Sugar fiends never had it so good—with so many pedigreed dough-punchers setting up shop in our fair city, New Yorkers don't only have access to every best bakery NYC has to offer, but they have access to some of the best bakeries in the world. Whether you’re looking for French bakery spots or all-American donut shops, the best pies for the holidays or one of the city’s best chocolate chip cookies, check out every best bakery NYC sweets lovers should know about.
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Best bakeries in NYC
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 (the large rounds known as miche are $10, raisin-walnut loaves with pink peppercorns are $13), morning pastries, minitarts and open-faced sandwiches.
Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal (France's La Chassagnette) brings Southern France to Soho with this pint-sized French café, awash in country charm, with reclaimed farmer's tables, vintage colander chandeliers and spindle-leg stools parked at window counters. Partnering with Experimental Cocktail Club co-founder Benjamin Sormonte and baker-event planner Elisa Marshall, classically trained Arnal pulls recipes from the trio's respective families and honors his own Montpellier childhood with dishes like quiche lorraine, chickpea galettes and Nice's take on pizza, focaccia pissaladière. Pastry maven Marshall spearheads the sweets, including cakey madeleine cookies, baba au rhum and flan-like clafouti, served alongside Toby's Estate coffee.
Loaf legend Uri Scheft—the brains behind Tel Aviv's Lehamim Bakery—brings his dough-kneading talents to Union Square with this 9,000-square-foot bakeshop. Grab one of 25 seats for a warm chocolate croissant 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.
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.
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.) After two years of construction, Ahmad’s bakery gets a West Village brick-and-mortar location, which 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.
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 chef Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin’s 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. A cart strategically set by the venue’s entrance with street-facing windows offers the beautiful loaves for retail sale, as well as equally great baked goods, from moist coffee-almond date cake ($3.50) to Market’s beloved country-ham–draped, gravy-filled red-eye danish ($4.50).
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-pecan pie.
Haute pastry whiz Tomoko Kato (Bouley Bakery, Le Bernardin) crosses the bridge for this dessert tasting menu restaurant spotlighting French-Japanese confections. Snag a seat at the eight-seat horseshoe-shaped bar for a three-course prix fixe including an amuse-bouche, a choice of sweet (black-sesame crème brûlée, green-tea cheesecake tart) and petits fours like namachoko (a Japanese truffle-like confection). The pastries can be paired with wine, Toby's Estate coffee or In Pursuit of Tea brews. A to-go counter offers custom cakes, savory breads (potato-zucchini focaccia) and cookies (caramel-walnut sandwiches, mango macarons).
The two South Dakota–reared sisters who opened Four & Twenty Blackbirds learned pie-baking from their grandma, and her expert instruction is evident in varieties like lemon chess, rhubarb custard and salted caramel apple enveloped in an exquisitely flaky crust. Linger at one of the comfy communal tables long enough, and your kids are bound to request a second slice—but if you want to take home a whole pie, you'll need to order it at least 48 hours in advance.
Craving a cupcake?
Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner
Sarge’s is generally believed to be the city’s only 24-hour Jewish delicatessen. NYPD Sergeant Abe “Sarge” Katz opened the restaurant in 1964, and the building still has the burgundy vinyl booths, Tiffany’s lamps and a wall of celebrity photos to prove it. Sarge’s offers all the classic deli sandwiches—corned beef ($15.95), pastrami ($16.95), reuben ($19.95)—plus The Monster. Billed as the city’s largest sandwich, it is indeed a towering stack of corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, turkey, salami, tomato, lettuce, cole slaw and Russian dressing on rye ($41.95). The menu is just as gargantuan as that sandwich, offering everything from shrimp salad ($17.95) to matzo ball soup ($6.95) to sliced London broil with mushroom gravy ($30.95). If you still have room, order a slice of the homemade cheesecake ($6.95) and an egg cream to wash it down ($2.95).
Venue says: “Sarge's Deli is the destination for old world food like pastrami, corned beef and matzo ball soup.”