Like muffins, New York City scones are a great excuse to eat cake for breakfast. Or, depending on where you get them, to eat cookies in the morning. Or, basically, to have dessert any damn time of day you want. We have an especially wide array of different types here in the city as New York is truly the Madagascar of scones. Anywho, here is my list of 12 recommended scones.
I’ll start with my favorite scone, the raisin scone from Payard. [Payard is closed, try Francois Chocolate Bar for pastry- no scones or bread to date 3-1-2010] A very thin crisp shell with a sweet soft Challah-like inside. The aroma of the center of this scone is one of the great food pleasures for $1.50. Notes: Go early or they won’t have any left. More on Payard.
The Maple scones from Blue Ribbon Bakery are almost like shortbread cookies. They are very small, sweet and flavorful with a thin layer of frosting. Perfect if you are not in the mood for a full-on bread bomb. More desserts from Blue Ribbon.
The goat cheese and herb savory scone from Clinton Street Baking Company has a thick, crunchy, textured crust and a very salty and flavorful inside. This is a big scone that is fun to eat in the same way ripping off pieces of French bread is. More Clinton Street Desserts.
Perhaps I should not have included the tiny savory biscuit-like scone from Dovetail since it’s only available with their delicious brunch. However, it left an impression on me so I felt it deserved a spot. Chewy on the edges like a buttery chocolate chip cookie but 100% savory almost like a cornmeal grain, butter rich biscuit that’s been cooked on a griddle. More from DessertBuzz 5-star Dovetail.
The savory bacon cheddar scone from Bouchon is a highly textured and flavorful creation worthy of the Bouchon name. More like a small specialty bread, this scone is not at all crumbly or buttery. Notes: You must go early to get these as they can be dry if you get them in the afternoon. Check with the staff if you go after 12:00 to see when it was baked. Also for god sakes, get a pastry here if you go.
The chocolate strawberry scone from Alice’s Tea Cup packs tons of delicious dark chocolate and fresh strawberries. Their crust is thick and the inside reminds me of buttermilk pancakes with starwberries and chocolate. They are the biggest scones and most filling in this feature. Perfect for fueling up for a long walk around Central Park. Notes: ask for a hot one. It simply DESTROYS! More from Alice’s Tea Cup.
The chocolate scone from E.A.T. definitely has some croissant in its bloodlines. Very buttery, light and flaky (um, like the inside of a good croissant?). This is the opposite of the dense Clinton St. or Alice’s Tea Cup scones. Notes: The dark chocolate in this scone is simply outstanding. More from E.A.T.
The organic cranberry scone from Le Pain Quotidien is like a muffin but with an interesting glazed soft exterior that makes it stand out. The tart cranberries and low sugar content also keep this from becoming too sweet. Notes: if you like your scones to be very distinctive from muffins you might not like this scone. More dessert from Le Pain Quotidien.
Forget the name of the scone I am going to describe here and just go buy one and enjoy it. The vegan (yes vegan) chocolate chip scone from Whole Foods is really just a big thick less dense chocolate chip cookie that you can eat for breakfast. It has coconut inside and some other great textures to go along with excellent dark chocolate chips and a crunchy crust, all for $1.79. Notes: I said forget it’s vegan! More Whole Foods here.
The currant scone from Bouley Bakery is a work of baking and culinary art. The cookie-like exterior is not buttery but is perfectly browned. The inside is crumbly and not too sweet. Like a less-sweet, less buttery slightly more dense shortbread cookie. Notes: Try some other items while you are down there – almost everything is superb.
No review on New York City scones would be complete without the monster offering from the Levain Bakery. A thin but crispy exterior layer and a super buttery smooth interior. When hot, these scones are hard to beat in the more traditional category. Notes: Monster size means you won’t need more food for hours. Pair it with one of their world famous cookies and you could feed the entire Army Core of Engineers. More Levain.
Honorable mention goes to the Street Sweets Truck oat currant scone. Very textured, flavorful and extremely fresh, this is a perfect morning scone to go with your coffee. Cake-like although not particularly scone-like in texture, you couldn’tt eat it as a stand alone dessert. One to try if you can figure out where the truck is parked. Try Midtown Lunch to see where their spot is.