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Oneg’s babka
Oneg’s fudgy chocolate babka
Photo via Kathleen S./Yelp

12 Top-Notch Jewish Bakeries in NYC

Exceptional babka, flaky rugelach, doughy challah, and more

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Oneg’s fudgy chocolate babka
| Photo via Kathleen S./Yelp

On the market for an excellent loaf of dense, chocolate-streaked babka, a buttery, flaky bag of rugelach, or perfectly crumbly, jam-stuffed three-sided hamentashen cookies? There are plenty of places to source superlative Jewish pastries around the city, from venerable, endearingly no-frills mom-and-pop outfits that’ve been keeping it old school for many decades, like Moishe’s East Village bakery or Yonah Schimmel’s knishery, to much newer sensations like Breads Bakery. Same goes for classic NYC confections that aren’t technically Jewish but are often lumped in the same general category, like the black and white cookie.

Most are Eastern European recipes in origin, with many tracing back to Hungary in particular, with a couple outliers, like Mansoura’s Syrian offerings. Ahead, 12 great places for all sorts of Jewish pastries worth tracking down.

Note: This map is arranged geographically, from north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lee Lee's Baked Goods

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283 W 118th St
New York, NY 10026
(917) 493-6633
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This homey Harlem space, replete with floral wallpaper and red-and-white checkerboard floors and awning, specializes in great rugelach. Owner Alvin “Lee Lee” Smalls never encountered the Jewish pastry during his formative years in South Carolina; he learned about the baked good while reading the newspaper and landed on his recipe for the buttery, flaky pastry in the late ‘70s, which includes sour cream instead of cream cheese in the dough and topnotch filling ingredients, like apricot jam and walnuts. The African American baker and entrepreneur’s first shop, Marion Smalls Bakery, was named after his father, situated on Amsterdam Avenue, and counted Mike Tyson among its customers; he opened the current joint on a side street in 2001. These days, Smalls’ store, which also goes by Lee Lee’s Rugelach By a Brother, sells over 1,000 pieces of rugelach per weekend, and offers local delivery of 24- to 26-piece sets to every borough except Staten Island.

Lee Lee’s Baked Goods Lee Lee’s Baked Goods/Facebook

2. William Greenberg Desserts

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1100 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10028
(212) 861-1340
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Black and white cookies in both palm-scaled regular and mini sizes are perhaps the biggest hit at this kosher Madison Avenue spot that’s been around since 1946. It’s a thinner layer of frosting on these, a fondant-like coat with the cookie peeking through. There are also riffs on the black and white here, like pastel-hued frosting in lieu of chocolate, and red velvet or pumpkin cookie versions. Rugelach is available year-round, and for Purim, there are regular and miniature hamentashen; Hanukkah brings cookies with white and light blue themed frosting, with menorah or Star of David-patterns designs. WIlliam Greenberg also does plenty of wedding cakes. There’s a location in The Plaza’s food court, too.

3. Orwashers Bakery

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308 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075
(212) 288-6569
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Best known for its breads, this bakery dates back to 1916. Popular breads include rye, black, and challah breads made via family recipes. More modern creations include a distinctive, nutty sticky bun babka. A decade ago, the family business was sold to a new owner, Keith Cohen; he’s since built up a bustling wholesale business based in Hunts Point, baking loaves for the likes of Chop’t, Fresh & Co., and Gourmet Garage, and as well as a space inside Whole Foods 365 in Fort Greene. In 2016, Orwashers opened its second location, across town on the UWS, and frequently crops up at various farmers markets in the tristate area.

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4. Breads Bakery

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18 E 16th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 633-2253
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This Israeli bakery has become pretty damn synonymous with excellent babka since Israeli baker Uri Scheft set up shop just west of Union Square in 2013. It’s quite a nontraditional take on the chocolate-studded loaf, however. The delightful, ultra-rich version here is made with laminated dough that’s akin to a croissant and Nutella, instead of a chocolate-only swirl. The rugelach and challah are great as well, although the babka is the real star, the perfect and easiest thing to bring to literally anything, be it a housewarming, any family holiday gathering, a birthday party, potluck, or even shiva. Further uptown, another location is situated near Lincoln Center, on Broadway and 63rd Street.

