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Fantasy Pastry tour of NYC

I am taking a friend from Cambridge Mass on a tour (3 days) of NYC through it's bakeries and patisseries. I need a list of not to be missed places and what they specialize in.
I am looking for the full spectrum from best cupcake to the fanciest and tastiest and most expensive. From Cupcake Cafe to St. Ambroise and everything in between.
She wants to leave in a baked goods coma!

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  1. Cafe Sabarsky (Austrian Cakes)
    Billy's Bakery (cakes and cupcakes)
    Patisserie Claude (croissants)
    La Madeleine Bakery (macarons)
    Rocco's (cannoli)
    City Bakery/Bird Bath (chocolate chip cookies)
    Levain (cookies)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Lucia

      Levain is about SCONES, for me anyway :)

      1. re: Ora

        Maybe they're the size of scones, but I don't think the cookies taste like scones or have a texture like scones--they're very gooey, not hard.

        1. re: Lucia

          I think you misunderstood. Levain makes excellent scones. The cookies are good, but their scones are truly wonderful. Also, scones are NOT hard if properly made, try one from Levain. Then you'll understand my post. Levain sells far more than cookies. They also make a great banana bread on certain days.

          1. re: Ora

            I've heard the Levain-cookies-are-the-size-of-scones comment before, so I thought that's what you're referring to. I'll definitely have to try the scones next time--thanks!

      2. re: Lucia

        That is the PERFECT list, starting with my favorite pastry-maker in the city. Sabarsky is certainly not to be missed. Nor is Billy's banana cake.

      3. Payard Pâtisserie (French pastries, chocolates) http://www.payard.com/categories.php

        Financier Pâtisserie (French pastries, cakes) http://www.financierpastries.com/menu...

        Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffé (Italian pastries, cookies, cakes, coffee) http://www.venierospastry.com/cafe.html

        Petrossian Cafe (best croissants IMO; French pastries) http://www.petrossian.com/boutique-Ne...

        Sage cupcakes at Dean & DeLuca - best cupcakes

        Enjoy!

        -----
        Payard
        1032 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10021

        Veniero's
        342 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

        Financier Patisserie
        35 Cedar St, New York, NY 10005

        Petrossian
        182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

        Dean & DeLuca
        75 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

        Dean & DeLuca
        1150 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028

        8 Replies
        1. re: racer x

          i'd push you away from going to veniero's, its pretty bad, i think there was a time when it was good, but now its one of those places that very much lives off an old reputation

          1. re: Lau

            I disagree. I was just there last night.
            You can't go wrong with the fruit supreme (I have some in the fridge now - excellent, as always), zuppa inglese, strawberry shortcake, or grand marnier cakes. The miniature pignoli tortes are also fantastic.

            In general, I'm not a fan of cannolis or Italian cheesecakes, so I can't vouch for their versions of either of them, if that's what you're looking for.

            1. re: Lau

              I have to say I'm with Lau on this one. I've tried many, many things from Veniero's since people keep dragging me there. They're all subpar IMHO.

              1. re: cimui

                I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one (which is fine, since I hate having to wait online when I'm in there).

                But to the OP, if you're in the East Village, I'd suggest you at least stop by and take a look. Even if you decide not to get anything there, there are a number of other choices within walking distance, a few being:

                Tarallucci e Vino (1st Ave & 10th St)
                http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=taral...

                Blackhound (170 2nd Ave - 10th/11th Sts
                )(blackhoundny.com)

                Chikalicious (10th St, 1st/2nd Aves)
                (chikalicious.com)

                De Robertis' Pasticceria (1st Ave - 10th/11th Sts)
                (http://derobertiscaffe.com/gallery.html

                )

                Also, are you just planning to visit places in Manhattan?
                If you are willing to travel to the other boroughs of NYC, you should also post your question on the Outer Boroughs board for more suggestions. (There are a host of Greek pastry shops in Astoria, for instance, where you'll find some treats that you won't see in Manhattan.)

                -----
                De Robertis
                176 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

                Tarallucci e Vino
                163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                Black Hound
                170 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                ChikaLicious
                203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: racer x

                  DeRobertis is terrible, a piece of history but terrible. I mean, they cover pastry with plastic ( how crisp can that be), they top coffee granita with artifical whipped cream. I wih it wasnt so.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Agreed. I just went back to De Robertis yesterday after a very long absence. There are better choices.

