Sullivan Street Bakery (Facebook / @SullivanBakery)
533 W. 47th St. (map it!)
New York, NY 100
Open Mon-Sat, 7:30a-7p; Sun, 7:30a-4pm
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Date of Visit: Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
In the middle of a busy day of trekking all over Manhattan, we stopped for a mid-afternoon snack in Hell’s Kitchen. While doing our NYC research, we had come across multiple references to Sullivan Street Bakery, and the descriptions of their breads, rolls, pizzas, and pastries were simply too enticing to pass up.
We were at the perfect point in our day to enjoy a treat (or three or four) at Sullivan Street. We had had an early breakfast, strolled through Central Park, hit up the Garment District, and even traveled to the bottom of Manhattan to see the World Trade Center site. We wanted snacks (both sweet and savory), we wanted some caffeine, and we wanted a place to sit.
The front of the space is tall and bright, with a full wall of windows and one long, thin counter with four or five seats. You’re certainly not out of place sitting in the bakery, but I’m sure more of their business comes from takeaway or wholesale customers.
Ah, but enjoying a cup of coffee in the bakery allows you to gaze at (and eventually buy) the sweet and savory treats. We ordered some iced coffees and then began working our way through the menu.
On one plate, we started with the bomboloni (upper left) and a slice of fruit canotto. The bomboloni is a delicious little yeast donut filled with sweet vanilla cream. The fruit canotto is made with brioche dough, mascarpone, and seasonal fruit. It was layers of moist, crumbly, rich pastry. We got two.
And then we got savory. They had a selection of pizzas, each of which was sliced into generous portions and abundant in toppings. First up: the pizza funghi, covered in cremini mushrooms and onions. Earthy and salty.
Then there was the pizza patate, which was a little lighter than the mushroom pizza but still sang sweetly with the potatoes, onions, and herbs.
One of the real stand-outs – in a list of standouts – were the strecci, long toasted pieces embedded with different ingredients like garlic, olives, or tomatoes. They were simply delightful: light crust on top, seasoned with salt and herbs, with plump little tomatoes baked inside. After we took a bite, the rows and rows of them lined up on the shelves looked like some glorious nirvana to us.
Sullivan Street Bakery is a very worthy NYC stop, early or late in the day. Even though we watched a regular flow of customers stopping in and out, the overall vibe is still quiet and relaxing. The gang behind the counter is incredibly nice. They started laughing at me as I kept coming up to the counter to sample more strecci and canotto and pizza. But we loved everything we had, from the baked goods to the iced coffee. The bright, well-designed, delicious-smelling spot is a welcome respite in the middle of busy New York City.