Roses from Zucker Bakery | Paul Wagtouicz

Alphabet City

Zucker Bakery

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Chef Zohar Zohar’s quaint bake shop pays tribute to a variety of international treats modeled after old family recipes, from bite-sized Argentinian alfajores (dulce de leche cookies) to Israeli shoshanim (chocolate sticky bun “roses”). The mismatched furniture and wooden pastry cases give the space a charming, homey vibe, but Zohar’s pedigree -- she worked at Daniel and Bouley before turning to baking full-time -- guarantees that each cookie and bun is produced with fine-dining skill.

Strawberry tart at FPB | Courtesy of Francois Payard

Battery Park City

FPB

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Francois Payard is more than just a macaron master (though you shouldn’t ignore his chewy French cookies, especially when they get turned into ice cream sandwiches in the summer) -- the third-generation pastry guru also knows his way around all sorts of fancy cakes, tarts, and truffles, which you can get at his eponymous shop near the Hudson River.

Mille Crêpes at Lady M Confections | Courtesy of Lady M Confections

Bryant Park

Lady M Confections

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This Bryant Park cake boutique got its start 12 years ago when founder Ken Romaniszyn set out to open a pastry shop that fused Asian flavors (Romaniszyn is half-Japanese) with classic French technique. From there, Lady M’s now-iconic mille crêpes cake was born, a cloud-like confection that layers 20-plus paper-thin rounds with airy whipped cream. Flavors range from classic vanilla to green tea to seasonal offerings like passion fruit, all of which are -- in true Japanese tradition -- subtly sweet.

Bomboloni at Sullivan Street Bakery | Patty Lee/Thrillist

Chelsea

Sullivan Street Bakery

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Famed breadmaker Jim Lahey isn’t just a pro when it comes to rolls and loaves -- his bakery also sells pizza served crispy and by-the-slice, with toppings like shredded potato or cauliflower, as well as pillowy, nearly greaseless bomboloni: Italian donuts filled with tart jam, chocolate or, the true standout, lemon-scented vanilla cream.

sponge cake at New Kam Hing Coffee Shop | Patty Lee/Thrillist

Chinatown

New Kam Hing Coffee Shop

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Chinatown has no shortage of bakeries, but only one consistently cranks out eggy, airy sponge cakes for just 75 cents. Though New Kam Hing has started to play with trendy flavors like matcha and pumpkin spice, none match up to the angel food-like original.

Columbus Circle

Bouchon Bakery

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There’s no doubt that chef Thomas Keller can do French food. But his take on American classics is the surprise hit at Bouchon. Alongside traditional Francophile favorites (like macarons and croissants), you’ll find the elegant homemade TKO (short for Thomas Keller’s Oreo): scallop-edged dark chocolate cookies filled with white chocolate cream. Keller’s also got his own take on Hostess’ Ho Hos -- a chocolate roll cake with a crackly chocolate shell, and a twist on Nutter Butters -- two peanut-studded discs held together by peanut butter-infused cream.

Dough'Ssant at Chikalicious | Courtesy of Chikalicious

East Village

Dessert Club, ChikaLicious

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A more casual spin-off of chef Chika Tillman’s dessert bar -- known for upscale, plated sweets like the signature Fromage Blanc Island "Cheese Cake" -- this pint-sized shop specializes in homey yet innovative sweets like the Dough'Ssant (a take on the donut-croissant hybrid), a wonderful s’mores cupcake, and soft serve that you can now get in sugar-dusted churro cones.

Flatiron District

Maison Kayser

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It was only a matter of time before renowned French baker Eric Kayser’s rapidly expanding empire made its way to New York, bringing with it crusty baguettes, eclairs, and croissants. The loaves served at Kayser’s New York City locations (there are 10 and counting) are a true French-American lovechild -- the organic flour comes from upstate New York, but the high-quality butter hails from France.

Harlem

Make My Cake

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Aliyyah Baylor proudly carries on her family's baking tradition at this Uptown cafe. Featuring recipes passed on from Baylor's grandmother, Josephine "Ma" Smith, Make My Cake does Southern bakery classics like an intensely chocolate-y red velvet cheesecake imbued with sweet potato, and a German chocolate cake that triumphed over Bobby Flay's in an episode of Throwdown.

