Best New York Bakeries By Melina Hammer
PHOTOS + STORY BY MELINA HAMMER
These five bakeries are the tops. Add together my chocolate and pastry passion, along with my scrutiny as a foodie, blogger, and photographer, and you have a list of excitingly tasty adventures to come!
The City Bakery
I love City Bakery because, for all the years I have walked in the door, they have been consistently great every single time. With so many places to choose from in NYC, it takes a lot to keep me coming back, and this place has it. Everything they create is topnotch quality and fresh: the hot chocolate is the richest I’ve ever had (a nod to any self-respecting chocolate lover), and their cookies strike a perfect balance a supple, just under-baked center with an assertive caramelized *crunch* at the edges.
Grandaisy Bakery approaches their thin crust pizzas, breads, and pastries from a Mediterranean perspective, which imparts everything with a subtle (yet outrageously satisfying) quality. I regularly set out to snag a slice of their namesake torta a heavenly orange zest-flecked moist pound cake-style treat just because I feel it calling. Take home a dramatic loaf of airy, crusty Filone for dinner, and you are set!
Scratchbread is a quintessentially Brooklyn experience: the chalkboard menu clipped to the walkup window are sure signs that you’ve arrived at a funky, sure-to-be-new experience. Everything is made on the premises, of the highest quality ingredients. The menu is unorthodox and delicious: the Pecorino Sourdough, studded with caraway seeds, peppercorns, and cheesy goodness is a great bet, as is the dark chocolate buttercream brownie. Be still my beating heart.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Stepping in to Four and Twenty Blackbirds feels like a trip back in time a time when hype was unnecessary because in its place simple ingredients prepared with a gifted touch were allowed to shine. They do pie sooo right, and have both savory and sweet options to tempt: salty honey is one of my absolute favorites, for its custardy rich honey texture, foiled by the crunch of Maldon sea salt and their signature buttery, oh-so-flaky crust. Go now and thank me later.
Clinton Street Baking Co.
Clinton Street Baking Co. has been around long enough to be a scene for brunch, where patrons are willing to wait for eons just to have a plate of their incredibly fluffy pancakes served with melted maple butter, or southern inspired fare of custardy eggs, dense, buttery grits and sugar cured bacon. Fair enough. One of the major reasons I keep coming back is for their intense, perfect-balance-between-tart-and-sweet key lime meringue pie. It reminds me of my mother’s lemon meringue, which was always the pinnacle of special occasions. The perfect graham cracker crumb crust, the velvety quality of the custard, and those rolling curls of fluffy meringue. Yup, it’s that awesome.