This Review of Ole & Steen Lagkagehuset (Danish Bakery, although the literal translation is “cake house”) is of the Union Square flagship location, at 873 Broadway, by 18th Street. Ole & Steen also has two other locations, one in Midtown East at 518 Lexington Avenue at 48th Street, and a Bryant Park location at 80 West 40th Street.
Ole & Steen Union Square Hours
Ole & Steen's Union Square location is open daily from 8am-9pm, serving breakfast as well as light lunches and dinners, and of course all kinds of breads, pastries and sweets. You line up to order at the counter, and if you've ordered a hot item, staff will bring it to you. Note that the store does NOT accept cash (in order to avoid putting staff at the risk of a robbery, as well as to speed service), only credit and debit cards are accepted.
Ole & Steen Menu and Food
Here's the Ole & Steen menu:
My favorite quick lunch to order at Ole & Steen is a toastie. I initially tried a chicken and kale pesto toastie, which was fine, but somewhat bland:
I've found that my favorite toastie is the beech mushroom and charred broccolini toastie with goat cheese. Even though I'm not vegetarian, I prefer it to the other toasties, it's just such a great flavor and texture combination.
Friends of ours raved about the rye chocolate roll with chopped almonds, which was ok, but honestly I couldn't get too excited about it. I thought the chocolate flavor would be more pronounced, and it wasn't, although the chopped almond topping was good texture-wise.
I do recommend the rye roll covered with pumpkin seeds. It's very dense, so if you don't care for dense rye breads, this isn't for you. We like it sliced thinly and served with Boursin or another creamy cheese, perhaps with some smoked salmon or gravlax on top.
Ole & Steen's Spandauer is made with puff pastry, with a little custard in the center, and covered in poppy seeds. It's a classic favorite in Denmark, and this is a solid rendition, although I've had better in Copenhagen.
To date, my favorite of the bread-type pastries is the Kloben bun, redolent of cardamom, and studded with raisins and sliced almonds. We enjoy ours warmed up for breakfast, with some high quality apricot jam.
Ole & Steen is a great addition to NYC's growing number of outposts of successful foreign chains, from Eric Kayser's Maison Kayser bakery cafes to Grom for Italian gelato, Tim Ho Wan for dim sum, and fellow Dane Claus Meyer's Great Northern food hall at Grand Central.
I highly recommend the Beech Mushroom and Charred Broccolini Toastie with Goat Cheese, the Kloben bun and the rye bread roll with pumpkin seeds, all of which are very distinctive. The Spandauer is a classic Danish pastry, and quite good, although I've had better in Copenhagen. I haven't cared much for the cakes and fruit tarts I've tried–I feel the best French versions are far better. With the vast array of savory and sweet goods at Ole & Steen, there's bound to be something for nearly everyone.
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