Must-See Washington Heights
by Laura Kusnyer, 07/31/2013
Carrot Top Pastries. Photo: Alex Lopez
South Washington Heights: Carrot Top Pastries and More
Carrot Top Pastries is running out of room on the walls for all its awards and favorable press. This friendly spot—patrons frequently walk in and shout, "Hola, mi niña!" to a friend working the counter—is a feast for the eyes. Under the glass case up front, shoppers fawn over meticulously decorated half orbs of fluffy coconut cake, cheesecake topped with what are perhaps Manhattan's perkiest strawberries, velvety chocolate layer cake and, of course, carrot cake (a triple-layer cake runs $41.50). And don't forget the cannoli! Goodies like a pistachio cream version of the latter are on display, too. Plus, at 95 cents for a small cup, coffee comes cheap.
But if it's espresso you're after, head across the street to X Caffe, located in what was formerly the Audubon Ballroom. (The location is where Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965; the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center is also located inside.)