In the heart of El Barrio aka East Harlem is Capri Bakery on 116th between Lexington and 3rd Avenue since 1984.
Now, after working on opening their second location for over a year, Capri is open for business and is already a hit having only opened this past Thursday.
As I sit here eating a typical Cuban and Puerto Rican pastelito de guayaba con queso—guava filled pastry with cheese—and a nice warm cup of tea, dozens of people have come and gone happily after purchasing their fresh baked delights.
Growing up in Melrose, one of the things we lacked was a full-fledged bakery and now thanks to Capri, we have one on 306 E149th Street between Morris and Courtlandt Avenues.
All goods are freshly baked on the premises including the hard to find pan de mallorca, a sweet bread with powdered sugar that is popular in Puerto Rico and has its roots in the ensaïmada (the Catalán name) breads of Mallorca, a Spanish Balearic island in the Mediterranean going back to the 1600s.
The fact that you can find this bread so locally now is a huge plus.
Besides traditional Puerto Rican and Cuban baked delicacies (the owners are Cuban), they also bake their own line of donuts, danishes, muffins, cookies, cannolis, eclairs, and even bagels.
In the mood for something hot? They’ve got you covered with coffee, hot chocolate, teas, and hot sandwiches like a Cubano, ham and cheese, pork, turkey, and yes, pastrami.
Capri also bakes cakes for any occasion from traditional styles of cakes to the more modern and popular sculpted fondant ones we see everywhere nowadays. Customers are already placing their orders for these specialty cakes. In fact, two orders were placed as I sat down observing customers coming in and out.
“I’m so happy they’re finally open,” said Jaenne Maldonado of Melrose who has been going to Capri in East Harlem for the past 13 years. “Now I don’t have to go far for a good bakery. We don’t have anything like this around here.” she added.
Nancy Testa, daughter of Ignacio Testa who founded the East Harlem bakery back in 1984, is excited to be operating her own location. She has been extremely patient as she faced delays with Con Edison making the necessary connections for her to operate her equipment.
Since the East Harlem and East Village gas explosions, there has been a backlog of work as Con Ed is moving forward more cautious than ever to make sure everything is done safely.
But now that they’re open, customers are pouring in.
They couldn’t have picked a better spot as they’re on 149th Street just half a block away from Lincoln Hospital and a few doors down from The College of New Rochelle and the Hub which sees over 200,000 pedestrians a day—the busiest intersection outside of Times Square.
Let us know what you think of the place and tell them Welcome2TheBronx sent ya!
Located at 306 E 149th Street between Morris and Courtlandt Avenues, Capri is open from 7AM to 7PM and plans on expanding their hours to 6AM-9PM.