Let's talk bakeries, and what you like from each.
La Bergamote - their danish are BEAUTIFUL and yummy. They fruit danish seem to contain a custard of some sort?
Silver Moon - their milk bread.
Ceci-Cela - their petits fours (which you need to order in advance) are BEAUTIFUL and so delish for small house parties. They also have a breakfast pastry.. I think it's filled with like an orange cream.... that is awesome.
Goupil and DiCarlo - formerly in Chelsea Market, they seem to have disappeared? Anybody know where they went?!
City Bakery - their mini butter cookies and their mini choco cookies. And you have to try their pretzel croissants. Sounds weird I know, but they are addictive!
Sweet Melissa (Cobble Hill) - their choco peanut butter brownie is so delish, but very rich
TeaNY - OK, not a bakery per se, but their chocolate peanut butter bomb dessert is awesome. It litterally tastes JUST like a Drake's Funny Bone, but without the guilt of eating something by Drake's (mass-produced and probably filled with preservatives and artificial ingredients).
Amy's Bread- Cherry Cream Scones (sooo amazing)
Bruno's Bakery- Marzipan, Fruit Tarts
Cupcake Cafe- Vanilla Cupcakes
Magnolia Bakery- their cupcakes also
'Tisserie- This is a new place around union square and thay have AMAZING pistachio macaroons
City Bakery- Vanilla Bean Domes (they are amazing and really cheap)
I also go to these little bakeries in Chinatown to get Black Bean moon cakes and these butter pound cakes once and a while. The moon cakes are an acquired taste which i got hooked on only after one of my Asian friends insisted i try one but i highly recommend the butter cakes for anyone. On of the bakeries is on Canal and its right in front of the 6 train station and has a green awning. Don't get the moon cake here (its not that good at this place) but definitely try the butter cake. The moon cake place if hard to find so i'm not even going to really try to explain how to get there but if you are adventurous try going down Mulberry street (walking away from little italy) and finding this little place with a yellow awning all the way down the street for like 2 blocks.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine - Pumpkin Cupcake
Two Little Red Hens - Brooklyn Blackout Cupcake
Jacques Torres - Mudslide Cookie
City Bakery & Levain Bakery - Chocolate Chip Cookie (CB's better, IMHO)
Bouchon Bakery - ooh...too many to name; I would vouch for their bouchon and chocolate tart (chocoholic's dream tart)
Patisserie Claude - pain au chocolat
Silver Moon Bakery - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin (it's a seasonal good)
La Bergamote - Almond Croissant
Falai - Bomboloni (but everything else is good)
Panya - Ham and cheese croissant
Cafe Zaiya - baked red adzuki bean donuts
Amy's Bread - Cinnamon Raisin Twist (it's addictive)
Kyotofu - Mini Miso Choco Cake or their white peach yokan (I know yokan is not a pastry but it's a delicious jelly)
La Maison du Chocolat - French macarons
Bouley Bakery - Chocolate Cupcake
I think that's what I can come up with for the moment...
La Bergamote--almond croissant
Patisserie Claude--pain au chocolat
Rocco's--various, including cannoli, baba au rhum and ricotta pie whose name I'm forgetting
Lady M--Mille Crepes
City Bakery--chocolate chip cookie (then Jacques Torres and Levain)
Billy's--traditional cakes and pies
Veniero's - Pignoli cookies, ny style cheesecake, supreme cake and strawberry shortcake
Patiserrie Claude - Baby Palmiers, Croissants, Pan au chocolat, Coffee eclairs, Apple tart, tarte tatin, Pumpkin pie (seasonal).
Panya Bakery - Pullman loaf, strawberry shortcake, egg salad and blt sandwich
Cafe Zaiya - Rice rolls, baked red bean doughnuts, white/pullman bread loaf
Sugar Sweet and Sunshine - pistachio, pumpkin cupcake, banana pudding
little pie and co - sour cream apple pie, carrot cake
amy's bread - raisin semolina fennel bread, sticky bun, devil's choco cupcake, most of it's old fashioned cakes.
city bakery - oatmeal raisin cookie and choco tart
fauchon - they have this pistachio cake to die for that will cost 100 bucks whole.
Fay da- mango mousse cake
Ceci Cela - Everything I've had here is amazing, but I get the eclairs time and time again. They are real, honest to goodness eclairs.
City Bakery - The melted double chocolate cookies are unbelievable.
Spoon - Chocolate bread pudding with banana custard.
New Warsaw Bakery - The best rye bread I've ever had.
EAT/Eli's - Croissants and sour dough rolls.
181st Street Bakery & Deli - Mexican cinnamon cookies. They are light and flakey and oh so delicious. Also Mexican breakfast rolls.
Times Square Hot Bagels - for bagels.
Patisserie Claude for pain au chocolat and croissants.
Two Little Red Hens for brooklyn cream cupcakes, the occasional blackout, orange cranberry and triple berry scones, gingerbread, lemon poppyseed bundt cake, summer medley pie...
Rocco's for cannoli.
Fay Da for egg custard tarts (comfort food), impossibly light sponge cake, something they call Japanese cheesecake, sesame-covered balls of fried dough (name unknown) with lotus seed filling, and another ball of dough (mochi-like), covered in coconut flakes with a peanut-type filling.
Beard Papa's for the occasional cream puff; haven't tried their specialty flavors.
Next up on my list are Poseidon and a search for pan dulce - any recs for what's good at Poseidon and/or your favorite Mexican bakery?
Lady M - crepe pastry, 20 layers and so delicious
Payard - their pistachio pastry, yummy, have not had many pistachio flavored desserts and I love pistachio
Kyotofu - their chocolate mini miso cake is so decadent and dense. half of it was all I needed to satiate my chocolate craving
Ceci-Cela - I love their fruit tarts