A few years ago I decided that I was officially a New Yorker. I decided this because I had learned how to do everything – find my MetroCard, send a text message, order take out, cook breakfast – one-handed, because the left hand has a coffee cup permanently attached to it. I am the first to admit that I’m a coffeeholic. As far as addictions go, it could be worse, but still. The amount of coffee I (and most New Yorkers) consume is just ludicrous. I have a coffee in front of me right now while I write this. It seems that each neighborhood in Manhattan has a few options for coffee. Huge chains, like Starbucks, and smaller indie coffee shops.
Padoca Bakery, located on the corner of E68th Street and 1st Ave, is a beautiful example of an independent coffee shop and bakery, in a neighborhood that needed such a place. When you walk in, there’s a board featuring a large selection of coffee drinks (I tried a latte and it was delicious, with perfect foam art, which I’m super jealous of because I’ve never once been able to make foam art), and a long glass case with the most amazing looking baked goods. The coffee program includes a medium roast from Nobletree Coffee, which is a Brooklyn-based company (and therefore perfect for an indie coffee place!) The pastries in the case range from traditional Brazilian goods to American specialties, with Israeli influenced flavors. The décor is bright and cheerful, with a teapot lights fixture, and a magazine rack made out of rolling pins (which was adorable and I wanted to steal for my kitchen).
I first tried the PDQ, which stands for Pão de Queijo – a Brazilian cheese bread. It was delicious, with a crunchy outside and soft and chewy inside. Alone, it was awesome, but I was thrilled when I realized the sandwiches were made with this bread. (Because I’m pretty sure that cheese improves everything.) Flavorful and amazing. I also tried the Mushroom Empadinhas, which was a flaky crunchy pastry on the outside and oniony mushrooms on the inside. I LOVE mushrooms, so this was perfect!
These were followed by the sweets. Oh man. The sweets. For the chocolate lover (who isn’t?) there was a Rocky Road Cookie. Super soft and chocolate-y, with house made marshmallows and crunchy pecans. Then there was a personal sized Coconut Cake – covered in shaved coconut and lemony tasting, it’s absolutely perfect for someone like me, who prefers less sweet dessert. (Not ashamed to admit that I wolfed this down in probably under a minute. No regrets.) And for those of us who, like me, love fall treats, there was a delicious Cranberry Pumpkin Bread. It was savory and sweet at once, with delightful tartness from the berries.
Whether you want to stop in for a quick coffee, or have a treat to go along with it, if you’re in the mid-to-upper East side, Padoca Bakery is the place to go.
For more pictures from my time there, visit my Instagram @whitneygentile or use the hashtag #manhattandigest. And for all things Padoca Bakery, check out their official site. Happy eating!