Six years after its opening, Dominique Ansel Bakery still has a line outside its doors – But not for the Cronut

About six years ago, foodies – New Yorkers and tourists alike – were bedazzled by the taste and photogenic appeal of the Cronut when it was introduced by Dominique Ansel Bakery in 2014. The shop, the lines, the cronut went viral and the line formed as early as 6 a.m. Today, the croissant with a donut exterior sustains some of its hype but the shop’s savvy owners have come up with a new product: the DKA, a small caramelized croissant with brown sugar. 

The Instagram-famous Cronut was famous for the taste of its cream filling, the freshness of its smell, the variety of its flavors and the elegance of its decoration. Today, there is still a line for Cronuts in front of the store but it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to get inside.

The lines are shorter partly because Dunkin Donuts offers a $2.49 “croissant donuts” versions of the $6 Cronut and partly because the original Cronuts are now available online, where customers can buy six pastries at once as opposed to the two-units limit in the store.  

Among those who waited in line on a sunny New York afternoon were kids impatient for their desserts, girlfriends already taking pictures for Instagram and tourists checking off another item from their bucket lists. They were all first timers and were disappointed to find a sign inside saying: “Cronuts Sold Out for Today.” 

Apparently, limited production and high demand is what sustains the line: “It takes three days to make a Cronut, so our daily production is limited to 500 items, and they are sold out before 12 p.m. everyday” said Khalid Sirjue, who works as a waiter.

In response to the continued demand—and as a marketing strategy to keep customer coming in the afternoon after cronuts are sold out—Cronut inventor French Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel created Dominique’s Kouign Amann, (DKA). The small Cronut-shaped pastry attracts regulars as well as newbies who can’t get a Cronut fix.

The bakery got so popular that it hires greeters to tell people that the line to enter the store starts outside. The interior is quite simple and the pastries speak for themselves. Seating is available inside, starting from the register all the way back towards the open kitchen, and at the terrace where a floral wall serves as a designated Instagram spot.

Marcelle Danza of Florida was waiting on line one recent early afternoon, sadly too late. “It is kind of devastating that they are sold out but the other options are just as great,” she said, as she took a bite of her DKA.

Dominique Ansel Bakery is no stranger to special occasions with its unique pastries: “It is my birthday today and my boyfriend decided to take me here,” said Kinjal Patel, who blew out the candle on her stack of DKA’s. “I’d prefer this over a traditional birthday cake every day,” she said.


Craving Chocolate? I Got You Covered!

Wherever you are reading this from and whenever you are reading it, there is at least one commonality: a shared demand for satisfying our ‘chocolate-tooth’ and let’s face it, what better place to do so than New York?

NYC is known for its myriad alternatives for everything and desserts that specialize in a chocolate overload certainly is no exception; whatever it is your sweet tooth wants to indulge in, ‘the’ city definitely has locations to offer it. In order to make it easier for you to spot exactly where you want to go, below are three of my favorite spots for special chocolate cures. These by no means are the only options but rather the ones that I have had the pleasure of exploring thus far in my journey of Becoming A New Yorker so stay tuned for more recommendations to come!

  • Levain Bakery: A New York classic that probably enriches your Instagram search feed with convenient locations at 167 W 74th St and 1484 Third Ave, Levain is accessible enough to satisfy your most insatiable cravings, yet distant enough to not become a daily habit that will eventually destroy your health. When you get an ideal dose of Levain products in your life, your routine surely will get more exciting and your seratonin levels will immediately skyrocket.           fullsizeoutput_3ed.jpeg                               (@Levain Bakery, NYC)

What Should You Eat?

Whether you are a cookie monster or just an outsider to the concept, you MUST try out Levain’s prominent cookies which come in 4 options including but not limited to Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip flavors, the latter being my absolute favorite. The names may sound rather ordinary but I promise the taste is by no means close to ‘ordinary.’

Another amazing item in their menu is their blueberry muffin which can be paired to perfection with an Iced latte for breakfast!

  • Blue Stripes Cacao Shop: A less popular dessert spot that bears great potential of becoming a true cholate lover’s best friend. Conveniently located at 28 E 13th St both for Parsons and NYU students, this coffe-shop exteriored chocolate-everything provider is attractive mainly for the wide and creative selection of products it offers.

What Should You Eat/ Drink?

Unlike me, you might want to switch your regular choice of Iced Americano because Blue Stripes offers Chocolate Clouds which happen to be drinkable chocolate mousse on tap! In case that didnt convince you already, you are given the options of ‘molten milk, Nutella foam, and ruby floral’ to choose from. If you claim to have an adventurous personality and are up for a challenge, their menu has weird items ranging from Cacoa Froot Beer to Spinach Bowl with Cacao Fruit.

(@Blue Stripes, NYC)

If you are just up for a fulfilling chocolate indulgence, however, I strongly recommend their ‘Famous Chocolate Pizza’ or ‘Build Your Own Turtle Kreamz’ option where you choose a base of soft serve chocolate ganache or vanilla bean and add toppings including but not limited to chocolate shells, salted caramel, berries, and honey peanuts. They have a lot to offer so you are encouraged to check it out in person.

  • Max Brenner: No matter how intense your chocolate cravings get, Max Brenner, located at 841 Broadway is where you are guarenteed to find a solution. This dessert spot doubles as an actual restaurant so you might want to reserve a table in advance to avoid any waiting durations. *Disclaimer: Their portions are giant and desserts are not the slightest bit of healthy so make sure this addictive location doesn’t become more than a rare cause for treating yourself.*

What Should You Eat?

Now, to the fun part, my favorite menu item is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet topped with vanilla ice cream. Their signature items include sweet pizza options such as Cookies and Cream, Brownie, and Peanut Butter, with toppings like toasted marshmellows. You can also opt for their ‘Chocolate Mess to Share’ which is a chocolate-y surprise for those who want an unordinary and exciting treat. For classic advocates, my recommendation would either be the ‘Chocolate Fondue for Two’ or the Belgian Waffle which is tied with the ‘Banana Praline Crepes.’ Pro Hack: Be extra and order a chocolate syringe which will completely change your perspective towards vaccination.

I hope these chocolate-intensive dessert shop recommendations will help resolve your next sweet tooth craving! More advice is yet to come as I continue my process of Becoming A New Yorker:)

Until then, stay happy and enjoy chocolate!

Best, Yaprak