Hey there! It’s me, Heidi.
Does anyone else have a sweet tooth? I do. I mean a SERIOUS sweet tooth. Ain’t nothing like a dark chocolate brownie, hot apple pie topped with ice cream, ALL OF THE COOKIES, or a cannoli. Oohh!! Or a super fudgy cake or a fresh fruit tart. Honestly, is there anything better? I think not, my friends, I think not. Because I love a good dessert almost as much as I love New York, I thought I would whip up a guide to the best desserts in NYC.
I’m going to break it down into two categories: Category 1 – Desserts I’ve already experienced firsthand; Category 2 – Desserts I’m DYING to try.
Desserts I’ve already experienced firsthand:
1. The Cronut – Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring St, NY, NY 10012)
Cliché? Perhaps. But, y’all, I am a believer! The cronut is basically a donut and croissant combination. It’s shaped like a donut, it’s sweet like a donut, but it has those amazing flaky layers like a croissant. Chef Ansel creates a new flavor every month that never repeats, and these suckers are in high demand. You’ve got two options: a) show up super early in the morning and wait in a long ass line that wraps around the corner and you MAY be lucky enough to snag one, or b) pre-order your cronut, skip the line, and maniacally eat your cronut in front of the line-standers. If you’re going to pre-order, which is what I highly suggest, be aware that pre-ordering opens every Monday at 11am EST, pre-orders fill up very quickly, and you have to order your cronut two weeks in advance. So, if you’re planning a trip to NYC soon and want yourself a cronut, get yourself organized and order early! It’s worth it. It also comes in a cute little yellow box so… there you go.
2. Candy Cocktails – Dylan’s Candy Bar (1011 3rd Ave, NY, NY 10065 – at the corner of E 60th St)
I’m not a big candy-eater, so if you’re anything like me, a candy store isn’t going to appeal to you. However, Dylan’s Candy Bar isn’t an ordinary candy store if you dig a little further. The first floor is your typical confections, but if you head upstairs you’re in for a really sweet treat! There’s a full service cafe where you can sit in a cupcake shaped booth and enjoy lunch and desserts. But the REAL treat is for the 21+ crowd. There’s a bar. Like… an actual bar. With alcohol. And candy. Behold, the candy cocktail! I kid you not this is a real thing. Here’s the menu. If I recall correctly, I had the Jolly Rancher Martini. It’s sickeningly sweet, but like… there was a rock candy stirrer, y’all. ROCK CANDY. Boom. It’s also a great place to wait after putting your name in at Serendipity 3 because it’s only a few doors down, and you’re 100% going to have a wait. Speaking of Serendipity 3…
3. Frozen Hot Chocolate – Serendipity 3 (225 E 60th St, NY, NY 10022)
This. Is. The. Stuff. Oh my gosh. Right, so here’s the deal. It’s kind of difficult to research places to go in New York City and not come across someone saying you just HAVE to go to Serendipity 3 for their frozen hot chocolate. But in all seriousness… you just HAVE to go to Serendipity 3 for their frozen hot chocolate! It’s a must. I might’ve been crazy, but I went in December. It’s cold in New York in December, but that didn’t stop me, or the however may people in front of me in line. I’d recommend the peanut butter frozen hot chocolate as opposed to just the regular, but that’s totally up to you. You honestly can’t go wrong, they’re both good. You can make reservations if you are also eating lunch or dinner, but if you’re just going for dessert, be prepared to wait in a 2-3 hour line. Here’s a tip for you: put your name on their list, ask about how long it’s going to be, head over to Dylan’s for a cocktail, and then go check back. That’s what I did, and when I checked back I still had about another hour and a half wait, so I walked myself over to Bloomingdales on 3rd Ave to shop for a bit. Don’t let the wait intimidate you. There are other things right around there you can do to occupy yourself, and you only actually wait in a physical line for about 30 minutes inside. WORTH. IT.
