Sweet Treats: The Best of NYC Bakeries
by Julie Besonen, 12/18/2013
Caramel tarts. Photo: Felipe Coronado
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Francois Payard Bakery
Various locations, 212-995-0888 (Greenwich Village branch)
François Payard's realm stretches from several New York City outposts to branches in Las Vegas, Japan and Korea. Somehow the tireless pastry chef manages to maintain quality control, his soft, airy, pretty macarons meticulous, his croissants flaky and fresh. If it's a hostess gift or stocking stuffer you're after, consider some of his signature satiny praline truffles, candy-coated macadamia nut givrettes or scrumptious hot chocolate made with 72% dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla. His smartly mapped out locations—Upper East Side, The Plaza Food Hall, Battery Park City, Greenwich Village, Columbus Circle—offer seating and are also good for light lunches and coffee breaks.