Now open: Crisan Cafe at the Albany Institute

Crisan Cafe at Albany Institute

Crisan Cafe at the Albany Institute of History and Art

The cafe in the storefront of the popular Crisan bakery on Lark Street closed a little more than a year ago.

But now it's back in a new form. And it's joined by New World Catering. And art.

Crisan's owners -- Claudia Crisan-Calabria and Iggy Calabria -- closed the cafe portion of their business at the end of 2014 so they could focus making specialty cakes and pastries. At the time they explained that loved the sense of community the cafe provided, but the day-to-day running of it -- on top of the bakery operation -- was overwhelming.

Around that same time the Albany Institute was redoing its strategic plan. When it reached out to members of the community about what they'd like to see at the museum, the number one answer was: a cafe.

Hmmm... you got Nutella croissant in my Hudson River School exhibit. No, you got your Hudson River School Exhibit in my Nutella croissant. Wait a minute...

So Tammis Groft, director of the Albany Institute, reached out to the bakery owners. And that conversation grew into the cafe at the museum.

"It was an amazing opportunity for collaboration," Iggy Calabria told us Wednesday Thursday. "They're using a lot of our cases and equipment, but the Institute is running the cafe and we'll be supplying it with our products."

Crisan at institute from window.jpg

The cafe is in a renovated space on the second floor, next to the gift shop. The work included restoring the building's original floor and opening a window on the building's Dove Street side to let in more light.

Crisan at institute case.jpg

Crisan at institute case 4.jpg

Crisan at Albany Institute gelato and sorbets.jpg

The cases are stocked with Crisan favorites such as almond twists, croissants, and porcelain coconut cakes. They've even brought back Crisan's sorbet and gelato.

Crisan at the Albany Institute Case 3.jpg

The savory offerings supplied by New World Catering include soups and salads as well as heat-and-eat sandwiches and wraps. Today's menu included a sweet potato bisque, green salads, a quinoa roasted-vegetable salad, cold noodles, and jerk chicken sandwiches.

Crisan at Institute New world food.jpg

Museum admission isn't required to go the cafe. It will keep the same hours as the museum (with one exception), including Thursday nights, when the museum is open free of charge until 8 pm. Like the museum, it will be closed on Monday. But the cafe will be open on Tuesdays, when the museum is typically only open to groups.

Earlier on AOA: Crisan to close cafe (2014)

AIHA and New World Catering advertise on AOA.

Find It

Crisan Cafe at Albany Institute
125 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12210


Amazing awesome!

Do you need to be a paid guest to go to the cafe?

Editors: You don't. You can just walk in. We'll add that above.

looks like I will be getting in trouble for taking a long lunch.....sorry boss! Heres some Gelato....

This is so exciting, just in time for gelato season!

Stopped in at lunch today and the pastry case made me swoon. I can't wait to grab a gelato come summer time.

Any idea if they'll accept gift certificates from the old Crisan? I had an unused gift certificate when Crisan closed that I never got to use :(

I missed their gelato!

This is wonderful news, their pastries and cakes are unbelievably good .

This makes me so happy. My favorite museum AND a wonderful bakery together!

Yes. Yes! YES!
Best news I've heard all day.

Darn, you got me lost in thought when I got to "Nutella!"

But seriously, great addition to a true regional gem!

Brilliant. Happy Happy Joy Joy! I so miss a double shot poured on top of a scoop of chocolate gelato. I seem to recall the former cafe had a patio??

Hooray!! I can already picture myself walking home from work just to stop in and get myself some pre-dinner gelato! Just need to limit myself to something reasonable...maybe only three gelato stops per week.

@Kate, Crisan on Lark is still open, just the café area is closed. They still take orders. I have preordered tays of assorted mini-cakes and have only needed to give 3 or so days' notice.

Oh boy, I can see AIHA from my office!

OMG, can't wait to go there!
Love their nut brownies, and choc cake at The Spectrum refreshemnt stand. wonder if that will be sold at this spot?

Wahoo!! Will gluten free items be offered like they were at the Lark St cafe?

Brian - They had 2 kinds of gluten-free cakes last week and quite a few gluten-free lunch items from New World.

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