Meyers Bageri’s (667 Driggs Avenue) first stateside bakery began as a Saturday pop-up, in the space they now occupy full-time—the former home of Margo Patisserie. Back in February, word began to spread of Saturday’s pop-up and the lines quickly followed. In late July, Meyers Bageri took over the space completely and has subsequently been introducing North Brooklyn to Claus Meyer’s brand of New Nordic Cuisine.
When you hear “Nordic Cuisine,” you might think of pickled herring, Swedish meatballs, and fermented shark. And while those examples do exist, for the past decade “New Nordic Cuisine” has taken center stage, due, in large part, to Noma, the award-winning, rule-breaking, trend-setting destination restaurant in Copenhagen, that for years was considered the world’s best restaurant. Often times, the name associated with Noma is wunderkind head chef Rene Redzepi, but you’ll never guess who was a co-founder: Claus Meyer. Back in 2004, Meyer, Redzepi, and a host of other leading chefs and food professionals, got together and drew up the “New Nordic Cuisine Manifesto,” which, in ten points, outlined the future of Nordic food based on guiding principles of purity, seasonality, ethics, health, sustainability, and quality. Under head baker Jacques Johnson, Meyers Bageri intends to highlight those principles in its baked goods. And while they’re still transitioning from Danish-imported heirloom varieties of wheat and rye, they are working with a growing number of local farmers and vendors.
By working with some leading bakers (Chad Robertson of Tartine in San Francisco for one), they have crafted some wonderful, modern renditions of Nordic classics. Most notably, their rugbrød (rye bread), a loaf that resembles a brick, both in size and density. This is the kind of bread you want to eat before going out and facing a harsh Scandinavian (or New York) winter. This is the kind of bread Wildlings would eat. The outer crust is rock solid, while the inside is surprisingly moist (so much so that after six minutes of toasting, the center of my slice had yet to take on any discernible crispness, but at that point I risked burning the outer crust). Even eating the bread can seem like a chore and after a few slices my jaw was noticeably tired. But no pain, no gain, right? I knew that if I could get through this slice of bread, I wouldn’t have to eat again for hours. It’s like a bowl of oatmeal, in bread form. And to calm your fears, the caraway flavor that most Americans associate with rye bread is, thankfully, absent.
It should come as no surprise that they also carry a variety of danishes, after all, they’re Danish. But don’t expect a sugar-laden fat bomb a la Cinnabon. Instead, you’ll find a small selection of traditional spandauer (danishes) with seasonal flavors that are, at best, subtly sweet. Similarly, another standout is their kanelsnurre (cinnamon twirl), their more mature take on a cinnamon roll (the process by which they’re made is hypnotic).
If you’re looking for lunch, they have that covered as well. Offering a selection of sandwiches on one of their homemade ciabatta-like buns.
Their coffee program is no slouch either. To wash it all down, there’s also the requisite selection of coffee drinks, with beans provided by Brownsville Roasters.
This is not the first Meyers Bageri (the original is in Copenhagen) and it’s not even the only one in New York (there’s another inside the Great Northern Food Hall—another Meyer project—at Grand Central Terminal). But, if you’re reading this, it’s probably the closest.
Furthermore, if all this talk of rugbrød, spandauer, and kanelsnurre has ignited a fire in your belly and you want to try and make these things yourself, fear not, Meyers Bageri also offers classes (at the Great Northern Food Hall).
Meyers Bageri is located at 667 Driggs Ave. (corner of Driggs Ave. and Fillmore Pl.). Open weekdays 7am–7pm; weekends 9am–7pm.