With the pandemic in its second full swing, the annual pilgrimage to try the great donuts and sufganiyot (filled donuts) in Brooklyn was not without controversy. Some people refused to join the outing due to fear so we decided to take a different approach:
- only two people would make the trek- a parent and a teenager;
- we would go in the early morning before the crowds;
- only the teenager would enter the store in full hazmat attire;
- all donuts would be brought back to base for consumption and ratings
The approach allowed for a wide sampling of bakeries, principally focused on Borough Park and Flatbush. The bakeries are listed in order of our route in case people want to replicate the tour:
- Taam Eden Bakery, 4603 13th Ave
- Weiss Kosher Bakery, 5011 13th Ave
- Sesame – Boro Park, 5024 13th Ave
- Gobo’s Cafe, 5421 New Utrecht Ave
- Shloimy’s Bake Shoppe, 4712 16th Ave
- Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse, 1371 Coney Island Ave
- Isaac’s Bake Shop, 1419 Avenue J
- Ostrovitsky Bakery, 1124 Avenue J
- Presser’s Kosher Bagels and Bakery, 1720 Ave. M
- Patis Bakery, 1716 Ave. M
- Schreiber’s Homestyle Bakery, 3008 Ave. M
Yes, that’s eleven bakeries. We’re that committed (in a bad mental health way).
We didn’t actually buy sufganiyot at the eleven stores. Gobo’s, the number one bakery of 2019, was closed both times we drove by, as was Brooklyn Artisan Bakehouse. Patis Bakery still had not received their shipment from New Jersey when we arrived around 10:00am. That still left eight bakeries to review for Chanukah. If one includes the free donut we got from Rachel Berger, the Kosher Dinner Lady (top score on presentation for the cookies and cream), we more than hit our calorie quota.
In 2019, we got to Taam Eden last and the scores suffered due to our being well-sated and more than a tad over-sugared. We decided to start with that bakery in 2020 and hoped for a fresh assortment of interesting flavors. While they did have many unique flavors like Pina Colada, they weren’t always that good and the sugared toppings fell right off at first bite. Overall, they were also pretty flat and not puffy.
Weiss Kosher Bakery
Weiss is an all around favorite bakery in our family. Yoely was nice enough to give us a free donut too. Unfortunately, the shelves were pretty bare when we arrived at 8:40am, so we missed out on their amazing chocolate horns. The chocolate sufganiyot were good but a bit too sweet. The custard was nice, especially for a pareve one.
Sesame redoes the entire bakery just for Chanukah, and for good reason. The donuts are amazing. Full of rich flavor which is not too sweet with dough which has nice texture and flavor. I cannot believe how good the pistachio ones are. BTW, no masks in sight.
Shloimy’s Bake Shop
My teenage son was impressed by what he saw in Shloimy’s and came back with lots of choices. The taste varied. The salted caramel was simply not good while the cheese was very tasty and went perfectly with the texture and flavor of the dough.
Isaac’s Bake Shop
Isaac’s had the benefit of being the only bakery we visited where everything was fresh. We gobbled two onion bagels without any spread as we left the store – delicious. The sufganiyot we ate at home were non-complicated and tasty.
If you want something a bit more ornate and shall I say… Hungarian? – try Ostrovitsky. The chocolate rosemarie are tops in the pareve category with great flavor. The chocolate mousse is very light – perhaps a bit too much relative to the texture of the dough. The Napolean flavor was also quite good.
Presser’s has a lot more appetizing in the store than donuts. We picked up a couple anyway which were pretty good.
We always visit Schreiber’s to bring home a box of excellent lace cookies; hauling donuts is a plus. Skip the sufganiyot in the boxes in the front of the store and go to the back to select your own. This year we decided to try the dairy donuts – which run about $5 – quite a bit more than the pareve ones at around $2. There’s a reason. The dairy cheese and strawberry are remarkable. A must have.
Overall, none of the sufganiyot (other than Isaac’s) were fresh when we arrived. It felt like we were getting 6am baking at 9am. Sufganiyot don’t age well so we decided to try the other Sesame Bakery location in Flatbush to see if we could try one straight out of the oven. Unfortunately, it was packed at 11am and none of the baked goods were oven-fresh. We grabbed two and hit the road back home.
Below is a rating of the various spots. I would again put Sesame in the top category along with Schreiber’s dairy sufganiyot. Ostrovitsky’s got mixed reviews but I liked them.
We actually have a GoPro video of each store location. Subscribe to the blog and send a note and we’ll let you experience the shopping!
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