Using generation-old recipes, Fung Chow and Wai Hing Chan opened Phoenix Bakery in Los Angeles Chinatown in 1938. Over eighty years later, the Chan family is still making sweet treats.
The bakery was first located on Broadway then moved into Central Plaza before ultimately settling into its current location in 1977.
By the 1940s, Lun F. Chan, who had studied baking in Hong Kong, joined the family business as its head baker. In the 1970s, he developed the now famed Phoenix cake, a strawberry whipped cream cake. Generations of Angelenos have enjoyed this cake on their birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
In addition to its beloved Phoenix cake, the bakery offers traditional Chinese pastries such as moon cakes and wintermelon cakes, both made by hand. Phoenix’s moon cakes are made using decades old wooden molds purchased in China and feature imported duck eggs in the filling. You can also find almond cookies, chocolate eclairs, baklava, and tres leches cake in their display cases. Like any other business, the bakery has adapted to meet customers’ tastes over time.
The bakery's logo, a boy hiding a pastry box behind his back was created in the 1940s by Tyrus Wong, who also painted the Central Plaza’s dragon mural. The logo was modeled after a child in the extended Chan family.
Today, members of the Chan family’s third and fourth-generation can be found in various roles at the bakery today alongside loyal employees that have helped the Phoenix Bakery grow over the years.
To learn more about Los Angeles Chinatown, explore this virtual tour produced by the Conservancy.