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One day in September to visit bakeries

Hi,

I will be in and around NYC for several days in late September, but I'll only have one free day to explore (the 27th). My main interest is bakeries. Specifically, I'm interested in pastry, cookies, cakes, bread, donuts, bagels, and macarons. I can skip super-fancy cake shops specializing in glamorous-looking cakes with gelatin stabilized fillings. I live in the Bay Area and my favorite bakery is Tartine (how unoriginal, I know). I like Craftsmen and Wolves, but less so and find it a bit too precious. So I've done some preliminary research and have come up with the following. Any suggested additions or deletions would be most welcome! I'll also probably stick to Manhattan.

Sullivan Street
Balthazar
Bien Cuit
Zucker
Levain
Doughnut Plant
Dominique Ansel (not for cronuts ... no time to wait in line)

For macarons, I know there's a Ladurée but I've had their goods in London and Paris, so am keen to try something local. Looking on Yelp, I see Bisous Ciao, Takahachi Bakery, La Maison du Macaron ... any thoughts?

Thanks!

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  1. At Sullivan St, I'm guessing you're trying some bread & maybe their bombolini?

    Love Balthazar Bakery's fruit focaccia, chocolate bread, doughnuts. There are better croissants to be had, though.

    Near Bien Cuit also is Blue Ribbon Bakery Market, Bosie Tea Parlor, Amy's Bread, Rocco's and Bruno. It might be interesting to try the house made matzoh at Blue Ribbon Bakery Market or a freshly filled cannoli at Rocco's or Bruno. And Murray's Cheese if you need some cheese to go with all that bread. :)

    For bagels, I hope you've read this:
    http://mobile.newyork.seriouseats.com...

    Doughnut Plant is fine but not as good as doughnuts I've had in other cities. I have a feeling SF has somewhere better. Also I find the DP yeast doughnuts to be too chewy.

    I've found that our best macarons to be imported (Laduree and La Maison du Chocolat). If you do find yourself on Bleecker St, Biscous Ciao has a branch there, and Bosie Tea Parlor is just around the corner. Try their Ispahan.

    As for cakes, what about Lady M? Too fancy?

    Momofuku Milk Bar for cookies and cake truffles?

    City Bakery for a pretzel croissant?

    Two Little Red Hens? Maison Kayser? Beurre & Sel?

    See also:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892090
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/897618

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      SF does not have better doughnuts than Doughnut Plant, unfortunately. Many other cities do, though.

      http://endoedibles.com

      1. re: kathryn

        Many thanks for the terrific recommendations! I've updated my map. In the Oakland we do have great donuts at Pizzaiolo and Donut Dolly, but I agree that there's nothing great in the city (that I've had any way).

      2. Il Cantuccio is an Italian (Tuscan) café that uses entirely authentic recipes when preparing their biscotti, bread, pizza, and focaccia menu items (including Italian sandwiches). They produce baked goods that are of superior quality. The biscotti and cookies will cost you about $1 each. They give generous samples of biscotti, cookies, and focaccia. Too bad the 27th isn’t on a weekend when they make their Italian donuts. There are wonderful variations on focaccia with everything from pizza to toppings of tomatoes and olives, sandwiches too. This place makes a very traditional cappuccino that puts most places to shame. The staff is very friendly.

        It is located in the West Village (91 Christopher St) just down the street from the subway (Christopher St. - Sheridan Sq (1, 2). The location near the corner of Bleecker St. allows you to walk down Bleecker where there is an Amy’s Bread and Pasticceria Rocco’s. There is also a very small rustic bread and pastry shop in this area but I cannot remember its name. It has a full length window with bread and cookies in the window---tiny but looked great--I think it is on Bleecker. I know it is on the left side as you walk down the street.

        Additionally, for a classic NY Slice of pizza, you are near Joe's Pizzza (7 Carmine Street)--just around the corner and across the street from a nice park with plenty of shade and benches(Father Demo Square) at Bleecker and Carmine. I know you mentioned bakery items but since Joe's is in the area, I mentioned it.