An overhead photo of two loaves of chocolate babka beside a cutting knife Photo via Breads

5. Moishe's Bake Shop

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115 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-8555
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At this East Village institution, scoop up all sorts of faithful takes on Jewish specialties, be it strudel, babka, rugelach, or challah. The hamentashen are the star item at the Kosher bakery, which was opened by Moishe Perl in the 1970s. Choose from poppy seed, apricot, prune, raspberry, and chocolate fillings in the triangular cookies, made with a closely-guarded cookie dough recipe. There is also an outpost farther southeast, on the far eastern fringes of Grand Street. The people-watching is great, though some longtime locals swear the Second Avenue location is better quality-wise. Note that they’re closed Saturdays to observe Shabbat.

moishe’s Moishe’s/Foursquare

6. Andre's Hungarian Bakery

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100-28 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 830-0266
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Don’t miss the excellent rugelach at this Hungarian bake shop, which comes overstuffed with either nutless chocolate or a “classic” filling, comprised of mixed nuts, raisins, and both apricot and raspberry jellies. The strudel is also a popular option, packed with fillings like apple, cherry, poppy seeds, or sweet cheese, and a few combo choices, plus savory options like cabbage or spinach and feta. Here, the babka comes in the shape of a petite bundt cake, baked inside a kugelhopf mold. Inside the extra-crisp, buttery crust, there are a lots of air pockets plus gooey chocolate swirls or streaks of cinnamon and raisin. There are also two UES locations, right nearby one another.

7. Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

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137 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-2858
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This LES throwback favorite, located on East Houston Street and established in 1910, soon after Katz’s opened and pre-Russ & Daughters. It’s known for its knishes, and is believed to be the birthplace of the savory baked good. The hefty, generously-stuffed Eastern European nosh is comprised of a thin dough layer wrapped around classic fillings like mashed potato, or potato mixed with kasha, spinach, or cabbage, as well as newer-fangled options like broccoli and jalapenos with mozzarella. Other bubbe-vetted comfort food options include deep-fried latkes, borscht, matzah ball soup, noodle kugel, and kasha varnishkes (a buckwheat, noodle, and onion side dish). Three years ago, there were rumors that the iconic shop, with signage and a vibe inside that’s all delightfully untouched by time, might get shuttered by rent hikes. But thankfully, the institution is still kicking.

8. Oneg Bakery

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188 Lee Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 797-0971

Prefer babka on the chocolate-crammed side, with dough that’s pleasantly gummy in some bites in lieu of a flaky, croissant-esque texture? Head to this Kosher South Williamsburg bakery nestled in a Hasidic stretch of the area. The thinly rolled dough is spackled with dark chocolate and layered countless times; like the now-shuttered Zucker Bakery, this is a babka that makes for a beautiful crosscut. It’s sold by the pound, which is unusual but helpful, considering an entire, jumbo-sized loaf clocks in around four pounds.

Oneg’s babka Photo via Kathleen S./Yelp

9. Green's Bakery

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65 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(646) 801-8460
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This is the purveyor of the babka that’s on the shelves everywhere from Katz’s to Dean & DeLuca to Russ & Daughters. Other wholesalers that stock the moist, properly chocolate-streaked take on babka include Zabar’s, 2nd Avenue Deli, Fairway, and Whole Foods (though they all slap their own labels on it). The family-run business still uses the same recipe passed down by Chana Green, who came to the U.S. from Hungary after WWII. While their Brooklyn HQ doesn’t have a retail shop, customers can order it online and have it shipped directly from the 12,500-square-foot Franklin Ave. digs, sans the markup and prettier packaging of getting it elsewhere.

Green’s Bakery Green’s Bakery/Facebook

10. Shelsky's of Brooklyn: Appetizing & Delicatessen

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141 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 855-8817
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At this Cobble Hill appetizing shop, seek out housemade rugelach, including less-expected flavors like clementine and ginger, lingonberry and chocolate, or lingonberry with pumpkin seeds. A wide selection of halva is available, too. Making a full-fledged Sunday brunch spread out of it? There’s a standout smoked fish counter in the back; don’t miss the well-spiced pastrami lox. Prices tend to be on the steep side, and weekend mornings get quite busy.

11. Weiss Kosher Bakery

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5011 13th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11219
(718) 438-0407
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This Kosher bakery makes cakey, dough-forward rugelach, as well as a thick, chewy chocolate babka, fluffy challah, and a wide selection of jelly donuts. There’s also a Midwood location; know that both outposts observe Shabbat, so they’re closed after 3 p.m. on Fridays and all day Saturdays.

