Hey, we’re not immune to the pull of a splashy new food trend (ahem, exhibit A), but sometimes you just can’t compete with a classic. Case in point: the kouign amann. Pronounced “queen ah-mahn,” the KA is a time-honored pastry hailing from the Brittany region of France…and it’s like the croissant’s sweeter, crunchier, more buttery sister. Fortunately for us, the pastry whisperers behind some of NYC’s best bakeries love it as much as we do.
The New (Old) Cronut You Need to Eat ASAP
This newer bakery and dessert bar is already drawing crowds for its impeccable baked goods—maybe because its chef, Rory McDonald, already has a few Michelin stars on his résumé. Along with the classic kouign amann, the pastry case includes a few surprising renditions, like lemon curd, black sesame and gianduja (aka Nutella).
20 W. 23rd St.; 929-423-8880 or patisseriechanson.com
Come for the Instagram-famous crullers, stay for the kouign amann at Union Square Café’s all-day spin-off. Pastry chef Daniel Álvarez infuses orange zest and vanilla bean into his version, which is light as a cloud (a crisp, sugar-edged cloud).
103 E. 19th St.; 212-488-1505 or dailyprovisionsnyc.com
Dominique Ansel Bakery & Dominique Ansel Kitchen
It might be sacrilegious to say, but the best thing at Dominique Ansel Bakery has never been the Cronut—it’s the DKA (Dominique’s kouign amann), although we wouldn’t say no to a Cronut if we got our paws on one. Fact: The DKA is the best seller at the bakery’s Soho, London and Tokyo shops. You can also find the Brown Sugar DKA, which has a rich, molasses-y flavor, at nearby Dominique Ansel Kitchen—where it's also available in ice-cream sandwich form.
189 Spring St.; 212-219-2773 or dominiqueansel.com
137 Seventh Ave. S.; 212-242-5111 or dominiqueanselkitchen.com
François Brunet, chef boulanger for Daniel Boulud's NYC restaurants, is a Brittany native, so you know these babies are the real deal. The addition of buckwheat (we tell ourselves this makes it healthier) adds extra texture and satisfying chewiness to this salty-sweet rendition. But you’ll have to wait for it: It makes its reappearance on the menu in September.
Multiple locations; epicerieboulud.com