Must-See Hell's Kitchen
by David Sokol, 07/08/2014 [Updated 12/29/2015]
Amy's Bread. Photo: Will Steacy
Hell's Kitchen delights travelers and attends to thousands of permanent residents simultaneously. This diversity is reflected in its menu, with Restaurant Row institutions and trending restaurants standing cheek by jowl with spice markets and butchers. Both locals and visitors converge in the neighborhood's bakeries, because who doesn't benefit from a good cup of daybreak coffee?
Indeed, morning is the best time of day to queue up outside Amy's Bread, because the carrot cake and other justifiably legendary pastries from this organic haven sell out quickly; sandwiches and assorted savories are available for afternoon snackers. For a different taste of fame, try Donna Bell's Bake Shop, NCIS star Pauley Perrette's homage to her Southern upbringing. Neighborhood veteran Cupcake Café, near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, is a labyrinthine space offering up any number of places to hide with a newspaper and a steaming cup. The twists and turns of this den also are lined with signature cupcakes gathered in vitrines—their Technicolor flowers made from buttercream icing look like so many denizens of a Dutch greenhouse.