Tag Archives: Russ & Daughters

Dina’s Guide to NYC Old World Bakeries

I love old world bakeries.  Whenever I visit a new city, I always look for old bakeries.  I don’t care if they look dirty or grungy from the outside, or if they have outdated signs out front.  Those signs are a sure “sign” that deliciousness awaits me inside. I feel good that I am supporting a family and the local economy as well as eating something that was made with pride and craft.  So if you are visiting NYC or if you live here, when you eat at most of the bakeries on this list, you are supporting local families and businesses that represent the history and culture of this diverse city.

In this list, I’ve tried to include all old world bakeries in Manhattan.  If I missed one, by all means, tell me about it because I’d love to go there.  (I’m focusing on the more “touristy” part of Manhattan.  This list doesn’t include Mexican or Dominican bakeries in Upper Manhattan, such as Bakery el Panadero, Capri, De Colores Bakery, Dyckman’s, D’Lillian’s, El Barrio, El Manantial, El Nazareno, Esmeraldo’s, Floridita, Grinis, Kenny Bakery, Las Americas, Mi Querido Mexico Lindo or Sweet Life Bakery.  It also doesn’t include kosher bakery Gideon’s, Hungarian Pastry Shop, Asian bakery In & Out or Ethiopian Injera Bakery.  Sounds like a bakery tour of Upper Manhattan is in order!)

I’ve written about Italian bakeries in Manhattan before in Dina’s Guide to NYC Italian Bakeries.  My favorite bakeries are old school and traditional German, Jewish and Italian ones.  There is only one German bakery and only one Jewish bakery left in Manhattan.  (As far as I know–please tell me if there are more.  There are other places to get German and Jewish baked goods, ex. Zabar’s, but not other old school bakeries.  East Broadway Kosher on Grand near Kossar’s closed, but I’m not sure if it reopened?  Last time I was there, it was closed.)  In this list I’m including bakeries that have sweet bakery items.  Following that is a list of specialty old world bakeries that make bread, knishes, bialys etc.  Many of these places are cash only, so go prepared.

moishes

Moishe’sLower East Side, Grand Street at East Broadway, and East Village, 2nd Avenue at 7th Street, Moishe’s is my favorite bakery in the city–the quintessential bakery.  I am addicted to Moishe’s.  The best hamentaschen, the best black and white cookies, the best rainbow cookies.  I’ve never had anything here that wasn’t delicious.  It’s no frills with graffiti on the window, but who cares?  I’m here for the cookies, not the decor.  They do have a new sign out front, but I’m keeping this photo of the old one.  I’ve sung the praises of Moishe’s many times. 

Poseidon Bakery

PoseidonHell’s Kitchen, 9th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets, At 90 years old, Poseidon is still family owned and the only Greek bakery in Manhattan, and one of the last businesses in what used to be a Greek neighborhood.  Here, you can get delicious Greek goodies like baklava and cookies.  The handmade phyllo dough strudels are a must-get.  I’ve written about Poseidon before.

Glaser's

Glaser’s Bake ShopYorkville, Upper East Side, 1st Avenue at 87th Street, Family-owned since 1902, Glaser’s is the only German bakery in Manhattan in what used to be a German neighborhood.  It still turns out amazing crumb cake, jelly doughnuts and danishes.  However, it also makes American favorites like brownies too.  This is an old school bakery at its best.  Check out the beautiful wood interior and tile floor.  I’ve written about Glaser’s before.

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La DeliceKips Bay, 3rd Avenue at 27th Street, La Delice is an old school bakery with a variety of classic baked goods and beautiful cakes.  They have many colorful macarons.

Andre’s HungarianMidtown East, 1st Avenue at 57th Street and Upper East Side, 2nd Avenue at 85th Street, Andre’s is the place to go for traditional, handmade strudel and other Hungarian pastries and gorgeous cakes.