                    Veniero's is one of them, but they are still undergoing renovations (yesterday the front counter area was dark because the main lights were out -- even so, there was a crowd of people, each waiting for his/her number to be called). And some of the cakes have been looking a little off lately -- I wonder if regular staff have been on vacation.

                    1. re: racer x

                      De Roberti's isn't good, either, in my opinion.

              2. re: Lau

                I agree. Veniero's is not good, and Rocco's is much better. I also agree that Veniero's used to be good, like 15-20 years ago.

            2. Forgot to mention two places on the Upper West Side:

              Cafe Lalo (lots of different cakes, pies) - but brace yourselves for insanely long lines and cramped quarters if you go on weekends (cafelalo.com)

              Cafe Mozart (lots of cakes, pies) (http://cafemozart.com/estore/)

              1 Reply
              1. re: racer x

                There's nothing special at Mozart.

              2. Donut Plant!!!! 379 Grand, LES. My personal faves: The jelly yeast donuts, roasted chestnut donut, and the blackout cake donut.

                1 Reply
                1. re: moh

                  Not to be missed! Not only are the donuts superlative, but I can hardly think of a better counterpoint to the places you will be visiting.

                  Never get tired of DP.

                2. Lady M® Mille Crêpes at their store, or also available at Dean & Deluca

                  Lady M® Cake Boutique
                  41 East 78th Street
                  (Between Madison and Park Avenues)
                  New York, NY 10075
                  Phone: 212.452.2222

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: charlie_b

                    this one i love, have had 3 versions: chestnut, chocolate banana and green tea. All are fantastic.

                  2. Second Claude's.

                    It's touristy but for the cupcake... Magnolia of SNL fame?

                    Also, Hong Kong Egg Cake Lady on Canal between Mulberry and Mott.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Nick F.

                      Magnolia - ugh! Their cupcakes suck, and there's always that long line of what I think of as clueless people.

                    2. Croissants and apple tarts: Patisserie Claude or Balthazar
                      Cannoli, baba au rum and cassata: Villabate Bakery (we're talking ricotta imported from Palermo), Bensonhurst, Bklyn.
                      Cupcakes: see what looks good at Dean & Deluca, they carry from several of the best; or try Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                      Macarons: Le Madeleine
                      Cookies: City Bakery
                      Layer Cake: Baked, Red Hook, Bklyn.

                      I strongly disagree with recommendations of Rocco's and Veniero's for Italian pastry. They are a travesty, IMO.

                      Other tasty treats: anything from Mitchell London. Bouchon, Payard.

                      Enjoy- let us know how it went once the crash wears off :)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                        Payard's pastries are better than sex! A true "When Harry Met Sally" moment!

                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                          All of you Veniero's detractors out there will doubtless rejoice in the centenarian pasticceria's having been temporarily closed by order of the department of health. The rest of us are hoping they don't go the way of Mei Lai Wah.

                          1. re: racer x

                            Veniero's was open again this weekend. No cakes on the shelves yet, but the mini pignoli tarts (or cookies - not sure what to call those soft little things, as they're thicker than the regular pignoli cookies) are as delicious as ever.

                          2. re: vvvindaloo

                            In my opinion, Rocco's makes the best Italian pastries in Manhattan. I love Villabate, and yes, it blows Rocco's away, but it's a long train ride from anywhere in Manhattan - we're talking at least 40 minutes, but probably closer to an hour.

                          3. I may get flack for this, but I think Kyotofu on 9th avenue is a good candidate for something different in the pastry quest. It's more 'dessert' than 'pastry' in orientation, but it is my favorite chocolate cupcake in my neighborhood. Moist, rich, light, not too sweet.

                            The space is a little twee, but if you want an interesting dessert experience, I say go for it. I like to get a bunch of cupcakes as takeout, and walk up to the park on a nice afternoon with some tea in a thermos. Early spring heaven.

                            1. Beard Papa is interesting because of what it is, a Japanese franchise specializing in Cream puffs. The cream puffs aren't bad! It's kind of fun to have one, I found it quite tasty. But even better: the mochi ice cream is awesome. After having come home and had a terrible experience with a brand of mochi ice cream here, I am sad that I didn't go back and have some more of this treat.

