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A person walks in front of a bakery, whose front window advertises loaves of bread in various shapes and whose red awning reads “Balthazar” in yellow font
Loaves of bread are arranged in the window of Balthazar.
Daniela Galarza/Eater

15 Essential New York Bakeries

Where to find the city’s best bread, pastry, cake, cookies, and more

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Loaves of bread are arranged in the window of Balthazar.
| Daniela Galarza/Eater

It seemed like everyone was baking bread or feeding their sourdough starter in the past year. But in a city full of great bakeries, leaving it to the professionals has its benefits. The best places across New York City make an array of great bread, pastries, and sweet cakes (who has the time for all that in a tiny NYC apartment?). The bakers and pastry chefs behind these shops are true talents in a city where only the best can stay afloat.

For a bakery to be considered for this list, it must serve both yeasted breads and an assortment of breakfast pastries and more intricate sweets, such as cakes, pies, tarts, and cookies. Bakeries that only make a handful of items were excluded, as were strictly wholesale operations or those that only sell their goods at greenmarkets. Here are 15 essential to New York City’s bread and sweets scene.

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

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Orwasher’s Bakery

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308 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075
(212) 288-6569
Visit Website

One of the Upper East Side’s longest continually running businesses, Orwasher’s was founded by a Hungarian family in 1916. Today, it’s run by baker Keith Cohen, whose starters are spiked with different types of wine or lager. The shop is best known for its rugelach, pumpernickel bread, spelt loaves, jelly doughnuts, and black-and-white cookies, but don’t miss the sticky-bun babka, chocolate croissants, seeded bagels, glazed doughnuts, turnovers, or cherry cheese strudel — it’s some of the best in the city. Go early for the best selection.

Baskets of brown loaves of bread in various shapes are arranged against the wall of a bakery. Signs advertising their contents rest on the outside of the baskets.
Whole wheat and other homemade loaves rest are arranged in baskets at Orwasher’s.
Daniela Galarza/Eater

2. Sullivan Street Bakery

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236 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 929-5900
Visit Website

Jim Lahey is the maestro who reminded a new generation of home bakers that long-fermented (“no-knead”) bread was as easy as it was satisfying. Though Lahey’s flagship location left Sullivan Street some years ago, its Chelsea home is bigger and churns out the same selection of Old World-style loaves. The potato flatbread pizza, sprinkled with rosemary and slick with grassy olive oil, is an instant favorite and shouldn’t be missed. Lahey, a master at natural starters and Italian doughs, also makes fabulous, delightfully messy bomboloni, overstuffed with jam or cream. Cookies, tarts, cakes, and panettone are also on offer, depending upon the season.

3. Bourke Street Bakery

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15 E 28th St
New York, NY 10016

This Australian import landed in Nomad back in 2019 with its rustic sourdough and pastries — along with an avid following that sparked long waits in its early days. At the bakery, the artisanal breads are just part of the quality offerings, including peanut butter-and-jelly croissants, shakshuka danishes, and its popular sausage rolls. A second location is forthcoming.

An overhead photograph of multiple hands tearing at cookies, sausage rolls, croissants, and other baked goods
Bourke Street Bakery started in Australia and made its New York debut in 2019.
Gary He/Eater

4. Breads Bakery

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18 E 16th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 633-2253
Visit Website

Breads’ babka has become a new pastry icon in a city full of black-and-white cookies and wedges of cheesecake. Flakier than cake or bread, each braided slice contains layers of dark chocolate and crispy sugar. The babka alone is worth a trip to Breads’ flagship in Union Square, but the shop puts out a vast collection of yeasted loaves, cakes, and pastries each day, with a knack for combining Middle Eastern flavors and European technique. Croissant dough gets twisted into pretzels and showered in poppy and sesame seeds; creme brulee danishes are covered with toasted almonds; challah gets studded with everything from pockets of gouda to cranberries; and even the signature babka sometimes gets an NY cheesecake filling. Go before 4 p.m. for the best selection. Breads also operates a kiosk in Bryant Park and an outpost at Lincoln Center.

A cross-section of a loaf of chocolate babka from Breads Bakery
A loaf of chocolate babka from Breads Bakery.
Breads Bakery

5. Balthazar

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80 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 965-1414
Visit Website

A force, Paula Oland has been the head baker at Balthazar since 1999. Today, she runs the brand’s massive bakery operation in Englewood, New Jersey, but her products are found across the city and for retail sale at Balthazar’s Bakery on Spring Street in Soho. There, in a shop the size of a petit four, find Oland’s baguettes, miche, rye bread, ciabatta, focaccia, brioche, and croissants — the bakery sells thousands of croissants a day, so it’s safe to say they have the formula down. Meanwhile, Mark Tasker runs Balthazar’s pastry and dessert program, putting out thin puff-pastry frangipane tarts, fruit- and cheese-filled danishes, tall layer cakes, rolled mousses, stacks of cookies, and seasonal specials like mince pies in the winter and strawberry-rhubarb galettes in the spring. Despite the vast production, every single thing is worth a taste.

