Our 10 Best Bakery Desserts in NYC
Cannelle Patisserie's pear tart.
The season of overindulgence is fast descending upon us with the subtlety of a Zeppelin, bearing glad tidings of weight gain and dental despair. To celebrate the occasion, we've decided to round up our favorite bakery desserts, the ones that make us cross rivers, boroughs, and even Northern Boulevard to get a fix.
By "bakery," we mean just that -- not a coffeehouse with nice pastries or a sandwich shop with a few croissants. And by "dessert" we don't mean muffins, scones, croissants, or any other member of the breakfast pastry family. We mean dessert, the kind that you were taught to eat only after dinner, the kind that makes Top Chef: Just Desserts producers see dollar signs, the kind that your dentist and Michelle Obama warned you about. Our list will undoubtedly differ from your own, so feel free to, ahem, weigh in in the comments.
Birdbath Bakery's seasonal fruit tart.
10. Gülluoglü's Baklava: The Turkish bakery, which has outposts in Midtown and on Coney Island Avenue, boasts a dizzying variety of the traditional pastry. No matter which you order, expect crackly phyllo layers that weep honey without being weighed down by it, and luscious, vibrant fillings. The double pistachio is our favorite. gulluoglucafe.com
9. BabyCakes' Double Chocolate Crumb Cake: Though the gluten-free bakery's cupcakes leave us a bit underwhelmed, its double chocolate crumb cake more than compensates, thanks to its rich, brownie-like texture and impressive depth of flavor. Although it contains cocoa but no actual chocolate, its virtues easily rival those of any of its non-vegan, non-gluten-free counterparts. 248 Broome Street, 212-677-5047
8. Levain's Chocolate Chunk-Walnut Cookie: Yes, this thing always shows up on our 10 best lists, and for good reason. Simply put, it's our Platonic ideal of the chocolate-chip cookie. At almost a quarter-pound, it's less an indulgence than entrée, but we've never been ones to complain about an abundance of good butter, chocolate, and walnuts, particularly when they're served warm. 167 West 74th Street, 212-874-6080
7. Baked NYC's Grasshopper Bar: Walking into Baked always feels like walking into a bake sale of the gods, thanks to its array of desserts that combine a homeyness with superb technique. Case in point is the bakery's grasshopper bar, which sandwiches a silky layer of crème de menthe-spiked filling between a brownie base and minty chocolate ganache. An excellent choice for those who like their chocolate to double as a breath mint. 359 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, 718-222-0345
6. Birdbath Bakery's Seasonal Fruit Tart: Though the city abounds with fruit tarts, what helps to distinguish Birdbath's is its use of its signature croissant dough in place of a traditional sable or sucrée. This creates a buttery, alluringly savory crust that supports rather than distracts from the fruit, which is baked to its tender, melting ideal and anointed with the slightest bit of pastry cream. Altogether, it's one transcendent tart. Multiple locations; birdbathbakery.com
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