Dominique Ansel Bakery – The cronut and other delicious baked goods
The Dominique Ansel Bakery is probably best and in some cases only known for being the place that sells the Cronut, which is not a bad distinction considering that over 100 people wait in line before the store opens just to sample this tasty baked good. The bakery has only been around since 2011 and the Cronut has only been around since 2013 and been selling out pretty much every day since. There are few right of passage food experiences quite like waiting in line for a Cronut. Having done it on a Sunday morning makes me uniquely qualified to discuss the experience and hopefully guide those who also want to partake in this culinary initiation. As there are two types of people in New York City these days, those who have eaten the Cronut and those who haven’t.
Here is a quick breakdown of my experience when waiting in line for a Cronut:
Sunday the bakery opens at 9am instead of 8am on all other days so we decided to arrive at 7am to ensure that if we were waiting in line, we were going to get a Cronut. When we did arrive we were somewhere around 15th in line so we knew we were not going to be denied. At 8am there might have been around 50-75 people in line so definitely enough space for several more people to join in line… they did have a worker there who keeps the peace and counts the line to make sure those waiting are not going to be leaving empty handed. At 9am sharp, the doors opened and they let between 15-20 people in the bakery to wait in another line to get the Cronut. As we were in the first group we were immediately ushered in and about 20 minutes later we had the Cronut in hand. Each person is only allowed to purchase two at a time at $5 a peice but that is more than enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. Those at the end of the line probably had to wait another 1-2 hours but I can’t be for certain. In the end, the total wait for me was between 2-2.5 hours.
So what is a Cronut? The pasty is made by frying a laminated dough in grape seed oil and then adding sugars, filling, and the glaze on top.. so its a hybrid donut/croissant. It seems rather simple to create but if you go to the website to see how it is made, the bakery claims that the entire process actually takes 3 days to complete. Yet the most important question to ask about the Cronut and the one I have gotten most often has been, “Is the wait in line worth it?”. The answer is an unwavering yes, the wait was definitely worth it. Although the next sentence out of my mouth is that I will won’t be waiting in another 2 hour line for a Cronut. The experience of waiting with friends for probably the most delicious pastry I have ever eaten was well worth waking up a few hours earlier but will only happen once.
New Yorker Tip: If you aren’t interested in waiting in line for the Cronut, you can show up at any point and purchase anything else on the bakery menu. This includes the HDK which is a mix of croissant/muffin and is amazing. You really can’t go wrong with any of the baked goods sold here.