A snug baking operation with loaves of bread and other pastries stacked on shelves that stretch the ceiling. In the foreground, slices of cakes rest on platters.
The bite-sized interior of Balthazar
Daniela Galarza/Eater

6. Pain D’Avignon

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120 Essex St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 673-4950
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Friends from grade school, Bane Stamenkovic, Uliks Fehmiu, and Tole Zurovac grew up in the former Yugoslavia and moved to the U.S. just as their country’s government collapsed. In typical resourceful-immigrant fashion, they learned how to bake and started a business: Pain D’Avignon. Today, the main bakery operates out of Brooklyn, and its wholesale operation services hundreds of cafes and restaurants in the tri-state area. But anyone can buy a loaf, sweet danish, or cake at Pain D’Avignon’s stall inside Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. The breads range from soft ciabattas to dense Old World-style loaves to sweet brioche buns. Pastry offerings include walnut croissants, not-too-sweet chocolate pistachio snails, sticky cinnamon buns, and a deep chocolate olive oil cake. Savory items put a fun spin on classics like the kouign amann; it gets spiked with salty cheese and seeds (the sweet version is also worth a sampling).

An overhead photograph of a pastry studded in salt that appears to be filled with cheesecake and fruit in its center
A salt-studded pastry from Pain D’Avignon.
Daniela Galarza/Eater

7. Frenchette Bakery

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220 Church St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 227-1787
Visit Website

Chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson opened Frenchette Bakery to replace the beloved Arcade Bakery, which they sourced bread from for their acclaimed bistro Frenchette down the street. The duo wanted to keep a bakery in the neighborhood and they’ve done so with riffs on French classics: twice-baked pistachio croissants, caramelized kouign-amann, and even hosting pop-ups that serve banh mi. Simple loaves of country bread and dark malted rye are also available daily.

8. 7 Grain Army

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88 Roebling St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Roughly six years after Matthew Tilden closed his beloved Bed-Stuy bakery Scratchbread, the Brooklyn chef has returned with 7 Grain Army, a counter operation where the grits — but not the grains — from his first business live on. Everything at the bakery, down to the flour tortillas in its breakfast tacos, is decidedly gluten-free, but get there in the morning when the pastries and coffeecake are fresh and you might not even know the difference. 

A photograph of a tray of baked goods, including a blueberry muffin topped with oats, a piece of coffee cake, and other pastries
All of the pastries at 7 Grain Army are gluten-free.
Alex Staniloff/Eater

9. Partybus Bakeshop

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31 Essex St
New York, NY 10002
(917) 262-0732
Visit Website

Jacqueline Eng, formerly the head baker for the Altamarea Group, opened her Essex Street bakery in 2019 and has amassed a well-earned following for her inventive pastries and breads. The daily lineup includes “everything bagel” baguettes, slices of focaccia, loaves of “Lower East Side sourdough,” and an impressive number of danishes.

10. Mel

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1 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

Baker Nora Allen first amassed a cohort of industry fans — Gem chef Flynn McGarry and Dame owners Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard among them — while baking bread at other restaurants in NYC, including Roberta’s in Brooklyn. Since opening her own sunny little blue-framed space last fall, directly across the street from the southern tip of Seward Park on the Lower East Side, that fan base has exploded into a strong public following. Customers consistently wait in lines wrapped around the shop to get their hands on the bakery’s fragrant, tangy sourdough loaves and flakey, buttery croissants stuffed with whatever’s in season at the farmer’s market. The bakery is only open on the weekends, from Friday to Sunday. Plan to go early and stock up before they go on a scheduled break from August 27 to September 6.

A close-up photo of a croissant filled with cheese set on a brown paper bag, with greenery in the background
A ham and cheese croissant from Mel.
Erika Adams/Eater

11. La Bicyclette Bakery

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667 Driggs Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 916-1417
Visit Website

Francophiles like to lament the lack of good bread in New York City (whether they’re right is another matter), but French baker Florent Andreytchenko bakes classics that have garnered a five-borough following. Flaky croissants, crusty baguettes, and ham-and-cheese sandwiches are just a few of the most popular items on the menu.