12. Mansoura Bakery

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515 Kings Hwy
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 645-7977
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This family-run Syrian Jewish bakery whips up family recipes that date back 300 years. The baklava is a big highlight: quality Turkish pistachios and honey are sandwiched between an impressive 70 layers of phyllo dough. Other confections worth sampling including the apricot rolls, which are packed with Turkish pistachios, and the kataifi, a tightly-coiled disk of nuts stuffed into a crispy, shredded wheat-like shell. Mansoura is kosher and observes Shabbat, so it closes on Fridays at 4 p.m. and is not open on Saturdays; in July and August, the shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays as well.

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1. Lee Lee's Baked Goods

283 W 118th St, New York, NY 10026
Lee Lee’s Baked Goods Lee Lee’s Baked Goods/Facebook

This homey Harlem space, replete with floral wallpaper and red-and-white checkerboard floors and awning, specializes in great rugelach. Owner Alvin “Lee Lee” Smalls never encountered the Jewish pastry during his formative years in South Carolina; he learned about the baked good while reading the newspaper and landed on his recipe for the buttery, flaky pastry in the late ‘70s, which includes sour cream instead of cream cheese in the dough and topnotch filling ingredients, like apricot jam and walnuts. The African American baker and entrepreneur’s first shop, Marion Smalls Bakery, was named after his father, situated on Amsterdam Avenue, and counted Mike Tyson among its customers; he opened the current joint on a side street in 2001. These days, Smalls’ store, which also goes by Lee Lee’s Rugelach By a Brother, sells over 1,000 pieces of rugelach per weekend, and offers local delivery of 24- to 26-piece sets to every borough except Staten Island.

283 W 118th St
New York, NY 10026

2. William Greenberg Desserts

1100 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028

Black and white cookies in both palm-scaled regular and mini sizes are perhaps the biggest hit at this kosher Madison Avenue spot that’s been around since 1946. It’s a thinner layer of frosting on these, a fondant-like coat with the cookie peeking through. There are also riffs on the black and white here, like pastel-hued frosting in lieu of chocolate, and red velvet or pumpkin cookie versions. Rugelach is available year-round, and for Purim, there are regular and miniature hamentashen; Hanukkah brings cookies with white and light blue themed frosting, with menorah or Star of David-patterns designs. WIlliam Greenberg also does plenty of wedding cakes. There’s a location in The Plaza’s food court, too.

1100 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10028

3. Orwashers Bakery

308 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075

Best known for its breads, this bakery dates back to 1916. Popular breads include rye, black, and challah breads made via family recipes. More modern creations include a distinctive, nutty sticky bun babka. A decade ago, the family business was sold to a new owner, Keith Cohen; he’s since built up a bustling wholesale business based in Hunts Point, baking loaves for the likes of Chop’t, Fresh & Co., and Gourmet Garage, and as well as a space inside Whole Foods 365 in Fort Greene. In 2016, Orwashers opened its second location, across town on the UWS, and frequently crops up at various farmers markets in the tristate area.

308 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075

4. Breads Bakery

18 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003
An overhead photo of two loaves of chocolate babka beside a cutting knife Photo via Breads

This Israeli bakery has become pretty damn synonymous with excellent babka since Israeli baker Uri Scheft set up shop just west of Union Square in 2013. It’s quite a nontraditional take on the chocolate-studded loaf, however. The delightful, ultra-rich version here is made with laminated dough that’s akin to a croissant and Nutella, instead of a chocolate-only swirl. The rugelach and challah are great as well, although the babka is the real star, the perfect and easiest thing to bring to literally anything, be it a housewarming, any family holiday gathering, a birthday party, potluck, or even shiva. Further uptown, another location is situated near Lincoln Center, on Broadway and 63rd Street.

18 E 16th St
New York, NY 10003

5. Moishe's Bake Shop

115 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
moishe’s Moishe’s/Foursquare

At this East Village institution, scoop up all sorts of faithful takes on Jewish specialties, be it strudel, babka, rugelach, or challah. The hamentashen are the star item at the Kosher bakery, which was opened by Moishe Perl in the 1970s. Choose from poppy seed, apricot, prune, raspberry, and chocolate fillings in the triangular cookies, made with a closely-guarded cookie dough recipe. There is also an outpost farther southeast, on the far eastern fringes of Grand Street. The people-watching is great, though some longtime locals swear the Second Avenue location is better quality-wise. Note that they’re closed Saturdays to observe Shabbat.

