Two terrific new bakeries, Arcade Bakery and Baked arrive in Tribeca
Fact: a neighborhood can never have too many really, really good bakeries. Especially if said bakeries also serve a first-rate cup of coffee (or pot of tea), as these places all seem to do these days. And how about a comfortable space to sit and chill or work or chat with friends? Yes, please. So it is that when Tribeca, already one of the prettiest, most loaded-with-goodies neighborhoods in all of Manhattan, added two such spots within a few blocks of each other this year, there was no outcry about the community being overrun by brownies and baguettes, croissants and cookies and cakes. The opposite, really, with both new bakeries enjoying healthy-sized hordes of happy customers. So for all of who live around here, work around here, or are just willing (eager?) to travel a bit for an excellent pastry and fun place to eat it, I say welcome Arcade Bakery, welcome Baked Tribeca.
Arcade Bakery: Breads, Bites and More!
First, Arcade Bakery which, among its other qualities, does an amazing job of transforming its unlikely setting–the long-abandoned section of an old-school office building lobby, all vaulted ceilings and marble floors–into a cozy place to, for example, treat yourself to a spectacular Caramel Apple Brioche. That brioche, and all of Arcade's baguettes (don't miss the house specialty, Vanilla Pear and Buckwheat), croissants, coffee cakes, and, at lunch, a handful of pizzas and sandwiches, are made fresh all day long in small batches right on premises by Roger Gural, last seen as Head Baker at Almondine, and before that at Amy's, Bouley Bakery, and French Laundry. That everything is great isn't too much a surprise, given Gural's pedigree. What IS something of a miracle is how pleasant it is to hang out here. Gural hired the design firm Workstead to make the space welcoming, and their solution is ingenious, as they used the lobby's old display cases in which to install fold-down "tables", where you can either stand or sit and enjoy all the deliciousness.
Brooklyn's Baked Arrives in Tribeca
For a different but equally awesome vibe, there's the spanking-new Baked Tribeca, in which the beloved Brooklyn bakery–in Red Hook, to be exact–makes its glorious Manhattan debut. Unlike Arcade's tightly-focussed menu, Baked is all about abundance. There are multiple varieties of cookies and cupcakes and coffee cakes and layer cakes here, as well as their signature salted brownies and bars, whoopie pies, regular pies (like, the kind with crusts and fillings), cinnamon buns… really, you could come here every afternoon for a month and still not get through it all. And for their Tribeca location Baked has branched out to include sandwiches, soups, salads and (best of all?), beer! That's right, come 5:00 each day the lights get a little dimmer, the music (which is great, by the way) a little louder, and you can opt for some booze with your brioche instead of coffee. Not that Baked isn't a stylish, comfortable hang all day long: with multiple tables and booths, that big neon B, and the "cake pole" (like a stripper pole, but with cakes, a nod to the space's previous tenant, Harmony Burlesque), this is, among other things, a guaranteed winner of a date spot.
For More Information and Menus for Arcade Bakery and Baked Tribeca
Baked Tribeca is also on Church Street, between White and Franklin, and is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; on the weekend it opens at 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 at night. For more information and a sample check out the Baked Tribeca menu. Arcade Bakery is located on the west side of Church Street between Worth and Thomas, and is open weekdays only from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.