A neighborhood bakery--the kind where you can sit on a lazy Sunday morning sipping coffee, noshing on a muffin, and reading the NY Times, is the sweet indulgence of any New Yorker. So, even though they aren't serving up a Buche de Noel this week, Ciao for Now offers sugary treats perfect for every day, especially the holidays [or the Friday before Christmas when, even though the transit strike is over, you'd rather go sit in a cafe]. Gothamist's favorites are the fresh ginger cookies and lemon polenta muffins, though a plethora of scones, turnovers, dessert breads, and delicately frosted cakes also whet the palate. If craving something more savory, fresh panini are pressed in-house alongside homemade vegetable frittatas and soups and the dessert case also offers vegan-friendly options for the conscientious. Catskills imported coffee beans make for a strong brew you can drink while you lazily read your paper at a table where sunflowers will likely brighten the view. Books line the western wall (just in case you forget you) and the convivial staff is always willing to strike up a chat. Stop in for a cookie and take the cheer home with you for the holidays.

Ciao for Now is located at 504 E. 12th Street between Ave. A & B and is open M-F, 7:30 - 7:30, Sat-Sun, 9 - 6 p.m.