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23 of NYC’s Old World Bakeries

08/26/2016 at 10:05 am

Circo's Pastry Shop Untapped Cities AFineLyneImage via Circo’s Pastry Shop

In the past, Untapped Cities has explored some of New York City’s oldest bakeries. This year, peppered by comments and suggestions from our readers, we decided to take a deeper dive into family owned and operated bakeries and patisserie spots that bring a sense of history and ethnic flavor to specific neighborhoods throughout our five boroughs.

Here are 23 old world bakeries in New York City, organized from oldest to newest:

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VeselkafromSFII-jamesandmurrayphotography-nyc-untappedcitiedPhoto by James and Karla Murray Photography

On Sunday, August 21st at 12pm, Untapped Cities will host the tour STOREFRONT: A HISTORIC EAST VILLAGE FOOD TOUR, led by photographers and authors James and Karla Murray. This visit will cover the  food, history and diverse culture of the East Village while tasting delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops.

Below, James and Karla have written a piece for us about one of those stops, Veselka:

Discover the food, history and diverse culture of the East Village while tasting delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops. Many family-run businesses started out as traditional mom-and-pop stores passed down from generation to generation, and defined their neighborhoods. Not only are these modest small businesses falling away in the face of modernization, gentrification, and conformity, the once unique appearance and character of New York City’s colorful streets suffers in the process. On this tour you will learn about the diverse German, Italian, Jewish and Ukrainian history of the East Village and try some fresh homemade Italian mozzarella, drink an authentic New York City egg cream or have a freshly roasted cup of coffee, taste a hot Ukrainian potato pierogi with toppings from Veselka, sample a freshly baked Jewish sugar cookie, enjoy an authentic New York hot dog and tropical drink and taste a freshly baked Italian cannoli.

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Veniero Pasticceria and Caffe-James and Karla Murray-East Village Food Tour-NYCPhoto from 2010 appears in the book New York Nights by James and Karla Murray

On Sunday, August 21st at 12pm, Untapped Cities will host the tour STOREFRONT: A HISTORIC EAST VILLAGE FOOD TOUR, led by photographers and authors James and Karla Murray. This visit will cover the  food, history and diverse culture of the East Village while tasting delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops.

Below, James and Karla have written a piece for us about one of those stops, Veniero Pasticceria and Caffe:

Many family-run businesses started out as traditional mom-and-pop stores passed down from generation to generation, and defined their neighborhoods. Not only are these modest small businesses falling away in the face of modernization, gentrification, and conformity, but the once unique appearance and character of New York City’s colorful streets also suffers in the process.

One of the many small businesses we will stop and sample food from is Veniero Pasticceria and Caffe, which was established in 1894 by Antonio Veniero. This fourth-generation family-owned bakery specializes in Italian pastries, including their famous cannoli, cheesecake, biscotti (Italian biscuits) and Italian butter cookies. Throughout the years they have added new offerings and now sell over 200 varieties of pastries, cakes and cookies. On our walking and tasting tour everyone will sample a freshly made cannoli while learning interesting facts and history about the oldest Italian pastry business in New York City.

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Swale-Concrete Plant Park-Floating Edible Forest-Barge-NYC.44 PMSwale in Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx. Image via Swale.

Remember Swale, the floating farm in the works for New York City? Well, it’s here and will be moving around from the Bronx, to Governors Island to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Currently, the 130 foot by 40 foot floating platform is docked at Concrete Plant Park along the Bronx River and open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12pm to 7pm. The irresistible offer of free vegetables and herbs for the community include kale, beets, chard, arugula, leeks, artichokes.

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Russos-East Village-NYC-Untapped Cities Tours
On Sunday August 21st at 12pm, join James and Karla Murray, authors and photographers of the critically acclaimed books, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New YorkNew York Nights and Store Front II-A History Preserved on this walking and tasting tour of some of their favorite East Village food establishments. Discover the food, history and diverse culture of the East Village while tasting delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops.

Many family-run businesses started out as traditional mom-and-pop stores passed down from generation to generation, and defined their neighborhoods. Not only are these modest small businesses falling away in the face of modernization, gentrification, and conformity, the once unique appearance and character of New York City’s colorful streets suffers in the process.

On this tour you will learn about the diverse German, Italian, Jewish and Ukranian history of the East Village and try some fresh homemade Italian mozzarella, drink an authentic New York City egg cream or have a freshly roasted cup of coffee, taste a hot Ukranian potato pierogi with toppings, sample a freshly baked Jewish sugar cookie, enjoy an authentic New York hot dog and tropical drink and taste a freshly baked Italian cannoli.

Enough food will be sampled so that for most people lunch afterwards is not needed.

Below are a few more photos from James and Karla Murray of places we will discover on this tour:

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Square Diner Untapped Cities AFineLyneSquare Diner located at 33 Leonard Street

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the decline and loss of several of our favorite old New York diners. One that doesn’t seem to be struggling is the iconic Square Diner in Tribeca, busting with business inside and out. Those who live and work in Tribeca already are familiar with the tiny 1,000 square foot rectangular train-car style diner and the general public may recognize it from film and television appearances.

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