                              1. oh i just thought of this, go to chinatown and go to mei lai wah...try the following:
                                - coconut bun - an awesome pastry, its a baked bread with bits of sugar sprinkled on it, with a small amt of a coconut paste in the middle...i promise you its awesome and im not even a huge fan of coconut
                                - steamed pork bun - pick one up since you're there, they're awesome

                                1. I also disagree with the posts regarding Veneiro's to some degree. The NY cheesecake and pignoli cookies are really great IMO. I'd also add Jaques Torres for cookies and other goodies. I also like La Lanterna on MacDougal for a sit-down place for some great sweets (the mille foglie sticks out in my mind or the cream filled lobster tail). Also, the chocolate filled dumplings at Rickshaw Dumpling Bar are sinful. If you're Brooklyn bound, I'd send you to Ferdinando's Foccacaria for the cannoli, cupcakes at Tres Pommes or Lady Bird Bakery, cheesecake at Monte's or the obvious but often argued to be inferior Junior's, Italian pastry at Monteleone's, key lime pie from Steve's Authentic, more Jaques Torres at Almondine or Jaques Torres Brooklyn....Goodness I'm getting so hungry....

                                  1. Wow, what a great list!
                                    Does anyone know if Taylors originally in Chelsea and on Hudson Street still exists?
                                    It used to be terrific!
                                    Also, no mention of Cupcake cafe?
                                    How is it these days??
                                    And Greenbergs??
                                    Also an old favorite.

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: holldoll

                                        Another thumbs down for Cupcake Cafe. Pretty to look at, kind of greasy and overly buttery, in a bland way.

                                        I will say though that I went to the Magnolia outpost on 72nd and Columbus and was pleasantly surprised by: a) the lack of insanity, b) the kindness of the employees, and c) a not overly-dry, overly frosted cupcake. It was moist and had just the right amount of frosting.

                                        Is this a ringing endorsement? No. But it could be a cute little stop on the tour.

                                      2. William Greenberg that is.
                                        Also, Bonte and William Poll are they still in biz??

                                        2 Replies
                                          1. re: holldoll

                                            Sadly - Bonte no longer is. They made my wedding cake a good 12 years ago - but no more. William Poll, however, is still alive and well.

                                          2. Patisserie Lanciani anyone know if they are sitll in biz?
                                            I left NY 12 years ago and they were great then.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: holldoll

                                              Wow, its been many years since I have heard talk of Patisserie Lanciani. They closed long ago, I am afraid.
                                              I think William Greenberg is still around... I am pretty sure that some of the retail locations closed down over the past 10 years or so, but I think that the one on the UES is still open.

                                              1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                Yes - there is a William Greenberg on Madison Avenue on the UES. Where was Lanciani? I must be confusing it with some place else....

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  Lanciani was a classic Italian pasticceria with two locations, I think, both in the Village. I know one of them was on W. 4th, and the other was in the Thompson/Sullivan area. This was in the '80s, and maybe early '90s- before I lived in the neighborhood- but I do remember them vividly. What place were you thinking of?

                                                  1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                    I think I was thinking of the W. 4th St. one, but thought it was still there for some reason - I think I was confusing it with a not so great French bakery that is still there.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      When I lived in the W.Village, I went to Lanciani almost everyday. It was on w. 4th near Perry St. They had the best croissants.

                                              2. re: holldoll

                                                They moved years ago to West 14th street, I think between 9th and 10th, but haven't walked by there lately.

                                              3. No one has mentioned city bakery yet? i think their chocolate chip cookies/melted chocolate chip cookies are some of the best anywhere. i can feel my arteries clogging when I eat them.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Renguin

                                                  I mentioned it in the first post on this thread.

                                                2. There used to be a wonderful french bakery a few blocks north of Balducci's.
                                                  It was old fashioned. Does anyone remember the name and if it still stands??

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: holldoll

                                                    Something like Jon Vie comes to mind, though that doesn't sound quite right. I don't think it is still there, and of course that Balducci's is now a Citarella.

