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Best Rugelach in NYC/ Tri State Area...Oy! I give up!

Hi fellow chowhounds!

I am desperate. After spending the past few months in Santa Barbara, we discovered the most amazing little bakehop that sold the most fantastic morsels of rugelach. I grew up on the stuff, and it was such a suprise to find rugelach BETTER in places like California...rather than in New York. Maybe because they don't attempt to make a parve version with non-dairy cream cheese and margarine, and perhaps there isnt such a huge market for dairy ruggies. I simply don't know.

What I do know is that we have tried everything from Dean and Delucca's variety to Steve's Mom to Just Rugelach at the Farmer's market. We've tried Greens (yuck) Ericas (even more yuck) and Chewies (you call THAT rugelach!) From supermarkets to gourmet stores to tiny bakeshops. We almost had an OK rugelach at Crumbs the other day, but nothing to write home about.

I heard there was a place in Harlem that cranked out fantastic rugelach...perhaps someone on this board can lead me there....or anywhere else I pick up a wonderful pound of ruggies!


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  1. We like the cinnamon and chocolate rugelach at Zabar's - not the packaged stuff, but the ones they sell at the bread counter.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Striver

      Thanks I will have to try that. Is it in the strudel section? I've bought the pre-packaged stuff before, never a fan of that!

      1. re: RawTunaFan

        It's right where they sell bread, bagels, etc. The rugelach are in a display case on the counter; they're very good (I never buy the pre-packaged, either).

      2. re: Striver

        Finally had these- and they're great.

      3. Russ and Daughters has EXCELLENT rugelach. i mean excellent and addictive. hard to stop once you get started. oh yeah, and their smoked fish is some of the best in town. enjoy frankbooth

        1. Andres Hungarian Bakery on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens, between 67 Ave and 67 Rd has great rugelach. That have a cafe on the upper east side 2nd (?) Ave in the 80s that I would imagine carries it as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Val55

            huge second on andre's, I live in rego park so as far as I know, the rugelach must be the freshest over here since they actually do all the baking here; unless they do their baking on premises in the UES, which I'm not sure of. regardless, the best rugelach ever, and they even have a sugar-free version, which I've never had, but looks decent. I've eaten a lot of rugelach in my lifetime, and this stuff is the best.

          2. I like Bruce's in Great Neck. They have a bunch of delicious Jewish pastries.

            1. since you are casting the net in your search for woundeful rugelach over the tristate area i'll chime in with cohen's bakery in ellenville ny. you will not be disappointed.

              89 center st
              845 647-6374

              1 Reply
              1. re: ericalloyd

                The best (dairy) I've ever had are at Mario's Bakery on Merrick Road in Oceanside. Italian bakery, of course!

              2. If you are willing to travel to NJ, Nana's Deli in Livingston has fantastic rugelach! They make them fresh there (so no packaged stuff!)

                5 Replies
                1. re: NiKoLe1625

                  I live in NYC but work near Livingston, so I dropped by Nana's today to try the rugelach. They're good but softer and sweeter than I like - there's no crunch to speak of; I continue to prefer the texture and flavor of Zabar's (and to repeat, not the packaged ones they sell - the loose ones at the counter).

                  Meanwhile, as look as we're going tr-state, Lulu's in Scarsdale (an outstanding cake & pastry bakery) has excellent rugelach - smaller and more "delicate" than Zabar's, but very tasty.

                  1. re: Striver

                    I just had another of the Nana's rugelach, and in all honesty, have to revise my opinion downwards. They seem to have been cut from a sheet rather than individually formed and baked, which is how my late mother (a master baker) made them and how Zabar's seem to be made (and Lulu's definitely are). The overall softness is really not rugelach by my definition. They're not bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way for one.

                    1. re: Striver

                      I like the rugelach at Lulu's -- it may be a little too "overstuffed" with raisins, nuts, fruits etc nevertheless they are delicious...problem is, like most of their stuff, whenever I go there, they are sold out of everything and the shelves are empty. I can't tell you how many Saturdays I have peeked my head in there only to find they are sold out of cupcakes, or devil dogs or this amazing "organic ring ding" they make. I was lucky enough to buy the last lonely one about a month ago and haven't seen one since!

                      1. re: Striver

                        I should have read your post before schlepping for some of Nana's rugelach...but since you mentioned Lulu's -- I have to ask you...have you tried their ruggies recently? I would swear they taste different (better in fact) but when I asked one of the bakers they told me its the same recipe. They just taste more buttery and flakey. I could be going out of my mind, and even my wife swears they are more tender and flakey...but if you happen to be in the area I would appreciate your feedback on this one. I know I'm not going completely out of my mind!

