We mentioned Leli’s Bakery a little while back – this is the bakery that is now in the space formerly occupied by old timer Terrizzi Pastry Shop. And while the loss of Terrizzi made us have a sad, Leli’s makes us so, so happy. It’s a lovely, bright space with seating, run by friendly folks, and with baked goods that are simply divine.
Leli’s Bakery has origins in Astoria – they were JMJ Bakery in LIC years ago (here are old discussions on eGullet and Chowhound regarding their pastizzi, a Maltese specialty – Leli’s also sells them), then Melita in the Bronx, where they still operate a big factory. The bread at Leli’s is made there (everything else is made in store). Melita does a lot of the baking for well-known places around the city, like the Waldorf Astoria and Crumbs. In the Bronx, they are proud of their work and the fact that they employ 240 people.
We stopped by in the morning during the breakfast rush and tried a couple of their breakfast pastries – a raisin roll and a chocolate cigar. Both were excellent – sweet and buttery. A woman came in later and proclaimed that their danish are perfect and better nowhere else.
So many pastries – one of the staff members highly recommended the pain au chocolat
Buttery, sweet raisin roll
We also took home some of the pastizzi, which are traditionally eaten as a snack in Malta. They are either filled with cheese or a mixture of beef and peas, and they are outstanding.
The more round ones are filled with beef and peas, and the more oblong ones are filled with ricotta cheese – both are savory
Leli’s also makes delicious cakes and cookies.
Beautiful big cakes
Cookies of all kinds, from sables to tuilles
The bakery also has tables and chairs where you can sit and enjoy your baked goods with coffee. They use Irving Farms beans and their cappucino is quite nice. Seasonal drinks like eggnog latte and peppermint hot chocolate are also available.
Chairs and tables in the front and along the east wall
Since it’s that time of year, they also have some seasonal items, like English style fruitcake (covered with marzipan then a white icing) and gingerbread houses.
Beautifully decorated English-style fruitcake
Cute little gingerbread houses
Leli’s is a definite gem in the neighborhood. We’ve heard that on Sundays there are lines almost out the door to buy various breads and sweets. When we were there the people kept coming in waves. Already it’s a very popular spot.
Leli’s Bakery, 35-14 30th Ave., Astoria, NY 11103; (718) 626-8090; Facebook