        This area should satisfy your hunt for unique bakery items. Hope this helps.

        11 Replies
        1. re: facultyandtraveler

          The bakery you're talking about is Rocco's.

          1. re: kathryn

            Hello Kathryn, I certainly respect your vast knowledge base. Regarding Rocco's, are there two of them? The place I am talking about is very, very tiny. It doesn't look anything like the famous Rocco's that has been there for years. The place (I can't remember the name of has about 2 small windows) has rustic wood on the outside, bread, maybe pasta, and some black and white cookies in the window. I wish I had snapped a picture of it during my last visit. Sorry if I seem too vague. We walked past it during our treks up Bleecker from the park across from Joe's. Maybe I'm mistaken about its location on Bleecker but it is within a block or so. Thanks for any information. Have a good afternoon.

            1. re: facultyandtraveler

              I walk my dog up and down Bleecker St between 6th and 7th all the time, and I have no idea what you're talking about.

              When was your last visit?

              1. re: kathryn

                I was there about 3 weeks ago. It is a hole in the wall. My wife and I almost went in but we were on another mission. The first time I saw it, we missed Carmine Street off of 6th Ave. and walked down past the park and came back up Bedford St. Sorry I can't be more specific. Rustic and not much more than 10 ft wide. Thanks

                1. re: facultyandtraveler

                  Perhaps a screen shot from Google Street View could help?

                  1. re: michaelw

                    14 Bedford Street, Blue Ribbon Bakery and Market. I had seen the picture but the name wasn't clear. We did not go in but it looked interesting. It is a dark gray building and next to Quinto Quarto. Enjoy your trip

                    1. re: facultyandtraveler

                      Ah, yes. On Bedford. They have excellent house made matzoh, as I mentioned above.

                2. re: kathryn

                  Hello Kathryn, the place is next to Quinto Quarto on Bedford and it is gray...the natural wood of Quinto Quarto threw me off. I called Quinto Quarto and I could not understand the name the person gave me. Thanks. Just solved it, it is Blue Ribbon Bakery and Market. Whew!

            2. re: facultyandtraveler

              ll Cantuccio looks fantastic! I love this sort of bakery and will make sure to give it a try.

            3. At Sullivan try the different Canottos, especially the sweet fruity ones. Bomboinis that Kathryn mentioned are nice as well.

              And while you at it since its a little far out there go to Guelaguetza a mexican deli across the street for a spicy Chicken Burrito. Studies show Canottos taste better after chicken burritos

              1. Kathryn mentioned Maison kayser and they some really amazing breads right now. The broadway/21st location isn't far from city bakery. I highly recommend the tumeric hazelnut walnut loaf, the olive bread and baguettes. They also have pastries but those have had mixed reviews.
                The bread counter inside of eataly (close to this maison kayser) has a nice selection of focaccia- avoid lunchtime craziness if possible.
                At amy's breads the raisin fennel semolina buns are a personal fav

                1. While I wholeheartedly disagree with you on Craftsmen and Wolves (what about B. Patisserie, and Knead?) I think the NYC Bakeries most worth your time and effort are Dominque Ansel (no, not for the Cronut, but for everything including the DKA, Macarons, and Paris-NY, plus whatever fruit based éclair he is doing...or anything choux based, really), Bien Cuit (Almond Croissant,) Almondine (if you can get over to Brooklyn,) Breads (Chocolate Babka and Marzipan Almond Croissant,) Bosie (Scones,) Lady M (Mille Crepe), Two Little Red Hens (Cupcakes,) Dunwell (Donuts,) Pies n' Thighs (Donuts and Pie,) Baked Brooklyn (Pretty much anything they make,) Levain (Cookies.)

