As you know very well by now, I believe everyone should have the comfort of their favorite bakery in NYC. As the temperatures get colder and the holidays get closer, the joy of baked goods can only get sweeter. (Heh.) Since coming to the Big Apple, we have found some beautiful bakeries and today we are taking you to visit yet another gem: By the Way Bakery!
Describing themselves as an “old-fashioned bakery,” By the Way Bakery is located on the Upper West Side, and therefore more accessible than some of our more obscure favorites downtown. Located on Broadway just off the corner of 90th Street, By the Way Bakery is just a quick walk from local attractions such as the American Museum of National History and the Westside Community Garden. The closest subway station would be the 86th Street stop on the 1, B, or C trains.
The best thing about By the Way Bakery, besides the fact that it’s a dairy-free bakery that is easy to get to, is that they give free samples! The day I was there, they had some adorable crumbly almond cookies and some lemon poppyseed cake. Usually when I walk into a bakery, I stand at the counter for about ten minutes being amazed, and it was much more natural for me to munch on free samples and say things like, “Hmmm, yeah, lemon,” than to stand and stare like a robot.
The bakery is small in the front, but the whole kitchen set-up is pretty visible and you can see lots of new treats coming on trays, which adds to the excitement. Everything on their chalkboard menu is well-lettered and legible, and the various baked goods are displayed to their advantage in glass cases. By the Way Bakery is not as sugary and cutesy as Babycakes or Sugar and Plumm, so they have things like tea cakes rather than cupcakes. Much as I love cupcakes, teatime is my favorite kind of snacktime so tea cakes are just perfect!
I had, as always, a lot of trouble deciding what to get as there were so many yummy options. By the Way Bakery is on the expensive side, as many upscale and special-diet boutique bakeries are, so I limited myself to one small item, plus as many free samples as I could get away with eating. They had adorable miniature tea cakes, perfectly sized for a Bear, and in a variety of flavors. I settled for the pear plum mini cake, which was adorable and delicious.
We took our snack to the park to enjoy, and it was as yummy as it was beautiful. I love both pears and plums, and they are both extremely underappreciated fruits as far as the dessert industry goes. The piece of plum folded into the top of the mini cake gave it a beautiful and rich color accent, and the cinnamon crumbles on the top reminded me of cinnamon toast—a cult classic—with a little sugary texture. All in all, the perfect snack for a lovely warm spring afternoon.
Bear loves warm snacks on a sunny afternoon, and is always happy to find something perfectly sweet and golden brown as he is. We so enjoyed our excursion to By the Way Bakery, and can’t wait to return for more!