The signature seeded New York rye bread at Orwashers in...

The signature seeded New York rye bread at Orwashers in Roslyn Heights. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

“Where can I get a good, old-fashioned rye?” is a question that comes up again and again among Long Island bread aficionados. For years, the best source was weekly farmers markets that, in season, hosted Orwashers, the Manhattan bakery that has been making old-fashioned rye — dense, crusty and full of caraway seeds — since 1916. And if you wanted to score a loaf, you needed to get there early.

Well, there’s no more need to mark your calendar or set your alarm. Orwashers has opened a proper store, its first outside New York City, in Roslyn Heights. And rye bread is just the beginning of the treasures you’ll find there.

For Keith Cohen, who bought the bakery from the Orwasher family in 2007, Roslyn Heights was a no-brainer. Not only had the brand been established at the Roslyn farmers market about two miles away in Christopher Morley Park, but, he said, “this location pulls from the North Shore and the South Shore and since we are right off the expressway we are convenient for people going back and forth from city to Hamptons.”

The Queens native and Stony Brook graduate also had a personal connection: He raised his family a few blocks away.

All of Orwashers’ artisanal breads are here: Sourdough, levain, mîche, pumpernickel, cinnamon-raisin, whole grain, multigrain and more. There are doughnuts and sticky buns and babka, hot sandwiches to order, ready-to-go sandwiches, avocado toast and banana toast and, in a Mediterranean vein, fat breadsticks studded with Castelvetrano olives and za-atar.  There's also a new, proprietary pastry, called the Orwasheire, inspired by the Provençal gibassier, an olive-oil enriched brioche flavored with anise seed and candied orange peel.  A nascent pizza program offers personal pies and, coming soon, Roman and Detroit pies.

Ultimately, though, Cohen said “we are a New York bakery.” He pointed to the store’s bold, unadorned logo font: “No script, no flourishes.”

"Schlagberry" shortcake, left, and Charlotte Russe at Orwashers in Roslyn...

"Schlagberry" shortcake, left, and Charlotte Russe at Orwashers in Roslyn Heights, Jan. 19, 2023. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

That forthright modesty can also be seen in Orwashers’ sweets. Cohen delights in bringing back old-fashioned desserts such as a majestic, nearly black, three-layer chocolate layer cake — nothing flourless or molten about it — and its opposite number, vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. He still makes the nearly extinct Charlotte Russe (a red-and-white striped paper cup filled with vanilla sponge, raspberry jam and whipped cream, topped with a candied cherry), and he invented a confection that honors another New York institution, Peter Luger Steakhouse. Orwashers’ “schlagberry shortcake” layers sponge with equal parts schlag, the sweetened whipped cream that Luger’s profligately heaps onto strudels and sundaes.

Orwashers, 377 Willis Ave., Roslyn Heights; open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (except Sunday when the shop opens at 8 a.m.); 516-686-6370,

Top Stories

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access