Newsday food writer Scott Vogel stopped by Hummel Hummel in East Northport to learn about the bakery's pizza crumb. Credit: Randee Daddona

In the year 2074 maybe people will romanticize Cronut youths, wax nostalgic about cake pops and daydream endlessly of pumpkin spice everything, all in hopes of recapturing time lost. It’s to be expected that many of the bakeries selling those goods might be gone too — the ones that survive the half-century will occupy a special place in our descendants’ hearts. They might treasure such stalwarts like the 10 below — for their baked goods, powers of endurance, and the sweet connection they forge between Long Island’s present and decades past.

Fritzsche's Bakery 

56 Main St., Sayville

When George Fritzsche opened a bakery on South Main Street in Sayville in the 1920s, it was at the tail end of the town’s heyday as both the oyster capital of the world and one of the biggest resort destinations in the country. Crowds descended on the village to summer at hotels like the Kensington and Cedarshore, watch Queen of the Bay yacht races, take newly motorized ferries to Fire Island, and of course line up for white boxes of Fritzsche’s butterkuchen tied with red-and-white string. The sugary, nutty, yeasty cake is long gone, as is the Fritzsche family but the bakery lives on in the spot where it moved to in 1966. All it takes is one bite of a pecan or walnut danish drizzled with icing to bring the village’s storied history back to vivid life. More info: 631-589-0586

Riesterer’s Bakery

282 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead

In the early 1930s, when Long Island was an aviation center and Orville Wright lived in West Hempstead, another pioneer took up residence in the town: August Riesterer, opening an eponymous bakery that continues to dominate Hempstead Avenue 93 years later. History buffs will love the large display of ancient snapshots from Riesterer’s unbleached, unbromated flour days (including a few from the establishment’s 25th anniversary celebration — in 1956), while buffs of another sort will thrill to what’s behind the counter. The dizzying selection of baked goods reflects third-generation owner Karl Riesterer’s commitment to meeting the needs of his community (e.g., kosher certification) and a passion for sweets both timeless (apfel strudel, cheese Danishes, black-and-white cookies) and timely (Taylor Swift-wearing-a-Kansas City-jersey cookies). More info: 516-481-7636,

Karl Riesterer Jr. and Sr. with their sufganiyot at Riesterer’s...

Karl Riesterer Jr. and Sr. with their sufganiyot at Riesterer’s Bakery in West Hempstead on Dec. 1, 2022. Credit: Linda Rosier

St. Rocco’s Bakery

4 St. Rocco Place, Glen Cove

In 1940, the Church of St. Rocco and nearby Giambruno’s bakery were in their infancy, as was Butch, a St. Bernard that would become a fixture on the streets of Glen Cove — as well as the town’s beaches, flower beds, even the back seats of cars — and eventually a national celebrity. As the country endured the trials of World War II, the animal became a symbol of the quirky goodness of small town American life, and he wasn’t the only one. Over at the bakery, they were fashioning phyllo dough into sweets with an uncanny resemblance to lobster tails, generously loading them with custard or cannoli cream. And while Giambruno’s bit the dust decades ago, Glen Cove’s affection for lobster tails lives on at the site, which the Sacchetta family reopened in 2012 as St. Rocco’s Bakery. There, the rich pastries are as popular as ever and deservedly so. There may be no finer version of them on Long Island. More info: 516-427-5333

Cieslak’s Modern Bakery

235 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst

By the time the Lindenhurst Star finally got around to reviewing the place in 1948, singling out its “delicious rolls, which, right out of the oven, add that touch to a Sunday buffet supper or that picnic lunch you’re planning for friends,” Cieslak’s was already a local fixture, Waclaw “Joe” Cieslak having opened it in 1934 on South Wellwood Avenue, where it remains, still under family ownership. But the Star’s failure to mention the bakery’s linzer cookies borders on journalistic malpractice, as does the omission of its cream cheese fluff cake, a tarty pound cake whose airy impact is better measured in ounces. Convenience and quality explain Cieslak’s continuing popularity, and perhaps why the ovens in nearby home kitchens got far less use than in other towns, if the Star is to be believed. “Modern Lindenhurst housewives bake this easy way,” the paper wrote at another point. More info: 631-226-0697

Cieslak’s Modern Bakery in Lindenhurst on Sept. 15, 2021.