                        On another note...do you know of any great places to get strudel in Westchester? Maybe I will start at post.


                        1. re: RawTunaFan

                          No problem. We go to Lulu's far more often than we should (and yes, the unpredictable availability of our favorites can be annoying, but whatever we buy there is usually so good that we don't care!); I'll try some rugelach - if available - next time.

                          We're not big strudel fans, so I'm afraid I can't help with that one.

                  2. My friend's Grandma is my "Dealer", and nothing beats a Grandma's cookies, but I have heard pretty good things about this place:
                    "Margaret Palca makes sensational rugelach at her bakery on the outskirts of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. These little buttery rolls full of cinnamon, raisins, and nuts have just the right crunch-to-tenderness ratio. One-pound tin of rugelach, $15, plus shipping"
                    | 718-802-9771
                    If you come up with some hidden gem of a bakery, would you kindly share it?
                    Happy hunting!

                    1. Have anyone tried Moishe's in EastVillage -- I love their hamataschen cookies, but have never had their rugelach although it looks pretty good (good ratio of filling to dough)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: olia

                        Second to Moishe's hamentash- best I've had. Other stuff OK but not "best of".

                        1. re: olia

                          Their rugelach are very good, in my experience.

                        2. lee lees bakery on 118th in harlem

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ekdd

                            For the record, Lee Lee's "Rugelach by a Brother," are hands-down the best rugelach that I've ever had (on either coast). Even my mother and her friends agreed. Search the Manhattan board for more posts. These are well worth the trip for the chocolate but especially the cinnamon (with nuts and raisins). Go early for the best selection. 118th just east of 8th Ave. (Fredrick Douglass).

                          2. William Greenberg on 82nd & Madison -- flaky yet moist. Interesting filings like apple.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Ora

                              i second zabar's! my family loves the chocolate & cinammon. only problem is i tend to start eating it while in the store and then have to go get more ;)

                            2. Sorry, left this out. In the last few years I've tried the kosher bakery on Atlantic Ave. in Oceanside (forgot the name) and much more recently, Bagel Plaza in Merrick. Bagel Plaza's rugelach were okay in a pinch, but I got spoiled after eating them fresh from my oven.

                              1. Ruthy's Bakery in Chelsea Market. Fantastical

                                1. Brooklyn: Ostrovitsky Bakery on Ave J makes great chocolate rugelach

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Judyluvs

                                    Has this Bakery been there for a long time? Do you happen to know the cross street ?

                                    1. re: Tay

                                      The cross street is East 12th Street. This is a Kosher bakery; they used to be in another storefront further down but changed to the current location within the last three years.

                                      1. re: Judyluvs

                                        Love the rugelach at the Farmer's markets, I think they are called "just Rugelach" Are they still around?

                                        1. re: Sammy Diaz

                                          Just Rugelach is still at the Farmer's markets, but if you ever happen to be in NJ, they have a store in Kearny as well. An earlier post mentioned Ostrovitsky's Bakery in Brooklyn and I wholeheartedly second that nomination. Great rugelach and incredible challah if anyone was interested in that

                                          1. re: JSHAFT78

                                            I also recommend Ostovitsky's , they are quite good. Another good bakery for regelach is Lord's bakery (also in Brooklyn) off of Flatbush avenue by the junction.

                                            1. re: Howard_b2

                                              Wow, Lord's bakery. I'm happy to hear that they are still there. Haven't been there in 35 years or more. Is their rye bread still the best? My brother used to live on LI and if he was anywhere in Brooklyn, he would make his way to Lord's just to get a loaf.

                                              1. re: Howard_b2

                                                Lord's, seriously? I work at Brooklyn College and frequently go there for their raspberry pastries, which when they're fresh (i.e., most of the time) are very good, but I never thought of the place as an outstanding bakery, generally - merely a good neighborhood bakery. I'll try their rugelach soon.

                                      2. I like La Boulange in East Norwich (Long Island) they also have a shop in Port Jefferson. They have cinammon raisin, chocolate and rasberry. Very buttery very good. I have also purchased things at Andre's when I am in Forest Hills (I go to knish knosh occasionally) never bought their rugelach but they haev a great round cinammon raisin babka.(lots of raisins, cinamon and no nuts)

                                        1. Carousel bakery in Nanuet Ny. It is the BEST from chocolate to raspberry. I believe Zabar's carries Carousel products.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Raisel

                                            best i have ever had, seriously..
                                            cascon bakery 7th and 149th in queens
                                            go on monday or wednesday for it out of the oven

                                            1. re: Raisel

                                              I second Carousel bakery for ANYTHING..their red velvet cake is to die for.

