Now that it’s warm enough to emerge from hibernation, it’s time to eat and explore places in Brooklyn you haven’t seen. Forget about that juice cleanse for beach season and hop on the uh, ever-reliable, G Train and visit some of Greenpoint’s scrumptious bakeries (all conveniently located within walking distance of one another!).
Greenpoint has tons of great offerings those inevitable Girls tours will miss, and one of these offerings is pastries! The area is jam-packed (pun intended) with local bakeries that offer delicious treats at delightful prices. The quaint neighborhood offers a retreat from Manhattan’s endless Cronut lines/$1000 sundae scene. On top of tasting great, Greenpoint’s bakeries are uniquely charming and encompass the local community feel in their decor and simplicity. Because no matter how trendy you are, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…and your pastry order.
94 Franklin Street
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:00am-6pm | Saturday & Sunday: 8:30am-6:00pm
Cookie Road is a cute hole-in-wall founded by two local artists who specialize in designing custom cookies. Cookie prices range from .75 to $3.50. Fun flavors include the everything (for the gluttonous beast in all of us), the oatmeal raisin vegan (know yo’ audience), and the linzer (for the more sophisticated palate). Hand-decorated cookies cost between $2.50 and $6.00. Other yummy treats include the Guinness Brownie (hooray, beer! $3.00), the Grasshopper Brownie ($3.50), and the caramel chocolate bar with sea salt and peanuts ($3.00). There’s limited seating but the colorful psychedelic cookies guarantee an awesome Instagram.
31 Greenpoint Avenue
Hours: Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 7pm | Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 7pm
Walking into Ovenly, there was already a TV crew filming, so you know this place is cool. Ovenly was named “Best Bakery” in 2013 in the Time Out New York Food & Drink Awards. The desserts are a mixture of sweet and savory, with a touch of spice. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. They’re known for their cookies, their two most popular are the salted chocolate chip and the salted peanut butter cookie ($2.75 each). They often feature daily two-for-one cookie specials, so waddle in with your best pal for a cost-effective dessert! The mellow, calming atmosphere is also a great place to post up and people watch for a bit.
Old Poland Bakery & Restaurant
926 Manhattan Avenue
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7am-8:30pm | Saturday & Sunday: closed
Old Poland Bakery adds to Greenpoint’s overall charm with their bare-bones decor and Polish authenticity. The no-frills, cozy storefront fits just enough room for a counter and a line. They’re known for the paczki donuts filled with boston or rose creme for $1 (a much better dollar treat than the McDollar McApple McPie) as well as their house baked bread and poppy cake. It’s cash only, so if you’re in the majority of millennials who never carry cash be sure to hit the ATM first.
948 Manhattan Avenue
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8am-8pm | Sunday: 8am-6pm
Another authentic Polish bakery just a few doors down from Old Poland, the smells that Rzeszowska emits seduce me daily. The poppy seed cake ($7) and danishes ($1.50) are perfectly moist and bursting with flavor and all the ‘zerts range from .75 cents to $7. The earlier the visit the better, they are usually cleaned out by about 5pm.
940 Manhattan Avenue
Hours: Open from 7:00am-9:00pm
Cafe Rochelle serves some serious cultural confection. The pastries are sorted into Polish and French sections and include danish, strudel, challah, babka, tart, and cake. The cheese danish ($1.75) is their most popular pastry, with the authentic Polish recipe setting it apart from the competition. There’s a decent-sized seating area so its also a good place to plop and enjoy some coffee/surf the web. You won’t need to fight for an outlet since the majority of customers are 60+. Not the best spot to meet a boo, but a great spot to shamelessly chow down.
596 Manhattan Avenue
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7am-8pm | Saturday: 8am-8pm | Sunday: 9am-7pm
Charlotte Patisserie definitely gives Cookie Road a run for its money when it comes to beautiful desserts. The baker studied at the French Institute of Culinary Arts and it shows; all of its desserts are almost too pretty to eat. The menu heavily incorporates fruit as natural sweeteners. The cherry brownie and the hazelnut chocolate raspberry tart are beautifully construed mixes of rich chocolate and real fruit. These decadent desserts sell for less than their city rivals, including the rose macaroon ($1.75), the tea cake with macadamia nuts and salted caramel ($6), and the chocolate salami ($12)
77 Driggs Avenue
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-8pm | Saturday: 9am-7pm | Sunday: 10am-6pm
Pie Corps inspires me to throw a dinner party (something I’ve never felt the least bit compelled to do). They change their menu every few months to reflect the season. The current spring menu features the honey lavender custard pie, chocolate peanut butter pie, and their most popular apple crumb pie with rosemary caramel. 10-inch pies cost $35 and the minis cost $4.25. The bakery also has adorable pie pops ($3.25) and small tarts ($4.25). These pie- oneers boldly go where no pie maker has gone before serving unique and great tasting flavors. Also, props to the ladies at Pie Corps for giving us a delicious free sample.
Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
727 Manhattan Avenue
Hours: Monday-Saturday 4:30am-8pm | Sunday 5:30am-7pm
Peter Pan doesn’t need our promotion after 59+ years in business and their huge local following, but it can’t be excluded from the list of Greenpoint’s finest bakeries. Donuts cost $1.10 and beloved flavors include white cream coconut, cream chocolate sprinkle, and red velvet crumb. Their menu also incorporates seasonal variations. Peter Pan prides themselves on their hand-cut donuts, which are pretty much extinct these days. Make sure to get there bright and early if you want to get your hands on one, the line can get PRETTAYY, PRETTAYY, PRETTAYY long. I wouldn’t go as far as Tina Fey to say say I’d perform sexual acts on these treats, but with their light, freshly whipped cream and warm pastry, these donuts are a notch above any I’ve tasted.