Best snacks: The Finger at Sticky’s Finger Joint
Best snacks: Perfect Little Egg Sandwich at Dominique Ansel Bakery
Best snacks: Sandcastles at Black and Blanco
Best snacks: Chinese hamburger with pork at Panda Dumpling House
Best snacks: Mille-Feuille at Mille-Feuille bakery
Best snacks: Chocolate Peanut-Butter Bacon Cookie at Books of Wonder
Best snacks: Pork sticky rolls at Northern Spy on the High Line
Best snacks: House-made yogurt with granola and seasonal fruit compote at One Girl Cookies
Best snacks: Ham-and-Gruyère muffin at The Hungry Ghost
This month-old takeout shop serves an elevated version of the humble chicken finger, using sustainably sourced fowl and offering toppings such as candied citrus zest, and crushed pretzel and caramel sauce. But a strips emporium must be judged by the basics, and Sticky’s classic battered-and-fried breasts—“The Finger”—are par excellence. Order a small ($6.75) and you’ll be rewarded with three fat slabs of juicy buttermilk-marinated white meat covered with crispy-crunchy Southern-style breading that’s been showered with slivers of parsley and sea salt. There are more than a dozen sauces to choose from: We like “Sticky’s” (a creamy Alabama-style BBQ with a bit of heat) and “Cray” (jalapeño, cilantro, pineapple, saltines).
Standard-bearing desserts are the primary reason to pop into former Daniel pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s Soho bakery. But if you’re there before noon, be sure to order this aptly named breakfast creation ($5), what might happen to the McMuffin if a four-star French chef took over McDonald’s. A thick square of fluffy steamed egg (laced with caramelized shallots and chives) is wedged inside a sweet brioche bun and topped with melted Gruyère.
Sandcastles from Black and Blanco
Steve Blanco and Heidi Karlsen like to promote their “sandie” shortbread cookies as feel-good delights, a wheat-free dessert made with extra-virgin coconut oil and 100 percent whole-grain rye sourced from New York State. But you won’t be mulling the health benefits while devouring their crumbly Moroccan-inspired Sandcastles cookies (box of seven $4.99–$5.99). Like shortbread with Fertile Crescent spicing, these crisp, buttery babies marry flavor and texture in one perfect bite. Inspired by Blanco’s mother’s ghoriba, the nutty confections she made in her native northern Africa, the treats come in three flavors: Vanilla is sprinkled with black sesame seeds; marzipan is flavored with almonds and topped with crushed nuts; and a maple-dusted variety is topped with crushed pumpkin seeds. • Available at Westerly Natural Market, 913 Eighth Ave at 54th St (212-586-5262, westerlynaturalmarket.com) • New Amsterdam Market, South St between Beekman St and Peck Slip (newamsterdammarket.org). Sun 11am–4pm.
Chinese hamburger with pork at Panda Dumpling House
The dumplings ($1–$2.50) at this new Chinatown takeout spot are stellar—they’re made-to-order and filled with everything from fried leeks to pork and bok choy. But for superb snacking, our money’s on the “burger” ($2.50), a dense, almost buttery bun (it’s practically a biscuit) that’s griddled, split side to side and stuffed with sweet chunks of slow-cooked pork belly that’s slathered with a tangy-sweet Asian barbecue sauce. Paper-thin slices of pickled cucumber top the creation, best enjoyed with a squirt of sriracha for extra kick. • (212-625-1115)
Owner Olivier Dessyn worked with famous pastry chef Pierre Hermé in Paris before coming to New York to bake true croissants at this unassuming spot in the shadow of NYU’s Bobst Library. The namesake dessert ($4.75)—pronounced “meel-foy,” it means “thousand layers”—is a neat three-layer rectangle of flaky puff pastry and crème patisserie (a luscious custard lightly flavored with vanilla bean, praline or raspberry), all of which shatters into shards of crunch and cream when you break it with your fork. To-go orders come in a little box marked MILLE FEUILLE TIME! that unfolds like the petals of a flower when you pop its top.
In May, the Baconery, once an online-only bakeshop, opened a small café in this Chelsea children’s bookstore. Now kids (and parents) can stuff themselves with its pork-obsessed snacks, including bacon-flecked brownies. The savory-sweet pairing is especially tasty in the chocolate peanut-butter bacon cookie ($3.50), a chewy treat studded with chunks of the smoked meat and peanut-butter candies.
Recently, this East Village farm-to-table restaurant joined a slew of top-notch food vendors selling bites atop the wildly popular elevated park. Along with flaky buttermilk biscuits (paired with Edwards country ham or homemade seasonal jams), Northern Spy will be selling its pork-studded sticky roll ($3.75), a shopping-mall-meets-downtown-Manhattan creation that combines a soft pinwheel of yeast dough with hunks of slow-cooked, cinnamon-spiced pork sourced from Flying Pigs Farm. Before it’s served, the dish is heated and topped with a glaze fortified with maple and Dijon, plus parsnip icing. • (northernspyfoodco.com)
The new outpost of Dawn Casale and Dave Crofton’s Cobble Hill cookie company is a soaring navy-and-white space with picture-perfect displays of pumpkin whoopie pies and red velvet cakes that channel a Martha Stewart photo spread. But each morning, you’ll find a healthier nosh with the shop’s bowls of homemade yogurt ($2.50) made with Battenkill Valley Creamery whole milk from Salem, New York. It’s unbelievably smooth, packs just the proper amount of tang, and is especially good when topped with One Girl’s house granola (oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds, currants, walnuts, dried cranberries, maple syrup and coconut) and stewed seasonal produce ($6.50) like rhubarb or apricots.
This pretty café is one of a handful of eateries now upping the culinary ante near the soon-to-open Barclays Center. Owner Murat Uyaroglu partnered with Pete Solomita, the baker from Sunset Park’s Little Buddy Biscuit Company, to turn out goodies that include a suite of savory breakfast muffins. The smoky Black Forest ham, thyme and Gruyère variety ($2.75) is eggy and rich, almost like a mini quiche. Perfectly sized to eat from one hand, it’s the ideal portable hangover killer.
Brooklynites don’t need to trek to Chinatown to find good Shanghainese food—just head to Greenpoint to dine at M Greenpoint. Plop down at one of the tables and go to town on the menu of dim sum favorites. Think hot and sour soup ($8), scallion pancakes ($7), the juicy pork buns also known as xiao long bao ($9 for six) and ma-pao tofu ($11.50). Vegetarians will be happy to hear that M Shanghai Bistro offers both a vegan and vegetarian version of their menu to make ordering sans meat that much easier. Wash down all the steamed dumplings and spicy stir-fried vegetables with big pots of oolong, chrysanthemum or green tea ($4 for a small, $6 for a large).