I do not have a sweet tooth. I do like a candy bar or a piece of pastry every once in a while, but unless it’s really, really good, or totally different from the usual suspects, I prefer something more along the lines of cheese. However, when I do find something I love, then there is no stopping me. Eclairs have always been a go-to for me, because they have the possibility of being made in different variations, different fillings, different flavors. So, I went on a search for some of the best ones in New York City, and I came up with these five, I loved them all!
Well, this was an obvious choice with a name like that, and I can only say wow. Located on the Upper Eastside, they are a fresh looking bakery with a touch of French charm. Chef Stéphane Pourrez hails from France, studied at Ferrandi Culinary Arts, and brought his expertise to New York. Of course you can get all kinds of pastries and coffee here, but I zeroed in on the eclairs, and there were so many to choose from. It’s a long list, folks. I settled on Pistachio, Hazelnut and Cheesecake, just to go back and get a box of mini eclairs with assorted flavors to bring back to work. Which one was my favorite? I have no idea. I tasted so much of them, and yet I couldn’t decide. They’re honestly all amazing!
For more info on Eclair Bakery, click here
La Maison Du Chocolat
You guessed it, it’s the house of chocolate. Pastry Chef Nicolas Cloiseau spearheads this chocolate movement. He has won prestigious awards as a chocolatier in France, and also brought his invaluable talents to the Big Apple. This is a very much upscale establishment, and they have several locations in New York. They will also ship to chocolate lovers everywhere. I, of course, heard about their eclairs, and made a bee line straight to the counter upon my visit. My choices were the Caramel Eclair, and the Chocolate Eclair (they also have a coffee eclair, which I will most definitely go back for). These eclairs were very exquisite, decadent and masterful. Outright elegant. What a treat.
For more info on La Maison Du Chocolat click here
Veniero’s Pasticceria & Caffe
When I lived on the Lower Eastside in the 90’s, long before it was fashionable to do so, my go-to bakery for birthday cakes was Veniero’s on 11th Street. It’s a very traditional Italian bakery, but until this day it is still my favorite. EVERYTHING there is good. Of course I couldn’t leave this place out to try their eclairs. They are plump with a flaky pastry shell, the traditional vanilla custard filling is not overly sweet, chocolate is adorning the top. It’s a classic eclair, and it is additive nonetheless.
Please forgive the smudged tops, it was a 100 degree day in the city….
For more info on Veniero’s click here
Pommes Palais is located inside the Palace Hotel in midtown Manhattan, and is also pretty upscale. Chef Michel Richard ventured to New York from France, and perfected his craft here over decades. After an early stint in NYC, he was back at it at Pommes Palais to spoil us with his treats. Here, as well, you can indulge in a large assortment of breads, sandwiches, coffee, tea and pastries. The eclairs come in many variations, and they are ever changing. I bought a little assortment of chocolate, matcha, and hazelnut. I expected them to be amazing, and they were. Stop by to see their ever changing flavors, and be prepared to get hooked on them!
For more info on Pommes Palais click here
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Last, but most decidedly not least, Dominique Ansel is a James Beard Award winning pastry chef and is one of the most innovative and creative ones on our soil. He is famous for his Cronut (which is ridiculously good), but I came for the eclairs. Salted Caramel eclairs to be exact. They have been called the World’s Best, and while I haven’t tried all the eclairs in the world, I could definitely understand the title. The creamy caramel filling goes so well with the little dots of salt that adorns the pastry on top of the milk chocolate. It’s a treat, a reward, a must.
For more info on Dominique Ansel Bakery click here