We all know that New York City is famous for its insanely large portions and divinely delicious food, so I won’t force you to hit the snooze button by repeating all that. Have you ever wondered if a New York dessert could change your life? I am sure that these could!
Let’s focus on where the locals go for the best eats in town. I mean you see all these awesome New York City food videos on Facebook, and they totally make you drool with envy, but are they really worth the calories? Because let’s be real, no one wants to beef up on foods that don’t taste good.
Well, that’s where I, your handy-dandy New Yorker, come in. I’m here to show you the five desserts in New York City that will change your life, and for the better. Trust me, these are the places that have amazing food at a reasonable price so yes, locals do in fact frequent these establishments. Oh and just a warning, any attempt to not devour the whole dessert in one sitting is totally useless, so abandon any and all diets now.
Here’s my New York dessert list
1. Hot Chocolate from Max Brenner
This place is basically any chocoholics dream. Not only are the savoury dishes here generally served with a dramatic flourish of chocolate divinity, but the desserts here are the stuff that gastronomic euphoria is made of. And what better way to go back to the nostalgia of your youth than with a nice cup of hot cocoa? I always used to warm up on snow days with a tall cup of Swiss Miss, but hot chocolate has come a long way since then.
Not only does Max Brenner have a Willy Wonka like mug that is specially designed to be held in both hands so that you can savour this rich cup of chocolatey, creamy goodness, but there are a ton of flavours to choose from like Italian thick, Hazelnut, Mocha, Marshmallow, Oreo, etc. My personal favorite is the peanut butter hot chocolate, which is a decadent mix of an insanely sweet and slightly thick hot chocolate that is expertly combined with a hint of salty, peanut butter flavor that helps balance the sweetness and is a great way to warm up on a cold day (for the bargain basement price of $6). And all flavours come in milk, dark, or white chocolate. Talk about great cheap food in New York City!
Address: 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Hours: Open 9:00 am -12:00 am Monday through Thursday, open 9:00 am to 1:00 am on Fridays/Saturdays and open 9 am to 11:00 pm on Sundays.
2. Chocolate Chip, Walnut Cookie from Levain Bakery
The cookies here are WAY better than the ones my mom used to make, or the ones Martha Stewart used to make if your mom was an M.I.A. baker. Not only are these nuggets of delight decadently moist and gooey, but they are enormous in size and flavour, with traditional varieties like chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, oatmeal raisin, etc. That’s why, shocker, there is typically a line out the door. But don’t let the line deter you because these sugar bombs are worth the wait, scout’s honour.
However, if you just can’t wait to inhale this piece of cookie heaven, then mosey on over to the Harlem location on 2167 Frederick Douglas Boulevard (Yes it’s safe since Harlem is now a foodie haven of sorts).
Address: Levain Bakery, 167 West 74th Street (at Amsterdam Avenue); 212-874-6080
Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-7pm and Sun: 9am-7pm
***Another one of my favourite chocolate chip cookies is the chocolate chip cookie milk shot from Dominique Ansel bakery. This cookie is served in the shape of a shot glass, with a vanilla infused milk inside that balances out the sweetness of the chocolate.
3. Chocolates from La Burdick
Looking for some super adorable chocolates? Then look no further than these divine homemade chocolates that are served in the shape of snowmen, mice or penguins. No joke, these are the cutest and tastiest little chocolates that I have ever seen! The penguins are so adorable that you almost can’t eat them. But somehow, I managed to bite their little heads off, as vicious as that sounds.
The penguins are made of whipped dark chocolate and lemon ganache that is accented with a dash of Limoncello. They are finished with a pair of almond wings that almost make you feel like they are about to come to life, like something straight out of Harry Potter. Honestly, if they were enchanted and could sing and dance like in the movie happy feet, my life would be made.
I also tried the chocolate mice and they are just as adorable with their toasted almond ears and silky little tails. There is a dark chocolate with an orange interior, a milk chocolate with a mocha interior, and a white chocolate with a cinnamon interior. All of them were insanely delicious but my fave was the white chocolate and I kind of mauled him. Sorry, little guy but you were just so darn tasty.
Address: La Burdick 156 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
Hours: Open 8:00 am to 9:00 pm from Monday through Saturday and open 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on Sundays.
4. Chocolate Babka from Breads Bakery
Now in case you have no idea what Babka actually is, this dessert is typically found in many Jewish bakeries and is a twisted, yeast dough that is baked to flaky perfection in a high loaf pan. Instead of a fruit filling though, the dough is typically packed with cinnamon or chocolate in between all the bready layers. On top, it is usually sprinkled with streusel to create an exquisite contrast between the slightly dry layers of the bread and the sticky sweet swirls of chocolate.
So what does all this mean to you? Well, you should go and get a loaf of chocolate Babka from the Breads Bakery kiosk, in Bryant Park, right this minute. Just save until you get home because once you start eating, you won’t be able to stop. So if you do devour the whole loaf in one sitting, no judgment here, then you can do so without the disapproving stare of those who do not understand just how divine this dessert really is.
Address: Breads Bakery 18 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003
Hours: Open from 6:30 am to 9:00 pm on Monday through Friday, 6:30 am to 8:00 pm on Saturdays and 7:30 am to 8:00 pm Sunday.
This last one is not only a beautiful and totally Instagram worthy dessert, but it is absolutely delicious since it is the perfect combination of two of my favourite foods, waffles and ice cream. Sure, you can get savoury toppings on your Hong Kong style egg waffle, but I stick to strictly the sweet stuff and get vanilla, soft serve ice cream in an original waffle, with rainbow sprinkles and some Pocky for an added flourish.
If that all sounds gross to you, not to worry because you can choose the flavour of your waffle, ice cream, and pick from an unlimited number of toppings that include Fruity Pebbles, chocolate syrup, crushed Oreos, and so much more. So head on over to Chinatown and check this quaint little dessert shop out!
Address: Eggloo, 60 Mulberry Street, New York New York, 10013
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm and open Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
So there you have it, my New York dessert list that might possibly change your life. But the best part is that this list is in no way exhaustive! There are so many other restaurants that I still need to check out, with new and exciting dessert shops opening all the time. Therefore, the quest for the best desserts in New York City never actually ends; a fact that is totally fine by me.
Kelly Duhigg currently lives and works in New York City. In her spare time, she loves to solo travel and share her adventures on www.girlwiththepassport.com.
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