We travel, beyond our usual rails, past the border of Long Island and hop onto the subway to reach a very special bakery that has been serving since 1934. We enter Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe in Ridgewood, Queens, pass under the blue awning and say hello to the obedient dog anxiously awaiting its owner’s return, as he sits tied to the door. To me, this is the sign of a neighborhood favorite, loved by man and beast and welcoming to all.
We are immediately engulfed in an aromatic bubble of sugar and butter. The glass display cases hold innumerable sweet options, each glance better than the next. We come specifically to try the crumb ring, on a recommendation by my husband who works in the area as a fireman. These rings, apparently, often come at a premium; firefighters arrive bright and early in hope of obtaining one of these well-loved treats.
We arrive mid-morning and manage to snag one of the last ones. The boys point to what they want, and repeat the pointing until they’ve just about pointed to everything in the beautifully stocked case. Their eyes and fingers dart faster than I can manage to compute. They rest their fingers on a colorful candy and chocolate covered pretzel and a small chocolate-covered marzipan leaf. I order two linzer tarts: one original and one sinfully delicious Nutella filled creation. We are hungry from our trip and can’t seem to stop ourselves from filling our plates with these and many more mouthwatering goodies. I am thankful that we order before the boys eye the old cake display case and want to try one of each. I am intrigued by what it contains and I believe, even more so, for its timeless beauty.
The shop has opened its doors, of recent, to tables and chairs, welcoming locals into a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. We see mothers feeding their babies while they nurse a cup of joe; customers use the free wifi, while one table plays host to a meeting of sorts. I love a place where the food is delicious and the feeling is immediate comfort for those away from their own kitchen tables.
Rudy’s has a full coffee and espresso bar as well as gelato. Do not miss their specialty coffee and beverage creations, including their homemade dark hot chocolate in the winter and their iced Nutella latte in the summer. Rudy’s manages to maintain its reputation as a well-loved German bakery and mainstay for the locals and all who visit to count on for their own mouthwatering favorites.