Post overview: A local discusses the best bakeries in the Upper East Side, New York City
The Upper East Side has no shortage of great things to do. Full of beautiful brownstones, luxury stores and quaint cafes, you can easily find yourself entertained for a while.
As a local of NYC one of my favorite things to is explore the Upper East Side. I have an insatiable sweet tooth and always start the day with a baked good. Over the last five years I’ve found a few great bakeries in the Upper East Side that I’d like to share with you today. Hope you enjoy!
You might enjoy: 15+ Great Things to Do in the Upper East Side
Best Bakeries Upper East Side
Originally founded in 1916, Orwashers is one of the longest running businesses on the Upper East Side and they recently branched out with a second location in the Upper West Side. This classic Upper East Side bakery has been serving New Yorkers for more than 105 years. Their success can be attributed to traditional baking methods that have been perfected over time.
I suggest showing up early for the best selection because the most popular items sell out quickly. It’s not uncommon to see lines wrapping the block, especially during weekends. The croissants are delicious and the black and white cookies are some of the best in New York City. Try to visit before noon for the freshest selection.
My favorite items on the menu at this Upper East Side bakery are the following: sticky-bun babka, bagels, turnovers, jelly donuts and the black-and-white cookies.
Address: 308 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075
Laduree’s macaroons have a cult-like following for a reason — they’re some of the best in the city and the UES is lucky to have a location.
The decor is perfectly Parisian and makes for a great spot to slow down and relax in the midst of the bustling streets. There’s a small table indoors and a few tables outside, but snatching one might be a challenge because this Upper East Side bakery is so popular. Make the effort regardless and you’ll be rewarded with the perfect sweet treat.
Address: 864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021
Ask any New Yorker about their favorite bakeries in New York City and the honest ones will mention Maman. Offering a whimsical and charming vibe, this is one of the best bakeries in the Upper East Side if you’re looking to catch up with an old friend.
Originally started as a French bakery and cafe in SoHo, Maman quickly became renown for perfectly executed baked goods. But what really put them on the map was Oprah listing their nutty chocolate chip cookie as one of her favorite things.
I never miss an opportunity to order the quiche, chocolate croissant and their famous macadamia nut cookie. Plus, the coffee is always great (not to be underestimated at a bakery).
Address: 1424 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
Padoca is the slang term for neighborhood bakery in Brazilian, so it’s only fitting that this charming Upper East Side bakery makes some of the best Brazilian cheese bread in NYC. This UES bakery swarms with locals during the early morning hours and it’s not uncommon for baked goods to be sold out by noon.
Make sure to order the cheese bread, something sweet and the signature Honey Oat Latte, which is so satisfying.
Address: 210 E 67th St, New York, NY 10065
Chances are good that you’ve heard of Levain, arguably the most famous chocolate chip cookies in New York City, if not the world. Their gooey chocolate chip walnut cookies have amassed a cult-like following that only sounds surprising until you try them for yourself.
The line stretches well out the door most hours of the day and can be up to an hour long during the weekend. Have I waited in line for 1+ hours for a cookie? Yes. Did I regret it? Absolutely not.
Address: 1484 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
Breads Bakery is not only one of the best bakeries in the Upper East Side, but in all of New York City. With four locations, this bakery has grown like wildfire mostly thanks to their award-winning chocolate babka.
If you’re not familiar with babka (I wasn’t before moving to NYC) it’s a traditional Jewish bread/pastry made from yeast dough and garnished with cinnamon or chocolate. The end result is an airy layered loaf chock-full of nutella and chocolate chips.
The thing could launch a thousand ships, it’s beyond delicious. But the chocolate babka isn’t the only thing this UES bakery has mastered, quite the contrary. Anything you order at Breads is bound to impress, especially the croissants and seasonal delights. Every baked good is executed to perfection and I swing by weekly to get my fill.
