Patisserie Claude (West 4th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) – across from my old apartment, a West Village institution. Their croissants - plain, chocolate or almond - will blow your mind. Don't worry about getting coffee - the pastries are what you're here for.
Dominique Ansel Kitchen (7th Avenue near Charles St) – of the Cronut fame, Dominique Ansel opened a new kitchen further west where they create incredible works of art to-order. Let's just say his pain au chocolat is made with valrhona dark chocolate, orange butter and maldon sea salt. They also sell a soft serve in the summers, burrata soft serve with balsamic strawberries and micro basil being a highlight of last summer.
Magnolia Bakery (Bleecker Street and West 11th Street) – a cheesy/famous spot for cupcakes (but the banana pudding is way better).
Milk & Cookies (Commerce Street and 7th Avenue) – amazing cookies like white chocolate salted oat and snickerdoodle. You can also get them as ice cream sandwiches!