If you’re planning your Rosh Hashanah meal, you’ll definitely need challah bread on the table, and luckily for New Yorkers, there are plenty of places baking the braided bread. When eaten traditionally on Shabbat, the eggy bread is in its standard loaf form, but on the Jewish New Year, challah is often made round to symbolize continuity. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best spots in New York City for challah, whether you’re celebrating the High Holidays or just want some delicious bread.
Union Square + Upper West Side
Though you may be more familiar with Breads’ famous chocolate babka (there’s Nutella in it!), the challah is nothing to sneeze at. Rosh Hashanah pre-ordering is available from Thursday, August 26th through Wednesday, September 15th, and you can choose from round loaves with raisin or apple and a festive round loaf topped with sesame, nigella, sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and poppy seeds. There’s also a centerpiece challah, “a one-of-a-kind, intricately braided challah. Offered with or without ceramic bowls and seeds.” Nationwide shipping is available through Goldbelly, too.
Upper East Side + Upper West Side
Though this 105-year-old bakery is no longer family-owned as of 2007, owner Keith Cohen is dedicated to using the original family recipes, which includes that for the classic challah. For Rosh Hashanah, they produce thousands of turban challahs that are sold at the two retail stores and to wholesale clients such as Zabars. Orwashers, too, offers national shipping through Goldbelly.
Russ & Daughters
Lower East Side
This appetizing shop, a true NYC institution, bakes their classic challah bread fresh daily, and for Rosh Hashanah, round loaves are available with or without raisins. Local delivery is available in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as is nationwide shipping through Goldbelly.
Las Delicias Patisserie
Chelsea Market + various greenmarkets and retailers
This gluten-free pastry shop has plain or raisin braided challah, as well as challah rolls. It’s known to be very fluffy, and they say it’s the only gluten-free challah made for the Shabbat blessing. You can pick them up at their stall on the lower level of Chelsea Market or at greenmarkets and retailers throughout the city (see all locations here). They also do shipping and local delivery.
Silver Moon Bakery
Silver Moon has been around for 21 years now and sells a rotating roster of up to 71 handmade breads. The Upper West Side bakery often gets crowned as the best challah in New York City, so be sure to arrive early to snag one (they’re made fresh only on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). And if you’re hosting a large group, they sell special-order presentation challahs that can feed up to 120 people!
Another contender for the best chocolate babka in NYC (which is very often described with the word “gooey”), this South Williamsburg spot should not be overlooked for its challah. The family recipe comes from the owner’s grandmothers, who emigrated to Brooklyn after surviving World War II in Hungary. Nationwide shipping is available on Goldbelly, where you can get a round challah, party-size challah, or the massive jumbo party size.
Weiss Kosher Bakery
Borough Park + Midwood, Brooklyn
This Kosher bakery has been a favorite in East Brooklyn since 1979. Though they’re popular for their various flavored cheesecakes, the homemade challah, which comes seeded or plain, is extra fluffy and delicious.