by Michael Hsu, 01/28/2014 [Updated 02/04/2015]
Tai Pan Bakery. Photo: Alexander Thompson
Tai Pan Bakery
37-25 Main St., 718-888-1111
42-05B Main St. 718-460-8787
156-24 Northern Blvd., 718-961-0404
136-17 39th Ave., 718-713-0404
One of Flushing's most popular mega-bakeries, Tai Pan feels like a cross between a café and a food court. Its two locations, about eight blocks apart on one of the neighborhood's busiest streets, can be packed during peak hours, so be prepared to squeeze in tight with the locals at one of the no-frills stainless-steel tables. In addition to a variety of classic Chinese sweets (egg custards and super-airy sponge cakes), Tai Pan serves savory fare, like pork buns and curry beef pies. The drinks menu is extensive and includes, of course, bubble milk teas in a range of flavors and blended fruit drinks. The Korean-owned Paris Baguette has a French theme (the staff wear black-and-white-striped shirts and berets) and classic patisserie offerings like croissants, fruit tarts and macarons, but its true specialty are East-meets-West sweets, like green-tea cakes topped with blueberries, black-sesame lattes and a creamy, panna-cotta-like royal milk pudding.