                                                    Edit - can't believe I got the name right:

                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/21/nyr...

                                                    Closed in 2004

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      You are brilliant!
                                                      That's the place and it was great.
                                                      Balducci's now Citarella?
                                                      Heartbreaking.

                                                      1. re: holldoll

                                                        I used to live on W. 4th Street off 6th Avenue in the early 90s .....

                                                        Where do you live now? The brief description is that Balduccis was bought out by a small chain of gourmet stores in the DC area called Sutton Place Gourmet, which then changed the names of all the stores to Balduccis, such that there are now Balduccis in DC and MD. Citarella took over the Balducci's space on 6th Ave. There are two "new" Balduccis on the west side - one at 14th and something and one up on the UWS near Lincoln Center. Neither does much for me ....

                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                          I now live in Cambridge Mass.
                                                          I grew up on Balducci's. In it's hayday, it was THE place.
                                                          Most great places never survive reincarnation. Sounds like the case with
                                                          Balduccis'.

                                                          1. re: holldoll

                                                            Jefferson Market is still there, by the way. I too loved Balduccis ... Citarella is now my regular market on the UES, and it is handy to have the one on 6th Ave. when I'm downtown, but it's not the same! You know about Grace's Marketplace, right?

                                                            And - I should read more carefully - you send in your OP where you are now!

                                                  2. no one mentioned La Bergamote, so I will. Ninth Ave at 20th Steet.
                                                    Whenever my call time is 8AM or later, I start my day there with a capp and almond croissant. Others may be as good, but these are 2nd to none in NYC. The many other pastrys of the region are also very good.
                                                    I've not yet been to Payard or Financier. I wonder if Payard has a capp and pastry "area" or is it a restaurant space only?
                                                    Italian pastry in Manhattan is very weak, unfortunately. For good Ital, I think your choices are da Bronx or Brooklyn. I've only had good biscotti at Osteria Gelsi with dessert and capp on Ninth in the mid 30s.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: Fritz

                                                      You are right - how did we miss Bergamote - just had a lovely pate de fruit (sp?) - lychee - from there. Payard has a front area where you can have coffee/pastries etc.

                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                        No mention yet of Amy's bread. Chocolate Chip cookies, esp the kitchen sink ones, and if you''ll stretch the catagory a bit I'd deffentely add the fennel raisin semolina bread.
                                                        For something different how about Kyotofu (for the chocolate cupcakes or the miso chocolate) which is convenient to the Amy's bread on 9th Ave.

                                                        1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                                          I like Amy's for some of the cakes and breads, but I don't like the chocolate chip (or other) cookies--too dry for my taste.

                                                        2. re: MMRuth

                                                          are the hours at the front pastry room like the restaurants. Close from 3:30 to 5P I think?

                                                          1. re: Fritz

                                                            I don't think so - I think they are open in the afternoon.

                                                            http://www.payard.com/locations.php - hours here - open for tea from 3:30 to 5pm.

                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                              But they do tend to run out of things later in the day ...

                                                            2. re: Fritz

                                                              The pastry cafe at the front of Payard's is open all day.
                                                              I went by tonight (8:45) and asked what time they usually close that section of the shop and was told around 10:45pm.

                                                        3. Just to add, if you are looking for sweets in general and not just at bakeries, can i suggest going to Neptune Room? the vanilla bean french toast is creme brulee battered, so its like dessert and their real desserts are pretty tasty...i tried some sort of nut or bananu sundae that was amazing. also, for the willa wonka factory feel, Chocolate by the Bald Man is fun. max brennar's....

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: lnikolop

                                                            any other comments re: Bald Man????

                                                            1. re: holldoll

                                                              surprised no one mentioned Silver Moon Bakery. 105th and Broadway. Love the chocolate orange rolls and raspberry chocolate brioche.

                                                              1. re: holldoll

                                                                Re: Max Brenner. I had chocolates from there last year, which were quite tasty and satisfying. I have never been there myself, but I really like Frank Bruni's take on the whole thing: http://events.nytimes.com/2007/05/02/...

