The Best Bakeries in NYC
From freshly-baked sourdough to perfect patisserie, these are the best bakeries in NYC.
New York City is home to hundreds of bakeries in dozens of different styles, so narrowing down the best is serious business. These are the bakeries that we’d happily ride the subway for an hour to get to, the ones where we’ll bring a good book and wait in an excessively long line. Whether you’re a pastry connoisseur or just looking for a solid place to buy a loaf of bread, these are the best bakeries in New York City.
Even on a random weekday with bad weather, there’s going to be a line at La Cabra in the East Village starting the moment they open, and it won’t really let up. The line is not atrocious, however, and the wait is definitely worth it. The speciality here is cardamom buns, and these sticky, airy, delicately-spiced knots of dough are second to none. Anything you order from the pastry case will be excellent, but you should also order a loaf (or two) of dark, dense bread and take it home to slather with your finest salty butter. The coffee here is expertly made and carefully sourced, making it a rare place where the coffee and pastries are on the same very high level.
This Bensonhurst bakery is so committed to preserving the tradition of Sicilian pastry making that they actually have a letter of recognition from Sicily (yeah, the island) hanging in the shop. Everything we’ve tried here has been kind of mind-blowing, but the pistachio cookie is a true standout. It’s vibrantly green and seems to be made of pure essence of pistachio. If you like almond cookies, this is sort of like that, but better, because it’s pistachio.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.
Think of the naturally leavened sourdough breads and pastries at Mel like hard-to-get concert tickets. You better try to get them soon after they go on sale, or they’ll be gone. Get to this small takeout-only bakery in Dimes Square early for the best selection because if you miss out on a savory danish with gruyère, cremini, and leeks, you’ll kick yourself. We also love their unique twists: A crusty-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside marbled loaf has purplish swirls made with sweet potatoes, and one of their croissants is filled with smoky ham and bookended with crispy baked cheese. You can also pick up dry goods to go, like roasted cornmeal and flour, and you should know Mel is only open Thursday to Sunday.
Librae Bakery in Cooper Square is best-known for its inventive pastries that blend Middle Eastern flavors with modern techniques. You've probably seen their sticky, stunning pistachio rose croissant on social media, and it's definitely a must-try. We're obsessed with their savory options, like the Marmite cheddar morning bun, which is a salt-lover's dream, and the Jerusalem bagel.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
You won't find a single baked good at the Lower East Side’s Supermoon Bakehouse that isn't technically flawless, so if you're nerdy for laminated pastries, you're going to love this place. They have a rotating menu of croissants, cruffins, eclairs, doughnuts, and a few savory items like the best sausage roll in NYC and some pizza/focaccia hybrids. They rely on a Supreme-style marketing strategy of swaggy packaging and weekly pastry drops, so expect consistently long lines on the weekends. They also make very good soft serve ice cream.
At Lady Wong in the East Village, you'll see multicolored cakes and pastries sitting in glass cases as if they're million-dollar watches. That's probably because these baked (and steamed) goods are, indeed, very precious. If you're looking for a snack, there's a large variety of kuih, and you'll also find some elaborate tarts, swiss rolls, and layer cakes. Try any one of these things, and you'll feel compelled to come back once a week. (We suggest the silky, candy-coated taro ube tart.) Before any party or special occasion, stop by for a box of treats that will make your friends and family forgive any past transgressions.
This tiny bakery on the Lower East Side specializes in Israeli-style pastries and other baked goods. They make some of our favorite babka and rugelach in NYC, but it's always worth stopping in to see what's on offer. There's fresh challah every day, a bunch of really delicious cookies, and four kinds of babka. The chocolate is amazing, but break out of your comfort zone and try the cherry and cheese flavor at least once. Michaeli also makes a ton of savory burekas with fillings ranging from spinach to pizza. It's a great choice for a quick breakfast or lunch in this neighborhood.
William Greenberg Desserts
There’s no cookie with an identity so inextricably bound to New York as the black and white, and the best ones are found at William Greenberg Desserts on the Upper East Side. They’ve been making these since 1946, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing. The cake base has a deep vanilla flavor and manages to be appropriately dense yet implausibly light at the same time. The frosting is on the softer side (if you like the snap of royal icing, this is not the cookie for you), but it’s well-balanced. They also sell the Amerikaner variation, which is essentially an all-white version of a black and white. Crumb cakes, challah, rugelach, and strudel should not be skipped here, either.
Partybus Bakeshop on the Lower East Side is known for their breads, but the monster cookies here deserve acclaim too. They’re perfectly round and have some heft to them, but not so much that you feel like you’re holding a hockey puck when you pick one up. They come in a few different flavors, but we’re partial to the classic chocolate chip, which gets a textural punch from oatmeal, and the deeply satisfying, brownie-like double chocolate. The texture is chewy without being too soft, and there’s a distinctly buttery flavor to the dough.
photo credit: Noah Deveraux
What was once a kind of sleepy spot is now an international sensation thanks to the Supreme, which has gained a reputation as “the Gen Z cronut.” Expect to wait at least (at the very least) an hour in line at this NoHo spot for one of their famous pastries. The original chocolate supreme is still our favorite: perfectly laminated croissant dough baked in a circular shape, stuffed with a chocolate cream filling that tastes like haute Kozy Shack pudding, and covered in a dark chocolate ganache and a dusting of cocoa nibs. The pistachio and chocolate flavors are pretty much always available, alongside a rotating seasonal flavor. Note that you can only buy one supreme per person, per day. They release a new set of 120 pastries at 8 AM, 12 PM, and 4 PM each day. May the odds be ever in your favor.
La Bicyclette is oh so French, not only because they make perfect breads and laminated pastries, but because they sell them when they damn well feel like it. This Williamsburg bakery’s hours of operation are 8 AM to 1 PM Tuesday through Sunday, and on Saturdays the line is usually wrapped around the block for the entirety of that period. Suck it up and wait. You’re not going to find a better loaf of bread in the five boroughs, and they also make our favorite pain au raisin. You can also stock up on French butter, a small but excellently curated selection of cheeses, and Alain Miliat jams.
La Flor De Izucar Café
If you’ve been traumatized by dry, flavorless conchas in the past, the ones at La Flor de Izucar will rewire your brain. The conchas here are face-sized, light, and delightfully springy, with a perfectly balanced flavor that goes especially well with a cup of cafe con leche or champurrado. This tiny spot in Sunset Park sells a wide variety of pan dulce as well as excellent tacos and tortas. It’s the kind of place you’ll want to simultaneously gatekeep and tell all your friends about.
The best egg tarts in the five boroughs come from Xin Fa Bakery in Sunset Park. Don’t be intimidated if the line is out the door when you show up—they’re extremely efficient here. Get more egg tarts than you think you need. Especially if you’re getting a fresh, warm batch, you’ll want to carve out a few minutes to eat one (or three) on the street and ascend to a higher plane of existence. It’s also worth trying their sponge cakes and other pastries.