4. Cannoli – Ferrara Bakery & Cafe (195 Grand St, NY, NY 10013)
I grew up with a 100% Italian grandmother and a 50% Italian mother. I was destined to love a good cannoli. I’ve only been to Ferrara maybe two or three times in my life, but I’m still convinced that this is the second best cannoli I’ve ever had — second, of course, to the cannoli at Angelo Brocato Italian Ice Cream and Pastry in New Orleans. If you’re unfamiliar with the cannoli, it’s a delicate pastry shell in the shape of a tube with a sweet ricotta filling. Sometimes little chocolate chips will be mixed into the filling, but my favorite is when the ends are dipped in crushed pistachios (hence why Brocato’s is my #1 and Ferrara’s is my #2). Ferrara has lots of other great Italian desserts like biscotti, napoleon, spumoni, gelato, and assorted cookies, but the cannoli is the best.
5. Olive Oil Cake – Rosemary’s (18 Greenwich Ave, NY, NY 10011)
This one is really something, y’all. I found out about Rosemary’s from my sister who has a friend living in NYC. My friend and I decided to check it out for weekend brunch and, because we love food (btw this is the same friend I pigged out with at Willa Jean), we just HAD to get dessert. Because why not? So a lot of times my gal pal and I will look at a menu, look up at each other, and without saying a darned word we know what the other one is thinking. This time, we were thinking the same thing… OLIVE OIL CAKE! This is the moistest (most moist??? Grammar check me), cake I’ve eaten in my life. It’s pretty much just a yellow cake made with olive oil instead of butter, and it’s served with a blueberry compote and whipped cream. I mean… yeah. I wouldn’t go to Rosemary’s just for the dessert, but if you’re going there for a meal (which I would definitely suggest because the food is fantastic — they grow their own produce in their rooftop garden) definitely do NOT skip dessert.
6. Cookies, cookies, cookies – Schmackary’s (362 W 45th St, NY, NY 10036)
Schmackary’s (or Schmack’s as the kids call it) is not only a great place to grab dessert for the cookie connoisseur, but it’s also a Broadway theatre hot spot. It’s frequented by theatre-goers and actors alike post-show, and it’s also the location of Broadway Bakes which is an annual charity event that benefits Broadway Cares / Equity Fights Aids. For the fundraiser, some of Broadway’s best and brightest work behind the counter serving cookies. Half of the proceeds from the cookie sales and 100% of the tips those lovely Broadway stars earn go directly to BCEFA. It’s a pretty cool thing. But like also… their cookies are amazeballs. Schmack’s has lots of creative cookie flavors that I love such as the classic (semi-sweet chocolate and sea salt), funfetti (sugar cookie with cream cheese frosting and rainbow sprinkles), Schmacker-doodle (cinnamon, sugar, and cinnamon swirls), and the red velvet (red cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, and cream cheese frosting). There’s also the ever popular maple bacon (candied bacon, maple syrup, toffee bits, and sea salt), but I’m actually not a huge fan of that one. Not a bacon lover (*gasp* I know, I know).
P.S. A lot of these places deliver, so you can order from anywhere in the country if you can’t actually make it up to NYC. Check out their websites for that information.
Desserts I’m Dying to Try:
1. Churro Cone – ChikaLicious Dessert Bar (203 E 10th St, NY, NY 10003)
2. Cookie Dough – DŌ (550 LaGuardia Place, NY, NY 10012)
3. Crack Pie – Momofuku Milk Bar (multiple locations – see website)
4. Cheesecake – Junior’s (multiple locations – see website)
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie – Levain Bakery (167 W 74th St, NY, NY 10023)
6. Mexican Ice Cream – La Newyorkina (240 Sullivan St, NY, NY 10024)
Honestly… I want ALL OF THE THINGS. How good do those look? I’m going to try as many as I can and I will 100% give you guys an update on what’s worth it and what’s not. But, probably all of it will be worth it. Because sugar. Duh.
Also, if you’ve been to any of the above places that I haven’t been before please drop a comment and let me know what’s up! I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,