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

SADLY, MONACO’S BAKERY & CAFÉ IS NOW CLOSED.

MONACO'S BAKERY & CAFÉ, 8511 3rd Avenue (between 85th and 86th Street), Bay Ridge, BrooklynMonaco’s might look like it’s been on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge for decades. But no where do you see a sign that says “Since…” or “Established in…”. And that’s because this business has only been here since 2011. Not long enough to warrant an impressive sign.

That doesn’t mean the owner and baker, Joe Monaco, has not been baking Italian pastries for over 40 years. He has. And 2011 is the year that he finally opened his own place after decades of baking at the legendary East Village shop Veniero’s and for some of the most notable celebrities of yesterday, like Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra.

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

The Bay Ridge community certainly didn’t need another Italian bakery, but they certainly did need to try Joe’s versions. His giving the old shops a run for their money.

Italian Cheesecake at MONACO'S

I stopped in to get a slice of cheesecake and was pleased to discover that they had both a New York-style and an Italian-style. I was tempted to get one of each, but the guy behind the counter recommended the round New York style since he said it stays together more easily than the Italian slice. And since this search is mostly for the true New York-style (read: cream cheese-based), I settled for just the one.

Cheesecake at MONACO'S BAKERY & CAFÉThe mini-round was just luscious – cold and creamy with a nice smooth texture. The sweetness was muted and balanced nicely with a hint of tangy cheese. Its browned top was irresistible adding an extra layer of texture and sweetness to the perfectly composed cake.

The Insides of a New Classic

And this little puppy didn’t even need a crust. It’s all cream and cheese and exemplifies the classic old-school New York cheesecake style. It’s as classic as it gets, even if the shop itself can’t be called that for at least another ten years.

Does Monaco’s Bakery & Café have the best cheesecake in NY? It might not be a name you’ve heard of yet, but it will be soon and the perfect specimen balances sweet and tangy with an exceptional smooth texture. 9 out of 10.

MONACO’S BAKERY & CAFÉ
8511 3rd Avenue (between 85th and 86th Street),
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
(347) 497-4409
monacosbakery.com
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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.

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