In the last few months, a rash of wonderful new bread bakeries set up shop in New York. Philly's much beloved High Street on Market opened its restaurant and bakery High Street on Hudson in the West Village. Claus Meyer opened a pop-up version of his soon-to-be full-fledged Meyer's Bageri out in Williamsburg. And Adam Leonti, ex of Vetri, brought two giant flour mills to a commercial space in Bushwick to experiment with milling and baking while he cools his heels waiting for the opening of the Williamsburg Hotel this spring.
So on a recent weekend morning, Team Eater collected a sampling of breads and pastries from the buzzy newcomers, as well as a loaf from cultishly loved but still fairly new Arcade Bakery in Tribeca, to see how they stand up.
The Deal: Popping up on Saturdays at Margo Patisserie until the Meyer team fully takes over the space this May, Meyer's Bageri is the first outpost of what is soon to be an empire from Danish restaurateur Claus Meyer.
The Offerings: In addition to a few types of loaves, Meyer's offers at least half a dozen wonderful Danish pastries, including twists, muffins, scones, and other confections.
Breads We Sampled: Wheat bread (a big round) and rye bread (a seed-filled loaf)
Group Tasting Notes: Tasters found the wheat bread to be a little under baked and gooey in the middle, filled with large air bubbles, with a taffy-like sticky interior. Given the bubbles, it's not ideal for sandwiches. That said, tasters called the flavor "delicious," with a mild, even, salty flavor and a nice crust.
The group found the rye bread incredibly intense and chewy, with a nutty, wholesome flavor. Some found the texture a little mushy, the crust a little ugly, but others loved the density and the overpowering flavor.
Standout Pastries: Seeded twist, Meyer lemon cheese Danish
667 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, (347) 696-8400; website; Saturdays only
High Street on Hudson
The Deal: High Street on Hudson is the new New York branch of a beloved Philadelphia bakery and restaurant. Diners are flocking there for egg sandwiches and the new dinner menu, but bread is their forte and can be ordered to-go at the front counter alongside pastries and coffee.
The Offerings: They have a beautiful pastry case with broiche, cakes, and pastries as well as a handful of different styles of bigger loaves of breads.
Breads We Sampled: The New World Rye and the Buckwheat Cherry Bread
Group Tasting Notes: Our tasters were surprised by the incredibly strong caraway and rye flavors in the New World Rye, which rye fans in the crowd loved. The crust was relatively soft, the bread was dense, the chew, strong. It would lend itself well to a certain type of sandwich (where the flavor wouldn't overpower the innards). The bread earned a lot of fans for its even bake and "pretty scorning." Said one taster, "I am heart eyes emoji over this flavor."
Meanwhile, Buckwheat Cherry Bread was a big crowd favorite. Tasters found it "sweet, nutty, and super delicious" with a "nice chew." One taster commended the crust, noting the "seedy situation is a winning attribute."
Standout Pastries: Hazelnut fig escargot
637 Hudson St., (917) 388-3944; website
Brooklyn Bread Lab
The Deal: Brooklyn Bread Lab is Philly transplant chef Adam Leonti's starch-filled playground out in Bushwick. The chef is opening a slew of operations in the upcoming Williamsburg Hotel this spring, and while he waits, he's playing around milling flour, making bread, serving up veggie-studded foccacias and insane béchamel laced lasagnas out of a small commercial space on a sleepy block.
The Offerings: He usually has one to two breads every day (each made from a different American flour) and a small selection of sweet and savory goodies.
Bread We Sampled: Turkey Wheat (Turkey is the name of the wheat strain, a hard winter wheat from Kansas)
Group Tasting Notes: The group found the Brooklyn Bread Lab's wheat to be the best overall bread, as it had a nice sourdough flavor and was "soft, moist, not too dense, with a very crunchy, chewy crust." It would also do well as a sandwich bread.
Standout Pastries: The pastries vary here from day to day, but we sampled a very wonderful hazelnut cake.
201 Moore St., Brooklyn, (718) 418-4400; website
The Deal: Open Monday through Friday in the back of the lobby of a Tribeca office building, Arcade has been a cult hit among bread and pastry fanatics since it stealthily opened last year.
The Offerings: Breads, pastries, sometimes pizza
Bread We Sampled: Quinoa Loaf
Group Tasting Notes: One taster called the crust "dense and sweet," while another cited the interior as "sweet and complex." The whole group admired the beauty of the crust and the high hip quotient, with one taster writing "10/10, she's a stunner." Tasters deemed this bread good for a sandwich, with a wholesome "but not overwhelmingly so" flavor and a satisfying texture. The crust was wonderfully chewy.
Standout pastries: Whatever variety of Danish is on offer
220 Church St., (212) 227-7895; website