Barcelona’s best bakeries!

{Melissa} Barcelona was always special to me. It’s a destination I traveled to with a group of friends as a teenager, discovering the nightlife more than the Gaudi masterpieces, a place I called home when I studied there for a semester in uni, a town that I just love going back to for its precious charm, delicious tapas and warmth. In fact I’ve been there 3 times… just in the past year!

It’s simple, for me, Barcelona is the perfect city. A place where you can relax by the ocean in the morning, enjoy an amazing snack during la siesta, get lost in the narrow old streets in the afternoon, stop by at a market to pick up fresh produces, drink a cañas while cheering for their famous football team, but most of all, it’s a place to simply enjoy life (if you avoid Las Ramblas!).

Obviously, my love for Barca involves its mouthwatering food! Here’s my top 3 best pastry shops!

THE TRENDY

I discovered Bubó when I lived in El Born (my fav neighbourhood in Barcelona!). It’s the perfect place to come enjoy a coffee & petits fours and escape from the crowds surrounding the beautiful Santa Maria Del Mar church. My advice? Take a few pastries to go! Most of Barcelona’s restaurant do not offer amazing desserts so you’ll be trilled to indulge into one of their pastry when you get back to your place at night. Bubó also offers a nice selection of amazing chocolate bars and homemade marshmallows… perfect to bring back as a gift!

For me, it’s the best spot to find super cool, modern and so-freakin-good pastries.

Bubó []

Caputxes, 10
08003 Barcelona

*They also have a restaurant a few doors down. A good option for the area!

THE CLASSIC

Not only is this a magical place for its architecture, representative of the Art Nouveau, it’s also one of Barcelona’s top pastry shops. When you visit their Rambla shop, make sure to look at the architectural details like the mosaic work on the facade and exterior sculpture. The Escriba family have been operating pastry shops in Barcelona for more than a century… their knowledge and history make for a classic bakery with authentic flavours but don’t be fooled, they also present modern pastries with a twist!

Perfect spot for a croissant and coffee in the morning, right after you enjoyed some fresh fruit from the Boqueria market a few steps away! Their terrace offers a bit of peace in the middle of the chaotic Ramblas.

Photo credit (upper left) – Eat the Earth.

Escriba []

Rambla de les Flors, 83
08002 Barcelona

*The flagship store is located at Gran Via, 546. There you can also find their showroom and wonder around!

THE MUST

When you are in Barcelona there is 2 different desserts you must try. The fist one? Churros con chocolate! This deep friend doughy heaven is usually sprinkled with sugar and served with warm chocolate on the side for dipping! You can find churros in many different places throughout the city but on my last visit I found this super cute artisanal churreria stand in a farmer’s street market near the beach in Barceloneta. It’s a perfect afternoon treat after a day of sun!

If the market is closed, head to the Gothic quarter, more precisely to one of Calle Petrixol’s famous granjas (typical Spanish cafés) renowned for their chocolate! A good option is La Pallaresa, an old school cafe that serves one of the best churros in Barcelona!

Montse L’Artesana, Churreria

Farmer’s Market
Passeig de Joan de Borbó, Barcelona

Find them on .

Wonder what the second one is? It is the crema catalana, similar to crème brûlée but even better (in my opinion)! The best place to try it is sitting at the bar at , a restaurant institution in El Born district. After one of the best meals in the city, order this amazing dessert and you’ll be delighted, promised!

Hope you enjoyed this teaser! In the following weeks, I will also share the coolest sweet spots in Barcelona as well as the best places for frozen yumminess!

To wrap up our NYC sweet spots, we kept the best for last! It was our first time visiting Brooklyn and it completely stole our hearts! Besides the laid-back atmosphere, super cool restaurants and fresh air, the amazing bakeries all around just made it easy to fall in love!

Here a list of our fav sweet spots in Brooklyn:

*Please note that it’s not in order of preference.