                                                              2. Bruno Bakery on Laguardia Place just north of Houston. Beautiful and delicious! Very good cappucino also.
                                                                Skip Veniero and go to De Robertis across the street on 1st and 11th. It's been there forever and has wonderful cannoli and birthday cake.
                                                                For a bit of a change, try one of the Hong Kong bakeries in Chinatown such as Fay Da or Grand Manna. Fay Da (Mott just below Canal) has a "vanilla roll" that is not very sweet and may be an acquired taste but I love it with a cup of their coffee. Grand Manna has a purple awning on Grand between Elizabeth and Mott makes a coconut bun (Gai Mai Bao) that is pretty interesting as well. Sort of a sweet/savory flavor.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: iluvcookies

                                                                  I like the Hong Kong bakeries idea. Taipan (or Tai Pan) on Canal St. in Manhattan has good egg custard tarts (passion fruit, egg white, regular, and Portuguese-style). They're especially good washed down with a mild Hong Kong milk tea. The buns (filled with butter-based cream or meat "sung" or the like) are probably an acquired taste.

                                                                  There is an incredibly good pastry shop on 3rd ave, in the 20s, probably, that I stumbled across just this weekend. It has very high quality, beautifully made cakes, mousses, cookies, etc... to go, packed into display cases on three of the four sides of the small shop and no seating. I'm hoping someone can help me with the name. The little cake with a thin layer of gateau on the bottom, topped with several inches of strawberry infused chocolate mousse, all contained within a wall of dark chocolate -- that was one of the best desserts I think I've had in the city to date.

                                                                  1. re: cimui

                                                                    Is the shop on 3rd in the 20's a Hong Kong-style bakery? I'm afraid I'm not a fan of those - the cakes and other treats always look delicious but the tastes rarely measure up.

                                                                    If not, can't wait to try it out. My mouth is watering.

                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                      Is the shop you were referring to La Delice (3rd Ave/27th St)?

                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                        i think so, racer x. i'll have to go back and check, but it sounds right.

                                                                        no, the third ave. bakery is not a hong kong style bakery at all. i agree with you that sometimes the goods at HK style places can look much better than they taste -- so disappointing! -- but the egg custard tarts at Taipan do, I think, measure up.

                                                                        it sounds like la delice gets mixed reviews on chowhound and yelp (i.e. the pastries can be old):

                                                                        http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-delice-pas...

                                                                        maybe my cake was so good because it was more mousse than cake. the thin layer on the bottom was nice and moist after sitting underneath all that creamy goodness. and the chocolate "siding", though flexible, didn't taste of wax or other additives usually used in decorative chocolate. the ordering number was #26 or so (case to the right when you walk in the door). i also had a bite of my friend's cheesecake -- pretty darn delicious.

                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                          Thanks for mentioning this shop (La Delice). *Lots* of choices in their display cases. Had some cookies that were very good. Also got two slices of cake - strawberry shortcake and red velvet. Both were very moist. Not bad, although the frosting on both was saltier than I usually like. I wasn't in the mood for chocolate, so I didn't look for or try any chocolate mousse cake.

                                                                          Overall, I wouldn't include La Delice in the list of top bakery choices in the city, but it's still a nice find (and wish it were in my neighborhood instead of downtown).

                                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                                            I'm glad you had a chance to check it out, racer_X. I went back yesterday morning and considered branching out, but I ended up getting the chocolate mousse cake, again (supplemented by a few butter cookies since those were just coming out of the oven, to judge by the smell). Too darn tasty. In all fairness, I'm not sure the 'cake' can be considered a pastry (so it may not be responsive to the OP's question). If it were turned upside down, the cake portion would be a mere garnish. Maybe confection is a better term...

                                                                            If you're not in the mood for chocolate, the confection right next to the one I had in the display looks like a vanilla version of the same thing.

                                                                            I don't really have that strong of feelings about the cookies, but the quality of the ingredients and freshness of the mousse cake on the two occasions I've had to try it have been stand out. I am wondering whether the better flavor has something to do with them not keeping the desserts as cold as some other places do.

                                                                            One thing that does seem strange to me: How long are they going to keep all those amazing-looking chocolate Easter eggs and Easter bunnies in the display window, for? Hopefully not next Easter!