115 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

6. Andre's Hungarian Bakery

100-28 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375

Don’t miss the excellent rugelach at this Hungarian bake shop, which comes overstuffed with either nutless chocolate or a “classic” filling, comprised of mixed nuts, raisins, and both apricot and raspberry jellies. The strudel is also a popular option, packed with fillings like apple, cherry, poppy seeds, or sweet cheese, and a few combo choices, plus savory options like cabbage or spinach and feta. Here, the babka comes in the shape of a petite bundt cake, baked inside a kugelhopf mold. Inside the extra-crisp, buttery crust, there are a lots of air pockets plus gooey chocolate swirls or streaks of cinnamon and raisin. There are also two UES locations, right nearby one another.

100-28 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375

7. Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

137 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

This LES throwback favorite, located on East Houston Street and established in 1910, soon after Katz’s opened and pre-Russ & Daughters. It’s known for its knishes, and is believed to be the birthplace of the savory baked good. The hefty, generously-stuffed Eastern European nosh is comprised of a thin dough layer wrapped around classic fillings like mashed potato, or potato mixed with kasha, spinach, or cabbage, as well as newer-fangled options like broccoli and jalapenos with mozzarella. Other bubbe-vetted comfort food options include deep-fried latkes, borscht, matzah ball soup, noodle kugel, and kasha varnishkes (a buckwheat, noodle, and onion side dish). Three years ago, there were rumors that the iconic shop, with signage and a vibe inside that’s all delightfully untouched by time, might get shuttered by rent hikes. But thankfully, the institution is still kicking.

137 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002

8. Oneg Bakery

188 Lee Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Oneg’s babka Photo via Kathleen S./Yelp

Prefer babka on the chocolate-crammed side, with dough that’s pleasantly gummy in some bites in lieu of a flaky, croissant-esque texture? Head to this Kosher South Williamsburg bakery nestled in a Hasidic stretch of the area. The thinly rolled dough is spackled with dark chocolate and layered countless times; like the now-shuttered Zucker Bakery, this is a babka that makes for a beautiful crosscut. It’s sold by the pound, which is unusual but helpful, considering an entire, jumbo-sized loaf clocks in around four pounds.

188 Lee Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

9. Green's Bakery

65 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Green’s Bakery Green’s Bakery/Facebook

This is the purveyor of the babka that’s on the shelves everywhere from Katz’s to Dean & DeLuca to Russ & Daughters. Other wholesalers that stock the moist, properly chocolate-streaked take on babka include Zabar’s, 2nd Avenue Deli, Fairway, and Whole Foods (though they all slap their own labels on it). The family-run business still uses the same recipe passed down by Chana Green, who came to the U.S. from Hungary after WWII. While their Brooklyn HQ doesn’t have a retail shop, customers can order it online and have it shipped directly from the 12,500-square-foot Franklin Ave. digs, sans the markup and prettier packaging of getting it elsewhere.

65 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

10. Shelsky's of Brooklyn: Appetizing & Delicatessen

141 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

At this Cobble Hill appetizing shop, seek out housemade rugelach, including less-expected flavors like clementine and ginger, lingonberry and chocolate, or lingonberry with pumpkin seeds. A wide selection of halva is available, too. Making a full-fledged Sunday brunch spread out of it? There’s a standout smoked fish counter in the back; don’t miss the well-spiced pastrami lox. Prices tend to be on the steep side, and weekend mornings get quite busy.

141 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

11. Weiss Kosher Bakery

5011 13th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11219

This Kosher bakery makes cakey, dough-forward rugelach, as well as a thick, chewy chocolate babka, fluffy challah, and a wide selection of jelly donuts. There’s also a Midwood location; know that both outposts observe Shabbat, so they’re closed after 3 p.m. on Fridays and all day Saturdays.

5011 13th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11219

12. Mansoura Bakery

515 Kings Hwy, Brooklyn, NY 11223

This family-run Syrian Jewish bakery whips up family recipes that date back 300 years. The baklava is a big highlight: quality Turkish pistachios and honey are sandwiched between an impressive 70 layers of phyllo dough. Other confections worth sampling including the apricot rolls, which are packed with Turkish pistachios, and the kataifi, a tightly-coiled disk of nuts stuffed into a crispy, shredded wheat-like shell. Mansoura is kosher and observes Shabbat, so it closes on Fridays at 4 p.m. and is not open on Saturdays; in July and August, the shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays as well.

515 Kings Hwy
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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