Norfolk’s Newest Artisan Bakery Takes the Cake

by | Aug 9, 2022

A new culinary mainstay is leaving its sweet mark on the community with its delicious baked goods, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches. Welcome to the neighborhood, May’s Parlor!

The Name May’s Parlor Might Ring a Bell

May’s Parlor is already an established Hampton Roads staple, having made its mark as the best artisan bakery café in this coastal community at a rapid pace after opening doors in 2017. The May’s Parlor flagship location is at the Virginia Beach oceanfront in a quaint cottage, bringing joy to residents and tourists alike with every treat they create.

The Expansion of May’s Parlor to Norfolk 

The owner of May’s Parlor, Rachael Browning, quickly saw a need for the people of Norfolk to experience that same caliber of flaky fresh goodness that comes with every bite of a May’s Parlor pastry. She had the perfect opportunity when a spot opened up in Ghent on 22nd Street, where Just Cupcakes previously resided. Although May’s Parlor could thrive anywhere, the café perfectly complements the area. Ghent is already filled with great restaurants and bars but has needed a place that a passerby can pop into for a sweet treat or swing by for a refreshing iced coffee to enjoy on their Ghent stroll. 

May’s Recipe for Success

This Instagrammable spot immediately radiates blissful energy as customers walk up to the building. Bright pops of lemon yellow and turquoise adorn the patio and spill inside the walls and throughout the café. Lemons and floral patterns evoke comfort and delight. Aside from the enticing, sunny energy, what really draws people in and keeps them coming back is the epic food.

Each item displayed in the cases speaks for itself, calling out to visitors to enjoy the scrumptious goodness. Although it’s quite an enjoyable experience to soak in such mouth-watering options, it can be challenging to narrow it down. For those with a sweet tooth, options range from the fluffiest cinnamon rolls known to Norfolk to different flavors of cruffins. What’s a cruffin, you ask? It’s a hybrid between a croissant and a muffin, perfectly coupling the flaky, buttery goodness of a croissant with the hearty fullness of a muffin.

For those that prefer a savory snack, May’s Parlor has you covered there too! Enjoy a slice of colossal quiche in rotating flavors or a sandwich on gorgeous herb focaccia bread.

How Do They Do It?

While many bakeries or restaurants are known for one hot ticket item, that’s not the case with May’s. Deliberate curation makes everything on the menu “best seller” worthy. So how do they do it all with such perfection?

The owner of May’s Parlor, Rachael Browning, opened her artisan bakery café after attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and gaining experience perfecting pastry techniques. She is joined by a team of experienced bakers that are also passionate about the craft of baking pastries and artisanal bread.

You can stop by May’s Parlor at 340 w. 22nd St. from 8 am-2 pm Tuesday – Saturday. To keep up with their latest specials, check out their Instagram page, or order online.













Tiffany Frazier

Ghent, NFK

Tiffany grew up in Chesapeake but has called Norfolk home for the past seven years. She fell in love with the city while working with Festevents during college summer breaks. She graduated from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) with a degree in corporate communication. Tiffany now works as a digital marketing specialist and enjoys strolling and rollerblading her way around Norfolk. She lives in Ghent with her husband Trevor, and their two cats, Tux and Joe. 

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