Living in Greenpoint has recently become a whole lot more restaurant-y. Just in the past month three new hype-worthy spots have opened up down around Transmitter Park (now with an awesome new pier!), including Alameda, a terrific-looking bar on Franklin Street, with food via a couple of Brooklyn Star vets; River Styx, on Greenpoint Avenue, featuring wood-fired fare from Chef Dennis Spina; and Achilles Heal on West Street, Andrew Tarlow’s (of Reynard renown) casual bar and cafe. All look like welcome additions to the neighborhood, but I’m wondering whether my favorite place to eat in Greenpoint won’t still be the legendary Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop.
Peter Pan is a Candidate for Best Restaurant in Greenpoint
That Peter Pan makes NYC’s best donuts is pretty much established by now, though Doughnut Plant (in Chelsea and the Lower East Side) and Dough (in Bed-Stuy and all Smorgasburgs) certainly have their champions, me among them. What makes Peter Pan particularly appealing, especially in this food-mad era when everyone is always chasing after the next new new NEW thing, is that this place looks like it’s been around since the 1950s, with its formica counters, corny signage, unflattering lighting, and uniformed waitresses.
Peter Pan is hardly a secret, especially after Tina Fey’s famous comment a couple of years ago about the unmentionable-here things she would like to do with these little beauties. But there have so far been no design reboots at Peter Pan Donuts, not for the crowds of tourists on a pastry pilgrimage, nor for the increasingly trendy locals.
So what’s good at Peter Pan Donuts? Literally everything. I recently had the opportunity to really go to town at Peter Pan, buying and sampling nearly everything in the display case, and there wasn’t a clunker in the bunch. The filled donuts, whether with jelly or cream, are all excellent–the Chocolate Mousse may be my favorite in this category, though the simple Sugar Jelly is pretty amazing, too–as is anything with with fun frosting.
Don’t snooze on the plainer-looking Peter Pan donuts, though: the Red Velvet is fantastic, and so is the Honey Dip, and any version of the Old Fashioned, and the Whole Wheat, and all of the Crullers, and… well, you get the idea. You can eat one (or three) here with coffee or an egg cream and soak in the neighborhood vibe or, because prices remain so friendly (a dozen for $10.50) bring home as many as you can carry.
Peter Pan Donut Pastry Shop is located in Greenpoint on Manhattan Avenue between Meserole and Norman, a couple of blocks from Nassau Stop on the G train. You can donuts starting at 8:00 a.m. every day and until 8:00 on weekdays, 7:00 p.m. on the weekends. The Peter Pan website is charmingly clunky, but it does have a cute video from Channel 13.