February 21 – Sticky Bun Day

Now here is a national food holiday I can get behind! The sticky bun–sometimes also known as a cinnamon bun or iced bun–has a heritage that goes back farther than that Cinnabon in Penn Station. Wikipedia reminds us that sticky buns are Germanic in origin, and were brought over to the United States by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 18th century. Since then they’ve been spreading to all corners of the country, and New York is no different. They may not make you feel like you’re in a Pennsylvania Dutch community–or even like you’re in the food court of the Staten Island Mall–but they’re gooey, rich, and just right for the city.

One of the most celebrated sticky buns in the city comes from the Tipsy Parson in Chelsea. Mixed with a sea of goo and pecans, these buns are made from a super-buttery, flaky dough, and satisfy all your taste as well as your texture needs: the light, airy dough mixes well with the chewy pecans, the crunchy semi-hard shell of cooled glaze, and, of course, the stickiness. It’s been hailed as the “best” sticky bun in New York by such places as the New York Times blog and Edible Manhattan (one of my favorite magazines out there!) The restaurant serves full brunch, lunch, and dinners, full of hearty, soul-comforting Southern food, and so it may be tough to fit in a sticky bun dessert at the end of a hearty meal, but with this reputation, I would definitely find a way to squeeze it into my diet (and my waistline!)

Tipsy Parson
156 9th Ave (between 19th St & 20th St)


“Nostalgia aside, the ultimate in stickiness can be found in Chelsea at Tipsy Parson. Beware anyone with a nut allergy — just looking at these buns might incite some rash behavior (like grabbing your epinephrine pen and biting into the pecan minefield). According to the co-owner Tasha Garcia Gibson, the pastry chef Melissa Camacho uses an almost brioche-like dough and takes it from there: “It’s a Parker House recipe that she then folds more butter into, creating the flaky layers and nice airy pockets in between. She bakes them in a muffin tin with the pecans and ‘goo’ on the bottom. As it cools, the ‘goo’ hardens to that nice sticky shell. Tender, airy, sticky, yum!””–New York Times blogs

“Tipsy Parson is actually an all day affair, with a wallpapered faux library sitting room in front (which begs to be sat in) and Stumptown coffee to be sipped through lunch and into dinner with or without well-curated nibbles that add to their lively bar scene. In fact, if there was a way to prove that it’s not overly decadent to eat a sticky bun for all three meals, then we might never leave.”–Edible Manhattan

“It’s buttery and moist in that just-can’t-have-enough Southern food, Paula Deen way. While inhaling your second serving, you’ll subconsciously hear your mother’s voice in your head: “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.” And you ‘ll just keep eating.”–Black Book Magazine

Some reviews from Yelp.com:

“FFF talked me into splitting a sticky bun for dessert, and even though at this point I was ready to be rolled right out of the restaurant I am very glad she did. Two hours later, coffee in hand, I was slipping into a lovely delirious little food coma, and yes I was quite the happy girl!”–Lissa V.