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Pastry chef / London Chowhounder visiting NY, need your help please!

Hi all,

I'm a baker / pastry chef based in London and I'll be visiting NYC in a few weeks time. Could you please suggest the best bakeries and pastry shops you think are worth checking out? Not really into the whole cupcake thing...thinking more along the lines of Momofuku Milkbar and the like.

Also if you could reccomend farmers / foodie markets that are good to hit up too?

Cheers for the help!

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  1. http://www.grownyc.org/ourmarkets - this should help with the farmers markets, my fav is Union Square

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    Union Square Greenmarket
    Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

    1. For foodie shopping, especially for goods you can bring back home:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/811775

      See also:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810777
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585538
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697174
      http://www.chow.com/lists/33
      http://www.chow.com/lists/924

      As for your other question....

      Are you looking for European style or American style or Asian style desserts? I'm going to assume American style since you're coming from London...i.e. no macarons or French croissants or gelato. More like cookies, cakes, pie, muffins.

      Even if you're not into the whole cupcake thing, those bakeries have other products that are good.

      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0...
      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

      Amy's Bread has good proper sliced cake.

      Magnolia Bakery is good for banana pudding and icebox cake.

      Two Little Red Hens for cheesecake.

      Bouchon Bakery for their TKO might be interesting.

      'wichcraft for sandwich cookies, brioche cinnamon buns.

      Mini-pies at First Place Pies.

      Homemade candy bars from Liddabit or faux Ring Dings from Tumbador chocolates. I believe they are both sold at Murray's Cheese now.

      For unusual doughnuts, Doughnut Plant (try the cake doughnuts only, the yeast raised aren't as good) has flavors like tres leches, blueberry, green tea, salty peanut, and more. Check their Facebook for the rotation of flavors.

      I am a big fan of the pretzel croissant and/or the baker's (leftovers) muffin at City Bakery. There's a lot of other items there like muffins, scones, etc.

      Victory Garden has goat milk soft serve (don't miss the salted caramel if they have it) and frozen yogurt, with unusual toppings like sungold tomato, honey comb candy, maple marshmallows, havlah.

      The Joyride Truck has caffeinated frozen yogurt.

      For chocolates, try Kee's.

      You might also look into Spot Dessert Bar (Pichet Ong), Kyotofu (Asian desserts), or Chikalicious Dessert Bar for creative, plated desserts served outside your normal dinner setting.

      April Bloomfield has very interesting pastries that she supplies to the Stumptown location in the Ace Hotel. Beet cupcakes, bacon rolls, just had a nice brandy mini loaf cake there the other day, along side from nicely spiced shortbread.

      Also, for baked goods at restaurants, you can get pastry boards from Locanda Verde or The Dutch.

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      Murray's Cheese
      254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      Kee's Chocolates
      80 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

      Two Little Red Hens
      1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

      Kyotofu
      705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

      Bouchon Bakery
      10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

      Magnolia Bakery
      401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      City Bakery
      3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

      Amy's Bread
      250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

      Locanda Verde
      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

      Stumptown
      18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

      Spot Dessert Bar
      13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

      The Dutch
      131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

      Doughnut Plant
      220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

      Victory Garden
      31 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

      7 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Kathryn, thank you so much for the above list!! The last time I came to NY i only got to hit up Magnolia for cupcakes and like Crumbs and a small place in Harlem, so thank for the super varied list.

        1. re: kathryn

          P.S. I've heard a lot about Payard, is it still good / worth it??

          1. re: cookiebitch

            I think if you do French pastry, you should check out Mille-Feuille.

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            Mille-feuille
            552 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: kathryn

              Thanks for the reccomendation, I checked out their menu and all looks pretty good

              1. re: cookiebitch

                The original Payard on Madison closed some time ago, cb; there's a new patisserie under the same name that's opened on Houston, but the reviews of it -what few there are- make the place sound underwhelming.

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                Francois Payard Bakery
                116 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                1. re: Phil Ogelos

                  Payard is still good but it's more of a quick casual bakery then the French patisserie it once was when it was on Lexington. He still has his pastries at this location along with sandwiches. I had probably the best ham and cheese quiche ever recently but I didn't get a chance to have any dessert.

