Invited to a Thanksgiving dinner but don't have time to prepare something sweet? Why not bring a treat from one of these small-batch uptown bakers? From traditional fall pies to crowd-pleasing cookies, these desserts are a great way to support small business and share something made with love and pride. Listed in order from locations south to north:
1. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES FROM Levain BAKERY
If you're obsessed with chocolate chip cookies, then a visit to Levain Bakery is a must. Demand for their chunky, buttery treasures filled with ooey gooey bits of chocolate can be intense (there are other kinds of cookies too), but the Harlem location is thankfully much quieter than Levain's two outposts on the Upper West Side. Closed on Thanksgiving Day.
2. RUGELACH FROM Lee Lee's BAKED GOODS
Alvin Lee Smalls has been making his popular rugelach by hand in Harlem since the 1960s (and, yes, he's an African-American baker specializing in a traditionally Jewish dessert). Enter his homey, village-like storefront on 118th Street and you'll be greeted by tray upon tray of sweet crescents made with chocolate, raspberry and, his customers' hands-down favorite, apricot. Thanksgiving hours: 9am-noon.
3. PIE FROM THE Harlem Pie Man
The Harlem Pie Man started out as a street vendor on 125th Street twenty-odd years ago. Today his desserts are available at no less than the new Whole Foods in Harlem. From bean to sweet potato to pecan, there's a traditional Thanksgiving pie for every taste. Whole Foods Thanksgiving hours: 7am-4pm
4. "CHOCLO" Corn Cakes FROM Las Americas Bakery
The ladies who work behind the counter at this Dominican bakery call these flat corn cakes simply "choclo"–the name of a type of large corn from South America. Made with corn bits and cheese, the cakes are a denser take on the American corn muffin–and crispier on the outside too. They're definitely addictive–and also very filling. Thanksgiving hours: 6am-9pm
5. PIES FROM Sweet Chef Southern Style Bakery
The pies are the real draw at this 22-year-old storefront and bakery in Hamilton Heights. And although you can choose fruit-filled varieties like apple and three-berry, there's no better time than Thanksgiving to try the Yelp-approved sweet potato pie, as well as the pecan and pumpkin varieties. This dessert spot is open on Thanksgiving, but it opens late (11:30am) and will close early on the holiday, so call ahead.
6. CARRot CAKE FROM CARROT top PASTRIES
Spicy, sweet, dense, and rich with frosting–the carrot cake from this much-loved bakery with locations in Washington Heights and Inwood has legions of local fans. The cake comes in two sizes or in the form of cupcakes. Of course, if carrot cake's not your thing, there's also apple, sweet potato and pumpkin pie, plus rugelach in flavors ranging from chocolate to guava. Thanksgiving hours: 6am-9pm