                                              Also outside of NYC, I like Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken,NJ...their rugelach is always delicious.

                                              1. re: hellosabby

                                                Someone above mentioned a Kosher bakery on Atlantic in Oceanside. Only one that comes to my mind is Steinberg's in the shopping center corner of Atlantic and Long Beach Road. Good stuff, always busy,so the goods are always fresh. Rugelach is good, maybe not the best, but worth wasting the calories on.
                                                Alot of people have mentioned Andre's as having the best Rugelach and it just maybe true. But no one mentioned what Andre's is supposed to be famous for and that's their Strudel. Warning: IT AIN"T CHEAP!!! But then again you get what you pay for and this is worth the price.

                                                1. re: tastelikechicken

                                                  Yes, Steinberg's is probably the Kosher bakery referred to. At holiday time, the lines are out the door. My sister-in-law is there often.

                                            2. Cait and Abbey Bakery 518 Millburn Ave Short Hills NJ has amazing chocolate and cinnamon/nuts Rugelach but from reading the post you seem like a Rugelach expert, I am not, but think it tasted great.

                                              1. Had Chocolate Rugelach from The Gingerbread House 1094 Lakewood Ave Lakewood NJ today. This was amazing! It had chocolate drizzled on top - a perfect bite.

                                                They get their bake goods from Schick's Bakery in Brooklyn.


                                                Worth a try.

                                                1. My grandparents used to buy the best chocolate rugelach from a bakery in/around Flatbush. They were definitely a pastry dough, with chocolate drizzled and hardened on top, with some powdered sugar. I have no idea what the bakery's name was, or if it's even still around. Any places in New York that make this kind of rugelach? They were deliciously flaky and crunchy - not soft and chewy like so many rugelach around now . . .

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: s_rk

                                                    I've had rugelach like that from Korn's Bakery (Kosher) in Brooklyn. There are apparently several locations in the Midwood/Borough Park area of Brooklyn. The chocolate filling is best, but there are also rugelach made in cinnamon and maybe a raspberry flavor which I only bought once. Nice cakes and breads too.

                                                    1. re: s_rk

                                                      " Any places in New York that make this kind of rugelach? They were deliciously flaky and crunchy - not soft and chewy like so many rugelach around now "
                                                      The Not Just Rugelach cookiesat the Greenmarkets are pretty flaky . They have choco, apricot, walnut and, I think, raspberry.. . .

                                                      1. re: Tay

                                                        Not Just Rugelach filled the void Bread Alone left behind when they abandoned us up here on Tuesdays by Jacobi. I'm looking forward to sampling most of what they've got to offer, and so far the few things I've had have been good.

                                                        Not Just Rugelach --> http://notjustrugelach.com/

                                                        1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                          Cheese Boy
                                                          "I'm looking forward to sampling most of what they've got to offer, and so far the few things I've had have been good"

                                                          Thanks for posting the link.
                                                          Over the seasons I've tried a number of different items. and I have always been a big fan. I noticed a big change last year. The husband & wife team/owners used to produce much better quality baked goods.. I think they must have eiither sold or have lowered their standards somewhat. The rugelach are still good, albeit too greasy, but items like knishes, corn bread, pies are now disappointing. :-)

                                                          1. re: Tay

                                                            Don't business owners realize that a sacrifice in quality will always come back and bite them in the behind? I'm always very selective with what I buy that's prebaked. I'll try the rugelach next. : )

                                                    2. Lords Bakery at the Nostrand & Flatbush Avenue Junction

                                                      1. Lee Lee's Baked Goods [Harlem]
                                                        283 W. 118th St., between Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Ave.) and St. Nicholas

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Hoc

                                                          Gotta love these ancient threads. Anyway, I had rugalach with super stale nuts in them at Ruthie's, in Chelsea Market. They looked like they would be really good. They were the style I like ( old fashioned kind) but stale nuts killed it.
                                                          The rugalach at Russ and daughters are very good. The rugalach at Katz's are the "new style" and not good.
                                                          An earlier post had Korn's from Bklyn, those are not good at all.
                                                          Gertel's had the best but closed.