Bounce From Old-School Babka to Colorful Croissants at NYC's Destination Bakeries

New York City satisfies our sweet tooth, our savory cravings, and everything in between.

<p>Courtesy of Librae</p>

Courtesy of Librae

New York City’s most famous baked good may be its pillowy, chewy, and inimitable bagel, but as anyone who has visited the city in search of pastry can tell you, that’s hardly the only game in town. Whether you’re on the hunt for classic bread shops with heavenly aromas drifting down the sidewalk in the early morning hours, or you're willing to spend hours on the sidewalk in line for the city’s latest viral croissant mashup, New York's panoply of bakeries offers the ideal treat for every type of traveler.

Seek out treats by category and explore many of the city’s vibrant neighborhoods along the way.

For the bread heads

First up and ideal for early morning explorations is the city’s bread scene. Here, you’ll find some of New York’s oldest operating businesses, like Orwashers, which was founded on Manhattan’s Upper East Side by a Hungarian immigrant family in 1916. The original bestsellers were breads milled with rye, and these loaves — along with rugelach, babka, and black and white cookies — remain some of the most popular orders.

Other must-stops include the equally venerated Sullivan Street Bakery for Italian specialities like ciabatta and disco Romana (a round pizza bianco); Frenchette Bakery for its einkorn country loaf and fougasses made with olives and sweet red peppers; and Union Square Greenmarket favorite She Wolf Bakery for classic Pullman loaves. Two new spots that have already made their mark are chef Amadou Ly’s ALF Bakery inside Chelsea Market (try the laminated baguette) and Greenpoint’s Radio Bakery, where the stirato loaves (Italian-style sourdough baguettes) come in flavors like sesame or walnut and sour cherry.

For the sweet-toothed

Moving from savory baked goods into sweet brings you to the bakeries best known for classic creations. In this mix you’ll find cookie specialists like Levain Bakery and its famed oversized chocolate chip cookies; The Good Batch’s inventive assortment with flavors like tahini-chocolate chunk or brown butter salty; and the buttery, delightful pie cookies at Janie’s Life Changing Baked Goods.

There’s also the legion of beloved pie and cake makers. Visit Four & Twenty Blackbirds for a sticky, dense Salty Honey Pie; ByClio Bakery and From Lucie for stunning, flower-strewn celebration cakes; and the nearly 40-year-old Lloyd’s Carrot Cake for dense wedges of classic carrot cake (with and without walnuts and raisins).

For the 'gram

As New York is the epicenter of many a dessert trend, it's fitting to give a shoutout to those shops whose fanciful, sometimes wacky, creations have built followings so passionate the fans will wait in line for hours just to grab a taste (and a snap for social media, of course). Perhaps no bakery is more associated with viral pastries than Dominique Ansel Bakery, where you can try the original Cronut.

Newer baked goods that have taken up the mantle include cream-filled, shatter-crisp laminated suprêmes at Lafayette; 2023 F&W Best New Chef Eunji Lee's signature mousse cake at Lysée (made with Korean toasted brown rice mousse and a pecan sablé); over-the-top, colorful croissants with flavors like Kouign Brûlée and rosemary and blueberry at Supermoon Bakehouse; and the subdued but perfectly executed laminated pastries in the cases at Librae Bakery.

Hitting all these shops in one visit might be something of a challenge, but hey, this is New York. Anything is possible.

Global Tastemakers is a celebration of the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. We asked more than 180 food and travel journalists to vote on their favorites, including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. We then entrusted those results to an expert panel of judges to determine each category’s winners. In many categories, we’ve included a judge’s pick, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don’t want our readers to miss. See all the winners at

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