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Nearby Subway Stops
A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
This unassuming pastry shop, tucked on a block filled with tattoo parlors and tacky T-shirt palaces, looks like nothing special from the outside. Even its modest interior, with a few marble-topped café tables and wood-panel wainscoting, seems yawningly ordinary. But one bite of Claude's confections and the drabness melts away: Suddenly you're in Paris, deliciously transported to the Rue de la Paix. For two decades, rabid regulars have been lining up bright and early to get the day's first croissants, still warm from the oven, in all of their flaky, buttery perfection. Others while away afternoons over fresh brewed espresso and rich, divinely bitter chocolate mousse. "Everything is excellent," those same devotees attest, no matter if it's the puffy brioche, creamy éclairs, cakes, pies, and cookies that crowd the bakery's showcase. One visit is all the persuasion required to see that they're right.