What do you think of when you think of Harlem? Jazz…Soul Food? What about bakeries? So many, in fact, that they even specialize. There are bakeries devoted to cookies, to cupcakes, croissants and breads, rugelach, red velvet, carrot cake, muffins and on and on. Here’s a tour of Harlem’s best bakeries.
It’s hard to walk very many blocks without passing by a shop in Harlem that specializes in the ‘sugar arts’. Each one is colorful and creative, and each one with a distinction all its own. Make My Cake on 116th Street is like a confectioner’s dream bathed in a background of pink accessories from mugs to lunch boxes. Row after row of pastel colored cakes surrounded by all kinds of cookies and cupcakes, apple turnovers and brownies. This family owned shop also has a bakery on Lenox Avenue at Striver’s Row.
Who would think that the King of Rugelach would be in Harlem – but he is. Lee Lee’s Baked Goods has customers from all over the world ordering online. But we are lucky enough to have Alvin Lee Smalls right here on West 118th Street. If you hit it just right, rugelach will be coming out of the oven when you walk in the door. Take a seat in this small but cozy bakery and strike up a conversation with the constant stream of locals who love to chat.
Right around the corner from Lee Lee’s, on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, you will find the French-Senegalese cafÃ© Patisserie Des Ambassades, known for their wonderful breads and croissants.
Tonnie’s Minis on Lenox Avenue will let you create your dream cupcake by choosing your own cake, frosting and toppings or you can buy them ready to go if you can make up your mind from the Tower of Mini’s on display! It’s no surprise that Tonnie’s Minis are now sold in Bloomingdales.
Even the local coffee shops and restaurants have gotten in on the act with specialty deserts from ice cream to peanut butter pie to outrageous muffins. These are just a few of the small businesses that make Harlem sweet.
What’s happening at all the Starbucks in Harlem? Ahhhh – free wifi!