Donuts at Underwest Donuts | Liz Clayman

Hell's Kitchen

Underwest Donuts

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You don’t need to own a car to visit the West Side Highway Carwash -- just an appetite for all things fried and glazed. Nestled inside a narrow passageway adjacent to the scrubbing machines, you’ll find former Chanterelle sous chef Scott Levine’s cake-donut operation, where an automatic donut robot churns out incredibly tender rounds dipped in glazes like brown butter, passion fruit, and jasmine green tea.

Raspberry Chocolate Croissant at Épicerie Boulud | Patty Lee/Thrillist

Lincoln Center

Épicerie Boulud

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As if breadmaking wasn’t already a difficult skill to master, Francois Brunet has taken it to a whole new level of artistry. The Parisian bread maker joined the Boulud family in 2014 after working for another French powerhouse, Joël Robuchon, in Las Vegas, and has made his mark on the New York City pastry scene with crusty baguettes, tangy sourdough loaves, and a flaky raspberry-chocolate croissant that requires three full days of prep.

Pies at Petee's Pie Company | Patty Lee/Thrillist

Lower East Side

Petee's Pie Company

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If the smell of fresh-baked goods doesn’t draw you through the door of Petee Paredez’s namesake bakery, the promise of the best damn pies in town should. There’s a little something for everyone here -- from salty chocolate chess, to wild blueberry, to a luscious coconut cream -- all made with local, organic ingredients and built on all-butter crusts.

Pastries at High Street on Hudson | Neal Santos

Meatpacking District

High Street on Hudson

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Since opening at the end of 2015, the Philly spin-off has been both a critical and Instagram darling thanks to its piled-high breakfast sandwiches and baked goods. Chefs Alex Bois and Sam Kincaid lead the bread and pastry teams, respectively, and have developed plenty of new items for the NYC outpost (crepe cake, loaves using local grains) to go with older favorites (red eye danish, molasses, and corn miche).

Cream puffs at Bibble & Sip | courtesy of Bibble & Sip

Midtown East

Bibble & Sip

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It may not be the hottest ticket in town, but there’s still a perpetual line snaking out of this charming Theater District cafe. The creative latte art (think winking alpacas) and cream puffs may be Insta-famous, but there are other stars in the pastry case, too, including the Earl Grey banana bread and brûléed egg tarts.

Midtown West

Milk Bar

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Years before mash-up desserts became the trend du jour, Christina Tosi was turning nostalgic childhood flavors and leftovers into cereal milk and cake truffles. The James Beard award-winner has built a growing Milk Bar empire, securing collaborations with fashion insiders like Karlie Kloss and even a judging spot alongside Gordon Ramsay on MasterChef. Her sweets continue to shine -- Tosi’s famed Crack Pie, with its crunchy oat crust and buttery filling, truly gets addictive with every bite, as do the rest of her offerings, from the chewy blueberry and cream cookie to the savory bagel “bomb.”

Macarons at Lafayette | Noah Fecks

NoHo

Lafayette

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At NoHo’s French brasserie/bakery Lafayette, pastry maven Jennifer Yee imbues traditional French offerings with a touch of whimsy, resulting in birthday-cake macarons, butterscotch coffee eclairs, and other fanciful sweets. When warmer weather rolls around, don’t miss her grown-up push-pops, one of which is packed with the aforementioned macarons.

Brooklyn Blackout Cake at Little Cupcake Bakeshop | courtesy of Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Nolita

Little Cupcake Bakeshop

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Stepping into this cheery corner bakery is a little like walking into the ones of your childhood dreams. Retro chalkboard menus and black-and-white tiled flooring match the extensive list of all-American desserts, ranging from pies to brownies to a triple-layer Brooklyn Blackout Cake that’s about as decadent as chocolate cakes get.

Bagels at Sadelle's | courtesy of Sadelle’s

SoHo

Sadelle's

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You may not expect a bagel and lox place to make it onto a best bakeries list, but Melissa Weller’s chewy rounds are truly exceptional. The former Per Se baker has obsessively tweaked her recipe, first slinging the burnished, almost crunchy bagels at Smorgasburg before teaming up with Major Food Group (Carbone, Parm, etc.) to open this modern appetizing store. Like MFG’s other restaurants, Sadelle’s takes the concept up a notch, with smoked fish and schmear served on grand towers usually reserved for seafood. Weller, a 2016 James Beard award nominee, is equally skilled at the sweet stuff, notably the chocolate-dipped babka and sea salt-sprinkled sticky buns.

