Ask any foodie about New York and you'll know that we have the best bread they've ever had. Local restaurants often boast that they have bread baked from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, and with good reason. I myself have lived in New Orleans, Austin, Rochester, Philadelphia, Boston and Maryland and appreciated the local offerings (New Orleans has some of the best food in the world!) but always measured bread against the bread from home. While Arthur Avenue bread and rolls are the world standard in my view, Ossining bakery is right up there.
Among my fondest childhood memories is when I would go with my father to Ossining Bakery after Sunday mass. He'd stand at the counter with his fedora hat and horn rimmed glasses, smile at the counter person, and order 12 hard rolls as we called them. Delicious crust, soft savory inside. If he was in a good mood we might get some doughnuts, and then we'd go home, Mom would cook hard boiled eggs, and we'd watch Abbott and Costello or the Bowery Boys on channel 11. I can't eat a good roll and not go back in time.
Ossining Bakery is a regular guy place- nothing fancy, baking is done on premesis, and the interior is exactly the same as it was when I was a kid- devoid of pretense, glass counter with the baked goods, a few tables, and self serve coffee. If it were a restaurant, it ould have red and white table coths and folding chairs but always be crowded. Anthony, the current owner, bought it 12 years ago from the folks who ran it for the prior 30 years, and the continuity in both presentation and quality remain.
Rolls and basic pastries are their pride and joy- you can expect about half a dozen differen types of doughnuts along with crullers, turnovers, and cookies. And the rolls are the best in Westchester, period. They go great with butter, tomato sauce, or soup. They make everything taste better. I eat them alone- they are that good.
Don't expect flowery cakes that looked like they were made by a confectionary Rembrandt. It's not that kind of place. They do the basics, they do it well, and that's why it has been an instuitution for decades. I hope they never change.
I've actually met with people for coffee here, and, and will again just for the aroma of the next batch of greatness wafting from the ovens.
50 North Highland Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562