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                  Francois Payard Bakery
                  116 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                2. re: cookiebitch

                  Payard has another location midtown called Francois Chocolate Bar, I haven't been there since the move to the Plaza but the pastries were quite good at the Madison Ave. location. I've been ordering our Christmas buche de noel from Payard for the past several years and the quality has not changed.

                  http://www.fcchocolatebar.com/

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                  Francois Chocolate Bar
                  1 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

          2. I would for sure take a trip over to the Arthur Ave. section of the Bronx. There are at least 12 pastry shops on the 4 streets surrounding Arthur Ave. Just take a Bronx bound the D train to Fordham road and exit to the street. (Its a very busy shopping area.) From there you can take a taxi. Its not very far just a short distance west down Fordham Rd. . Or if you are on a limited budget you could walk like I have done (15 min) or take the BX12 bus heading west on Fordham Rd. (towards the botanical garden) and get off right after you see White Castle. Arthur Ave is right in front of 7-11
            Turn town Arthur ave (you can only go one way from Fordham Rd) and head a block up and you will start to see the pastry shops. They continue on the next street over cresent and 186th St. Just walk up and down all those streets and check them all out They are one after another. I have tried several of them and they are really good and most are like family owned and they all work there. The coffee is great in these places as well. I'm sure you will find one of your favorites!
            Have fun and don't be afraid to explore the outer boroughs.

            1. hi! Union Square Greenmarket is the largest on saturdays but it gets crowded fast. try to be there before 11am--can stop at City Bakery for breakfast! I'd also suggest Levain Bakery on the upper west side. Insanely good cookies, muffins, etc.

              http://www.levainbakery.com/

              167 West 74th St New York, NY 10023 • T: 212-874-6080 • Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 9am-7pm

              Agree that Payard isn't the same anymore. In terms of pastries, you may want to stop by Financier. They are an expanding chain of french patisseries/sandwich/salad etc cafes that are dotted throughout manhattan, largely downtown though.

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              Union Square Greenmarket
              Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

              City Bakery
              3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

              Levain Bakery
              167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

              1 Reply
              1. re: preppie foodie

                I would avoid the macarons at Financier; they are open hard/stale.

              2. Lady M Pastry does simple, elegant (albeit expensive) cakes. It's kind of a dainty European dessert shop. My cousin always brings cakes from here for family holidays. They're located on the Upper East Side of the city.

                Chelsea Market (indoor food market place that also houses Food Network studios) has Eleni's cookies. I personally don't care for the market itself but my judgement might be unfair because I've only visited once when it first opened years ago and didn't find it all that interesting. Eleni's shop was fun to visit though. There's a place called Billy's that's a couple of blocks north from the marketplace that's really good (straight forward old-fashioned American style place with cheesecake!, cookies, etc). Billy's has a place in the Tribeca hood also.

                Levain Bakery is a place that makes these giant fat cookies, one is pretty much a whole meal. I think they only sell cookies though. Check their website.

                Try to check out the bakeries in Chinatown. If you walk around the neighborhood you'll pass by a few of them. They have a lot of interesting pastries. Chinatown also has their open-air fish and food markets if you want to check those places out.

                It's already been mentioned but Union Sq. farmer's market (north and west sides) is the biggest and best farmer's market in Manhattan.

                if you're looking for large American style supermarkets, there's Zabar's, Gourmet Garage, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Gristedes, Fairway, Dean & DeLuca all around the city.

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                Zabar's
                2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

                Billy's Bakery
                184 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                Levain Bakery
                167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

                Gourmet Garage
                453 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

                Trader Joe's
                142 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

                Whole Foods
                10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                Eleni's
                75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                Billy's Bakery
                75 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013

                5 Replies
                1. re: mushroomaffairs

                  Chelsea Market is great, especially now with all of the newer shops. There's now Jacques Torres, 9th St Espresso, Dickson's Farm Meats, L'Arte de Gelato, Tuck Shop, Ronnybrook, and the Filling Station. In addition to the older shops/restaurants of the Green Table, Amy's Bread, Sarabeth's, Lobster Place, the Fruit Exchange and Buon Italia.

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                  L'Arte del Gelato
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Buon Italia
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  The Green Table
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Ninth Street Espresso
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Sarabeth's Bakery
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Amy's Bread
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  The Lobster Place
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Ronnybrook Milk Bar
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Manhattan Fruit Exchange
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Dickson's Farmstand Meats
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Jacques Torres
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Tuck Shop
                  460 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011

                  The Filling Station
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Thanks for all the reccomendations kathryn...I was thinking I'd stick mostly to Brooklyn but thanks to everyone's help above, i need to re-think my plan. the Chelsea market and Union Square greenmarket sound pretty cool too, thanks!

                    1. re: cookiebitch

                      Manhattan and Brooklyn; Scylla and Charybdis -I think there's a new pastry design contained in there somewhere, cookie!
                      Happy travels.

                      1. re: Phil Ogelos

                        hahaha, very well put Phil, I'm sure I'll have an epiphany along those lines on my trip!

                      2. re: cookiebitch

                        In Brooklyn there is Baked in Red Hook. There's also a new bakery called Bien Cuit that the Times raved about that I haven't been able to get to yet.