The summer weather has arrived early.
If you happen to be on 4th Avenue in South Slope and are looking for an ice-cold pick-me-up that isn’t coffee, try the recently introduced bubble teas at Bread & Joe (618 4th Avenue between 17th & 18th Streets).
A charming, little oasis surrounded by construction sites and automotive shops, the bakery opened in March 2016. Co-owners James Li and Bryant Yung both worked in IT before venturing into the café business.
While Bread & Joe serves pastries sourced from Balthazar and coffee from La Colombé, the must-try items here are definitely the Asian-influenced goodies—treats typically found in Chinatown conveniently served in South Slope.
Try one of the refreshing bubble teas that were just introduced last month. Flavors include Earl Grey, Jasmine, Oolong, Matcha Latte, Taro, and Thai Tea.
The vibrantly orange Thai Tea is sweetened with condensed milk, giving it a richness that pairs nicely with the chewy, gooey tapioca “bubbles” – dark, marble-sized balls with a jelly-like consistency. The drink is a fun alternative to a regular iced coffee.
While you’re at Bread & Joe, be sure try one of their house-made Chinese buns. Baked fresh every morning, Li says the roast pork and ham and egg variations are customer favorites. His personal fave is the red bean paste bun—similar to brioche with a slightly sweet paste interlaced into its folds. It’s a satisfying and easy snack you can eat on the go.
The buns often sell out quickly, so you’ll have to arrive early if you want to try them. Li says they make about 20 of each every day. When I arrived shortly after noon for my visit, the display case was almost bare.
Bread & Joe offers four small tables in the front of the shop as well as Wi-Fi, so you’ll be able to get some work done while you enjoy your Asian-style treats.
Bread & Joe, 618 4th Avenue (between 17th & 18th Streets), 347-223-4865
Monday – Friday: 6:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 4:00pm