New York City is known to be a melting pot of cultures. And because of this our city gets the best of many worlds, including sweets. The variety of sweets from different cultures you can find in New York City is enough to satisfy any world traveler until your next trip, or bring back nostalgia from a European trip past. Here at the Washington Square Hotel, we have a little European flare ourselves and we encourage guests of the hotel to take full advantage of sampling sweets, candies, and chocolates from Europe that are only a walk or taxi ride away.
So where can you find your favorite candies from European countries in New York City? While New York City is home to popular candy stores such as Dylan’s Candy Bar and Economy Candy, which offer a variety of candy from all over the world in one place, we’re also home to very specific shops offering sweets in an array of forms from your favorite European destinations. Below are six shops where you can find unique sweet treats from six different European countries.
243 Bleecker Street
Pasticceria Rocco is a dream for lovers of Italian sweets. The owner, Rocco Sr., made his way to the U.S. when he was only 16. He worked his way through the ranks of a bakery: from dishwasher to head pastry chef. Rocco bought this little shop in the West Village in 1974 and ran it with his family ever since. From cannoli to a large selection of traditional Italian cookies, such as almond crescents, red cherry drops and pistachio meringue, as well as biscotti, everything is still made from hand with the freshest ingredients. Buon Appetito!
665 5th Avenue
In the 1800s chocolate was not like we know it today—it was hard, and it was chewy. The melt-in-your-mouth, famous Lindt chocolate we know today took lots of time to discover and it might have even been an accident by the persistent Rodolphe Lindt. The Swiss are famous for their chocolate and Lindt has been building a reputation around the world for over 100 years. Luckily, for us New Yorker’s there’s a Lindt store right here in Manhattan on 5th Avenue. And even though you may be able to find the creamy chocolates in typical stores, the 5th Avenue shop is full of special flavors such as Irish cream and mango, bags to customize your own assortment, and a specialty chocolate section.
552 Laguardia Place
The owner of this authentic Pâtisserie française was originally a software engineer with a passion for baking. He took that passion and sought professional training as a pastry chef in Paris. Following the completion of his training, he and his wife moved to NYC to open Mille-Feuille. Oliver’s passion for baking shines through in all the handcrafted, classic French desserts you’ll find in this bakery—eclairs, tarts, Parisian flan, macarons, and the namesake mille-feuille.
Schaller & Weber
1654 2nd Avenue #1
Ferdinand Schaller, the Schaller of Schaller & Weber, started as an apprentice butcher in Stuttgart, Germany. He met Tony Weber when he came to New York City in 1937 and together they opened a local meat shop that would grow to be the go-to place for fresh cuts in NYC. Today, the shop is still known for its meats, however, it also stocks authentic German candies and chocolates such as gingerbread, spiced cookies, chocolate covered marzipan and hazelnut cookies. You’re sure to bump into German ex-pats at the counters every major holiday, as a stop by Schaller & Weber for some treats is a staple of their holiday traditions.
The United Kingdom
Myers of Keswick
634 Hudson Street
Peter Myers arrived in New York City in 1972 and never left. When his butcher shop in Keswick, United Kingdom closed, Peter’s father traveled to the U.S. to meet Peter’s daughter soon after she was born. During this visit, he started making traditional English pasties in Peter’s apartment, and from there Myers of Keswick came into existence. The shop now stocks all sorts of British goodies, from popular English candies such as Aero Chocolate, Cadbury’s Flake, Fry’s Turkish Delight, and Terry’s Chocolate Oranges to shortbread cookies, custards and creams, and mince pies.
89 Christopher Street
Little candies are an everyday part of Scandinavian life (there’s even a cultural tradition that every Saturday you can treat yourself to your favorite sweet treat). Sockerbit is a candy store that stocks nothing but Swedish candies. These Swedish candies are special because of their ingredients, which are high quality and free of GMOs. Traditional candies are usually colored by the ingredients found in nature and their taste reflect the fresh assortment of ingredients, which makes them unlike candies we usually think of here in the US. The candy categories range from sour, marshmallow, sweet, hard candy, chocolate, wrapped, and of course, licorice—from Lakritsbitar to Turkish Flaska and Smultronmatta.
We hope a smile finds your face and sweets fill your belly as you tour these European candy shops and bakeries that New York City has to offer. What is your favorite traditional European candy or treat? After a day touring the sweetest European shops in the city, you can look forward to returning to the Washington Square Hotel and relax in a cozy room, snuggle in under fresh covers, and nibble on your sweet purchases.