slice of cake
I am looking for a place where I can sit and write for about an hour in the afternoon while enjoying a really delicious slice of cake. I don't manage to go out for cake very often. (Like, I have not done it in about three years. Not coincidentally, I have a three year old.) Sadly, my old cake-eating standbys are gone (I assume for the obvious reason that a business based on cake and people sitting around is not likely to pay the rent for long). I think the place I used to go on Greenwich Ave was called Cafe della Artista or some such. It was amazing.
Just to be clear: I am looking for a slice of cake, not a whole cake. I am not, however, necessarily looking for the best slice of cake in New York, as (for example) Cafe Sabarsky has a tasty Sachertorte, but good luck hanging out there, or Silver Moon bakery sells yummy cakes, but I am not looking to take the cake home (see "three year old" above), I just want to sit down and eat a slice of cake, drink a cup of coffee and think for a bit.
I like chocolate cake, but really I like most cake. I also like most places that serve cake. I am happy to go to a diner provided the cake is highly recommended, but I don't have the wherewithal to test out diners. Although --that would be awesome. Chowhound really should have a whole board dedicated to the brave souls willing to try out every cake in every diner in town so that the rest of us might not be forced to eat stale cake.
Reading over, it is clear to me that my prose is not what it could be were I able to eat some cake. But thanks in advance for your help.
I doubt there's a single diner in town that serves good cake, but if there is I'd like to know about it.
Billy's Bakery has several branches and their entire business involves people sitting around eating their (mostly delicious) cakes. The one with the least foot traffic is on Franklin St near Broadway. The 9th Ave (around 23rd St) branch could be good for that as well if you went on more of an off hour - it's pretty small and in the evening becomes quite crowded
Dessert Truck Works on Clinton St just below Houston opens at 2pm usually, but 3pm this week, and has fantastic desserts, some of which are cakes. It's a great spot for what you have in mind. http://desserttruck.wordpress.com/menu/
If you wanted to try to read with your child in tow, there's a magical place for kids and adults called Moomah, on Hudson Street across from the Holland Tunnel. They don't always have cake, but they get their desserts from Locanda Verde, a place with a renowned pastry chef. Moomah was created by Jon Stewart's wife because there was nothing for families in her neighborhood. There are lots of neat projects for kids to do, a separate playroom for them, and a roving puppeteer. The food's pretty good plus organic and locally grown. Last time I was there I had excellent apple cider donuts.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine on Rivington St is a popular spot for cupcakes and cake, with an area for sitting. Sometimes people sit for hours.
There are more. This is off the top of my head. Plus I stuck with Manhattan since you only mentioned Manhattan places yourself.
184 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Sugar Sweet Sunshine
126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013
75 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013
161 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
Dessert Truck Works
6 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Wow, thanks to all for the recommendations. Moomah is not what I had in mind, but it sounds like a great tip. I have never hit Cafe Fledermaus at the right time . Amy's Bread, Edgars, and the Dutch all sound like great options. Maybe tomorrow I'll give Dessert Truck Works a shot. I find predicting foot traffic difficult this time of year.
Cup Cake cafe, on 9th street across from the back end of Port Authority, just up from 40th and next to this very nice pizza restaurant on one side, and one of the best Greek owned Greek themed delis fish markets on the other side.
I take my coffee there and it is such a unique place.One time I was there and Europeans were photo shooting the place because they love it so much. They were doing it for a magazine.
Some of the best cap and espresso in town.
545 9th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Little Cupcake Bakery on Prince & Mott. Wide assortment of cakes, cupcakes and pastries; cakes sold by the slice. They have a few tables where you can hang out, or walk down to the park on Spring and Mulberry.
Little Cupcake Bakeshop
30 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
I've only picked up cake slices at the Bronx location but the family recently opened a sit down place on Lexington Avenue. They of course have carrot cake, and red velvet cake, coconut pineapple cake, German chocolate as well as sweet potato pie.
Lloyd's Carrot Cake
1553 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029
I think the OP might be better off looking at cafes or somewhere low key that also happen to carry cake. It would be hard to linger, let alone write at most of the places known for their cake.
Cupcake Cafe and Billy's are probably going to be the calmest of all the suggestions. Billy's is a bakeshop, but it's low traffic, never crowded, and they seem to hire laid back staff who keep themselves busy, and wouldn't care how long you stayed. Cupcake Cafe is the second location of a neighborhood mainstay. It's more cafe like, people do meetings there, others sit and do work, and while the cake isn't going to be the best (unless you like the taste of buttercream with uneven sugar ratios), it's one of the few places really set up for your needs.
My suggestion would be to make the cake and writing breaks a regular thing, and to try as many of these out as you can. You'll know in two seconds if it's somewhere you can sit a while. Sometimes it will just be timing.
Go to Bubby's in Tribeca (120 Hudson). They have single seats at the bar at the front as well as plenty of tables throughout. It's a very comforting homestyle place. Perfect for getting lost in your writing. They serve everything but are known for pies and many people go just for dessert. So getting a table just for that won't be a prob. Their triple chocolate devil's food cake is sinfully delicious as is the red velvet.
Bubby's Pie Co.
120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013