No.01 Baked in the Red Hook district

Everybody loved them, their cupcakes were just rated #1 in NYC by serious eats, Oprah recognized their brownies as a “favorite thing” and they write amazing baking cookbooks. What else? Hum…. they just rock! On our visit – which was our last spot before hitting the highway back to Mtl – we simply tried a classic chocolate whoopie pie. I’m usually not a big fan but GOD was this good. So moist and creamy at the same time…Woah! The bakery itself is refreshing with a more manly vibe then the traditional cutsie theme. We cannot wait to try their granola next time we go!

359 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, New York 11231

No.02 Dough in Bedford-Stuyvesant / Clinton Hill

In NYC we tried some (many!) doughnuts at the Doughnut Plant and they were really good but this little doughnut joint, out of the popular hoods of Brooklyn, had the BEST doughnut I’ve ever tried! On our visit we tried the hibiscus (best doughnut I’ve ever had!!!!) and the lemon poppy flavors. Their doughnuts are big, yeast based and melt in your mouth. No fla fla over here, just straightforward amazing artisan doughnuts. The place is simple with an industrial vibe and you have a view of the kitchen through the large glass window!

Good to know: Dough’s *Mexican* pastry chef Fany Gerson‘s first cookbook, was a James Beard nominee (2011) in the Baking and Dessert Book category. Very cool book for all the sweet tooth out there… so different!

305 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

No.03 Momofuku Milk Bar in Williamsburg

Momofuku Milk Bar is on everyone’s lips nowadays and for a good reason. It’s wicked new twist on sweets is just too much fun. A real party in your mouth. Christina Tosi, the pastry chef/owner just created a new meaning of desserts with her out-of-the-ordinary concoctions. On our visit we washed down the espresso *cereal milk* shake, accompanied by a pb cookie and her famous compost cookie (chocolate and butterscotch chips, coffee grounds, pretzels, potato chips +++). I felt like I was on a parallel universe for an instant and just enjoyed that transcendent experience. What makes the shake so freakin’ good? It’s a mix of the cereal soft serve and organic whole milk. Thank god I brought back the cereal milk and compost cookie mixes! I shall survive until my next visit.

Good to know: Momofuku’s Chef, David Chang, is behind the über cool magazine. Want a completely raw culinary lecture and you have an open mind paired with a dark sense of humor? Run out and go buy it!

382 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

No.04 Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck in Williamsburg

My friend Clara who inspired me to visit Brooklyn told me I HAD to go to the Van Leeuwen truck. Even though I felt sick from eating so much sugar (plus amazing meat balls at The Meatball Shop across the street) I still thought trying this ice cream was NOT an option. Trying to save myself from being sick, I opted for the ginger flavor… Ginger helps with digestion no? The problem was that my BF thought it was slightly bitter so we ended up adding fresh whipped cream on top. Kinda weird mix but it ended being just succulent! Their artisan ice cream is just really good! Hurry up because they sell out quickly!!! A plus? They serve Intelligentsia Coffee!

Different stores in NYC and Brooklyn plus various truck locations, check their website and Twitter to figure out where to find them! On our visit, they were parked on Bedford and N 7th.

N0.05 Bakeri in Williamsburg

Bakeri is cute yet grungy, simple yet different, earthy yet yummy. You kinda feel like time stands still when you’re there. Locals seem to appreciate the calm and cosy atmosphere. We had a chance to enjoy a lemon bar, spicy brownie, lavender shortbread cookie and apple tart. We also enjoyed a tea from their unique selection and my tangy Scarlet tea – a hibiscus and elderflower – flavored hot beverage just paired amazingly with the sweets! It’s also a good spot to enjoy a sandwich or savory treat like their daily focaccia or bread pudding.

Good to know: Their ”hidden” terrace in the back is an oasis/heaven on a sunny day. Go sit, munch on a sweet treat and enjoy the moment!

150 Wythe Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Enjoy Brooklyn and know we are jealous if you get to go before we do!

To continue our sweet discoveries in NYC here are our favorite spots in the following areas:

Soho/NoLita

No.01 Balthazar Bakery

Right next door to the classic Balthazar restaurant, the bakery is a mini heaven for bread lovers! Hop in and order one of their many amazing pastries or bread with a coffee to go and go pig out on one of the benches right outside. During spring time, try out the strawberry rhubarb galette made with caramelized rhubarb with fresh strawberries in a puff pastry shell! I promise some finger licking will follow!

