Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Where to Get Rugelach in New York City

Rugelach is a small, cookie-sized pastry that originated in the Eastern European Jewish community. The word rugelach is Yiddish and means "little twists". There are a number of different varieties, but all feature some kind of dough rolled around a filling. Commonly used doughs include shortbreads that contain sour cream (and more recently in the US, cream cheese) and yeasted doughs that require proofing. The most common fillings I encountered were raspberry, chocolate, apricot, raisin, and cinnamon. Other, less common fillings included: poppy, vanilla, mixed seeds and nuts and Nutella.

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[Photographs: Niko Triantafillou]

Breads Bakery might have the most satisfying product among the favorites. They use a delicious, buttery, laminated (croissant) dough along with dark chocolate and cocoa powder

Interestingly, in Israel, where every single deli, supermarket or food shop sells rugelach, "about eighty percent of the places sell chocolate rugelach [with no nuts]" says Uri Scheft, a master baker who grew up in Israel and Denmark and now oversees the baking operations at Breads Bakery. Scheft also noted that in New York, few bakeries use yeasted doughs (that require proofing) or roll individual pieces of rugelach because it's so labor intensive and time consuming.

Things to keep in mind: New York City's rugelach offerings are as diverse as the city itself. Read the descriptions and tasting notes in the slideshow to determine the best match for your palate. For example, Lee Lee's and Breads Bakery both offer fantastic chocolate rugelach but they couldn't be more different.

Roogla Raspberry

Cobble Hill's Roogla was new to me and definitely one of the finds of this feature with more than nine unique flavors, including savory options. They bake their rugelach continuously throughout the day and their prices are well below average.

I developed the list of bakeries to review using recommendations from bakers, pastry chefs, and from social media and review sites like Yelp. Did I get to all of the places I wanted to? No, not even close. But Thanksgivukkah was fast approaching.

I only included rugelach that were made fresh every day and sold by the piece or 1/4 pound. I didn't include any pre-packed products. I based my recommendations on three factors: freshness, crust or dough texture, and the quality of the filling.

However, after visiting fourteen different bakeries and trying over forty different varieties of rugelach, I found some real gems. At least eight of the fourteen selected bakeries had an outstanding product worthy of a special trip. The remaining six can also be considered "recommended", and may even turn out to be favorites for some, depending on your tastes. I also noted a few reservations with some of the shops. Click through the slideshow above to learn more.

The rugelach

Du Jour Bakery
Breads Bakery
Erica's
Russ & Daughters
Lee Lee's Baked Goods
Zabar's
Zucker Bakery
Orwasher's Bakery
Roogla
Margaret Palca Bakes
William Greenberg
Birdbath Bakery
Dishes
Fairway

About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. You can follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.

related venues
Breads Bakery 18 E 16th St, New York, NY
Du Jour Bakery 365 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Zucker Bakery 433 E 9th St, New York, NY
Fairway Market 240 E 86th St, New York, NY
Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery 37 3rd Ave, New York, NY
Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery 160 Prince St, New York, NY
Dishes 42nd St & Park Ave, New York, NY
Orwasher's Bakery 308 E 78th St, New York, NY
Joe 9 E 13th St, New York, NY
Margaret Palca Bakes 191 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY
Dishes 6 E 45th St, New York, NY
Dishes 399 Park Ave, New York, NY
William Greenberg Desserts 1100 Madison Ave, New York, NY
Russ & Daughters 179 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002
Zabar's 2245 Broadway, New York, NY
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