Padoca Bakery: The Brazilian-Israeli Fusion That is Captivating Manhattan's Upper East
In a corner of Manhattan’s Upper East Side stands Padoca Bakery, a multicultural pastry haven birthed from the talented hands of Brazilian-born Chef Marina Halpern and Jerusalem-raised Pastry Chef Rachel Binder. Ideal for the worldly New Yorker with an experimental palate, this charming bakery is much more than a hip coffee shop in the city’s chicest neighborhood, it is a passion project of two powerhouse women and a cultural melting pot within a young and trendy community.
Although quiet in its demeanor, Padoca Bakery creates an array of delightful bites that are both true to their roots and radical in their flavor. At first sight, this eclectic bistro looks like a modest Upper Manhattan cafe, but one bite, and all those first impressions are shattered. The richness and authenticity behind every fresh bite of the Chefs’ savory and sweet treats is a perfect mix between the deeply spiced flavors of Brazilian and Israeli cuisine and the refined excellence of European pastry.
From hearts of palm empadinhas and zucchini bread to açai bowls and freshly baked scones, Padoca’s delicious selection of baked goods offers a perfect mix of tradition and modernity that all carb-loving New Yorkers will love. When visit the adorable spot, we started our brunch meal off with a creamy cheese-filled brioche. The buttery deliciousness of this baked piece of heaven truly took our breath away. If our calorie-counting minds were nonexistent, we’d eat all these babies up in no time. Next, we tried an assorted platter of Empanadinhas featuring mushroom, chicken and hearts of palm. Unique, filled with flavor and like nothing we’ve ever experienced, these Brazilian goods are Padoca’s gourmet all-stars.
For dessert, we opted for the mega trendy Açai and Homemade Granola Bowl – because when in Rome, am I right? Surprisingly, it was extremely light, filling and delicious! Next we tried a few bites of the Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Babka, the Rocky Road Cookie and a wonderfully light Coconut Cake. This last sweet dish is a Halpern family recipe reimagined by Binder using a Moroccan basbousa recipe as inspiration, and striking the perfect balance between creamy coconut and subtle orange.
Named after the São Paulo word for “neighborhood bakery,” Padoca seeks to evoke the sense of comfort and familiarity of a go-to neighborhood staple by offering a selection of traditional Brazilian-Israeli baked goods with a modern American flair. Next time you visit, be sure to get a taste of the bakery’s infamous Romeo and Juliet Babka, a magical combination of sweet cheese and guava that will revive your taste buds and feed your soul.