                  Skip Kayser...and even moreso, Mille Feuille and Claude.

                  http://endoedibles.com

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: uhockey

                    Funny you should mention B. Patisserie. I was just there this morning and sampled the sugar brioche (excellent), bostock (event better), a croissant (dry and tasteless), the ten hour apple tart (fine but not exceptional), and a macaron (too dense for my taste). Overall an excellent bakery and I'll be back. I only tried three items from Craftsmen and Wolves so perhaps just need to visit again. I didn't know of Knead but will certainly visit next time I'm in the Mission! Thanks for the tip.

                    Thanks also for helping to narrow down the exploding NY list!

                    1. re: michaelw

                      At B. Patisserie the liquid Chocolate Croissant (go when its warm) Kouign Amann, and Mille Feuille are exceptional. At C&W it is all about The Rebel Within and the sipping Caramel. At Knead - imo, the butter pecan croissant is the best pastry in America today and the pomme d'amour is pretty excellent as well.

                      http://endoedibles.com

                      1. re: uhockey

                        I looked at the Kouign Amann at B. Patisserie but it is of the more open style ... I tend to prefer a denser version, like from Starter Bakery. But I'll give it a try next time.

                        1. re: michaelw

                          You missed out—B. Patisserie's kouign amann are not just the best thing there, it's what single handedly won Belinda Leong recognition in the national media publications.

                          1. re: W42

                            It is quite remarkable, actually. I really like Ansel's DKA and the one at Bouchon Beverley Hills, but Belinda's literally shatter to the tooth and have a center so dense with butter that it is nearly molten. I think the key to everything at B. Patisserie (and most bakeries, really) is to get there when they open and things are warm. When Payard used to only have the one location on the UES his Almond Croissant, still warm, and those flourless chocolate cookies were beyond compare in NY, but room temp they aren't nearly as impressive.

                            http://endoedibles.com

                        2. re: uhockey

                          I had 45 minutes to spare this morning and paid a visit to Knead. The butter pecan croissant really was excellent. Much denser but with vastly more flavor than those at B. Patisserie and Le Marais. I definitely prefer Knead's version. The pomme d'amour was terrific as an after lunch snack. Thanks for the tip!

                      2. re: uhockey

                        If you sit towards the back of Dominique Ansel, you can watch the bakers work!

                      3. > I can skip super-fancy cake shops specializing in glamorous-looking cakes

                        Don't worry, there is no such place in New York now... (weep T^T)

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: uhockey

                            I wouldn't call it super-fancy. High quality in simple style perhaps?

                            1. re: kosmose7

                              Fair point. They are elegant, but not overdone. :-)

                              http://endoedibles.com

                        1. For baguettes, Pain D'avignon has the best in my opinion. I've tried almost all 'famous' bakeries in NYC and come to that conclusion...closest to the ones I used to eat in France..better than balthazar, Sullivan street, Kayser, etc. I have to say I like potato onion bread from Balthazar. I live close to their factory in NJ and I have literally tasted every single thing they make there.
                          For macarons, I prefer La maison du macaron over Laduree.

                          Honestly, if you are from the Bay area, I heard pastries and breads are better there. In my opinion, nyc doesn't have good pastry shops. Dominique ansel, bouchon bakeries are all disappointing. I do recommend Lady M though.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Monica

                            Thanks for the recommendations. We do have some great pastry and bread here, but I'm mostly interested in non-bread items, as I do all my own bread baking (example attached). La Maison du Macaron does look good and I've not tried it, so that's on the list!

                             
                            1. re: michaelw

                              That's one amazing looking bread. forget about going to a bakery here. Just check out La maison du macaron and Lady M.

                              1. re: michaelw

                                My issue with La Maison du Macaron is probably related to their their storage temperature. If you get macarons at La Maison du Macaron, make sure you let them come to room temperature first. I always find them a bit cold/too moist. If you like croissants, they are only OK there, but Mille-Feuille & Dominique Ansel are better.

