538 West 181st Street
New York, NY 10033
Open: Sunday-Saturday 6:00am-8:00pm
My review on TripAdvisor:
Esmeraldo Bakery is one of my ‘go-to’ spots when I am up in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan. This Dominican bakery is very popular in the neighborhood and is in the middle of the busy shopping district between Broadway and Audubon Avenue along the 181st Street corridor. It has the nicest selection of baked goods and hot and cold snacks to choose from. The one nice thing I love about the bakery is that almost everything is a dollar or around that.
The cases are full of delicious doughnuts, turnovers and pastries
I have been the bakery on many occasions and have had a chance to ‘munch’ through a lot of the pastries. The Chocolate and Vanilla topped doughnuts ($1.00) are light, fluffy and have a nice chewy consistency. Their Sugar Twist doughnuts ($1.00) are fluffy and rolled in lots of cinnamon sugar.
On a recent visit, I tried on of the their apple turnovers ($1.00) which was dredged in a honey topping and loaded with a sweet apple filling. When eating them you will need to wipe your hands a lot but it is worth it. On the same trip I tried one of their powder sugar topped cream horn ($1.00), which was loaded inside with a sweet cream and with every bite the horn came apart in my mouth.
The hot snacks and cakes are plentiful in the cases
There is also a selection of hot snacks as well. Their Cubanitos, which are a meat filled type of pie are excellent ($1.25). They are filled with a spicy ground meat filling that will warm you up on a cold day. Another delicious snack is their Relentos, ($1.25), which are a type of potato croquette that are filled with ground meat and are another snack that warms the body on a cool day.
There are also a variety of fruit filled turnovers, small pies and cakes, slices of pound cake and an assortment of cookies to choose from.
Be prepared though to speak some broken Spanish if you do not know the language fluently. Most of the ladies working behind the counter’s native tongue is Spanish but they are extremely nice and will guide you along with your selection.
After a trip into Esmeraldo Bakery, take some time to walk around the 181st Street shopping corridor. There are a lot of great shops and some excellent Dominican restaurants in the neighborhood. It was especially beautiful during the Christmas holiday season.