Dominique Ansel Bakery

photo by Nicole Franzen

Each morning, humans from around the globe descend on this Soho bakery and wait for hours for a taste of the Cronut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid invented by pastry wizard Dominique Ansel. We’ve witnessed enduring lines like this before (see: Shake Shack), and they’ve often been a harbinger of a global empire. For now, those lines are proof that the former Daniel pastry chef had it right: There was a lot of room for innovation in New York’s bakery game. Dominique Ansel Bakery opened in 2011 on that very premise, and Ansel quickly received accolades for his flaky, caramelized DKA (Dominique’s kouign-amann), his baked-to-order madeleines, and the pastries he’d turn out from the ovens all day long (as opposed to baking everything in the morning as is commonly done). The year 2013 launched Ansel into the stratosphere: After Cronut-mania, he added bolder creations to his menu, like the frozen s’more and the magic soufflé. Innovation here is extremely tasty, and we can’t wait to see what the bakery does next.