In a city with so many wonderful bakeries, we thought it might be fun to explore some of the oldest, especially while we’re in the midst of National “Eat Dessert First” Month in August. All of these bakeries date from 1892 to 1904, located in Little Italy, East Village, Yorkville and Carroll Gardens.
1. Ferrara Bakery & Cafe, Little Italy (1892)
Ferrara Bakery & Cafe was founded in 1892 by Antonio Ferrara as a place where he and his friends might go after the opera to share a coffee and play their favorite card game. After his death, his nephew Pietro Lepore continued the business along with his wife.
Today, Ferrara’s is still a family owned bakery now in their fifth generation and still at the same location–195 Grand Street–a true destination in the heart of Little Italy.
2. Veniero Paticceria and Cafe, East Village (1894)
Walking over to the East Village, there’s Veniero’s Paticceria and Cafe. Antonio Veniero was 15 years old when he arrived in New York from Vico Equense, Italy. He worked hard and six years later he opened Antonio Veniero Confections at their current location, 342 East 11th Street, in 1894. A true entrepreneur, he had a billiard parlor next door and a saloon across the street. Back then, beer was a nickel.
Today Veniero’s Pasticceria and Cafe has changed very little and still has many of the original details including the hand stamped metal ceilings, etched glass and marble floors. Still run by the Veniero family, the spot is an East Village fixture, well known for traditional favorites like their Italian cheese cake.
3. Glaser’s Bake Shop, Yorkville (1902)
Heading up to Yorkville, you’ll find Glaser’s Bake Shop, an old-time German bakery originally opened by Bavarian immigrants John and Justine Glaser in 1902 in an area of the City known as Germantown. The exterior and interior of the building they own has changed very little over the years. They’ve maintained the tin ceiling, tile floor and the beautiful wooden display shelves. And like Ferrara’s and Venieros’s, Glaser’s Bake Shop is still owned and operated by the Glaser family, now in the third and fourth generations. Manhattanites who grew up in Yorkville remember well those famous Black and White cookies from Glaser’s, said to be an original recipe – and their apple turnovers and Gingerbread during the Christmas Holidays.
Those who grew up in Yorkville aren’t the only ones who remember the good old Black and White cookie. It is said that the cashier at Glaser’s keeps an extra box of them next to the register for that last minute impulse buyer. Be sure to look for John Glaser’s name spelled out in tiles on the original floor.
4. Parisi Bakery, Little Italy (1903)
The 198 Mott Street Location of Parisi Bakery is now the Parisi Bakery Delicatessen. The business has been continuously family-owned and operated by the Parisi family since 1903. The Bakery is now at 290 Elizabeth Street in Greenwich Village, still serving up oven baked, all natural bread using a secret, old-world recipes.
5. Caputo’s Bake Shop, Carroll Gardens (1904)
This Court Street staple has been open since 1904 and is part of a string of Italian-American owned shops along this stretch of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Here you can find cheese made by the deli itself, fresh baguettes, ciabatta sandwiches, and cured meats. Lots of sugary competition in our City, and these three shops have truly withstood the test of time. You can find each on Facebook just in time for National Eat Dessert First Day, August 26th.
Get in touch with the author @AFineLyne