80 Spring St
New York, NY

*After this sweet treat, cross the street and make sure to visit ! This cookware/cutlery/dinnerware/bakeware store is really lovely and carries quite a big selection of various foodie items and super cute party stuff! If you’re a freak like me, plan an hour for this one!

No.02 Rice to Riches

We hadn’t planned to visit this spot but when we walked in front, we were too intrigued to resist! Honestly it’s worth the detour just for the quirky tag lines you can read around the shop. If you’re into rice pudding it’s a plus I guess! On this visit, I tried the cheesecake flavor with a jam topping. It wasn’t bad but I have to admit I started feeling a bit sick after 2 bites. Next time, I would probably take a more basic (not as rich) flavor and maybe play more on the toppings. For me, Rice to Riches is all about the experience, perfect for tourists visiting town!

37 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

Lower East Side

No.03 Doughnut Plant

ALDOUGH* (pun intended) growing up I’ve never been a fan of Dunkin Donuts and donuts in general, I now have a new found passion for them! I was super excited to go visit the Doughnut Plant (even if it was under construction when we were there) so these are the flavors I tried for breakfast on our last day in the city: hazelnut (yeast), peanut butter glaze filled with blackberry jam (doughseed), crème brûlée (filled) and tres leches (cake doughnut). OMG those were orgasmic! We were fighting over the best one… my bf’s favorite was the crème brûlée whilst I loved the simplicity of the big comforting hazelnut but also really enjoyed the baked tres leches with more subtile flavors. Forget whatever we say and go judge for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

379 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002

No.04 Baby Cakes

Babycakes rocks because it offers Vegans a sweet dose of sugar but its offers much more with all-natural, organic and amazing alternatives free from the common allergens (wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs). In fact their cupcakes and cakes are sweetened with agave and you can pick in between gluten-free or spelt (dairy+egg+soy free). So if you or a loved one suffers from a lack of cupcakes or doughnuts due to some health restrictions this super cute bakery with a fifties flare with change your life! If you’re like me and you don’t have any restrictions, it’s always good to know the sweets are actually made with ingredients that are good for us!

248 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

Don’t be disappointed not to find Momofuku Milk Bar yet as we will be talking about their Brooklyn location in a few days! Come back for our Brooklyn sweet guide next week!

Unfortunately (although fortunately for my waist) here is a list of cool spots on our list that we didn’t have a chance to do this time: Doughboy Bake Shop, Crumbs Cake Shop, Almondine, Papabubble, Peels, Amy’s Bread and Levain Bakery.

Please let us know about YOUR favorite NYC sweet spots!

*And, YES,  by the end of the week-end we had a major overdose of sugar, canker sores, digestion problems, etc. but we loved every BITE of it!

During the next few weeks, we will share our favorite NYC sweet spots from our recent visit to the Big *caramelized* Apple. Going to New-York around Easter time is somehow of a family tradition. When we were younger our mom loved to take us down to NYC for the big Easter Parade, although I think it was more of an excuse to go shopping!

While we were going to NYC for the Sweet Paul food styling and photography workshop (an excuse of our own), we had a busy schedule of sweet addresses to visit. Here’s a wrap up of the places we visited on our first day in the Upper East Side:

No.01 Sprinkles CUPCAKES

While we were in NYC we tried a LOT of doughnuts and cupcakes but Sprinkles won our heart for the best cupcake. Why? Because their cupcakes stay simple yet sophisticated + fun with their trademark modern dots on top! Food Network says ”it’s the world’s first cupcake bakery”, the Hollywood stars LOVE them and they are recently making headlines for their world first cupcake ATM located right next to their flagship store in Beverly Hills – California, where it all started. Delicious cupcakes available 24h? Thank god I don’t live there! Their next move? Opening Sprinkles Ice Cream shop… looking forward to it.

