The City Bakery

City Bakery

[Update: As of October 2019, City Bakery has closed.]

Here’s what I like best about The City Bakery: anything you order is going to be first-rate. There’s a thin, flaky apple tart with a hint of tangy lemon and lots of crackly sugar. The chocolate cookie is soft and bursting with deep, dark chocolate flavor. And the dreamy chocolate tartlet is simple and direct: a bittersweet chocolate shell encircling a dense, chocolate pudding-like filling. No unnecessary garnishes like cream or frosting. Just chocolate, and lots of it.

(And don’t even get me started about those Pretzel Croissants. If I could find a way—or space, to haul a few back to Paris, I would.)

Today I had a melting chocolate chip cookie that was so good, that I didn’t mind the fact that I when I got home, I found out that I got chocolate all over my favorite shirt. With all those huge gooey chips, how could I not? City Bakery is the only address in New York City that I’ve committed to memory and I’ve been there every day since I arrived, and at all times; for a mid-morning snack, to have a nice salad for lunch, and to grab a cookie each afternoon.

pretzel croissant

I don’t know what I’m going to do when I head back home this weekend.

I mean, the pastry shops in Paris certainly aren’t no slouches—but they ain’t no City Bakery

The City Bakery
3 West 18th Street
(212) 366-1414

Related Links

Build a Green Bakery: City Bakery’s ‘green’ cousin

Too Many Pretzel Croissants?

Interview with baker Nick Malgieri

Culinary Confessions


  • October 17, 2008 6:33pm

    I’ve blogged about the joys of Portos Bakery in Glendale & Burbank, CA. (Scroll down for lovely pictures of pastries: Geek Universe)

    When my husband flew to LA for a job interview, I had one request: bring back boxes of pastries from Portos. He obliged. Believe it or not, a large box of pastries is a fairly good carry on!

    Anyhow, I’m excited that I have another bakery to try out next time I’m in LA. THANKS for the heads up!

  • cher128
    October 17, 2008 6:35pm

    Just read your “Culinary Confessions” of 2005

    All I have to say is, YES, YES AND…YES!!!!
    After three years, they’re “all: still fresh and true!

    When I melt chocolate, I’m even just too doggone impatient.
    I just pass the bowl lightly over the gas flame until the chocolate melts.
    Works perfectly.

  • October 17, 2008 8:03pm

    Seriously those pretzel croissants are beyond the pale. The combination of the buttery sweetness and the coarse salt and the flaky outer crust and tender inner crumb … I’m salivating.

  • October 17, 2008 8:18pm

    I will not be saying anything anyone doesn’t already know when I say I have been in love with Maury Rubin since the day I discovered his croissant making film on constant loop in the window of the first City Bakery location over 10 years ago. I watched it every day and night on my way to and from work.

    Also the Pretzel Croissant has it’s very own website! I mean really now, how many individual baked goods in the world can boast that?

  • October 17, 2008 8:30pm

    … alors … but you weren’t there last sunday for a book signing as scheduled on your tour … what happened …

  • Laura
    October 17, 2008 9:23pm

    Ina, are you telling me I can stop beating myself up because I was out of town last weekend? I was so sorry to miss meeting David!

  • October 17, 2008 10:16pm

    City Bakery is one of my top ten nyc spots. I can’t keep myself away from it, nor do I want to! Not only are the baked goods delicious but the food is wonderful as well. Last but not least, their hot chocolate rivals the best in Paris..a shot is a must!

  • October 17, 2008 11:12pm

    Ina: I was there, from 3-4pm. There was a nice group of us sitting around chatting. And, of course—eating!

  • charlene
    October 17, 2008 11:43pm

    Hi David,
    This sounds like a great place but please, do you have to mention pretzel croissants? Thanks for letting us know about this unique pastry, but I am now having obsessive dreams of pretzel croissants!

  • October 18, 2008 7:12am

    Glad that you are having fun and eating well. When I make one of your ice cream recipes and manage to get it on my clothes, I don’t mind as it was so worth it. Your post made me smile.

  • October 18, 2008 8:44am

    It’s also very difficult to find a decent chocolate chip cookie in London. When I travelled to New York recently, I carried a whole box of their cookies back with me….by hand!

  • Eileen
    October 18, 2008 10:42am

    Whenever I’m at City Bakery I have to have their hot chocolate and a huge marshmallow!