TriBeCa

Arcade Bakery

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A nondescript office building in TriBeCa houses one of the city’s worst-kept secrets: a bakery that excels in everything it touches, from classic French viennoiserie, to Jewish babka, to individually sized pizzas available only at lunch. Oh, and it’s only open on weekdays, so you’d better get those out-of-work excuses ready.

Chocolate Babka at Breads Bakery | Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Union Square

Breads Bakery

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We all have Breads to thank for kickstarting New York City’s babka resurgence. Led by Israeli-born, Danish-trained baker Uri Scheft, the Breads team introduced us to the famed loaf in 2013, breathing new life into the Jewish deli staple by opting for laminated dough (traditionally used for croissants) studded with both dark chocolate chips and Nutella. Each braided babka is finished with a brush of simple syrup to help form a crackly crust that adds extra texture and traps in moisture. Breads isn’t just a one-trick pony, though -- other winners include the rugelach, as well as the buttery, flaky cretzel (yes, that’s croissant plus pretzel).

Upper East Side

Two Little Red Hens

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The UES’s Two Little Red Hens is the place for made-from-scratch American desserts that you can eat at a leisurely pace. No crazy lines or over-the-top hybrids here -- just dependably delicious cupcakes, pies, and one creamy graham cracker-crusted cheesecake. You’re more likely to see regulars sipping coffee and reading newspapers in the brick-lined shop than MacBook-toting freelancers -- a true rarity in New York City.

Cookies at Levain Bakery | courtesy of Levain Bakery

Upper West Side

Levain Bakery

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Should you finish one of the hefty, hockey puck-sized cookies from Levain by yourself? Probably not. Have we been guilty of doing exactly that? Absolutely. That’s because when it comes to these gooey, chocolate chip- and walnut-studded treats, self-control does not exist.

MATCHA BEIGNETS at Dominique Ansel Kitchen | Daniel Krieger

West Village

Dominique Ansel Kitchen

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The almighty Cronut creator followed up his mash-up pastry heard ‘round the world with another novel concept: made-to-order desserts. Matcha-dusted beignets are fried fresh, chocolate mousse is folded by the order, and lemon tart filling coaxed into custard form à la minute. By night, the production kitchen transforms into U.P., an intimate multicourse tasting where Ansel -- with help from executive pastry chef Karys Logue -- returns to his fine-dining roots.

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1. Zucker Bakery 433 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

At this pint-size bakery in the East Village, small-batch pastries -- inspired by Israeli, North African, European, and even Argentinian recipes -- pack the display cases. Bite-sized alfajore cookie sandwiches, chocolate babka, and rugelach are all on the menu, which also includes savory options like matzoh ball soup and potato knishes. The shop fits a few tables, and though there isn't an outdoor seating situation per se, there's usually a singular table on the sidewalk for one lucky customer. Be sure to try the Roses cinnamon bun -- the house speciality is swirled with chocolate, and is sometimes available in date, halva, or almond-brown sugar varieties.

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2. FPB 210 Murray St, New York, NY 10282 (Battery Park)

Francois Payard has been making pastries since he was a child in his grandfather's bakery, so it's no wonder his eponymous French bakery has reached international chain status. At the Battery Park outpost of FPB, the rustic-themed branch of his empire, you'll find the macarons that he's famous for as well as sandwiches on crispy baguettes, croissants, and beautifully-decorated pastries that Marie Antoinette would die for.

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3. Lady M Cake Boutique 36 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018 (Midtown)

Lady M isn't a bakery, it's a cake boutique. Across the street from Bryant Park, the Midtown location is a bare and minimalist shop whose display cases are stack with French-inspired pastries (think fruit tarts and chocolate mousse). The boutique's claim to fame is the Mille Cake, a layered cake made with thin crepes and pastry cream. The masterpiece (available in plain, green tea, and seasonal flavors) is almost too pretty to eat.

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4. Sullivan Street Bakery 236 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001 (Chelsea)

Born and bread in Soho back in the early nineties, Sullivan Street Bakery has since expanded above 14th street with its Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen outposts. Owner Jim Lahey is known for his Italian-inspired artisanal bread -- think ciabatta, oval Pugliese loaves, and sweet brioche rolls. Lahey's interest in Italian baking also extends to pizza dough, and his bakery sells crispy pizza by the slice with toppings like shredded potato or cauliflower.

