Every New York City neighborhood has one: A pastry shop where the air smells sweet, the conversation is light, and the coffee is hot. Bakeries make everything from bread to cookies, but pastry shops specialize in sugar, especially when it involves flaky doughs, frosted cakes, and glistening tarts. Open for breakfast, pastry shops serve warm cinnamon rolls or many-layered cherry danishes, tall biscuits, or soft muffins studded with berries. Pastry shops are where diners go to order a birthday cake, meet over a slice of pie, or dive face first into a cupcake. They’re almost always open all day, too, so they also attract those looking for a sweet fix just before the sun starts to set. Baklava, egg tarts, loaf cakes, galettes, kouign amann, croissants — these are the domain of the pastry chef. Here are 20 of New York’s top pastry shops.Read More
NYC’s 20 Premier Pastry Shops
From orange-scented olive oil cake to gooey cinnamon rolls, here are the stand out places to get sweets in NYC
Make My Cake
Third generation baker Aliyyah Baylor is behind this longstanding shop, which recently moved its flagship from Harlem to the Upper West Side due to rising rents. Cake is the thing to get here, and the range is impressive. Find elaborately decorated layer cakes, a classic German chocolate with coconut frosting, and sweet, extra-moist red velvet. Cheesecakes, piled high with fruit, are another attraction. Each variety is also available as a cupcake. There’s a second, slightly smaller location on 139th Street and Seventh Avenue.
Two Little Red Hens
From dawn until dusk, the air around this bakery smells like browned butter and caramelized sugar thanks to an extensive menu of scones, pie, cheesecake, cupcakes, and cookies. Favorites include the Michigan sour cherry crumble pie, pear-ginger scones, Brooklyn blackout cupcakes (filled with chocolate pudding and frosted with dense, ganache-like chocolate icing), blueberry-topped New York cheesecakes, and gingerbread cake covered in addictive lemon cream cheese frosting.
The French Workshop
A father and son team, Nikolaos and Jerry Pantelatos, is behind this pastry shop open since 2016. Classics like tarte Bourdaloue — filled with poached pears and almond cream — eclairs, Opera cake, and chocolate bombes decorated with white chocolate pearls are standard here. A must-get is the fluffy, crumbly, crisp millefeuille — each bite shatters and then melts in the mouth.
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One of New York City’s finest patisseries, Cannelle specializes in classic French offerings, from Opera cake and Paris-Brest to colorful fruit tarts and chocolate eclairs. Pastry chefs G. Sabaratnam and Jean Claude Perennou are behind this elaborate display, which includes pillowy chocolate croissants, deeply caramelized kouign amann, and cinnamon roll-like apple danishes in the mornings. Go early for warm breakfast pastries, or stop in after noon for a fruit tart.
Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria
There is pizza and flatbread here, but the cookies and cakes by pastry chef Lindsey Bittner are the real draw. Crisp cannoli are filled to order, mini chocolate bundt cakes sparkle beneath a mirrored glaze, and cucidati, the original fig newton, are soft and dense with sticky figs. Get a couple of anise biscotti and an espresso for a quick Italian breakfast, or order a cannoli, pistachio cornetto, and jam-filled bomboloni to eat on one of the hotel lobby’s comfortable couches. Go early and during the week for the freshest selection.
Pastry chef and bakery owner Umber Ahmad’s first shop is still going strong since opening in 2016. Her dark chocolate layer cake, velvety and plump, pairs perfectly with a cold glass of milk or warm cup of tea. The choux — cream puffs with a crackly, cookie-like top — are a popular order, and the brioche doughnuts, which are also stuffed with sweet vanilla bean cream, similarly stand out. Shortbread, chocolate chip cookies, peanut brittle, and marshmallows round out the daily offerings.
Pastry chef Tyler Atwell, formerly of Boulud Sud, took over the counter at Lafayette a couple of years ago, and he’s made it his own. He still offers a selection of colorful macarons and seasonal eclairs, while adding stellar individual cakes, like an apricot-almond petit gateau, to the mix. Go early for fresh, light-as-air croissants and ultra-flaky, fruit-filled danishes.
Owners Liz Quijada and Jamie McCormick’s cafe turned 10 in 2018, and its selection of pastries has only grown. Everyone loves the olive oil cake — scented with just a hint of orange, it’s the perfect foil for an espresso drink. Also worth a taste are the crostatas, which change in shape and flavor daily. Almond croissants, black sesame cardamom cake, wedge-shaped scones, and tall stacks of cookies bulk up the pastry menu. Hit this spot in the mid-morning hours for the widest range of sweets.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Stand in line for the Cronut (or frozen hot chocolate or cookie shot) if you must, but don’t skip the pastry case at Ansel’s flagship: A rainbow of tarts, cakes, and layered desserts awaits. They change seasonally and sometimes daily, but a selection could include an elegant carrot cake with a calamansi citrus cream and orange ganache, apple tarte tatin on a crumbly sablé base, and raspberry lychee pavlova with mascarpone white chocolate ganache. The baked-to-order madeleines — which release petite puffs of lemon-scented steam as they’re bitten — are the real stars here, though DKA, Ansel’s spin on the kouign amann, are still a worthy and popular choice.
