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5+ Flavorful Black and White Cookies in New York City (The City’s BEST Treat)

Black and white cookies at Breads Bakery Upper East Side

Originating from Eastern European Jewish immigrants, the black and white cookie has risen from humble beginnings to become a beloved staple in New York City’s bakeries. With its distinctive yin-yang appearance and perfect balance of vanilla and chocolate flavors, this iconic treat symbolizes the city’s cultural diversity and is a true representation of the city’s melting pot.

So without further ado, here are the best black and white cookies in New York City.

Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (10 Best Neighborhoods +3 to Avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.

Table of Contents: Where to Get the Best NYC Black & White Cookie

Best Upper East Side bakeries, best black and white cookies NYC

Bread’s Bakery

Website: Bread’s Bakery
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
1294 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021

Breads Bakery is undoubtedly one of the best bakeries in all of New York City. Gaining popularity for their award-winning chocolate babka, their excellence extends beyond the loaf of bread to include uniquely flavorful black and white cookies.

These cookies, featuring a croissant-like texture from laminated dough, boldly redefine tradition. There’s also a surprise chocolate layer that adds a delightful touch of sweetness. My only complaint is that this beloved New York City black and white cookie is that it’s only sold at Breads’ Upper East Side location. But trust me when I tell you the trek is worth the treat.

Best Bakeries NYC,  best black and white cookies NYC


Website: Orwashers
Neighborhood: Upper East Side & Upper West Side
308 E. 78th Street & 440 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY

Established in 1916, Orwashers has remained a beloved institution in New York City, serving generations of locals. Renowned for their commitment to traditional baking techniques honed over a century, the Orwasher family brought their recipes from Hungary to the Upper East Side.

With their expertise in baking, it’s no surprise that Orwashers crafts some of the best black and white cookies in NYC. Blurring the line between cake and cookie, these treats have a fluffy, pancake-like texture. The frosting perfectly complements the cookie’s soft texture, offering a treat that melts in your mouth.

 best black and white cookies NYC

Russ & Daughters

Website: Russ & Daughters
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Famous for churning out some of the best bagels in New York City, Russ & Daughters may not be your first thought for a black and white cookie in NYC, but adding one to your order is a choice you won’t regret. Differing from the soft texture of Orwashers’ cookie, Russ & Daughters’ version tends to be firmer.

With subtle hints of almond and vanilla, accompanied by just a touch of lemon, this cookie distinguishes itself with a unique flavor profile. Breaking it in half reveals a satisfying snap, creating the ideal complement to their delectable bagels.

Zabar's UWS,  best black and white cookies NYC


Website: Zabar’s
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Address: 2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Founded in 1934 and serving New Yorkers for 80+ years, Zabar’s is quite possibly the most beloved grocery store in New York City. It’s hard to imagine a more old-fashioned, family run grocery store in the Big Apple. But I’m not here to tell you where to do your grocery shopping. I’m filling you in on a not-so well kept secret: Zabar’s makes one of the best black and white cookies in NYC. Not too big and not too sweet, the cookie at Zabar’s is expertly balanced. It’s a great introduction to NYC black and white cookies since it’s traditional and tasty.

Empire Cake

Website: Empire Cake
Neighborhood: Chelsea
Address: 112 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Located a mere two blocks from the High Line (one of the best parks in New York City) is Empire Cake, one of the best bakeries in Chelsea. Although Empire Cake’s fame comes from their homemade twinkies and cupcakes, they also make one of the best black and white cookies in NYC. It’s spongy and soft, and completely dipped in chocolate. Unlike other black and white cookies in New York City that only ice the top, the chocolate dip makes this one of the sweetest black and white cookies in New York City.

Best bakeries UES,  best black and white cookies NYC

William Greenberg

Website: William Greenberg
Neighborhood: Upper East Side & Upper West Side
1100 Madison Ave & 285 Amsterdam Ave

Since 1946, William Greenberg Desserts has been a revered bakery in the Upper East Side, earning its place as one of the oldest and best in NYC. With a successful second location in the Upper West Side, this iconic establishment’s NYC black and white cookies consistently top award lists.

Unlike other bakeries where black and white cookies are secondary, they shine as William Greenberg’s main attraction. Known as the quintessential and most iconic in NYC, these cookies offer a burst of originality.

Beyond black and white, the bakery also crafts a variety of colorful cookies. A visit to William Greenberg Desserts is not complete without indulging in one of these delights, sure to leave you dreaming for more.

Quick Recap of the Best Black and White Cookies in New York City (Post Summary)

  1. William Greenberg
  2. Empire Cake
  3. Zabar’s
  4. Bread’s Bakery
  5. Russ & Daughters
  6. Orwashers

NYC Black and White Cookies (Helpful Map)

Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best place to buy black and white cookies in NYC?

For the best black and white cookies in NYC, consider exploring iconic bakeries like Orwasher’s, Breads Bakery, or William Greenberg Desserts.

Are black and white cookies a NY thing?

While black and white cookies are enjoyed in various places, they are often associated with New York, where they have become a classic and popular treat.

Why are Black and White Cookies famous in NYC?

Black and White Cookies gained fame in NYC for symbolizing the city’s diverse culinary culture and serving as a beloved treat with both chocolate and vanilla icing.

What is a fun fact about black and white cookies?

A fun fact about black and white cookies is that they are often cited in popular culture, famously mentioned in the television show “Seinfeld” as Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite treat.

More Helpful (Sweet) Links

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The Best Cookies: 10 Tantalizing New York City Cookies (Worth the Wait)
The Best Cannolis: 10 Can’t Miss Cannolis in New York City (To Satisfy a Craving)
Where to Find Fall Treats:
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The Best Ice Cream:
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Best Dessert for Kids:
15 Dessert Spots in New York City to Visit with Kids (Worth the Sticky Mess)

And there you have it, the best black and white cookies NYC has to offer. As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if we missed anything.