By Jerry Del Priore
If you’re not waging a war against carbs these days, you’ll probably find yourself craving a sugary treat at one of your favorite bakeries in the New York/New Jersey area.
Don’t fret, this Brooklyn dude has you covered, helping you decided which are gluttonous worthy, with some of my favorite places known to raise your blood glucose above epic levels.
I know there could have been more than 10, but I needed to stop writing at some point, right?
Please kindly add your suggestions in the comment section below so I can visit them and write about them in the future.
Villabate Alba – 7001 18th Avenue — Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Since 1979, the Alaimo family has been bringing the finest, authentic Sicilian pastries, cookies, cakes, and breads to the good people of Bensonhurst and beyond.
In fact, Villabate Alba has arguably the best cannoli – stuffed with sheep’s milk imported from Sicily to make the ricotta cream filling – in the city.
“Two to three hundred are sold daily from Monday to Thursday, and four to six hundred from Friday to Sunday,” said Anthony Alaimo, who, along with other family members, has taken over full-time operational responsibilities from his dad, Emanuele.
Previously located on 72nd Street and 18th Avenue, Villabate Alba moved to its present digs at 7001 18th Avenue – the former site of Alba Bakery, a neighborhood institution since 1935 – in 2007 — to serve a larger cliental.
The Alaimos decided to keep the Alba name on the sign out of respect for the previous owner, Alaimo noted, and combined it with Villabate, the name of their hometown in Sicily, Italy.
Natale’s Summit Bakery – 185 Broad Street — Summit, NJ
When it comes to great New Jersey family-owned institutions, Natale’s Philly Fluff Cake, a dusted sugar pound cake made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, is what has distinguished it as a worthy Italian bakery to visit, make no doubt about it. People come from all over the tristate area just for one of these amazing concoctions.
Natale’s, in business since 1938, sells so much of the Philly Fluff Cake, that it packages it in boxes, ready to go, fresh and all, as it flies off the shelves, with zero time to get stale.
Natale’s also offers up other delicious baked goods: Devil Dog Cake, Chocolate Soufflé Cake, Cappuccino Cheese Cake, and Apple-Pear Cobbler.
Andre’s Hungarian Strudels & Pastries – 100-28 Queens Blvd. — Forest Hills, Queens
Opened in 1976, Andre’s is a retail bakery establishment renowned for its strudel, which is made on the premises, the old-school way: on the table and hand pulled, just like a traditional Hungarian grandmother would do.
Hey, who am I to argue with an old-world custom?
Furthermore, all the bakery’s products are made from scratch (and they’re kosher to boot), following time-honored recipes and crafted with only the freshest ingredients. Among the delectable bakery selections are the chocolate and cinnamon Kuglof (Babka), Linzer Tart, and Rugelach – made with nuts, apricots and raspberry jelly.
There are two other locations: 1631 2nd Avenue, New York, NY | 1049 1st Avenue, New York, NY.
Rimini Pastry Shop, 6822 Bay Parkway — Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opened in 1973 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Rimini is renowned for its delicious cannoli, cakes, and tiramisu, sure to dazzle your sweet tooth.
The smell alone upon entering the long-standing establishment is so enticing, your resistance will be futile. Don’t even bother.
Why are its Italian baked goods so lip-smacking good? Rimini’s products are all made from scratch on premises and have no preservative and no trans fat, if that’s something you fancy these days?
Other must-try items are Rimini’s croissants, fruit turnovers and home-made gelato.
B & W Bakery – 64 Main Street, Hackensack, New Jersey
The state of New Jersey may be one of the leaders in scrumptious crumb cakes in the nation, in my opinion.
B & W Bakery is one of the reasons why the “Dirty” Jersey has earned that auspicious distinction. Its overwhelming crumbs ratio to actual cake is why it’s so darn “how you doing?” delicious.
Cannoli, pastries, cupcakes, seven-layer cake, and chocolate fudge cake are rather tasty as well.
Staying true to its old-school ways, B & W Bakery is a cash only business, and you’ll have to grab a ticket in order to be served during its busy times.
In addition, B & W is closed on Sundays and Mondays, with its doors shutting at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday – Friday, and Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
I’ve had a sugar-free cake from here, and it was outstanding. Thanks, sis.
But for the normal people who prefer sugary delights, Mother Mousse offers up great baked goods such as the rich, delicious cakes, which take center stage.
Mother Mousse also serves fat-free and gluten-free pastries, cookies, and brownies, as well as canine treats for your four-legged best friends.
Sugar Bun Bake Shop and Café – 156-22 Cross Bay Boulevard — Howard Beach, Queens
Sugar Bun has been a staple in Howard Beach for over 50 years. Much to the delight of their Jewish and Italian customers, Sugar Bun offers a wide array of bake goods such as rugelach, which comes in chocolate, pecan, raspberry and raisin, and cassata cakes and sfogliatelle cookies.
But this Queens favorite is also known for scrumptious Black and White, Rainbow, and Chinese Almond cookies. My friend Jeannie will attest to their awesomeness. Please het there as early as possible, as the Black and White and Rainbow Cookies have been known to dissapear.
Additionally, the café area offers up a splendid breakfast and lunch menu—the chicken salad, by far, is the best I’ve ever tasted!
Styertowne Bakery – 1039 Bloomfield Avenue, Clifton, New Jersey
Established in 1949, Styertowne has rolled with the punches as time has ticked by.
However, it has kepted to its tried-and-true methods of success: No mixes, no fast-fixes. Everything is created from scratch and baked in-house, for maximum taste and freshness.
You’ll absolutely love its world-famous crumb cakes, but that’s not all for which its known.
With scrumptious items from Danish and doughnuts to homemade soups and stuffed breads to custom cakes and coffee cakes…every day is a delicious day at Styertowne Bakery.
Court Pastry Shop – 298 Court Street, Brooklyn — between Degraw and Douglass Streets
When it comes to old-school Italian baked goods, not many places in NYC even come close to Court Pastry Shop’s magnificence.
A neighborhood institution since 1948, Court Pastry Shop has been satisfying the sugar cravings of Carroll Gardens residents and countless New Yorkers with the best vanilla and chocolate cannolis, seven-layer cookies, St. Joseph’s and sfogliatelle pastries this side of South Brooklyn.
During the summertime, they serve the finest Italian Ices, which are simply out-of-this-world fantastic.
Sorrento Bakery & Deli — 36 Eagle Rock Avenue — East Hanover, NJ
Sorrento Bakery & Deli is my bakery home away from home.
A full service bakery offering a wide selection of baked goods and deli selections, you won’t leave disappointed when it comes to its Italian sugary goodies.
After gorging on its brownies, red velvet cake and/or cupcakes, cheese Danish, cinnamon twists and whatever sweet treat your heart desires, you’ll sure to thank me. By the way, you’re welcome.
I hear the bread is piping fresh and tasty. What’s Sunday supper without the Italian bread?
Note: I’ll have to stop by when the deli is open. It was a Sunday, and that department closes an hour before the shop does. Next time, bro.