Round Challah (Photo courtesy of Beyond Bread)

Where to Find Challah, Honey Cake & Other Baked Goods for Rosh Hashanah

September 12, 2023
By Edie Jarolim

Sundown on Friday, September 15, marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day celebration of the Jewish New Year. The egg bread called challah is a traditional part of the festive holiday meal, as are apples dipped in honey and bakery treats such as honey cake and rugelach — signifying a sweet start for the new year.

You’re on your own with the apples and honey, but we’ve got some suggestions on where to get the rest, including gluten-free versions.

A few notes for the uninitiated: 

  • The challah that is traditionally eaten for the Friday night Sabbath meal is oblong and braided, but for Rosh Hashanah it’s round and often studded with raisins or other fruit. There are many theories about the shape; says: “The round challahs have no end, symbolizing (and actualizing) our wish for a year in which life and blessings continue without end.”
  • The term “challah bread” is redundant — kind of like saying “baguette bread.”
  • Challah is properly pronounced with a hard, guttural “ch” (which is difficult for many people of all religions to manage).

Shana Tovah to all!

Beyond Bread

421 W. Ina Rd. · 3026 N. Campbell Ave. · 6260 E. Speedway Blvd.

Beyond Bread sells plain, traditionally shaped challah every Friday, but for the holiday all the stores will stock up with round challahs in plain, raisin, sesame, and poppy seed varieties, along with honey cake — my favorite way to eat honey and apples — and apricot rugelach.

For more information, visit

Dedicated. A Gluten-Free Bakery & Coffee Shop

4500 E. Speedway Blvd. #41

This gluten-free bakery and coffee shop offers a full menu of Rosh Hashanah-related baked goods but here’s the catch: You’ve got to order by noon on Wednesday, September 13. Options include plain and raisin round challahs; apricot pecan, date nut, and prickly pear (!) rugelach; honeycake; and apple amaretto cake. If you can’t order in time, you can pick up cream puffs and eclairs at the bakery, no small consolation prize. 

For more information, visit

Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro

5845 N. Oracle Rd.

This gluten-free bakery and bistro keeps cinnamon-raisin challah in their freezer, perfect for defrosting when needed.  

For more information, visit

Jewish Community Center

3800 E. River Rd.

On Thursday and Friday, the various stations of the JCC — reception desk, fitness center, Cafe at the J — will offer round challahs. They sell out fairly quickly, so get a move on (hey, this is an exercise facility after all).

For more information, visit

Mona’s Danish Bakery

4777 E. Sunrise Dr. #113
Challah (Photo courtesy of Mona’s Danish Bakery)

Mona’s is selling both regular and round challah for the holiday. No other Jewish-related baked goods are featured, but the cinnamon apple kringle is absolutely in the spirit of Rosh Hashanah. 

For more information, visit

Nadines Bakery

4553 E. Broadway Blvd.

The only kosher bakery in Tucson, Nadines gears up for the holiday with an abundance of Rosh Hashanah-related baked goods: plain and raisin round challahs, honey cake, sponge cake, rugelach, mandel bread, bobka…oh my! They’re available in the bakery on Thursday and Friday, but it’s a good idea to order in advance. 

For more information, follow Nadines Bakery on Facebook.

Village Bakehouse 

7882 N. Oracle Rd.
a piece of cake on a plate
Rugelach (Photo courtesy of Village Bakehouse)

Grab your phone and put in your order: The Village Bakehouse’s special holiday menu offers raisin, poppy, and sesame round challah, cinnamon, chocolate, and raspberry rugelach (all with walnuts), honey cake, and a variety of cookies.

For more information, visit

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Article By

Edie Jarolim has worn many hats, including a sombrero on a one-too-many-margaritas night. She earned a Ph.D. in American literature from New York University and was a guidebook editor at Fodor’s (Random House) and Frommer’s (Simon & Schuster) in New...

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