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

MONTELEONE'S BAKERY & CAFÉ, 355 Court Street (between Union and President Street), Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

In a vibrant Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, you’d expect there to be many answers to the  question “Who makes the best cheesecake?” Maybe that was the way it used to be in Carroll Gardens, but today, the Italian residents that are left in this post-gentrified neighborhood generally agree on one.

Cakes Galore

Court Street Pastry has the best cookies and cannolis, Caputo’s has mastered bread, but Monteleone’s is the place to go for cakes. Especially cheesecake.

Cheesecake at MONTELEONE'S BAKERY & CAFÉ

As with most Italian bakeries, they offer two kinds of cheesecake – the Italian version and the New York style. Since I’m focused on the cream cheese-based New York slice, I thought I should stay consistent. It looked like they were out of the mini-versions of the cake, but they found a few fresh ones in the back. Lucky me.

Play-Doh, Yum!

The truth is I wasn’t crazy about this cheesecake. I found it quite bland and not nearly sweet enough. The tart cheesiness also didn’t really reveal itself until the end of the bite. For most of the experience, I found it to be underwhelming on the flavor side. It didn’t taste like much.

Texture Beats Flavor

However, the texture was nice. The chewy exterior gave way to a creamy smooth center. I enjoyed that experience. However, because the flavor was lacking, it reminded me of Play Doh. And truth be told, when I was younger, I always wanted to eat Play Doh. Didn’t we all?

The Neighborhood Comes Out

The classic bakery has changed hands quite a few times since it opened in 1904, but it still has an old-time feel to it and I have no doubt of its authenticity. And it might be the best cheesecake in the neighborhood, but based on this one experience, I think other neighborhoods do it better.

Does Monteleone’s Bakery & Cafe have the best cheesecake in NY? It might have the best in this particular neighborhood, but on a grander scale, it is lacking sweetness and is rather bland. Its wonderful texture saves it from being lower than 7 out of 10.

MONTELEONE’S BAKERY & CAFÉ
355 Court Street (between Union and President Street),
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
(718) 852-5600
fmonteleonebakery.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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