Review of 'Carlo's Bakery Times Square'

For a while we were great fans of the “Cake Boss” on television (TLC) showing the amazing creations of Buddy Valastro and his talented staff – Amazing cakes that appeared to be limited only by their imagination and seemed to taste just as good as they looked. Eventually we stopped watching as the show seemed to repeat itself and lost it's appeal with the increasingly soap-opera antics of the family. That is not to say we stopped admiring the obvious bakery skills on display so when we recently visited the big apple, despite the bakery being based in Hoboken, New Jersey we were excited to see the familiar “Carlos' Bakery” sign above a branch very close to Times Square.


The small location on the corner of 8th Avenue and 42nd Street (outside the bus station) features a small inside eating area (5 or 6 small tables), several coolers showing their treats and a taped-off queuing area. To order you join the queue then when you reach the front a server with an iPad takes your order which you then pay for and collect at the cashiers along the far wall (a modern twist on the idea of pointing into the case and having it delivered straightaway).

Display Cabinets

The menu consists of many traditional Italian desserts including their famous cannolis and “lobster tails” (a soft pastry filled with cream). Of course, there are also cakes (whole or slices) on offer as well as cookies, cupcakes and croissants. The prices are quite steep – We paid $6.25 for a cannoli and $6.25 for a lobster tail (this adds up quickly when there are two of you) – But we were given a free “Carlo's Bakery” apron when our order reached more than $62. We did pick up a 1 lb box of “Italian Butter Cookie” ($21.95), which looked quite good, for a gift.


As we were travelling, we took our purchases with us to finally sample when we got home. Despite all of the travelling the cannolis and lobster tails were both delicious - The cannoli casing was perfectly crunchy yet not greasy nor tasting like a taco shell, with the firm ricotta cheese cream filling making a great accompaniment. Surprisingly, even after a number of hours the casing had not in any way gone soggy which is testament to the quality and richness of the filling. The lobster tails were also quite good though fairly ordinary with the exception of the “salted caramel” which, though not strong on the “salted” side of things certainly had a lot of flavour. It was interesting that despite some of our items being dipped in chocolate on the whole it was not as sweet as you might expect which is a relief as this strikes me as being a more authentic experience - Why do such treats from the bakery always have to be so sweet your teeth want to jump out of your head?


All in all, though expensive, you do get what you paid for. Obviously they take huge advantage of the television coverage they have received by “Cake Boss” which also likely bumps up the prices (and means they sell a lot of t-shirts and other memorabilia) but they appear to have maintained their traditional bakery quality and range of goods.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-02-28

Cuisine: Bakery

Address: 625 8th Avenue at 42nd Street, new York, NY 10018 United States

Public Transport: NYCSUB Times Square-42 Street

Location: New York (USA) - Garment District



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Telephone: +1 (929) 446-0509