There are literal drawers full of baklava at this Soho shop, in addition to platters piled high with Greek cookies in at least two dozen different shapes. Supplement an order of baklava with pistachio shortbread, seeded bars, or diples, a ribbon of dough fried into a curl and dipped in a honey syrup. Bonus: Order a cup of Greek yogurt at the counter and get candied cherries and crushed baklava on top. Savories and coffee drinks are also served at this all-day cafe, a stylish offshoot of Artopolis in Astoria from Regina Katopodis.
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Petee's Pie Company
Pastry chef and pie maker Petra Paredez’s empire has grown since she opened her first shop on the Lower East Side. Earlier this year, she opened an all-day cafe in Brooklyn, but the charm of her pie shop is hard to beat. Find a large selection of seasonal pies — like apple crumble, almond chess, and berry dream — plus scones, cinnamon rolls, toasted coconut macroons, and lacy, brown sugary drop cookies. Open from morning until late, the move is to have dinner in the neighborhood and stop by Petee’s for dessert.
One of the best things about Tomoko Kato’s namesake shop and tasting counter is that visitors can watch the chef in action: Whether she’s plating her three-course dessert tasting menu, unmolding yuzu mousse cakes, decorating vibrant green tea cheesecakes, or slicing her mille crepes cake, she’s always in motion. There’s a pleasing lightness to most of Tomoko’s pastries, but don’t miss her caramel-nut tarts, in which a pile of gooey, caramelized nuts sits atop a frangipane base. The salty-sweet crunch is balanced by a spoonful of unsweetened whipped cream.
Lung Moon Bakery
Bakeries dot Chinatown like ornaments on a Christmas tree, but Lung Moon’s soft cake rolls, golden egg tarts, round sesame bun fritters, and dense mooncakes (in several flavors) stand out. Go around lunchtime for the best selection, which includes savory, meat-filled buns. Definitely try an egg tart and the coconut bun, which is lightly sweet, buttery, and full of coconut flavor.
Some 100 different items are on offer at this family-owned, ornate, marble- and mirror-filled shop, so it’s easy to get carried away. Fortunato’s rainbow cookies are a solid choice, though the blueberry Napoleon is a must-taste here. Consider snagging a whole Cassatta cake — rich with ricotta mousse filling, nutty from a marzipan ribbon around its side, and sweet from the candied cherries, squash, pears, and apricots that garnish each one — for a party. Gelato and espresso are also available.
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Butler Bake Shop and Espresso Bar
Pastry chef Ryan Butler’s eponymous shop is comfortable and exudes just the right amount of Brooklyn cool. Though savory menu items are on offer here in addition to a full coffee menu, do check out the sweets. Seasonal fruit is folded into the sugar bun rolls, orange Bavarian cream dresses up squares of poppy seed cake, and dense chocolate cake gets topped with swirls of cream and candied cherries. Butler’s morning glory muffins are a particularly elegant way to start the day: The combination of carrot, coconut, and pineapple is offset with a curl of passionfruit cream cheese icing.
Lucky Bird, a petite shop from baker Amy Berger Roy that specializes in layer cakes garnished with flowers, adds some much-needed charm to East Williamsburg. The lemon-rose cake tastes like summer; get a slice and linger over it with a cup of coffee near one of the shop’s bay windows, or order a chocolate chip cookie or rosewater scone to-go.
The name is apropos: Find pastry chef Ayako Kurokawa’s shop in the belly of a Brooklyn office building. Kurokawa is a flavor maestro, and her sweets are both arresting and playful. A slice of the cheesecake, tall and pillowy, is an obvious order, but the other delicate layer cakes, including one flavored with coffee, chocolate, and cream, also shine. Limited hours of operation mean a limited menu; go just before noon for the best selection.
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The Good Batch
It’s hard to pick just one thing at this Clinton Hill bakeshop from husband-wife team Anna Gordon and Steve Hartong and born out of Brooklyn Flea. Start with a chocolate chip cookie — crisp around the edges and dense and chewy in the center. Graduate to a bar cookie, perhaps one filled with apples and topped with a crumble. Cinnamon rolls are big as boxers’ gloves, but sweet and soft. The cakes — layered and frosted or studded with fruit and nuts — come by the slice or square and some, like the pear and ginger, are large enough to share. If the biscuits are hot and fresh, get one with a side of salty butter and sweet honey.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Sisters Melissa and Emily Elsen are the pie masters behind Four & Twenty, a shop that’s grown in its short nine years to include four outposts. Alongside the pies, which are clearly the stars, are loaf cakes, muffins, scones, and cookies. The way to go, though, is the pie. A go-to is the salty honey, and an underrated option is the hojicha, a warm and sunny custard pie with an addictive roasted base note.
Displayed right up front at Mansoura, a pastry and candy shop with a history that dates back to Syria in the 1700s, are the round pans of golden brown, glistening baklava and knafeh in the window. Inside, amid the smell of dark chocolate and buttery phyllo, a long glass counter awaits. There, honey-soaked cookies, date rolls, soft shortbread, and piles of chocolate-dipped fruit and orange peel dazzle. But get the pastry, available by the piece. Build a sampler box by getting a couple of each.