Francois Payard Bakery
116 West Houston St.
at Sullivan Street
Francois Payard sells classic and rustic French pastries, tarts and breads at a small storefront on Houston Street in SoHo. The shop fronts his professional pastry kitchen that makes sweets for other specialty shops and restaurants.
What's great: Classic baguettes, flawless lemon tarts, fruit desserts, and heavenly chocolate pastries, made from traditional and classic recipes, including some from Mr. Payard's French childhood. Some items can be ordered online.
What to know: There are small tables where you can have a coffee and pastry or a sandwich. Sandwiches, made on Payard's excellent rolls and breads, are pre-made and also available to-go. They're closed on Mondays.