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Mar 15, 2008 09:49 AM

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)

        Financier Pâtisserie (French pastries, cakes)

        Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffé (Italian pastries, cookies, cakes, coffee)

        Petrossian Cafe (best croissants IMO; French pastries)

        Sage cupcakes at Dean & DeLuca - best cupcakes


        1032 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10021

        342 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

        Financier Patisserie
        35 Cedar St, New York, NY 10005

        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)

                Blackhound (170 2nd Ave - 10th/11th Sts

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

                De Robertis' Pasticceria (1st Ave - 10th/11th Sts)


                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

                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 (

              Cafe Mozart (lots of cakes, pies) (

              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.