                                                                2. oh you know where i totally forgot to mention --> Eileen's Special Cheesecake

                                                                  i absolutely love this place, i think their cheesecake is really great and they have a small amount of other pastries / cookies etc that are good as well

                                                                  highly recommend

                                                                  1. St. Ambroeus? I am especially interested in the West Village experience both pastry and overall impressions.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: holldoll

                                                                      I've never been to the West Village St Ambroeus. But if the items they serve there are prepared by the same kitchen that is used by the Upper East Side St Ambroeus, you'd do better to go with some of the other choices already mentioned in this thread - such as Bruno's on LaGuardia Place, for an example of a place near the West Village.

                                                                      The entremets and cookies at the UES St Ambroeus are more expensive yet generally don't taste as good as you can find at some of these other places - so I wouldn't go across town to get something there. On the other hand, if you just happened to be in the neighborhood and wanted to stop in for a bite, I don't think you'd be unhappy with it.

                                                                    2. Payard has the most glorious looking pastries in the whole city!

                                                                      1. Bagel pudding at Russ and Daughters. It's an only in NY kind of thing...

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: bladerobbins

                                                                          I haven't been to Payard in NYC, but his Las Vegas restaurant/pastry shop was as good as it gets. I went 3 times in 3 days.

                                                                        2. If you end up going to Veniero's, go around the corner to Something Sweet(177 1st Ave @11thST) and try the chocolate coverered banana graham cookie.

                                                                          1. Falai on the LES. The black cabbage rolls are delicious. The chef used to be the pastry chef at Le Cirque? The Dessert Truck might be fun (see separate thread). More dessert over pastry. Interesting perspectives on Veniero's. I like Veniero's. Good Italian pastries, not bleeding edge. It is what it is.

                                                                            Ditto Financier. There are 3 locations downtown.

                                                                            Ditto Amy's Bread (olive breadsticks). Go to the location in Chelsea Market then you can stop by Sarabeth's (homemade English muffins, etc.).

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                              Falai is YUMMY. I can't believe it took this long to be mentioned. If you're lucky they might have the crepe cake by the slice. Their raspberry bomboloni is amazing. If you're in the neighborhood, Doughnut plant's not far away. Check out Rainbow Fish guys in the Essex market to get some great muffins. You'll likely pass Sugar Sweet Sunshine which has tasty pumpkin cupcakes and the best coffee cakes I've ever had.

                                                                              1. re: ohsnap

                                                                                I thought Sugar Sweet Sunshine closed? Unless I have it mixed up with someplace else?

                                                                                1. re: ohsnap

                                                                                  ohsnap, good suggestion. There is a separate thread on Doughnut Plant OP may want to check out.

                                                                              2. I also had a fantastic...superb...perfect dark and milk chocolate chip cookie at Big Booty Bread Co. on 23rd recently. It was even still warm from the oven....yum!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: ChowDiva

                                                                                  I am taking notes on everyone's comments, following links and have filled four pages in a notebook of one bakery/pastry shop per line!! Needless to say, I'm losing my mind. I found this article, which offers a few more places and some other oppinions:
                                                                                  http://edlevineeats.seriouseats.com/2...

                                                                                2. I would skip both Veniero's and Magnolia's. For cupcakes I would suggest Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Rocco's is a good choice for cannoli. Patissere Claude does have the BEST croissants. Try a place called Batch. It has just opened from James Beared nominated Pitchet Ong who owns P*ONG (also check it out http://www.p-ong.com/). Chickalicious is great.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: misnatalie

                                                                                    This is one of the most awesome threads I've seen on Chowhound in a long time. Yum. I'm going to have to do a good bakery crawl sometime soon.

                                                                                    Much love for Rocco's. Excellent cannolis and a nice selection of traditional and not so traditional Italian pasteries.

                                                                                    For cupcakes, I love Sugar Sweet Sunshine as well. Recently, I also checked out Batch and I can vouch that they also make a delcious cupcake. Their Lemon Lemon Lemon cupcake was superlative. More about that here: http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com....

                                                                                    What about the Treats Truck? It's a mobile bakery. :) The owner is super nice. Maybe I just have a thing for food that comes from a cart or truck, but it's fun, too. Here are some snaps of treats from the Treats Truck: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycblond...

                                                                                    Check out their site for the location and schedule: http://www.treatstruck.com/.

