Long before Zak Stern opened up this bakery/café in Wynwood, he was already supplying many restaurants and hotels in the city with his delicious bread. It was only a matter of time before he opened up a storefront to sell directly to the public.
Zak the Baker is open Sundays to Fridays from 7am to 5pm (they are closed on Saturdays for the Sabbath) and the place is perpetually busy. We heard that waits can be 1+ hours on Sundays so we came during the week on a Tuesday at 10am and the place was rammed.
The majority of the space is actually the bakery, where they churn out all their goods, while a small portion of the front is carved out for the sit-down café. When you enter the space, you’ll be directed to either the ‘take-out’ line or the ‘eat-in’ line. If you’re eating in, you order at the cashier, you’ll get a number and they’ll bring the food to you when it’s ready.
Zak the Baker offers a wide selection of tempting pastries such as croissants, pain au chocolats, kouign amanns, loaves and cookies. They also offer savoury breakfast/lunch dishes including soups, sandwiches and toasts which change daily. Did I mention that everything here is Kosher? It certainly adds to their popularity.
To start, Mike and I shared a slice of Babka ($3.50). It was moist and overall, pretty tasty. I recommend a cup of coffee to accompany this treat. Chocolate babkas definitely aren’t a light snack! This was undoubtedly a great chocolate babka but I still think Breads Bakery in NYC has the edge here.
On the sweet side of things, we also shared a Cinnamon Roll ($3). It wasn’t my favourite but I’ll be honest, I prefer the heavier Cinnabon-type of rolls as opposed to these lighter, glazed varieties.
From the savoury menu, we ordered the Beet Toast - labne, feta, olive & za’atar ($7). The ingredients were served cold and I loved the brininess of the feta with the earthy beets. I could’ve easily wolfed down another serving of this. And I probably would’ve, if it wasn’t so pricey (those USD!).
The other savoury item we shared was the Breakfast Sandwich ($8) which consisted of an omelette, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, cheddar and avocado. I’m accustomed to having my breakfast sandwiches stuffed with protein (normally bacon) but surprisingly, I didn’t miss the meat at all. It was a damn good breakfast sandwich and the multi-grain bread was really something else!
With all their mouth-watering pastries out on display, it’s nearly an impossible feat leaving Zak the Baker without getting something to-go. We picked up a couple Rugelach for the plane ride home and we really regretted not buying more. They were hands down, the best rugelach we’ve ever had. They had a wonderful candied exterior with a soft, moist interior.
Overall, we had a nice experience at Zak the Baker. If you find yourself in the Wynwood neighbourhood, they are definitely worth a visit!
At a glance:
- Kosher bakery and café located in Wynwood
- Provides many restaurants/hotels in the city with bread
- Open 7am to 5pm daily except Saturdays (closed)
- Perpetually busy; long waits are common if you want to eat-in
- Savoury menu changes daily
- Highlights: beet toast, rugelach
Ratings (out of 5):
- Food: 3.5 stars
- Service: 3 stars
- Atmosphere: 3 stars