It’s no secret why the French are widely renowned for their food, especially their desserts.
Upon walking into our Washington Square Hotel, you’ll quickly notice the European-themed décor, particularly reminiscent of 1920s France. Even though our hotel restaurant offers an eclectic array of desserts, we don’t necessarily specialize in the type of French treats that can so easily be found in the surrounding area.
We would be happy to steer you toward the ‘cream of the crop’ of French desserts here in Greenwich Village. Not only will we clue you into a few local patisseries that take the craft of perfecting their desserts very seriously, but we’ll also share our favorite picks from each! If the weather is right, we suggest grabbing your treat of choice and heading to Washington Square Park to enjoy!
The owner of Mille-feuille started out as a software architect in Paris with a passion for baking. This passion led him to undertake professional training, and with the support of his family, he soon fulfilled his dream of opening this little shop in New York City.
There are now two other locations in the city, but the Village location at 552 Laguardia Place is the shop’s original address! They serve their coffee strong and offer a wide range of French pastry options including tarts, eclairs, macarons, and, of course, mille-feuille (a French puff pastry). However, it is typically the croissants (especially the almond) which earn the most passionate reviews.
This no-frills patisserie is a true local gem. A classic mom-and-pop shop, the French pastry chef, Claude, kept things simple and straightforward. Claude has recently retired, but his protégé, Pablo, has taken over and managed to maintain the same level of consistent, quality baking.
You’ll find the usual croissants, cookies, and eclairs at 187 West 4th Street. You’ll also find good coffee, as any French patisserie worth the title would naturally serve a bold French roast. If you can only try one thing, however, we suggest one of the fruit tarts.
This patisserie takes its name from a unique French pastry, a Merveilleux cake. The pastry chef, Frederic, started a baking apprenticeship at the young age of 14, and after luck, failure, and persistent creativity, he reinvented the Merveilleux– He’s been perfecting it ever since.
This shop is often considered one of the best in all of NYC, and we think it must be because of the seriousness with which they approach their personalized range of specialties. The only worry on your mind as you approach 37 8th Avenue should be whether you’ll order a Merveilleux or a brioche. We’ll make it easy for you: there is no wrong choice between the two.
4. Creperie NYC
112 MacDougal Street is the place for crêpes, savory and sweet. This family owned and operated business is dedicated to making delicious crêpes. Hava Spievak prides herself on the creative menu and is consistently rewarded with satisfied customers because of her dedication to quality—no matter what kind of crêpe it is.
The range of options for sweet crêpes include choices both fruity and chocolatey. It really is hard to choose, especially with the assortment of tantalizing add-ons. However, if we must make an official recommendation, we would have to suggest ‘The Famous Crepe,’ which includes strawberry, banana, Nutella, ice cream, and whipped cream— a perfect combination!
If a trip abroad isn’t on the horizon anytime soon, at least you can rest easy knowing that you can enjoy a taste of France right here in Greenwich Village, New York City, New York.