Ferrara2

FerraraLittle Italy, Grand Street at Mulberry,  Ferrara, a legendary Italian pastry shop, opened in 1892 by Enrico Scoppa and Antonio Ferrara.  The fifth-generation pastry shop gained fame when Enrico Caruso became a regular.   Ferrara’s became well-known for its cannoli and torrone.  Talk about being a kid in a candy store.  I take one look at the glass case of glistening glazed fruit atop an array of pastries in a myriad of colors, and I’m mesmerized.  The pastry case at Ferrara’s is a work of art.  When I talk to people who’ve never been to an Italian bakery, I show them pictures of Ferrara’s.  Everyone in my family will attest to Ferrara’s being the gold standard of New York Italian pastries.

Ferrara's pastries

Ferrara’s pastries

La Bella FerraraLittle Italy, Mulberry Street at Canal, is an old school bakery.  Walk in here and the waft of fresh-baked cookies fills the air.  Many are displayed in the usual bakery case but there’s also a table of cookies that reminds me of the dessert table at a family party.

Veniero's pastry

Veniero’sEast Village, East 11th Street at 1st Avenue, Veniero’s claims to be America’s oldest pastry shop, opening in 1894.  Veniero’s is also owned by Bruce Springsteen’s cousin.  It has a beautiful display of traditional Italian pastries as well as a cafe.

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Pasticceria RoccoWest Village, Bleecker Street near Carmine, is the last man standing in this old Italian neighborhood even though the pastry shop itself is not that old.  (Rocco Generoso apprenticed with the owner of a prior bakery before purchasing it and renaming it in 1974.  Now, Rocco Jr. is at the helm.)  My family came from this area, lived on Carmine Street and went to Our Lady of Pompeii Church across the street.   The big fat cookies in the window beckon you into the bakery, but get the cheesecake.  It’s the best in the city, hands down.  (Yes, better than Junior’s.)

William Greenberg DessertsUpper East Side, Madison Avenue at 82nd Street, Rugelach, black and whites, hamentaschen, rainbow cookies and Linzers…need I say more?  Oh yeah, how about black and whites in custom colors?

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Orwasher’s, Upper East Side, 78th Street at 2nd Avenue, Orwasher’s opened in 1916 and was known for its Eastern European-style bread.  The bakery got a new owner in 2007 who added other European artisanal breads, and there are still the same wonderful pastries.  Did I mention fill-to-order jelly doughnuts and the sweetest staff in NYC?

Fay Davarious locations, While I’m not an expert in Chinese baked goods, I’ve been to many bakeries in Chinatown.  Fay Da is my favorite with consistently fresh and tasty pastries.

Specialty Bakeries

Russ & DaughtersLower East Side, Houston Street at Orchard Street, Celebrating 100 years this year, Russ & Daughters is a classic NYC institution.  It is in this category because it specializes in smoked fish and also has baked goods like babka, rugelach and macaroons.  But it also serves a bit of feminist history.  As the original owner had no sons, he left his shop to his daughters, hence the name.

Kossar’sLower East Side, Grand Street at Essex Street, Kossar’s specializes in bialys.

Yonah SchimmelLower East Side, Houston Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Yonah Schimmel has specialized in knishes for over 100 years.

Parisi BakeryLittle Italy, two locations at Elizabeth and Mott Streets,  Family-owned for over 100 years, Parisi Bakery specializes in bread and deli sandwiches.

 

–Dina Di Maio

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Weekend Whets 4/12

Peruvian Sushi Night, Saturday, April 13, 2013, 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Somethin’ Jazz Club, 212 East 52nd Street, Manhattan:  Gabriel Alegria and the Afro Peruvian Sextet playing.  Peruvian sushi must be ordered in advance.

Eat Like a Chef!  Danny Meyer and Michael Romano with Adam Gopnik, Monday, April 15, 2013, 8:15 p.m., 92nd St Y, Manhattan:  Restaurateur and chef discuss culinary secrets to making staff meals at Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and more.  Tickets are $29.