                                                                                    What about the Dessert Truck? I have yet to try it myself, but based on the aforementioned love of food that comes from a truck or cart and a general love of dessert, I have a feeling I would like it, too. :)

                                                                                  2. I'll throw a recommendation out there for Financier Patisserie. I have gotten two cakes from there for holidays and they were great. Have not had a chance to try any of their other mini pastries but they look absolutely fantastico!!!!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                      I just hit Venieros and di Robertis yesterday for quaresimale. Though I'm no fan of Vens, their quaresimale outshines diR by a mile. Not as good as Court or others here
                                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/424962
                                                                                      but very good.

                                                                                    2. I must put in a vote for Ciao for Now on E. 12th -- best traditional chocolate on chocolate cupcakes in the city, in my opinion. And Batch on W. 10th has the best non-traditional chocolate on chocolate. Happy eating! (And I disagree with a lot of the assessments below, but to each his/her own, I guess.)

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: lcshortbread

                                                                                        Oh, and if you're looking for the best croissants (someone mentioned them above), go to Jacques Torres on King St.

                                                                                        1. re: lcshortbread

                                                                                          While you're there, get their big chocolate chip cookie, which is really a cookie with a layer of (if you're lucky) molten chocolate in the middle. Very indulgent. And have some hot chocolate.

                                                                                      2. Cafe Margot, on 74th, just off Broadway in direction of WEA (and across street from Fairway) has very nice French breakfast pastries, and some homier fare. Not a very large selection, but everything is wonderful and the place is warm and inviting (if small!)

                                                                                        Hungarian Pastry Shop, Amsterdam and 111th. It's been a while since I've been in a for a Dobos torte, but the selection and atmosphere has got to be fairly unique in Manhattan these days.... (Unless you count Andres Cafe on the East side.)

                                                                                        And what about the waflets and dingets truck that moves about the city?

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: curranthound

                                                                                          Does anyone like Billy's in Chelsea, don't think it was mentioned?

                                                                                          1. re: holldoll

                                                                                            Yes--I mentioned it in the first post on the thread.

                                                                                            1. re: holldoll

                                                                                              It seems someone and maybe more like every single place that peddles sugar, no matter how bad. And that is NOT a comment on Billy's, just in general.

                                                                                              Why do people just pick EVERY place? As if they are all equally good or even close to the best. Just because you live there or go there doesn't mean it is great or even good.
                                                                                              Oh, why did nobody mention XYZ place? Because it sucks, that is why.
                                                                                              Some of these names here are laughable if someone is picking out a "fantasy" or "best" tour. Unless it is TOP 10,000 places to eat anything sweet in NYC.
                                                                                              But then I would just put Wendy's for a Frosty on it, as well or better yet DQ

                                                                                              There is no point in even putting some high standards out there or choosing the "best". Ok, maybe if you are looking for top 5 there could be argument for 8 or maybe 10 spots but that is it. #50 has no biz being mentioned and if SOMEONE thinks #50 is THE BEST, well, at some point it ain't opinion, it is just wrong. If they want to go there, fine, just don't tell others asking it is THE BEST when it is blatantly not by any rational measure.

                                                                                              And it isn't like I wouldn't eat some DQ and like it but I would not tell you to go there for THE BEST.

                                                                                              '09 feels better after that, already.

                                                                                              1. re: dietndesire

                                                                                                Dietndesire, what would be your recommendations for the Fantasy Pastry Tour?

                                                                                                1. re: dietndesire

                                                                                                  It was I who initiated this post (see description below) This was intended to help my friend see it all and was not intended to only find out about the best 5 or 10 as you stated. What would your list look like??

                                                                                                  I am taking a friend from Cambridge Mass on a tour (3 days) of NYC through it's bakeries and patisseries. I need a list of not to be missed places and what they specialize in.
                                                                                                  I am looking for the full spectrum from best cupcake to the fanciest and tastiest and most expensive. From Cupcake Cafe to St. Ambroise and everything in between.
                                                                                                  She wants to leave in a baked goods coma!

                                                                                            2. I'm surprised no-one mentioned Two Little Red Hens, on 2nd Av. between 85th and 86th Sts. They make great squares (lemon, lime-coconut, Linzer, chocolate, etc.).