12. Almondine Bakery

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85 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 797-5026
Visit Website

Well before Dumbo was hip, in 2004, pastry chef Jacques Torres opened his first chocolate shop there, steps from the waterfront. Then, across the street, Hervé Poussot (who once made the desserts and bread at Le Bernardin) opened a bakery. Still one of the neighborhood’s favorite stops, Almondine is known for croissants that taste like the ones on every corner in Paris, and Poussot’s chocolate eclairs have a nice balance between crisp pastry and soft cream filling. The hazelnut raisin bread is a crowd favorite, and baguettes sell out early.

13. Bien Cuit

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120 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 852-0200
Visit Website

Zachary Golper and his wife and partner Kate Wheatcroft brought a new level of perfectionism to baked goods when they opened their first small shop in Boerum Hill in 2011. The crust on their loaves have always been, as the French say, bien cuit, or well-burnished — sometimes almost black on the edges — which is one mark of a skilled baker. Another is the the crumb, or bread’s interior, and Bien Cuit’s bread is held aloft by a dense network of bubbles, a result of the magic chemistry of wheat flour and yeast. Though Golper’s miche (large round whole-grain loaf made entirely with wild yeast) is one of the city’s best, and his baguette (with its sharply curved slits) one of the city’s most beautiful, the pastries he puts out, such as the sugared chocolate escargot, are equally lovely and unexpected. Executive chef Jeff Sytsma fills eclairs with orange cream, glazes them in glossy chocolate, and studs them with candied ginger. Don’t miss the sour-cherry ricotta tart basque, a buttery and rustic cross between a tart and a pound cake. A new outpost in Grand Central Terminal’s market serves the full selection of baked goods, too.

14. Runner & Stone

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285 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 576-3360
Visit Website

A civil engineer by trade, Peter Endriss pursued an obsession with baked goods to work under some of the best in the business, including noted NY pastry chef Francois Payard. Today, he’s one of the few bakers in the city that knows his way around artisan grains, and he churns out a tight collection of gorgeous breads and pastries each day. Even Runner & Stone’s take on classics like brownies and chocolate chip cookies feature grains such as rye and corn meal, respectively. His walnut levain has the signature pale violet hue (a reaction between the skin of the walnuts and the flour) and is full of walnut halves, meaning it’s impossible to take a bite without hitting a nut. In addition to the Gowanus bake shop and restaurant, Runner & Stone’s baked goods can be found at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturdays and the Upper West Side farmers market on Sundays.

15. Winner

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367 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Two words of advice for anyone that wants to get their hands on Winners crusty sourdough, fluffy cinnamon rolls, or one of the seasonal doughnuts: Go early. Daniel Eddy, an alum of the Michelin-rated Rebelle on the Lower East Side, has been luring in locals and other New Yorkers with a diverse menu that doesn’t take shortcuts when it comes to quality or creativity. Sandwiches and chicken dinners are also popular if you can’t make it early enough to snag a loaf of sourdough.

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1. Orwasher’s Bakery

308 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075
Baskets of brown loaves of bread in various shapes are arranged against the wall of a bakery. Signs advertising their contents rest on the outside of the baskets.
Whole wheat and other homemade loaves rest are arranged in baskets at Orwasher’s.
Daniela Galarza/Eater

One of the Upper East Side’s longest continually running businesses, Orwasher’s was founded by a Hungarian family in 1916. Today, it’s run by baker Keith Cohen, whose starters are spiked with different types of wine or lager. The shop is best known for its rugelach, pumpernickel bread, spelt loaves, jelly doughnuts, and black-and-white cookies, but don’t miss the sticky-bun babka, chocolate croissants, seeded bagels, glazed doughnuts, turnovers, or cherry cheese strudel — it’s some of the best in the city. Go early for the best selection.

308 E 78th St
New York, NY 10075

2. Sullivan Street Bakery

236 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Jim Lahey is the maestro who reminded a new generation of home bakers that long-fermented (“no-knead”) bread was as easy as it was satisfying. Though Lahey’s flagship location left Sullivan Street some years ago, its Chelsea home is bigger and churns out the same selection of Old World-style loaves. The potato flatbread pizza, sprinkled with rosemary and slick with grassy olive oil, is an instant favorite and shouldn’t be missed. Lahey, a master at natural starters and Italian doughs, also makes fabulous, delightfully messy bomboloni, overstuffed with jam or cream. Cookies, tarts, cakes, and panettone are also on offer, depending upon the season.