Tasting Brooklyn, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Green Building, Brooklyn:  Event that celebrates the borough with tastings from area vendors and restaurants like Robicelli’s.  VIP tickets, $75; general admission, $50.

A Smashing Brooklyn Burger Tasting, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 7 p.m., Smashburger, Brooklyn:  Yelp and Smashburger team up for a tasting of 8 burgers, shakes and sides.

Russ & Daughters:  Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, Lower Manhattan:  Author and grandson of the LES shop’s founder, Mark Russ Federman discusses how the business has changed through the years.  $12, $10 students/seniors, $7 members.

2nd Annual Taiwanese Night Market, Friday, April 19, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., The Villian, Brooklyn:  A night market of Asian and Taiwanese food vendors.  Tickets $40.

NYC Hot Sauce Expo, Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21, 2013, 10 a.m., Food Karma Projects Presents Events on Kent, 110 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn:  Live music, fire breathers, spicy food vendors, awards show, eating challenges and contests, adult beverages and the best hot sauce companies from North America.

Chanterelle at Robert, Sunday, April 21, 2013, Robert at the Museum of Arts and Design, Columbus Circle, Manhattan:  Owners of former Tribeca restaurant Chanterelle recreate it for one night only.  Six courses.  Menu created by artist Israeli-American Izhar Patkin.  $125.  100 seats available.

Earth Day Dinner at Del Posto, Monday, April 22, 2013, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Del Posto, 85 10th Avenue, Manhattan:  A five-course vegetarian dinner in honor of Mother Earth with Annie Novak, Urban Garden Goddess, and Amy Thompson of Lucy’s Whey.

Baking for Spring!  Make Homemade Pies & Delicious Cocktails, Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., GE Monogram Design Center, 150 East 58th Street, Manhattan:  Hands-on pie making event making mini blueberry, raspberry and blackberry pies to take home. $40.

The Joy of Cheese and Gastronomie 491 Present The Gastronomie 9, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 7 p.m., Gastronomie 491, 491 Columbus Avenue (between 83rd and 84th), Upper West Side, Manhattan:  A discussion and tasting of nine cheeses.

LuckyRice New York, Monday, April 29, 2013 through Sunday, May 5, 2013, Manhattan:  A celebration of Asian cuisine.  Each night showcases a different type of Asian food.  Opening night is a dumpling party.

Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, deadline April 30, 2013:  Create a story inspired by the idea of “appetite” that’s two to three minutes in length, presented in three “courses” and includes one of the five tastes in the title: bitter, salty, sour, sweet or umami.

Weekend Whets 3/15

Japan Week, Tuesday, March 19 through Thursday, March 21, 2013, Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall:  Learn mochitsuki, the pounding of mochi (rice cakes).  Try ekiben, bento box meals specifically sold at railway stations throughout Japan.  There are other cultural events scheduled as well.

The New Little Germany:  New York Revisits the German Table, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Manhattan:  Former NY Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton, Schaller & Weber charcuterie master Jeremy Schaller and chef Kurt Gutenbrunner of The Standard Biergarten discuss the new German cuisine.  Tickets are $30.

Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Elebash Recital Hall, Manhattan:  Author Mark Russ Federman discusses his book on the famous family who turned a family business into a food institution.

Sausage Slam, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., DBGB Kitchen and Bar, New York:  Family-style dinner featuring house-made signature sausages and craft beers from Bronx Brewery.  $95 plus tax and tip.

Just Food Conference, Friday, March 29, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 30, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Food and Finance High School, 525 West 50th Street, Manhattan: A conference with workshops on cooking and food preparation, CSA trends, local and national food and farm issues for the general public, food professionals, entrepreneurs, job seekers, CSA members, community organizers and farmers. Friday will include a job networking event. Saturday includes a food EXPO.

Game of Thrones Dinner, Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m, Louro, 142 West 10th Street, New York:  Menu includes salmon rillete, dragon eggs, pigeon pie, whole roasted suckling pig and ice cream cake.  Tickets are $103.