My search for the best cheesecake in New York continues….

LETY BAKERY & CAFE, 77-07 37th Avenue (between 77th and 78th Street), Jackson Heights, QueensJackson Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the entire world. So why was I so surprised to find a legitimate Italian bakery in its heart?

I guess I think of it more as a neighborhood of Latin American and diverse Asian cultures. No question this is the best place for Indian, Himalayan, and Peruvian food. But Italian food? It just struck me as a surprise.

Everybody in Jackson Heights

Specifically looking for great cheesecake, I entered the packed bakery named Lety. I could only find a small corner table to sit down for a taste. Every other table was taken by all sorts of people reading a newspaper, chatting with friends, or drinking some coffee. Funny, I didn’t notice anyone actually eating pastries. Maybe this was more of a hang-out destination than a culinary one.

Italian Menu

There was a wide range of cakes, pies, and cookies on offer. But I stuck with a plain mini-cheesecake.

Cheesecake at LETY BAKERY & CAFÉWith a nice browned top, I had high expectations for what looked like a promising specimen. Unfortunately, the flavors were off. It was definitely not cream cheese based. I’m guessing it was ricotta, but it tasted more like provolone. It had a sharp, sour aftertaste with barely any hint of sweetness.

A Strange Tasting Cheesecake

The mouthfeel was also strange. It lacked smoothness and I could actually chew the cake, as opposed to letting it melt in my mouth. I would have been ok with that, but the off flavors gave me the sense that it might have turned.

It left me with a sort of queasy feeling in my stomach. Maybe I should come back and give Lety’s cheesecake a second chance, but I think I’d prefer to stick with Indian or Nepalese food next time I’m in this vibrant neighborhood.

Does Lety Bakery & Café have the best cheesecake in NY? Maybe I got a bad batch, but the strong sour provolone flavor and chewy texture did not earn it high marks in my book. 5 out of 10.

LETY BAKERY & CAFÉ
77-07 37th Avenue (between 77th and 78th Street),
Jackson Heights, Queens
(718) 507-6539
51-18 Skillman Avenue (between 51st and 52nd Street),
Woodside, Queens
(718) 424-4222
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Category: Cheesecake

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

2 Responses to CHEESECAKE REVIEW: Lety Bakery & Café

  1. Luna says:

    You need to revisit and try the almond cheesecake and/or the Italian cheesecake

  2. Brian Hoffman says:

    I definitely need to. Thanks for the recommendation. Next time I’m in Jackson Heights…

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