236 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011

3. Bourke Street Bakery

15 E 28th St, New York, NY 10016
An overhead photograph of multiple hands tearing at cookies, sausage rolls, croissants, and other baked goods
Bourke Street Bakery started in Australia and made its New York debut in 2019.
Gary He/Eater

This Australian import landed in Nomad back in 2019 with its rustic sourdough and pastries — along with an avid following that sparked long waits in its early days. At the bakery, the artisanal breads are just part of the quality offerings, including peanut butter-and-jelly croissants, shakshuka danishes, and its popular sausage rolls. A second location is forthcoming.

15 E 28th St
New York, NY 10016

4. Breads Bakery

18 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003
A cross-section of a loaf of chocolate babka from Breads Bakery
A loaf of chocolate babka from Breads Bakery.
Breads Bakery

Breads’ babka has become a new pastry icon in a city full of black-and-white cookies and wedges of cheesecake. Flakier than cake or bread, each braided slice contains layers of dark chocolate and crispy sugar. The babka alone is worth a trip to Breads’ flagship in Union Square, but the shop puts out a vast collection of yeasted loaves, cakes, and pastries each day, with a knack for combining Middle Eastern flavors and European technique. Croissant dough gets twisted into pretzels and showered in poppy and sesame seeds; creme brulee danishes are covered with toasted almonds; challah gets studded with everything from pockets of gouda to cranberries; and even the signature babka sometimes gets an NY cheesecake filling. Go before 4 p.m. for the best selection. Breads also operates a kiosk in Bryant Park and an outpost at Lincoln Center.

18 E 16th St
New York, NY 10003

5. Balthazar

80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
A snug baking operation with loaves of bread and other pastries stacked on shelves that stretch the ceiling. In the foreground, slices of cakes rest on platters.
The bite-sized interior of Balthazar
Daniela Galarza/Eater

A force, Paula Oland has been the head baker at Balthazar since 1999. Today, she runs the brand’s massive bakery operation in Englewood, New Jersey, but her products are found across the city and for retail sale at Balthazar’s Bakery on Spring Street in Soho. There, in a shop the size of a petit four, find Oland’s baguettes, miche, rye bread, ciabatta, focaccia, brioche, and croissants — the bakery sells thousands of croissants a day, so it’s safe to say they have the formula down. Meanwhile, Mark Tasker runs Balthazar’s pastry and dessert program, putting out thin puff-pastry frangipane tarts, fruit- and cheese-filled danishes, tall layer cakes, rolled mousses, stacks of cookies, and seasonal specials like mince pies in the winter and strawberry-rhubarb galettes in the spring. Despite the vast production, every single thing is worth a taste.

80 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

6. Pain D’Avignon

120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
An overhead photograph of a pastry studded in salt that appears to be filled with cheesecake and fruit in its center
A salt-studded pastry from Pain D’Avignon.
Daniela Galarza/Eater

Friends from grade school, Bane Stamenkovic, Uliks Fehmiu, and Tole Zurovac grew up in the former Yugoslavia and moved to the U.S. just as their country’s government collapsed. In typical resourceful-immigrant fashion, they learned how to bake and started a business: Pain D’Avignon. Today, the main bakery operates out of Brooklyn, and its wholesale operation services hundreds of cafes and restaurants in the tri-state area. But anyone can buy a loaf, sweet danish, or cake at Pain D’Avignon’s stall inside Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. The breads range from soft ciabattas to dense Old World-style loaves to sweet brioche buns. Pastry offerings include walnut croissants, not-too-sweet chocolate pistachio snails, sticky cinnamon buns, and a deep chocolate olive oil cake. Savory items put a fun spin on classics like the kouign amann; it gets spiked with salty cheese and seeds (the sweet version is also worth a sampling).

120 Essex St
New York, NY 10002

7. Frenchette Bakery

220 Church St, New York, NY 10013

Chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson opened Frenchette Bakery to replace the beloved Arcade Bakery, which they sourced bread from for their acclaimed bistro Frenchette down the street. The duo wanted to keep a bakery in the neighborhood and they’ve done so with riffs on French classics: twice-baked pistachio croissants, caramelized kouign-amann, and even hosting pop-ups that serve banh mi. Simple loaves of country bread and dark malted rye are also available daily.

220 Church St
New York, NY 10013

8. 7 Grain Army

88 Roebling St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
A photograph of a tray of baked goods, including a blueberry muffin topped with oats, a piece of coffee cake, and other pastries
All of the pastries at 7 Grain Army are gluten-free.
Alex Staniloff/Eater

Roughly six years after Matthew Tilden closed his beloved Bed-Stuy bakery Scratchbread, the Brooklyn chef has returned with 7 Grain Army, a counter operation where the grits — but not the grains — from his first business live on. Everything at the bakery, down to the flour tortillas in its breakfast tacos, is decidedly gluten-free, but get there in the morning when the pastries and coffeecake are fresh and you might not even know the difference. 