                                1. re: michaelw

                                  If you go to LMdM, you must get the chocolate almond croissant in addition to any other goodies. The chocolate almond croissant are our current favorite anywhere outside paris. They remind us of the ones they USED to have at Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery in Vegas years ago before they changed them.

                                  Also seconding:

                                  Levain
                                  MMB
                                  DA

                                  and adding for macarons and truffles in Soho - Kee's (get the Yuzu macarons if they have them)

                                  One final note - just back from a week eating all over the Bay Area and the best baked thing we ate were the biscuits at Brenda's French Soul Food. Sorry if I come off like a pastry snob, but even our local Flaky Tart in Atlantic Highlands NJ has better pastry than what we had in SF.

                                  1. re: seal

                                    Are the macarons better at Kee's now? Used to be too crispy with too many air holes & would fall apart after one bite.

                                    1. re: kathryn

                                      I had some recently that blew me away, especially the yuzu. The last time I had them beforehand, I'm sorry to say, may have been over a year ago and I don't remember my impressions then.

                                      Too many foodie places, too little time ;o)

                                    2. re: seal

                                      Thanks for the chocolate almond croissant tip - looks excellent!

                                2. At Sullivan St, not Grandaisy IMHO, get the filone, the sesame bread and if possible their sourdough which is awesome.

                                  To uhockey, nice to see you are still around.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                    I read here a lot. I keep most of my posting to my blog since it is eternally backed up, Heading to NY in October.

                                    http://endoedibles.com

                                  2. This past summer, I indulged in pistachio macarons from Bouchon Bakery, Laduree, La Maison du Chocolat, La Maison du Macaron, and Dominique Ansel. I thought Dominique Ansel's version stood head and shoulders above the rest (even Laduree). The Dough'ssant at Chikalicious Dessert Club was also incredible: http://www.dessertclubchikalicious.com/

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. NY really doesn't have anything on the level of Tartine or the aesthetics and inventiveness of Craftsman and Wolves.

                                      Bein Cuit and Dominique Ansel are the most similar in spirit.

                                      Doughnut Plant's PB&J donuts are the thing to get. Stick to the filled donuts there.

                                      City Bakery's pretzel croissant is really good, as are their cookies.

                                      Jaques Torres ice cream sandwiches between their chocolate chip cookies are worth a stop into Chelsea Market.

                                      A lot of the coffee places have interesting pastries. Stumptown comes to mind. Abraco or La Colombe's olive oil cakes.

                                      SF is going through a bread explosion, so I don't think you'll find much here that compares with what's available on Bi Rite shelves, or Tartine's bread. Bien Cuit would be the closest, but one of their bakers went off to SF, to open a bakery already. Stick to the rustic breads at Sullivan or their pizza squares, and biscotti. Again, rustics at Amy's. Maison Kayser has nice breads, but I wouldn't waste time on a one day trip there.

                                      In Brooklyn, Almondine, One Girl cookies, Bakeri, Mast Brothers (similar to Dandelion), Four & Twenty Blackbirds (inspired by Mission Pies), and a lot more. Hard to touch on these in a day.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                        I think Ansel is on par, or better than C&W personally.

                                        I also think Doughnut Plant's cake options and the yeasted options at Dough, Pies n' Thighs, AND Dunwell all trump any doughnut in SF.

                                        http://endoedibles.com

                                        1. re: uhockey

                                          Unless you want an apple fritter, or old fashioned, and appreciate those styles of donuts. Upscale donuts are fun, but sometimes you just want a donut sans rhubarb glaze.

                                          100%, I'd take Doughnut Plant (ordering carefully) or Dough over Dynamo or Pebbles. If we include Bombolini, the Bay Area keeps up, with Doughnut Dolly, and the Ferry bldg.

                                          I personally don't think Pies n' Thighs ranks with any baked items. The donut I had from them was too dense, and their pies are often soggy with runny filling. They need better recipes.