Cieslak’s Modern Bakery in Lindenhurst on Sept. 15, 2021. Credit: Raychel Brightman

Merritt Bakery

315 Northwest Dr., Farmingdale

It was 1963 when Mike Benes’ father took over Merritt Bakery in Farmingdale, making a name for himself with German breads and sweets. Times have changed — Adventureland was just a year old then, with just four rides even as the village boasted no fewer than five bakeries on Main Street alone — and tastes have changed too (poppy seeds aren’t nearly so popular anymore). But throughout, Merritt, Benes’ second-home since he was 13, has deepened its relationship with the town — there’s hardly a Farmingdale special occasion that the bakery hasn’t graced with fantastic raspberry crisps, rich loaves of cinnamon bread and more, even as Benes and his crew bake thousands of pounds of cookies each year, shipping them to fans all over the country. More info: 516-694-6835,

Front Street Bakery

51 Front St., Rockville Centre

Front Street Bakery arose opposite Rockville Centre’s LIRR station in 1950, the same year that the platforms of the station itself rose from street-level to their elevated perch atop octagonal beams, an era of unlocked screen doors, Marx Brothers' triple features at the Strand Theatre, corner stores and TV sets in living rooms for the first time. What hasn’t changed: Caffeine-seeking commuters, still a big part of Front Street’s clientele, followed closely by devotees of its signature — and dependably adorable — dot cookies, one of which is offered free to every child. But the bakery, still run by the Wohlfarth and Acerno families, is also the spiritual home of crumbcake fans everywhere, especially those in the mostly-crumb/barely-cake camp, and all who like their rainbow cookies smothered beyond recognition in chocolate. More info: 516-766-1199

Workers at the front counter give children cookies at the...

Workers at the front counter give children cookies at the Front Street Bakery in Rockville Centre. Credit: Linda Rosier

Tulip Bake Shop

138 Tulip Ave., Floral Park

Floral Park’s train tracks were still earthbound during the 1950s, the immediate area dominated by the sight of newly installed parking meters, the sound of crowds at nearby Belmont Park on race days, and the smells of a lively restaurant known for its sauerbraten, Wiener schnitzel and roast beef-on-rye sandwiches. The place was Victor Koenig’s and it shuttered in 2015, but as luck would have it, the ’50s also brought Tulip Bake Shop just around the corner, still as pink-themed as its vintage neon sign. The chocolate horns and seven-layer cakes have their fans, but it’s something on the shelf, a bread known as Koenig’s rye, that will stick with you. Every loaf — whether seeded or not — is light-colored, life-changing and as fragrant as old Floral Park. More info: 516-354-1105,

Buttercooky Bakery

217 Jericho Tpke., Floral Park

Meanwhile, those whose decade crush is the 1960s have only to travel a half-mile south to the site of the first Buttercooky Bakery, another Floral Park staple. Jericho Turnpike had been a flash point since the early part of the century, when it served as part of the racecourse for the Vanderbilt Cup, America’s first international road race, and remained so in 1962 when Buttercooky opened amid a road-widening project that shook up the commercial climate. The Borgognone family has run the bakery for more than 50 years, expanding Buttercooky’s footprint and turning it into something of a shrine to French pastry. The community still swears by its almond croissants, macarons, opera cakes, éclairs and Napoleons, but holds an equal affection for New World favorites like strawberry shortcake and especially Buttercooky’s tres leches cake, an ambrosial dessert given the festive treatment with blueberries, strawberries and peaches. More info: 516-354-3831,

A selection of French pastries at the Buttercooky Bakery in...

A selection of French pastries at the Buttercooky Bakery in Floral Park. Credit: Linda Rosier

Montauk Bake Shoppe

29 The Plaza, Montauk

The era, a golden brown one for Long Island bakeries, produced yet another/one final spot that would live to celebrate its golden anniversary: The Montauk Bake Shoppe, opened in 1969, the same year deKooning captured the town on canvas, Jeep station wagons roamed the beaches and vacationers summered at prefab Leisurama cottages they’d bought at Macy’s, of all places. The clapboard-roofed bakery traffics in more timeless treats, namely its legendary fried jelly croissant, a deep-fried, cinnamon sugar-dusted, raspberry-filled bit of delightful, “world-famous” decadence that’s adored by kids and the bane of beach bodies everywhere. Once only a seasonal pleasure (the shop closes in winter), fans cheered last fall at the news that their favorite calorie bomb would henceforth be available year-round at Hampton Eats, a food court that opened in East Hampton in September. More info: 631-668-2439,

Hummel Hummel Bakery

572 Larkfield Rd., East Northport

In 1968, it was a year for miniskirts, peace activism and questioning authority in Suffolk County, which just a year earlier had become the first in the nation to ban the spraying of DDT. In East Northport, high school students sold bumper stickers reading “Help Keep Biafra Alive” and marched on behalf of starving refugees from the breakaway Nigerian province, even as John Fruendt began challenging the pastry-archy in his own way over on Larkfield Road. It was there that the German émigré, together with his son Derek at Hummel Hummel Bakery, concocted the pizza crumb, a sweet so original it remains on the shortlist of Island contributions to world baking culture all these years later. The appropriately named love child of crumb cake and a pizza pie is a 14-inch original that’s simple, sinful, perpetually in demand (when the bakery closes for its annual vacation, it enlists the deli next door to sell them) and available in flavors ranging from raspberry to Nutella. More info: 631-266-3517,

Hummel Hummel Bakery in East Northport.

Hummel Hummel Bakery in East Northport. Credit: Randee Daddona

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