  • October 18, 2008 3:55pm

    Beautiful, beautiful. As a baker, that’s what I aspire to, and these are just outstanding!

  • October 18, 2008 10:31pm

    Although I love both City Bakery and Maury Rubin (and I used to go when they were on 17th St. and Maury was the guy behind the counter), I can’t let myself go in there too often because I tend to need to buy at least one of everything, plus two or more of certain things like the chocolate tart or the vanilla bean cookies. But I’m deeply mournful that they don’t seem to make their crème brûlée tart any more, which was maybe the best non-chocolate tart anywhere in the world, ever.

  • October 19, 2008 3:36am

    Well, it seems like a good time to thank you, David, for recommending the place to me before my trip to the US this May/June. I went to City Bakery for their pretzel croissants not once, but twice – and they were utterly brilliant :)

  • October 20, 2008 12:23am

    MmmMnn. Hot chocolate, pretzel croissants, and the baker’s muffin. Have you had CB’s baker’s muffin yet? It’s a not-too-sweet, pull apart jigsaw puzzle of goodness. If you have any idea how they pull off that miracle, I’d like to know.

  • Sandra
    October 20, 2008 8:28am

    Didn’t you take Romain for an all-American NYC treat—a crusty, warm delicious bagel, with lox and cream chese?!?! I know there are wonderful bakeries in NYC, but before you go back to Paris, make sure you have New York bagels!!

  • October 20, 2008 8:55am

    product simple as possible, made to enhance and show the quality of perfect ingredients.

    the recipe of succes is so simple, I wonder why it’s so rare to find someone that uses it !

  • October 20, 2008 10:09am

    Brett: I haven’t tried one of those, because they’re HUGE! I can’t imagine eating one, but based on your recommendation, I think I’ll need to try one next time I’m back.

    Sandra: Of course! We’ve been eating Murray’s bagels every morning. Although I foolishly bought the non-Philadelphia brand cream cheese once. Shop Rite cream cheese just doesn’t cut it.

    Pille: Aren’t they great? The only downside is that they’re not nearly as good the next day, which I think is a ploy to keep us going back ; )

  • October 20, 2008 1:00pm

    Hi there,

    Somehow in your short time in SF and NYC you have managed to hit up all the places that it has taken me years to get around to…AND you have managed to visit Dynamo Donuts while they are open! (Still 0 for 3 myself)

    By the way, it would not be unheard of if you brought pretzel croissants back to Paris – I regularly freeze about 8-12 and bring them back to SF with me when I visit LA. :) I once wrote to City Bakery about if they would bring the crack croissants to SF and Maury Rubin himself wrote back to say it is something he is considering…

  • Sandra
    October 21, 2008 6:52am

    Ewwww–why would you eat Shop Rite cream cheese, when Philly cream cheese is definitely the obvious choice. Besides store brand cream cheeses are never the choice for baking the American treat of cheese cake, which I can’t remember when I last made one.

    I guess Dynamo Donuts must be local in SF, but living in Dunkin Donuts corporate back yard, they really do have the best donuts around. On the CT shore there is a small local donut bakery in Old Lyme with a branch on the Westbrook-Clinton line. And if they are still open, they are incredible and beat any big company product, even Dunkin’s.

  • October 21, 2008 10:09pm

    OMG, i want this chocolate tartlet!! now!!! the way you described it, it sounds scrumptious…

  • October 24, 2008 5:07am

    Love those sesame croissants. I used to go to the city bakery when I lived in NYC.

    they opened on in Brentwood/LA a couple years ago.

  • October 27, 2008 5:15pm

    Wow I love your blog! I am starting my own foodie blog and was wondering if you had any suggestions! I love photography and Food so I when I saw you on Diary of a foodie I thought it would be cool to start my own! lol

    Best of luck
    Ariana W.

  • denise
    November 2, 2008 3:17pm

    if they still have it, get the marinated tofu, I haven’t been to city bakery in a year or so, but when i lived in manhattan it was my favourite savory dish they had!
    the french toast is also delicious.

  • November 27, 2008 1:14pm

    I love City Bakery far too much! They also have the BEST, most peanut-buttery-ever little PB cookies…and they are only 75 cents a pop.


  • Tania
    August 10, 2010 9:30am

    City Bakery may be good, but I say nothing beats a simple croissant or pain au chocolat from 32 rue de Turenne.


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