Best Dessert: Bennison’s Bakery

Aviva Bechky, Assistant City Editor

From the outside, Bennison’s Bakery looks timeless. The burgundy awning and ‘BAKERY’ sign, edged with lightbulbs like a movie theater billboard, makes the storefront feel like a fixture of the community. Inside, it gives off the same air of reassuring permanence with a side of sugar and butter.

Founded in 1938, Bennison’s was passed from Larry Bennison to Guy Downer in 1967. Three generations of Downers have worked in the store. I’ll admit, I’m much newer to the bakery. I’ve only been twice, but the store’s dizzying array of treats all but ensures I’ll return. I made plans to meet with a friend there once and then spent a solid half hour salivating over their website at about 1 a.m. that night.

When you walk in, miniature cookies line shelves near the door. Lusciously decorated cakes sit one case over. The croissants are crisp, buttery and often sold out. Paczki, Polish donuts traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday, contain fillings in flavors ranging from apricot to chocolate praline.

Once you’re inside, you can browse the pastries, forget about the week you’ve had and devote yourself to choosing between a plum- or cheese-flavored paczki for a brief moment of bliss.

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