The day I visited, I was tempted by many flavors but indulged in the strawberry cupcake made with pure strawberries, as suggested by the super sweet girls at the counter! The cupcakes let the beautiful ingredients speak for themselves; bittersweet Belgian chocolate, pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and fresh fruits just combine in amazing flavors. On top of it? We love that the store offers vegan & gluten free options, without forgetting doggie cupcakes!

*If you are in NYC April 6th to the 29th you can indulge for a good cause! By getting the Smore’s *charitable* cupcake by Blake Lively you will raise money for Oxfam. Sounds like a good reason to eat a cupcake to me! Then again, pretty much any reason is good to me but this one sure makes a difference!

Attention! The flavor menu is elaborate and the availabilities vary depending on the day. To make sure the one you want will be there visit their monthly menu .

780 Lexington Avenue, New York 10065

No.2 Magnolia Bakery

Some people only swear by their cupcakes others don’t like them… Although a lot of people I know ADORE them, I sadly belong to the second category. As you can see in the pictures, I opted for the red velvet cupcake – the one I heard was the best. The cake itself was moist and tasty but it is the icing that threw me off. Even though the opinions differ, Magnolia Bakery remains a NYC classic for traditional American desserts!

A very sweet man once told me ”if you got to Magnolia’s, go for their banana pudding” (layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding. YUM!). I totally second that good advice and will from now on eat that yummy gooey treat or maybe try one of their mini cheesecakes that also looked amazing!

You can’t get there quick enough? Magnolia now delivers nationwide (US only)! Visit their to place an order.

Flagship store:

401 Bleecker Street, New York 10014

*There are many locations in NYC, for further details visit their website.

No.03 Dylan’s Candy Bar

After two cupcakes – back to back – I went to candy heaven at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Surrounded by hyperactive kids, obviously on  a sugar high, I made my way through candyland. On the first floor I peaked at the different more traditional candies and stood drooling in front of the chocolate fountain. Then I went downstairs and got dizzy trying to take it all in! As every step I took was sweeter than the other, I found myself piling up sweet stuff in my basket: chocolate for Easter, old school candies, cute accessories and even sweet treats for the puppy! After spending (too much) of my money on candies, I went to see the 3rd  floor – a cafe / ice cream bar where families laughed off their sugar highs! Very cute.

For a good dose of sugar and bright colors, Dylan’s Candy store is THE PLACE to be. Walking through the store, you’ll automatically feel like a kid again and find yourself smiling around! Fun is guaranteed expect maybe if you go on a busy weekend where you may be overwhelmed by it all… (and the 5000+ kinds of candy in the store)!

Dylan’s Candy Bar was founded by Dylan Lauren (Ralph’s Lauren daughter) in 2001 in NYC! It’s now opening various locations through the US.

1011 Third Avenue, New York  10021

No.04 La Durée

Our last stop in the Upper East Side was at La Durée. Thank god we were already filled up with sugar and coffee as we had to wait over 45 minutes in line. The super small NYC store is pretty much always packed so be patient because it’s all worth it!

To be honest, I’ve never quite enjoyed macarons. I’ve desperately wanted to because I think they look so damn cute but somewhere in between the crunchy meringue and the sticky ganache they lost me. I had tried DOZENS of them but always felt deceived. Everything changed when I moved to London and had afternoon tea at La Durée. Their luscious macarons have since then made me salivate and kept me longing for more! Too bad the NYC location doesn’t have a cafe because the experience is much grater when you can savor them on the spot while sipping on one of their fine teas!

On this visit I had: caramel with salted butter, rose petals, coffee, lemon, pistachios and raspberry! My favorite one was the rose petals!!! Note: I suggest paying a bit more to get one of their beautiful boxes if you buy 6 or more. Keep the box  for you jewlery or cute stuff after :)

To resume, don’t go to the NYC La Durée for a cute experience or attentive service – just go for the best macarons in the world! Afterall La Durée has been around for more than 150 years, they just know how to make them!

*Although quite small, this location offers a space dedicated to their derived products such as candles, home fragrances, teas, jams and more! Their gifts are perfect for wedding or baby showers since they are so sweet & delicate.

864 Madison Avenue, New York 10021

That’s it for our first part! Keep posted for more sweet addresses in the big apple!