The bakery in the UES is their newest location and to celebrate they decided to create a special treat exclusive to the UES — a unique twits on the iconic black-and-white cookie. It’s half traditional black-and-white cookie and half croissant (that’s the best way I can think to describe it).
Address: 1294 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021
William Greenberg Desserts
Serving New Yorkers since 1946, William Greenberg Desserts is one of the oldest and best bakeries in the Upper East Side. Their iconic black-and-white cookies consistently grace the top of award lists year after year. This UES bakery sells a plethora of delightful baked goods (even full cakes) but ordering the traditional black-and-white cookie is non-negotiable!
Address: 1100 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028
Sprinkles originally hails from Beverly Hills but there’s no way those deliciously moist cupcakes could stay put for long. Since their first store in 2005, the bakery has spread to major cities across the country and has the long lines to prove it. Swing by the bakery in the Upper East Side to see what all the fuss is about, the well-curated selection of cupcakes never disappoints.
Address: 780 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065
Best gluten free bakeries Upper East Side
By the Way Bakery
By The Way Bakery is a great option for those in search of the best gluten free bakeries in the Upper East Side. The entire selection of toothsome baked goods is gluten-free, dairy free, certified kosher and so dang delicious.
Started by a lawyer-turned-baker By The Way Bakery bills itself as an old-fashioned bakery where everything is homemade made from scratch in small batches. The passion and effort shine through! My friend is gluten-free and I make it a point to pick up a treat from this beloved gluten-free UES bakery whenever she’s in town.
Address: 1236 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028
Noglu is a gluten-free bakery in the Upper East Side that opened in 2015 by French pastry chef, Frédérique Jules. This is the perfect spot to get a mid-day pick me up. This Upper East Side bakery focuses on local and organic ingredients and you can taste the difference.
Long gone are the days when gluten free treats felt more like a punishment. This gluten-free bakery in the UES puts those distant memories to shame. The tarts and muffins are especially good but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Address: 1260 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10128
Best Upper East Side Bakeries (Post Overview)
In summary, here’s a quick roundup of the best bakeries in the Upper East Side.
- Lady M Cake Boutique
- Breads Bakery
- William Greenberg Desserts
- Sprinkles Upper East Side
- By the Way Bakery
Map of the best bakeries in the UES
Where to stay in the Upper East Side
As you can imagine, hotels in the Upper East Side will run a pretty penny. It’s pretty much solely luxury hotels in this zip code. So if budget isn’t a concern, I suggest the Franklin Hotel.
Orwashers and William Greenberg have not been the original owners for at least 10 years! They both sold the family name to other people. Neither one is the quality of the original
LaVerne Fields says
Do you know what happened to Two Red Hen, is it ever coming back, excellent pla e to go to for a sweet tooth.
I’m wondering the same thing! I checked their website/instagram and there’s no updates yet. I’m still hopeful that they’ll open a second location in the UES and will update this post when/if they open.
On the nNW corner of 2 nd ave and 85 th st
Coming maybe fall
There is a new French bakery called Les Gateaux de Marie at 1582 1st Ave. between 82nd and 83rd St. Absolutely the best bakery on the UES.
Please go there.
Everything in this bakery is of extreme high quality and absolutely delicious.
Madeline Ellis says
Little Red Hen, I await your return!
Miss Madeleine is the most popular French bakery in the UES. For me, they are the number 1. Everyday there is a line.
Joanna Jones says
As a bakery enthusiast, I’m grateful for this post! I’m always on the lookout for new bakeries to try out, and the Upper East Side seems like a great place to start. I’ve heard a lot about Orwashers, but I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet. I’m curious to know what kind of baked goods they specialize in. Do they have a signature pastry that they’re known for? Also, have you tried any of the other bakeries on your list? I’m particularly intrigued by Two Little Red Hens and Lady M Cake Boutique. Thank you for sharing your recommendations – I can’t wait to plan my next bakery-hopping adventure!