                                          I think the OP should expect that Ansel is a little more classical (similar to Pattiserie Philippe's store before closing) and less experimental, conceptual or even refined as C&W, where form factor, ingredients and creativity seem more important than making a satisfying pastry. Ansel's desserts deserve more credit, but they also fall into the gelatin filled cakes in jewelry cases category.

                                          1. re: sugartoof

                                            Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Are you thinking of Pepples donuts? I don't know Pebbles. Pepples, in any case, has got to have some of the worst donuts of all time, at least when I tried them a year ago. Dry, tasteless, crumbly. I found Dynamo to be overpriced for what you get.

                                            1. re: michaelw

                                              Pepples, yes. Thanks for the correction.

                                              I think all these places we're talking about are somewhat overpriced, but something about Dynamo makes me feel ripped off.

                                              1. re: sugartoof

                                                >something about Dynamo makes me feel ripped off.
                                                >
                                                I think you are on to something.

                                        2. re: sugartoof

                                          and Runner + Stone

                                          if you are interested in traditional italian as opposed to French style or US artisanal variations, La Fornaretta on 17th Ave in Bensonhurst is my fave right now, strike a perfect balance of crispness and body

                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                            Runner + Stone does look good but I doubt I'll make it down to that neighborhood, sadly.

                                            1. re: michaelw

                                              ...I was quite underwhelmed. Good almond croissant, though.

                                              http://endoedibles.com

                                              1. re: uhockey

                                                the breads are special there - like you, I like their very rich almond croissant . Cant speak for the rest of the menu,Thats as far as Ive gotten.so far.

                                        3. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the many tips and interesting discussion! I'm in the midst of collating and mapping everything and will come back with a short list before my trip.

                                          1. you should go to La Toulousaine on Amsterdam btwn 106th and 107th for almond croissants.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: chloeandbear

                                              Excellent! I will be staying near there one night so should be able to drop in.

                                            2. I lived in SF for 3 years and have spent a lot of time the last 2 years exploring NY bakeries. There are plenty of tasty bakery goods in NY, two of which I am doubtful of finding replacements for elsewhere:

                                              1. Donuts at Dough. I will miss Dough than any other "bakery good" in NY. Most would prefer Doughnut Plant, but I never went back after trying Dough (and I prefer Dough over Dynamo). Dough changed donuts for me the way that Tartine changed bread. If you like yeast donuts, give one of Dough's fruit-based glaze flavors a try. Their actual Brooklyn shop will have the best and most variety, but there is nothing near it so I don't suggest going there w/such limited time. If you are stuck in Manhattan you can find their donuts resold at the Whole Foods on Bowery & Houston, Gasoline Alley Coffee near Bleecker St MTA, and in the mornings at Culture Espresso in midtown. Side note, if you like chocolate chip cookies, Culture makes my favorite when they are hot from the oven. Almost an inch thick, crispy exterior, almost liquid center.

                                              2. Bien Cuit for the BROA DE MILHO: Corn & Wheat Flours, Fermented with Milk. This bread has a crisp crust and but light crumb almost like cornbread. Buttery, unique flavor.

                                              On bread specifically, out of the bakeries you've listed the only ones that approach Tartine's complexity of flavor to me would be Balthazar's Pain de Seigle and Bien Cuit's Miche. That said, I don't buy either. The only bread that I purchase when I am craving Tartine's flavor is the City White from Robertas in Brooklyn (a very worthy trip if you can reserve a loaf and eat their dinner plates). Not a Tartine replacement, but very delicious. I also like the baguettes from Kayser.

                                              As for Ansel, I think the visual craftsmanship of their pastries has steadily gone downhill since they opened, and especially so since the cronut. My favorite item of theirs was the DKA, but it is almost never in stock after 10 am.

                                              For macarons, my local favorite overall are from bisous ciao. For a point of comparison, my favorite in SF were from Miette.