88 Roebling St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

9. Partybus Bakeshop

31 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

Jacqueline Eng, formerly the head baker for the Altamarea Group, opened her Essex Street bakery in 2019 and has amassed a well-earned following for her inventive pastries and breads. The daily lineup includes “everything bagel” baguettes, slices of focaccia, loaves of “Lower East Side sourdough,” and an impressive number of danishes.

31 Essex St
New York, NY 10002

10. Mel

1 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
A close-up photo of a croissant filled with cheese set on a brown paper bag, with greenery in the background
A ham and cheese croissant from Mel.
Erika Adams/Eater

Baker Nora Allen first amassed a cohort of industry fans — Gem chef Flynn McGarry and Dame owners Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard among them — while baking bread at other restaurants in NYC, including Roberta’s in Brooklyn. Since opening her own sunny little blue-framed space last fall, directly across the street from the southern tip of Seward Park on the Lower East Side, that fan base has exploded into a strong public following. Customers consistently wait in lines wrapped around the shop to get their hands on the bakery’s fragrant, tangy sourdough loaves and flakey, buttery croissants stuffed with whatever’s in season at the farmer’s market. The bakery is only open on the weekends, from Friday to Sunday. Plan to go early and stock up before they go on a scheduled break from August 27 to September 6.

1 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

11. La Bicyclette Bakery

667 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Francophiles like to lament the lack of good bread in New York City (whether they’re right is another matter), but French baker Florent Andreytchenko bakes classics that have garnered a five-borough following. Flaky croissants, crusty baguettes, and ham-and-cheese sandwiches are just a few of the most popular items on the menu.

667 Driggs Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

12. Almondine Bakery

85 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Well before Dumbo was hip, in 2004, pastry chef Jacques Torres opened his first chocolate shop there, steps from the waterfront. Then, across the street, Hervé Poussot (who once made the desserts and bread at Le Bernardin) opened a bakery. Still one of the neighborhood’s favorite stops, Almondine is known for croissants that taste like the ones on every corner in Paris, and Poussot’s chocolate eclairs have a nice balance between crisp pastry and soft cream filling. The hazelnut raisin bread is a crowd favorite, and baguettes sell out early.

85 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

13. Bien Cuit

120 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Zachary Golper and his wife and partner Kate Wheatcroft brought a new level of perfectionism to baked goods when they opened their first small shop in Boerum Hill in 2011. The crust on their loaves have always been, as the French say, bien cuit, or well-burnished — sometimes almost black on the edges — which is one mark of a skilled baker. Another is the the crumb, or bread’s interior, and Bien Cuit’s bread is held aloft by a dense network of bubbles, a result of the magic chemistry of wheat flour and yeast. Though Golper’s miche (large round whole-grain loaf made entirely with wild yeast) is one of the city’s best, and his baguette (with its sharply curved slits) one of the city’s most beautiful, the pastries he puts out, such as the sugared chocolate escargot, are equally lovely and unexpected. Executive chef Jeff Sytsma fills eclairs with orange cream, glazes them in glossy chocolate, and studs them with candied ginger. Don’t miss the sour-cherry ricotta tart basque, a buttery and rustic cross between a tart and a pound cake. A new outpost in Grand Central Terminal’s market serves the full selection of baked goods, too.

120 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

14. Runner & Stone

285 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

A civil engineer by trade, Peter Endriss pursued an obsession with baked goods to work under some of the best in the business, including noted NY pastry chef Francois Payard. Today, he’s one of the few bakers in the city that knows his way around artisan grains, and he churns out a tight collection of gorgeous breads and pastries each day. Even Runner & Stone’s take on classics like brownies and chocolate chip cookies feature grains such as rye and corn meal, respectively. His walnut levain has the signature pale violet hue (a reaction between the skin of the walnuts and the flour) and is full of walnut halves, meaning it’s impossible to take a bite without hitting a nut. In addition to the Gowanus bake shop and restaurant, Runner & Stone’s baked goods can be found at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturdays and the Upper West Side farmers market on Sundays.

285 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

15. Winner

367 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Two words of advice for anyone that wants to get their hands on Winners crusty sourdough, fluffy cinnamon rolls, or one of the seasonal doughnuts: Go early. Daniel Eddy, an alum of the Michelin-rated Rebelle on the Lower East Side, has been luring in locals and other New Yorkers with a diverse menu that doesn’t take shortcuts when it comes to quality or creativity. Sandwiches and chicken dinners are also popular if you can’t make it early enough to snag a loaf of sourdough.

367 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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