulces, cookies and candy.

So next time you have a craving for something sweet to go along with your coffee or tea, don’t forget about Mi Tierra – one of our many sweet gems in San Antonio.

In honor of San Antonio’s 300th anniversary, I’m ranking our Mi Tierra Panaderia No. 48 in my 300 Reasons to Love San Antonio list. Another great reason to live, work, buy a home and enjoy the traditions of Mexico here in San Antonio.