When author and professor David Grahame Shane (of Recombinant Urbanism)  asked us to meet at the Hungarian Pastry Shop on 111th and Amsterdam, we knew it was going to be a great place. You see, Shane’s speciality is on heterotopias–those places within cities that trigger creativity and spur urban evolution. In fact, he says they function as cities in miniature and that’s kind of what the Hungarian Pastry Shop is like. It’s most well-known for its literary bent, as a place where budding writers congregate. The shop puts the book jackets of its patrons on the walls.

There are lots of students too, due to its proximity to Columbia University. And then there are the neighborhood regulars, like Shane and the woman who brings the dog with the booties. What’s more, it’s a diverse cross section of ages, occupations and ethnicities. It’s also where a scene in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives was filmed.

On a side note, we love that the shop was incorporated under the company name “Croissant Consortium Ltd.” And the food is just great. Here’s the feast we had:

And from the hand written menus to the expressionist murals on the outside, it’s perfectly bohemian.

Hungarian Pastry Shop
1030 Amsterdam Avenue at 111th St.

Read David Grahame Shane’s book, Recombinant Urbanism