In my never ending quest to discover the best that New York has to offer, it took me all of 3 days after reading about Arcade Bakery located in the HALLWAY OF AN OFFICE BUILDING IN LOWER MANHATTAN to actually visit it. The fact that it was located in one of the most inconspicuous and unlikely bakery locations in the city is what initially sold me on it (I love places that feel secret and known only to me). But then I read about the bread (dreamy baguettes and fresh pizza) and despite my best intentions to avoid carbs the week before my wedding, I may have visited 4 days before I walked down the aisle to stuff my face with bread and carmel apple brioche (will power isn't my think nor is sacrificing for the sake of my vanity, if there is anything that will help you survive your wedding, it's not depriving yourself of fluffy, warm bread).
I have since been back twice and intend to visit again tomorrow and if that isn't any indication that it's some of the best bread in the city, then maybe the below descriptions of (some of) their offerings will sell you on it.
Stollen - I stuffed this in my face as I walked to meet one of my girlfriends for lunch at Locanda Verde. My intention was to only have a small bite (I was about to go to lunch!) but a small bite turned into the whole thing and #sorrynotsorry. Some people love stollen, others hate it (and prefer panettone) but I fall somewhere in the middle. Some are good, some are BAD, and others like this one are so ethereal that you will happily spend the rest of the day walking around New York with a trail of powdered sugar down the front of your coat. Sweet but not absurdly so, chock-full of the best dried fruit, and a decent amount of almond flavoring, it's tender and perfect. I am wishing I had a piece right now.
Chocolate Almond Croissant - Tyler and I share a chocolate almond croissant practically every Saturday morning. It's our weekly ritual and I love it almost as much as I love him. The croissants from our neighborhood bread shop are good and I love them because of the nostalgia I associate with our ritual but the chocolate almond croissant at Arcade is INSANE. This is no light and dainty croissant. It's full of almond and chocolate and encased in the flakiest of all croissant shells. I am smitten, obsessed, and waking up early to get one before work tomorrow.
Chocolate Bread - I don't know if dessert toast is a thing, but if it was I would only want it served on this bread. A cocoa based bread is filled with chunks of dried cherries and oranges and more chocolate. It's decadent but not so heavy that you feel as if you are going to die. I like it served with nutella and cherry jam (yes I am a glutton) but a swipe of salted butter would be epic. And if you have any left MAKE BREAD PUDDING. You can thank me later (recipe coming soon!).
Caramel Apple Brioche - I think the picture says just about everything, don't you? (If not - caramel apples are nestled in homemade puff pastry - sweet, tart, flaky, deliciousness.)
So yeah. It's that good and I suggest going as soon as you can.
(If you are lucky (due to it's proximity to City Hall), you may catch a couple celebrating their marriage. And while I loved our wedding, I would have been pretty happy to have it be the 2 of us at City Hall and a couple of chocolate almond croissants and a coffee to celebrate. Especially one of THOSE croissants.)