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5. New Kam Hing Coffee Shop 118 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013 (Chinatown)

This Chinatown coffee shop and bakery sells traditional Chinese sweets and drinks like Thai iced tea and Hong Kong-style hot milk tea. It's especially known for its airy, melt-in-your-mouth sponge cake -- the original flavor is akin to angel food cake and has a slightly egg-y taste, but trendy and seasonal iterations are available as well, like matcha, coconut, strawberry, and pumpkin spice. Like all Chinatown gems, New Kam Hing is cheap.

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6. Bouchon Bakery 10 Columbus Cir Fl 3, New York, NY 10019

Thomas Keller's bakery and cafe on the third floor of the Time Warner Center serves an all-day menu of French-American food like cheese and charcuterie plates, croque madame sandwiches, and daily quiches. The bakery counter offers a mix of fine French pastries and macarons, as well as Keller's signature Americanized treats like the Thomas Keller Oreo (TKO) and oatmeal pecan cookies. The open, tourist-free space overlooks Columbus Circle.

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7. Dessert Club, ChikaLicious 204 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

This unfussy, East Village bakery is a spin-off of Chef Chika Tillman's dessert bar. What the shop lacks in size, it makes up for in aroma, and you can quite literally smell the buttery confections down the block. While Dessert Club doesn't offer the same plated signatures as Tillman's Dessert Bar, it does bake equally innovative sweets like the donut-croissant hybrid Dough'ssant, cream puffs, lava cake, and more mini desserts.

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8. Maison Kayser Flatiron 921 Broadway, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

Ever since Parisian breadmaster Eric Kayser brought his bakery empire to New York in 2013, his brand has shown no signs of slowing down. The boulangerie-slash-patisserie is stocked with authentic French baguettes that Parisian expats rave about as well as decadent pastries like sugar-dusted almond croissants and pristinely-frosted éclairs. Aside from a grab-and-go counter, the Flatiron location of Maison Kayser has a full-service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- and outdoor seating!

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9. Make My Cake 121 Saint Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10026 (Harlem)

What started out as a home-based holiday cake business is now a full-blown retail bakery helmed by owner Aliyyah Baylor, whose Southern comfort recipes are carried down from her grandmother, Josephine "Ma" Smith. The menu will make any sugar addict weak in their knees with its selection of buttercream-frosted cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, pies, and pastries. Layer cakes are definitely the speciality though, like the German chocolate cake with coconut and pecans or the critically-acclaimed red velvet.

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10. Underwest Donuts 638 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036 (Hells Kitchen)

An unlikely spot for a donut shop, Underwest operates out of the Westside Highway Car Wash, lodged in a nifty little hallway that cooks up all kinds of glazed, sugared, and old-fashioned fried dough confections. The donuts are the work of Scott Levine, a former Chanterelle sous chef, whose father-in-law is part owner of the car wash.

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11. Épicerie Boulud 1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Daniel Boulud's Lincoln Center cafe-slash-market serves an all-day menu of upscale but light French fare like tuna niçoise salad, quiche, and baguette sandwiches. The breakfast menu includes a stunning egg and ham sandwich with béchamel and gruyere plus stick-to-your-gut staples like oatmeal and chia seed parfaits. At night, Epicerie Boulud transitions into a wine bar with daily oysters and nightly specials.

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12. Petee's Pie Company 61 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

When it comes to pie, there's no place like Petee's. Petee Paredez's namesake bakery on the Lower East Side whips up some of the best pies in town, from seasonal fruit varieties like strawberry rhubarb and blueberry to the creamy and crumbly like salty chocolate chess and and bourbon pecan. Petee's house-made repertoire also includes airy cinnamon rolls and some good ol' New York cheesecake.

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13. High Street on Hudson 637 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 (Meatpacking)

On the border of the Meatpacking District and the West Village, High Street on Hudson is a spin-off of Philadelphia's High Street on Market bakery and restaurant. The all-day spot is known for its artisanal bread, baked goods (like the red eye danish), and breakfast sandwiches, but its lunch and dinner menus are equally appealing. The space includes a take-out counter (perfect to grab a pastry in the morning or a pastrami-on-rye at lunch), and a full-service dining room.

