Buried among the discount shoe stores, liquor stores and Chinese restaurants on NE 163rd Street is Mary Ann Bakery, a tiny shop with odd cakes on display and one tiny table with two seats next to the large display counter. But get past the appearance and you'll be thrilled.
The family-owned bakery has been preparing these traditional Hong Kong goodies for nearly 20 years. Everything is made from scratch and without preservatives.
They have plenty of sweets to choose from, like melon and red bean cakes (get your protein and kick your sweet tooth), soft egg custard tarts, coconut cream buns, cakes with lemon jelly and coffee cream rolled into them and my personal favorite, cup cakes. And these aren't tiny, heavy, icing-slathered cakes. These are fluffy sponge cakes bigger than your fist. They melt in your mouth and when you're finished, you feel sated.
Not craving the sugar rush? Don't worry. If you're craving savory, Mary Ann's makes curry beef buns, hot dog buns (sort of like pigs in a blanket), and char siu bao, the best pork buns in Miami. These aren't tiny, overpriced pork buns either. The bread is as soft as the red barbecue meat inside, and they're slightly sweet. The place's most popular items, they are made fresh every day and served while still warm.
The best part? Nothing costs over $1.50, and cupcakes are a measly $0.90. You can't even get a pastelito for that cheap at most places.
Mary Ann's is out of the way for manycpeople, but what you lose in gas, you make up for in taste.