Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

BREADS BAKERY, 18 East 16th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Union Square West), Union SquareMy parents were in town recently. And that means I rack my brain for good food stops that will also be appropriate for their conservative palates. Desserts are always an easy home run with them, so I immediately looked at this as an opportunity to purchase an entire chocolate babka from Breads Bakery.

This humble cake has garnered so much press over the last two years that it’s safe to say it has acheived New York icon status. For those that don’t know, a babka is like a Jewish croissant in cake form. The Eastern Euorpean bread is usually twisted with cinnamon or chocolate and then baked with a crisp streusel on top.

It has also gained popularity in Israel, which is where Breads Bakery comes from. Master baker Uri Scheft is a pastry giant in Tel Aviv and has brought his unique Israeli-Scandinavian baking techniques to Union Square much to New Yorkers (and my parents) delight.

Chocolate Nutella Babka at BREADS BAKERY

When I brought the babka home, my mother confessed that babka is not her favorite. Why is this always so difficult?? But once she tasted the fresh, chocolatey pastry, I could see the memory of all the stale, chalky babkas she tasted fall away as a smile came to her face.

This one is the perfect babka. Each layer is filled with Belgian chocolate and Nutella and tastes yeasty, buttery, and sweet. While it might look like a gnarled burnt pretzel, the flavors and freshness speaks volumes. It certainly helps that the very busy Breads bakes their babkas three times throughout the day.

As difficult as my parents are when it comes to food, I usually get it right. And this year, I have Breads and their incredible babka to thank.

BREADS BAKERY
18 East 16th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Union Square West),
Union Square
(212) 633-2253
breadsbakery.com
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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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