BESFREN

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Pastries. I love em. Like, a lot. I’ve tried them from lots of different countries and cultures. However, when it comes to Korean pastries, I really can’t say that I’ve had any. Korean savory food, of course, yes, and, I love it, but was unfamiliar with the Korean world of pastry. So, I needed to check out BESFREN in K-Town, NYC

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Along with their own in-house made classic Korean pastries, with a modern twist, you’ll find some classic pastry items like chocolate chip cookies, and items from local vendors.

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Now, these guys have been getting a lot of Insta-love for their Triple Chocolate Cookie, so, I had to see what all the hype was about. First off, it’s large and in charge, pretty much the only way I like my cookies. There are three variations of chocolate chunks, hence, the triple part. Now, the cookie is super delicious, but, I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s anything ground breaking, it tastes like a good chocolate chip cookie. What they got really right is the great consistency, the edges are slightly crisp, the center is soft and chewy, and the chocolate chunks are rich and melty. So, while it’s not the most unique thing there, for it’s size, at only $2.50, it’s certainly worth getting. 

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Then, I went with something more unique to the shop, I got their Jasmine Green Tea Roll Cake. Visually, it’s really pretty and definitely photogenic (because, in this age, if you didn’t take a picture of it, it never happened). The cake is super moist (terrible word) and somewhat spongy, with a light green tea flavor. The center is where you’ll get a much more rich and strong green tea flavor, with the consistency of a buttercream. All together, it’s lovely and delicious, and has a feeling of decadence, yet still light enough so that you can scarf down that mega cookie. 

The Shorts:
Name: BESFREN
Location: 315 5th Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes. It’s a great little spot to grab a coffee and pastry, with a hand full of cafe tables along floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Sweet treats and a view.
Would I recommend it? Yes. The items and flavors are unique, yet still very accessible, so it’s definitely worth a try. 

Breads Bakery

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You need air to breath, water to drink, and I need baked goods to eat. I hadn’t been yet, but when I started hearing a lot about Breads Bakery in Union Square, I couldn’t get there fast enough. 

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You walk in, and the aromas of fresh breads and baked goods hit you. When I went, they were sampling out a new item, their Poppy Seed Cake, and it was beyond delicious. So, at that point, I knew whatever I chose, I would probably love. 

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There’s a lot of buzz about their Chocolate Babka, so I decided to give that a try. Sweet baby babka. Ok, so, I’ve had babka before, but I’m not even going to waste key strokes on comparing them, because it isn’t worth any comparison. This was beyond delicious and incredible, maybe one of the best baked goods I’ve eaten…ever? Well, at least in a long time. Let’s put it this way, they say the loaf serves 4-6, but I ate the whole thing in one day. Don’t judge, you probably would too if you tried it (and probably have, if you’ve tried it).

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The babka can be cut, of course, but, I’m a savage and just went in with my hands, tearing pieces off. Since it has almost a braided effect, it rips off in perfect pieces. The outside is crisp, yet light, flakey and airy around the edges. The dough toward the center of the babka is buttery and totally melts in your mouth. Throughout the bread, you have swirls and light chunks of chocolate, rich and creamy and almost a little melty and soft, adding the best balance of chocolaty sweetness with the butteriness of the dough. All of this can simply be wrapped up into one word: Amazing! 

The Shorts:
Name: Breads Bakery
Location: 18 East 16th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? DUH! I had my eye on a few other items that I’ll definitely be back for.
Would I recommend it? Without a doubt. The store is inviting, the staff is very friendly and the baked goods are unreal. And, you can even order online and they’ll ship nationwide.