Well it has been quite a week! Ryder had an entire week off of school, so I thought that it would be a great project for us all to explore the bakeries in our lovely big city.
He has had a growing sweet tooth over the last year and as a self-proclaimed chocolateholic, I could not be more proud! We walked through the wind, rain, and snow to eat the best sweets in town. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. Without further ado, here is a list of our favorite bakeries in town.
Steph & Ryder
P.S. We would love to hear if you have anything to add, so please feel free to comment below!
P.P.S. Colleen was kind enough to send over a couple of her favorite bakeries in the Louisville area. Check them out at the end of the blog!
Butter Lane Cupcakes
123 East Seventh Street, New York, New York 10009 (p) 212.677.2880 (f) 212.677.2885
Colleen and I had the pleasure of meeting the folks from Butter Lane Cupcakes during the Daily Candy Academy. Their cupcakes totally rock! They have every flavor under the sun. My current favorite is the popcorn cupcake. It is vanilla with a little taste of salt and butter all mixed into one magnificent cupcake. It even comes with a piece of popcorn on the top that gives your bite a surprisingly gratifying crunch. Ry stuck with his usual, vanilla on vanilla and he rated it a 10. He enjoys licking the icing first and then conquers the cake (or he hands it off to me and his dad). Butter Lane even had an ipad at the shop where you can mix and match your cupcakes and icing to pick out the very best one!
Momofuku Milk Bar
207 2nd Avenue, New York, New York 10003; 15 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019
I first had Momofuku Milk Bar when I was nannying for a New York Times food critic. It was hands down one of my favorite weeks of nannying! I had the unbelievably fortunate privilege of assisting with the tastings and holy moly was it good! The Monster cookie is one of the best cookies that I have ever had in my life (and I've had my fair share of cookies). It has everything from chocolate chips to potato chips baked into a lovely gooey concoction.
379 Grand Street, New York, New York; inside the famous Hotel Chelsea 222 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011
I had read so many spectacular reviews on Doughnut Plant, that I just knew we had to take a walk down to China town and give them a whirl. My partner, Chad, insisted the whole walk down that he was not crazy about doughnuts but I stuck to my guns and would not take no for answer. Boy oh boy, did he eat his words later on! I have a serious weak spot for doughnuts. I love them with all of my heart and soul. I love the glazed ones, the jelly filled, the twisted cinnamon and sugar ones, and most especially the chocolate cake with chocolate icing doughnuts. You can imagine my excitement as we reached the front of the line. I ordered a variety of Vanilla Bean glaze, Creme Brulee, Vanilla Bean jelly filled, Pistachio glaze, and the Blackout. Now let me just tell you something about these doughnuts. They are perfection in a bite. They are what I dream heaven will be. They are soft, moist, and the flavors are true to their names in every way. The Creme Brulee had a crispy sweet, caramel icing on the top with a cream fill that makes you close your eyes and savor each and every bite. The Blackout was like nothing I had ever had in my life. It exceeded my expectations of the chocolate doughnut in every way imaginable. It is a chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate icing and a chocolate cream filling. It is positively sinful. It could very well be my soulmate. The chocolate is dark, rich, and sexy. I suggest an espresso or a tall glass of milk to accompany this little roundness of sweet and utter bliss.
Venieros Italian Bakery
342 East 11th Street, New York, New York (p) 212.674.7070
We've tasted quite a few contemporary approaches to baking over the last week, which lead me back to this classic Italian bakery located in the heart of the east village. Venieros is always popping with the neighborhood loyalists and the newbies who are out trying everything NYC. As we walked in I told Ry to grab a number and he said exuberantly, "Okay, how about 3?!". Poor kid had clearly never had the pleasure of pulling a ticket and impatiently wait for your number to be called from the behind the counter. After I explained how the tickets work, we had ours', number 78. As we waited, Ry and I walked up and down the long glass display case as I pointed to all of my favorite treats and he jumped up and down with excitement. We chose a variety of cannolis, fruit tarts, and cookies and ate them for the next three days!
Little Cupcake Bakeshop
30 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012 (p) 212.941.9100
We happened to stumble upon this adorable bakery on our way home from walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. It has a wonderful variety of cupcakes, cakes, pies, and bread all arranged quite appetizingly in their vintage-looking glass display case. After much debate, I chose the german chocolate cake and Ry chose the cookie dough cupcake. The cake was quite excellent from the outer edge layer of icing to the sweet chocolate cake in the middle. I must say though that Ry's cookie dough cupcake was far superior. There were mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top of the icing, which gave the full bite of the cupcake a complete experience from the soft cake to creamy icing and at the very end a soft crunch of chocolate goodness.
359 1st Avenue, New York, New York 10010; 831 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Ess-a-Bagel was our last bakery outing of the week. I woke up this morning and told Ry that he was going to have the best bagel ever. He was having a very difficult time believing that any bagel could be better than the ones he has when he goes to visit his grandparents in Huntington, but he agreed to go. I have been going to this bagel shop since I spent the summer here interning for one of my favorite people/photographers in the entire world, Jayne Wexler. She was born and bred in NYC and knows the best of the best, so I did not doubt her when she took me to this tiny bagel shop in the east village and told me that these bagels were unbeatable. Today I got the 9 grain with the apple cinnamon cream cheese and Ry ordered the plain bagel. We are both finishing them up now and are feeling exceedingly full and happy. The bagels are huge and are baked to perfection. The apple cinnamon cream cheese is one of my favorites at Ess-a, but if you're in the mood for something on the savory side I suggest their veggie cream cheese. In the end, Ry decided that his Ess-a bagel was not better than the bagels from Huntington, but that they are equally as good.
Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen
This favorite dessert go-to spot actually got it's start as a lunch counter. The popularity of the pies they were serving daily was overwhelming and in 1983, the Pie Kitchen began serving desserts and ice cream exclusively. Now with 9 locations throughout Louisville, the Pie Kitchen continues to bake over 100 homemade, from-scratch desserts and churn out 32 flavors of homemade ice cream every day. (Colleen's all-time Homemade Pie Kitchen fave: Dutch Apple Caramel Pie. Yummm!
Ermin's Bakery and Cafe
Originally opened by two Bosnian cousins (both named Ermin), Ermin's Bakery and cafe is now owned by Louisville natives. From cakes to sandwiches to casseroles, everything at Ermin's is made locally from fresh food delivered daily. They are known especially for their European style breads and the Benedictine sandwich.
Heitzman Bakery has a strong family tradition and have been fresh baking donuts, cakes, muffins, breads and more in Louisville for over 120 years. Especially known for their wedding cakes and "Butter Kuchen", Heitzman Bakery is a Louisville baking institution.