Best bakeries in NYC
Since 2014, beloved pastry chef Umber Ahmad—along with pastry-partner Shelly Barbera (Brooklyn Fare, Aldea)—has been running her wholesale operation online, cranking out her famous cheesecakes and brioche doughnuts from a Harlem kitchen, much to the delight of her devoted customers. (Oprah and Tom Colicchio are notable fans.) This West Village brick-and-mortar location has enough room to host baking classes and events. For the first time ever, savory goods will have their place on the menu, as well as new brioche morning buns and fresh tarts, alongside longtime favorites (dark-chocolate brownies) and a full-service coffee-and-espresso bar to boot.
Dominique Ansel not serving Cronuts is like Mick Jagger not singing “Satisfaction”—you risk losing the crowd if you don’t deliver the hits. But with a back catalog as extensive and worthy as Ansel’s, it wasn’t all that earth-quaking when the pastry icon announced he would be favoring deep-cut desserts over that croissant-doughnut phenom at Dominique Ansel Kitchen, the sophomoric effort to his hysteria-inducing bakery in Soho. The counter-service West Village follow-up is more spacious than the pint-size original, but there are no iPhone-primed lines to be found here—that’s because the work Ansel’s doing is more quietly radical than the hammy Wonka–fied hybrids on the lips of every tourist.
This sunny European-American bakery, opened by a pair of Philadelphia transplants, has established itself as a neighborhood favorite in Cobble Hill. Zachary Golper, formerly the head baker at fancy-pants French restaurant Le Bec-Fin, is the man behind the bread, and he named his debut shop after the French saying bien cuit, meaning a “well-done” darkened crust. The airy café offers a plentiful variety of baked goods, including breads, morning pastries, minitarts and open-faced sandwiches.
Head over to Union Square for this 9,000-square-foot bakeshop. Grab one of 25 seats to chow down on the renowned Nutella babka or take out a box of the baked treats if you don't want strangers to see you licking chocolate off your fingers. You can also pick up a range of breads, including Danish ryes, fresh focaccia and crusty baguettes.
Tucked in the arcade of a 1920s Tribeca office building, Roger Gural’s bakery turns out gorgeously laminated babka, excellent French breads and morning pastries like danishes and fruit brioche.
This pint-sized French cafébrings Southern France to Soho, awash in country charm, with reclaimed farmer's tables and vintage colander chandeliers. Dishes like quiche lorraine, chickpea galettes and focaccia pissaladière are offered alongside sweets, including cakey madeleine cookies, baba au rhum and flan-like clafouti. The nutty chocolate chip cookies are so good, they made the list of Oprah's favorite things.
The cookies at Levain Bakery are the stuff of legends: Massive mounds that stay underdone in the middle, making them manna for cookie-dough lovers. Don’t miss the lush, brownielike double-chocolate number.
At some restaurants, bread is an afterthought—baskets of chalky, uninspired dinner rolls shuffled out with chilled, foil-wrapped butter. This is not that restaurant, and it’s certainly not that bread. At High Street on Hudson, the day-to-night West Village sibling to the lauded Philadelphia restaurant, High Street on Market, the astonishing loaves—potent New World ryes, hearty German-style vollkornbrot, anadama miche enriched with molasses—obliterate the idea of bread as mere mealtime filler. Here, it is the meal.
Cookie fiends can get their fix at this uber indulgent sweets shop in the West Village dedicated entirely to safe-to-eat cookie dough. Ask for one, two, or three scoops of traditional chocolate chip and sugar cookie in a cup or cone, or opt for one of the more whimsical flavors like cake batter, s'mores, and peanut butter cup.
Carved into a narrow pocket on Franklin Avenue and awash in ’50s flair (chrome barstools, marquee lighting), this bakery-bar-cum-soda-fountain from Allison Kave and Keavy Blueher is a triple-hitter throwback. The boozy brick-and-mortar—the permanent offshoot of the duo’s beloved flea stall—serves coffee and pastries in the morning, snacks and spirit-spiked sweets in the afternoon, and drinks after dark. Tending both the oven and the stick, the flour-dusted pair proves it has a few more skills up the sleeves of their chef’s whites than just that buzzy bourbon--ginger-pecan pie.