This is a little oasis of baked goods and great cappuccinos in a quaint setting. The vast selection of breads, tarts, muffins, and scones on display will challenge your decision-making skills. Will it be a flaky brioche roll, a raspberry pistachio spelt muffin, or perhaps a slab of German chocolate cake? You can’t go wrong with any of these scrumptious treats. The original Wythe Street location is a snug space of vintage furnishings, fresh cut flowers on the tables, and a tiny, but cute backyard garden area complete with a small fish-filled pond. But it is the newer Greenpoint location that will have you pondering schemes of curling up in a corner and living here forever. The place is a whimsical wonderland scented by fresh pastries and illuminated by sunlight pouring through the beautiful entrance. The stunning floral wallpaper suggests eternal spring (making for a popular Instagram backdrop!) and is complimented by rustic touches (decorative tiles, exposed brick, and a chalet-style wooden ceiling).
150 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 718-388-8037; L Subway to Bedford Ave.; 105 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY; G Subway to Greenpoint Ave. or East River Ferry to Greenpoint; Website: http://bakeribrooklyn.com.
The bakers here have mastered that deliciously addictive flavor profile of sweet and salty. Their goodies meld classic recipes with surprising ingredients, such as mustard spice cookies, bacon caramel corn, black olive shortbread, and salted apple quick bread. Salt is a star ingredient, with a sprinkling here and a pinch there, enhancing the flavors and turning even something as simple as a chocolate chip cookie into an award-winning treat. Their goods are sold in various cafes and specialty shops throughout the city, but why not go straight to the source. The bakery doubles as a cafe and retail shop, serving Stumptown coffee and a sundry of freshly baked goods, including many gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options. The cozy space is worth visiting if only for the ridiculously delectable aromas. But why not settle in, and treat yourself to a slice of Brooklyn Blackout Cake, a deliciously sinful experience made with Brooklyn Brewery’s black chocolate stout and cloaked in salted dark chocolate pudding buttercream.
31 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 888-899-2213; G Subway to Greenpoint Ave. or East River Ferry to Greenpoint; Website: http://oven.ly.
Greenpoint, or Little Poland as this neighborhood is sometimes called, is filled with bakeries, delicatessens, and restaurants all devoted to retaining the tastes, flavors, and traditions of this immigrant homeland. Northside Bakery is one of these old-world Polish purveyors, popular for a wealth of breads, pastries, and baked goods, as well as unbeatably-low prices that stand out in this upmarket area. Wooden shelves behind the counter are lined with crispy brown loafs of all shapes and sizes—from baguettes and traditional light breads with pillowy insides, to hearty country style rye and sourdough. The pastries, danishes, and cakes are delectable, but it is the traditional Polish doughnuts called paczki that you should indulge in first. The round, sugar-dusted orbs are filled with raspberry or rose jam, and will have you rethinking regular donuts.
149 North 8th St., Brooklyn, NY, 718-782-2700; L Subway to Bedford Ave.; Website: http://northsidebakery.com.
Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
The scene at this little mom and pop shop is like a postcard from the past; employees dressed in retro turquoise and pink uniforms wait on a pack of eager regulars who line the S-shaped counter. Racks brim with crullers, cinnamon buns, sugar dusted and sprinkle-speckled creations—inspiring doughnut lovers from all over NYC to pilgrimage to this little Greenpoint spot. The old-time bakery has been churning out delectable treats for over 60 years, using the same classic recipe and serving up over 20 varieties of pastries. And for those craving something on the savory side of the breakfast spectrum, the shop dishes out some tasty egg sandwiches.
727 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 718-389-3676; G Subway to Nassau Ave.; Website: http://peterpan-donuts.com.
The Blue Stove
When it comes to pie, your best bet is to immediately direct yourself in the direction of The Blue Stove. This charming little pie shop brims with homemade rounds and slices of pure comfort in a warm setting that feels as soothing as sitting in your grandma’s kitchen. Pies and tarts come in a variety of flavors, both sweet and savory, all rolled out and decorated by hand and filled with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Beside the pies, the display cases are packed with all sorts of muffins, cookies, scones, and cakes, as well as a selection of savory items, such as daily quiches and chicken potpies. This cocoon of coziness features an open kitchen, a big communal table as well as window-side seating, friendly employees, and that ubiquitous and mind-blowing scent of baked goods in the air. Chase away the cold with a slice of apple pie and a cup of dark roast coffee.
415 Graham Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 718-766-7419; L Subway to Graham Ave.; Website: http://www.thebluestove.com.
Bio: Contributing author, Aleksandra Hogendorf is a writer and avid traveler with a penchant for bookshops, coffee, and one-way tickets. She grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and still calls NYC home—when not living out of a suitcase in foreign lands.