Williamsburg is a big tent with ample room for hipster bars, Southern-accented locavorism, old-school Italian American, and older-school Hasidic Judaism. That last community gets little Chowhound love, but driggs says it deserves some for the exemplary chocolate babka at Oneg Heimishe Bakery. The better-than-average chocolate that's swirled into this loaf lifts it above the competition, and the friendly staff belies the shop's somewhat forbidding exterior. Oneg bakes a pretty mean challah, too, driggs reports.
motl endorses the chocolate babka at Strauss Bakery in Borough Park, another Orthodox enclave. It's more pastry than bread, says driggs, who's not a fan of the style, but he adds that both neighborhoods are worth a visit, and not just for chow.
Others recommend the kugelhupf at Andre's in Manhattan and Queens—not a babka, exactly, but a Hungarian cousin. daffyduck sees an even closer familial connection in the kugelhupf: "like a babka and a croissant had a baby."
Oneg Heimishe Bakery [Williamsburg]
188 Lee Avenue (near Rutledge Street), Brooklyn
Strauss Bakery [Borough Park]
5115 13th Avenue (near 51st Street), Brooklyn
Andre's Cafe [Upper East Side]
1631 Second Avenue (between E. 84th and 85th streets), Manhattan
Andre's Hungarian Strudels & Pastries [Forest Hills]
100-28 Queens Boulevard, Queens