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Looking for favorite bakeries

I'm visiting from Southern California and am always a sucker for a top-flight bakery. Any suggestions?

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  1. This thread should be very helpful:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/499373

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      That's a great thread. I know it was mentioned only once in that thread, so I wanted to make sure the OP caught it. Bouchon Bakery (affiliated with the French Laundry guy) is a very good, centrally-located (at the Time Warner Center) bakery for French desserts. I pretty much like everything there with the exception of the macarons. The macarons there suck. It's really surprising considering how good everything else is. A couple of things I love are the nutter butter cookies and chocolate tarts.

      1. re: MMRuth

        Wow, thanks for this. That's really helpful. It's an embarrassment of riches!

      2. Financier

        3 Replies
        1. re: nokitsch

          Hi nokitsch,

          We FiDi people love Financier because it is like only option! However, it is actually comparable to a lot of the popular bakeries in midtown.

          1. re: kobetobiko

            Have to agree with Financier. Down here in the Financial District there really is nothing else, but Financier is a fine bakery. Have gotten both the chocolate praline and marjolaine and both were awesome.

            Have to try the other pastries.

            1. re: steakrules85

              Crumb just opened on Beaver St. a more traditonal American Bakery alternative (i.e., muffins, cup cakes and cookies)

        2. William Greenberg's for black and white cookies, babka and just about anything else.

          1 Reply
          1. re: offthebeatenpath1

            Strong second to this. They win every informal poll, every year

          2. Le Madeleine for macarons.
            Sullivan St Bakery or Grandaisy for crisp thin pizza with delicious vegetable toppings (More flavorful/better spicing and crisper bread at Sullivan St).
            Ruby et Violette for cookies.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rose water

              rosewater, I have to agree with you on the Grandaisy vs. Sullivan Street pizza disparity, although it is a slight one. In fact, I would broaden the comparison to include all of the items, which seem to get better and better at Sullivan St. (I am referring to 47th St.), while sticking to the original Italian-inspired theme. Grandaisy has veered from that a bit, and seems to be on auto-pilot when it comes to their pizza. What I mean by this is that I sense alack of soul to the place and their most famous product. I am sorry to even admit this in words, because hat makes it real... and I've been trying to deny it to myself! I live in the neighborhood of the original, and it just bugs me to feel like we villagers have been left with the "leftovers". I know it may not sound fair to put it that way, as Grandaisy is actually still very very good. I just remember it as having been better.
              Have you ever tried the custard bomboloni at the 47th St. store? They are a hot thrill, and the closest thing to eating one for breakfast in a fresh Italian bar that we'll ever see on this side of the Atlantic.

              1. re: vvvindaloo

                Yes, you're exactly right. Grandaisy is still very good, but their products have less soul than Sullivan St. I was struck by the difference in cauliflower pizza at the two--hot pepper and herbs and perfectly crisp bread at Sullivan St and none of the flavor complexity and much more gnaw to the bread at Grandaisy. Haven't tried the bomboloni--that sounds great!

            2. Billy's Bakery on 9th in Chelsea. go for the chocolate cake w/vanilla buttercream frosting or the carrot cake.

              1 Reply
              1. re: iforman2001

                and if you are down near Billy's go to La Bergamote

              2. Bouley Bakery in Tribeca (corner of West Broadway & Duane St.) has great pastries and cookies. Their Canneles are fantastic and addicting. Black Hound Bakery (2nd Ave, betw. E. 10th & 11th Sts.) often has interesting and unique flavor combinations. For great bread, my votes go to Grandaisy Bakery (formerly Sullivan St. Bakery--on Sullivan St., between Broom & Spring St.) and Balthazar Bakery (on Spring St, between Broadway and Crosby St.). The breads from both spots have nice crusts, good texture, and lots of flavor.

                1. Billy's (traditional cakes, pies). Also like Amy's and 2 Little Red Hens
                  Madeleine Bakery (macarons)
                  Patisserie Claude (croissants). Also like Madeleine and La Bergamote
                  Rocco's (Italian)
                  City Bakery/Bird Bath (chocolate chip cookies). Also like Levain and Jacques Torres

                  1. Black Hound is amazing and I'm not a dessert person.