08 March 2011

Leske's, Where Bay Ridge's Scandinavian Flame Burns Dimly


Leske's Bakery, on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, is one of the last remnants of the neighborhood's once thriving Scandinavian population. You may notice that the sign and awning bear the colors of the Swedish flag. Which is actually a bit weird, since Leske's was founded as a Danish bakery.




Visiting wasn't exactly the experience I had hoped for. The sweets and cakes in the cases aren't very novel. In fact, they look like what you'd expect to find in your average Italian bakery. I asked the counter girl which of the treats were Swedish in origin. She seemed confused by the question. "I don't know," she replied. For shame.


There was this in the window, a kind of gingerbread town festooned with the flags of Sweden, Norway and Finland. So they haven't quite forgotten themselves. The bakery is still known for it's limpa bread, but I couldn't locate any.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

But the point of Leske's is their jelly donuts. Everything else is farily standard bakery stuff that can be gotten anywhere.

Ken K. said...

Sad. This was the go-to place for Scandinavian stuff for the ladies of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on 75th and 4th (of which my Mom was one, altho she wasn't Scandinavian). But even they gave up on the place at least 10 years ago.

Unknown said...

Limpa bread, as well as other Scandinavian breads and pastries, can be readily found at Copenhagen bakery in Northport. The Scands from Brooklyn are alive and well, just moved a little northeast...

Anonymous said...

Being the granddaughter of the founder of Leske's Bakery, nothing is like it use to be back then. My mother constantly raves of the donuts and black and whites, but everytime we've gone back, they were never like they use to be. It's a shame that the bakery closed about a year ago; although it is reopening soon.

Anonymous said...

I live across the street from what used to be Leske's, and according to the new managers its going to re open with same recipes and bakers... that is a FALSE and a poor fake!!! All the bakers found new jobs and they are stable. One of the bakers is baking most of the stuff at Jean Danet bakery across the street from Leske's and there kringler and black and whites taste REAL good. It's similar to Leske's.. Please dont believe that fake sign! The new owners are lying to every one!

Harry Hawk said...

Please note that all of these comments including the one from Hans Leske's grand daughter were made before Leske's was reopened under new management, who have restored many of the recipes; e.g., there is now once again butter in the Danish.

I'm Harry and i'm one of the managers at Leske's. We have received great feedback from the Scandinavian community at a variety of community functions, events and festivals.

While we can't make everything to everyone's liking we have worked hard to make sure that our products taste the way the used to, to the degree we can. We welcome your feedback.