Mornings were made for warm fresh bread and steaming hot coffee. If you start your mornings on the Upper East Side, pop into Padoca Bakery for a fresh cup of java and any one of their tasty treats. Padoca is owned by Marina Halpern, a restaurant professional who has worked in some of the city’s finest kitchens.
She is joined in this endeavor by pastry chef Rachel Binder, who brings her love of food and creativity to Padoca. Located just a few blocks from Lincoln Center and Hunter University, the cozy bakery produces fresh baked goods daily. The menu isn’t limited to breakfast foods and sweets, the posh bakery also makes delicious sandwiches with their homemade bread. One of their signature items is the PDQ or Pao de Queijo, a savory gluten free Brazilian cheese bread. The PDQ is just one of several gluten-free options to try.
We ventured to the bakery on a very chilly Saturday morning for a quick brunch and found the space bright and airy despite the cold. The decor is minimal with soft light woods and pops of orange. For the kiddies or the young at heart, there’s an adorable swing seat in the rear. The swing is a highly coveted seat and a favorite for regulars we recommend getting there early or being very patient. For our brunch, we kept it simple with tasty breakfast sandwiches and steaming mugs of hot cocoa. The sandwiches were made fresh and served with side of crispy kale chips, which quickly became one our favorite new snacks. After our scrumptious breakfast sandwiches, we treated ourselves to an assortment of sweets; A cookie, a cake, and a muffin. The chocolate chip cookies are an absolute must, they were soft and fresh out the oven. For a less sweet treat, we highly recommend the olive oil and orange muffin. You can actually see the bright swirls of orange zest in these flavorful pastries. Lastly, we had to have a bite of the Bolo De Coco, an insanely moist coconut cake. The cake isn’t overly sweet or dense and has a light coconut flavor with a fluffy texture.
For your next craving or quick bite skip the fast food and drop by Padoca Bakery for something fresh and just as fast. Padoca Bakery also caters, so keep them in mind for your next celebration or event. Padoca Bakery is located 359 East 68th Street (at 1st Ave). (212) 300-4543, www.PadocaBakery.com.