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14. Bibble & Sip 253 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

This teeny cafe in Midtown emulates a homey, comfort atmosphere with its menu of gourmet coffee and breakfast pastries. All of the baked goods, down to the granola and the marshmallows, are made in-house, as is the latte syrup. As if the cute factor couldn't be upped enough, the whole shop is alpaca-themed.

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15. Momofuku Milk Bar Midtown 15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019 (Midtown)

The Midtown outpost of Milk Bar serves all of Christina Tosi's infamous (and truly addicting) sweet treats: crack pie, compost cookies, birthday cake truffles, cereal milk soft-serve, plus more creative desserts in which sugar is guaranteed to be the main ingredient. We're not complaining though, especially since this location is sleeker and bigger than the East Village original.

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16. Lafayette 380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003 (Noho)

Chef Andrew Carmellini's upscale bakery and cafe serves traditional French fare like Croque Madame and escargot in a bright, airy and elegant dining setting. The wine list offers a varied collection of French bottles, and the servers are extremely knowledgeable, so ask for a recommendation if you're unsure of what to order. Lafayette is also one of the greatest spots for people-watching, especially if you opt for al fresco seating.

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17. Little Cupcake Bakeshop 30 Prince St, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

Everything about this Nolita bakery feels like it belongs in a movie, from the pink and white corner sign to the black-and-white tiled floors. The menu (displayed on a retro chalkboard, by the way) is filled with all-American desserts like red velvet cupcakes, peanut butter & jelly layer cake, oatmeal butterscotch cookies, and blueberry cheesecake, plus gluten-free and vegan varieties. There are a few tables inside, most of which are filled with tourists fueling up after a day of shopping in Soho.

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18. Sadelle's 463 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

During the daytime, this elevated Jewish bakery and appetizing restaurant from Major Food Group serves hand-rolled bagels that are of the highest quality: they're parboiled with barley-malt syrup and rise slowly in the oven before taking their crisp, compact shape with a glossy finish. While the bagel sandwiches, like house-cured salmon on an everything bagel made with fennel, are what you’re here for, the homemade babka, cheese blintzes, and sticky buns certainly hold their own at brunch. In the evening, Sadelle's transforms into an candlelit brasserie, featuring a menu that puts an emphasis on freshly baked bread and fish entrees, as well as traditional Russian caviar and vodka.

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19. Arcade Bakery 220 Church St, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

Seemingly hidden inside an office building in TriBeCa, this hidden gem of bakery churns out great croissants & coffee in the mornings -- but by lunch you can expect to find flatbread pizzas and sandwiches on homemade bread as well. It's only open on weekdays, so you'll have to get your fresh bread elsewhere on Sunday mornings.

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20. Breads Bakery 18 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)

Right off of Union Square (and with a second location on the Upper West Side), Breads bakes sweet and savory bread, pastries, and cakes on-site. The bakery is most known for its braided chocolate babka loaves that burst with ribbons of chocolate-hazelnut spread. Breads is also a good option for a grab-and-go midday meal -- the lunch menu features cheese and smoked fish sandwiches, plus soup and salad.

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21. Two Little Red Hens 1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028 (Upper East Side)

Cake is king at this neighborhood bakery on the Upper East Side. Cherry cheesecake, blackout chocolate cupcakes, and carrot cake are just some of the crowd-pleasing desserts made fresh daily at Two Little Red Hens. Arrive early for a piece of the action as the tiny shop's inventory is often sold out late in the day.

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22. Levain Bakery 167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023 (Upper West Side)

This tiny bakery on the Upper West Side has been a New York City institution since it first opened in 1995. Levain sells fresh baguettes, quick breads, and other baked goods, but it's the thick and gooey cookies that draw a line out the door most days of the week. Weighing in just under a half-pound each, the giant cookies come in rich flavors like walnut chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin. They taste best when fresh out of the oven, and they usually are.

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23. Dominique Ansel Bakery 189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

Master pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s eponymous SoHo bakeshop is best known as the birthplace of the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut mash-up that attracts lines of tourists every morning. There’s a limit of two Cronuts per customer, but luckily the hybrid pastry isn’t all Ansel has in store. The shop sells bite-size fruit tarts, rich chocolate cookies, and Ansel’s other signature sweet, the kouign amann.