During my year in New York, I am sure my red KitchenAid Stand Mixer became lonely. It was neglected and used rarely. Compared to previous years of weekly use, it sat in the corner of our tiny kitchen. Sometimes I would dust it off and rinse out the bowl before guests came over but that was the extent of its use. As I write this, I realize it seems strange that baking took such a backseat in my life. Baking has always been an important part of my life but in New York, I chose to spend my time differently. Apartment living encourages one to get outdoors and explore (or, on wintery days, camp out a coffee shop and then head to a museum). For me, it was a time of discovery rather than learning how to make and master a dessert or savoury item. I had made a personal goal to visit bakeries known and unknown, old and new. Below, are my favourites. Enjoy and let me know what your favourite bakeries in the city are!
My Favourite New York CITY Bakeries
Two Little Red Hens - An American Bakery
Location: 1652 2nd Avenue (at 86th), Upper East Side, Manhattan
My favourites: Brooklyn Blackout Cake, Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl Cupcake, Chocolate Mousse Pie, New York Cheesecake
Notes: One of my friends swears by the scones and goes to the store in the morning to pick them up. There are few places to sit inside so it is best to pick up your goodies and enjoy at home or in the park.
Location: 167 West 74th, Upper West Side, Manhattan
My favourites: Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie
Notes: When you purchase your cookie, it will be gooey and warm so enjoy right away by splitting with a friend (the cookies are huge). There are not many places to sit indoors or outdoors so plan to go for a walk or head towards Central Park.
Location: 448 Layfayette Ave (at Franklin Ave), Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn (plus other locations- see website)
My favourites: Hibiscus, Passionfruit
Notes: I didn't get a chance to try the Doughkas but they sound delicious! Let me know your thoughts if you tried one!
Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
Location: 17 Cleveland Place, Nolita, Manhattan
My favourites: Strawberry Cheesecake
Notes: Small shop and take out only. There is an option to buy mini-cheesecakes if you are having trouble choosing a flavour!
Orwasher’s – New York’s Original Artisan Bakery
Location: 308 East 78th Street (b/w 1st and 2nd), Upper East Side, Manhattan
My favourites: Jelly doughnuts, levain locale bread
Notes: Choosing your own combination of jelly filling + doughnut type the most difficult part when visiting this bakery. The breads here are amazing. Take out only so head over to Carl Schurtz Park to enjoy your goodies.
The City Bakery
Location: 3 West 18th Street (close to 5th Avenue), Flatiron District, Manhattan
My favourites: Pretzel Croissant, Baker's Muffin
Notes: This bakery is quite busy, especially during February which is hot chocolate month. Despite the business, February is the best time to visit but plan to wait in line and for a table. Grab yourself your choice of hot chocolate (flavours vary from salted caramel to peanut butter to love potion in 2016) along with homemade marshmallow and pair it up with the pretzel croissant for a sweet plus savoury combination. After your treat, wander over to ABC Carpet & Home, Union Square or to the Strand Book Store.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
Location: Many locations but the most central is Grand Central Station, 107 East 42nd Street, Manhattan
My favourite: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Notes: Buy your chocolate gifts for birthdays or holidays here after indulging in a cookie and a coffee. Jacques Torres is famous for his Chocolate Chip Cookies so you may want to try one of those as well. The hot chocolate is also very good here.
Glaser's Bake Shop
Location: 1670 1st Avenue (at 87th st.), Upper East Side, Manhattan
My favourite: Black 'n' whites cookie, turnovers
Notes: Old fashioned and charming interior as it is one of the longest standing bakeries in New York City. The menu is varied and seasonal so go in there with open eyes. This bakery is also one of the most affordable in the city. It is cash and take out only.