                                              You didn't mention pie, but I still have yet to find pie as good as Crixa in Berkeley, though Yura's are excellent.

                                              Oh, and no NYC canele is consistently better than Boulettes Larder.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: justtryit

                                                Brooklyn Kitchen carries Robertas bread.

                                                Dough is a mainstay at both Smorgasburg, and Brooklyn Flea. With deliveries all through the day when they sell out, it's just about as good as going to the store. You can verify the lineups on the website.

                                                I'd caution anyone expecting a transcendent experience at Dough. They're (mostly) just your typical oversized glazed donuts with really interesting, fresh glazes/toppings. Some of the glazes are strangely textured so as to never marry to the fried dough itself, which is so fluffy, and so boring, it's distracting.

                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                  ditto re dough - oversized, funny glazes lack the classic satisfaction of a traditional glazed yeast doughnut

                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                    Also agree about Dough. Tried them two different times while they were at the Bryant Park Crafts Fair at the end of the year. Tried 4 different flavors, and while they were tasty and their size huge, I wasn't overwhelmed by them. Tossed 1/2 of each.

                                                2. re: justtryit

                                                  I reckon I'll try to pick up a Dough item at one of the Manhattan places you mention, thanks!

                                                3. Tomorrow I head out to Palisades but tonight I met a friend in Brooklyn. We'd planned to have pizza at Lucali but tragically the wait was just too long. So we went to the bar associated with pokpok. The cocktails were fine but overall the food was merely ok. Loved the chicken wings and peanuts, but not the soup with offal or dried cuttlefish. Then ... and finally the bakey part ... we stopped by The Chocolate Shop. The atmosphere reminded me of a Vienna cafe, but the chocolate layer cake was pretty insubstantial and didn't have great depth of flavor or taste of excellent ingredients. The company was good though!

                                                  I'll have more to report soon on the places previously discussed. Tomorrow morning I hoping to try Absolute Bagels.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: michaelw

                                                    I've always found Chocolate Shop underwhelming and don't understand the appeal, their cake tastes like it came out of a box.

                                                  2. Some more updates.

                                                    Monday morning I managed a visit to Absolute Bagels. Usually I make bagels from Nancy Silverton's Breads from La Brea bakery. They're pretty great. Somewhat dense, chewy, crunchy crust. These were quite different. Much lighter and bigger, but still with a reasonable chew and crunch. I still prefer mine, but would certainly be happy to try Absolute again. Then I went around the corner to La Tousousaine for an Almond croissant. Big mistake. Not a great almond paste, completely squished down, and weak butter flavor. I'm not at all sure it was even made with butter. Also a terrible atmosphere of a dying bakery.

                                                    On Tuesday afternoon on my way to Princeton I managed a visit to Silver Moon, where I tried the current and cream cheese brioche. Another major disappointment, as it was basically a giant air bubble surrounded by a less than routine brioche. But then I walked down to Levain and had a double chocolate chocolate chip cookie. Everything you could hope for. Huge, moist, chewy, crunchy, packed full of high quality chips, molten. I felt Ill afterwards and a bit violated, but in a good way. I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully to try Keste for pizza and engage in further debauchery.

                                                    1. It was a great trip. I didn't manage to get to nearly as many places as I'd hoped, mostly because I just couldn't handle any more. But I did manage quite a few! Here's the report:

                                                      Keste. I had a couple of random mediocre slices that did nothing to persuade me of the common refrain of "any slice you get in NY is better than any pizza in the Bay Area". But Keste was great. The crust had, for me, the right amount of char. The moz was velvety and just dissolved in your mouth. Top notch.

                                                      Pasticceria Rocco. Wow. What a selection. A lot of it didn't look that great, and I suspect that most of the cookies were made with some sort of hideous shortening, not butter. They had that look. I had a filled-to-order cannoli, which was fine but nothing exceptional. I'd definitely go back for the almond crescent cookies, which looked striking.

                                                      Bisous Ciao. I had a pistachio and espresso macaron. Really, I can't imagine them being any better. The temperature was right and they had a nice thin crust and a perfectly chewy interior. No air pockets or crumbling. The flavor intensity was moderate but well balanced.

                                                      Amy's Breads. By this point in the evening I was feeling completely bloated and only managed an orange cookie. Fine, but not something I'd get again. The cakes had a nice old-timey look and normally I'd have tried that instead.

                                                      Dominique Ansel. No time for the cronut line so I just had a salted caramel eclair and a DKA. The eclair was well done and I liked the fluting on the sides. The DKA was the best kouign amann I've had (ok I still haven't tried B. Patisserie's).

                                                      Balthazar Bakery. I popped in as I was in the neighborhood, not expecting much. To my surprise there were easily 10 items I'd happily try. Donuts looked especially tempting but I was on to Doughnut Plant next. So I just had a croissant ... probably in the top quartile. No Tartine, but really solid.

                                                      Doughnut Plant. Loved it. They're chewy for sure, but I liked that fine. Big too. I had pistachio. Would have preferred more big chunks but still, what an epic doughnut. Soon after I walked through Essex Market and il laboratorio del gelato but just couldn't handle anything else.

                                                      Culture Espresso Bar. I'd just had lunch at an ok but wildly overpriced Chinese restaurant and was heading out of town. Just managed to stop in here for one of their insanely delicious chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven. Levain was good, but that was more like a cookie-shaped brownie. This cookie had a bit more a crunch and less of a melty fall apart texture.

                                                      Ippudo. Not a baked good place at all, but I still liked the ramen and pork buns.

                                                      Upright Brew House. Stopped in for a pint after Ippudo. Holy #$!& I thought Bay Area prices were insane! They're charging $8/9 for pretty common craft beers. I still liked the place though.

                                                      Thanks for all the advice! Can't wait to get back.

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: michaelw

                                                        Thanks for the great report, as l mentioned before next trip get the sticky bun at Balthazar, l love it.

                                                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                          I saw those and they were tempting. But with the upcoming visit to Doughnut Plant I couldn't face the additional sweetness.

                                                        2. re: michaelw

                                                          I would not recommend Rocco at all and I'm sorry you went there. Prior to their renovation, they were somewhat decent, much smaller selection. But after their renovation, they became another cookie-cutter, mass produced, mediocre Italian pastry purveyor like the ones that dot Little Italy. I don't know if it was a change of management or what but quality went out the window.

                                                          Next time you are near DKA, try to go to Kee's Choclate, it's much more standout in that area than DKA.

                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                            Yeah it wasn't great. But I had fun just looking at the array of mediocre looking baked goods. Thanks for the Kee's tip.

                                                            1. re: Pookipichu

                                                              Rocco was mediocre even before the renovation. It should never be included in a tour of best, or high end bakeries but there are still a couple hidden gems amongst the generic cookies, and pastries.

                                                              Amy's was another detour I wouldn't have urged anyone to bother with for pastries/cakes or anything other than a couple of their breads.

                                                              1. re: sugartoof

                                                                "Somewhat decent" - I wasn't giving a sterling recommendation even prior to the renovation.

                                                            2. re: michaelw

                                                              While you did check out a lot of places, i think you left out a lot of really good places and went to ok places instead.

                                                              1. re: Monica

                                                                Other than your recommendations of La maison du macaron and Lady M are there are other places you think I really missed out on?

                                                                1. re: michaelw

                                                                  Pain D'avignon, Bien Cuit....and yes, la maison du macaron and Lady M! oh well, maybe next time.

                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                    Sadly I was too bloated to try Pain D'avignon when I walked past. It did look excellent. I missed Bien Cuit's closing time in Brooklyn by 30 minutes. As you say, next time!