New Yorkers take dessert seriously. In Manhattan, several hyped-up sugary hot spots such as the famed Serendipity III and Hershey’s – Times Square draw eager locals and tourists alike. For a real treat, visit some of these restaurants and stores for a mouth-watering welcome into Manhattan’s sweet-tooth scene.
Dessert To Stay
- Parisian bliss at Payard Patisserie and Bistro
Desserts by famed French pastry chef Francois Payard draw guests to this alluring Upper East Side bistro and patisserie known for its selections of luxurious cakes, truffles, and dessert cocktails. Top choices include the distressingly beautiful Upside-down Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Soufflé and the Liquid Louvre, a vanilla vodka, Frangelico, and hot chocolate cocktail served with a dome-shaped chocolate mousse pastry.
- Location: 1032 Lexington Avenue, between 73rd and 74th streets. 212.717.5252.
- Get there: 6 train to 77th Street
- A difficult choice at Café Lalo
Café Lalo isn’t your traditional dessert shop. The vast menu boasts over one hundred cakes and pies, nine types of brownies, cookies, tarts, fondue, mousse, shakes and smoothies, ice cream, Italian ice cream, biscotti, and a wide variety of traditional pastries and specialty dessert dishes. The small tables, exposed brick walls and light jazz create a delightful atmosphere. The only problem? You might want to order everything.
- Location: 201 West 83rd Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway. 212-496-6031.
- Get there: 1 train to 86th Street
- Chocolate to the Max
Stop by Max Brenner any time of day for a sweet treat. For breakfast, pick up Mom’s Bagel, a rich pastry oozing with melted chocolate and peanut butter praline. On your lunch hour, why not wander on back for some Warm Chocolate Soup? Later on, if cooking dinner seems like a chore, just order Max’s Chocolate Pizza. For dessert, if you’re brave (and still conscious), tackle the Chocolate Mess, a dish so sloppy it’s eaten with spatulas. Make sure to take it easy the next day.
- Location: 841 Broadway, between 13th and 14th streets; 141 2nd Avenue at 9th Street. 212-388-0030.
- Get there: N/R/Q/W, 4/5/6, L trains to Union Square-14th Street
- Frozen Favorites at
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
This unique ice cream store features strong, exotic flavors such as avocado, black sesame, durian (a fruit native to southeast Asia), and taro, as well as an assortment of more traditional flavors, non-dairy sorbets, and homemade toppings. With friendly service and affordable prices, this place beats Tasti-D-Lite any day.
- Location: 65 Bayard Street, between Elizabeth and Mott Streets. 212-608-4170.
- Get there: N/Q/R/W train to Canal Street
Dessert To Go
Taking time out of the day for dessert isn’t always an option for New Yorkers on the run. These bakeries and shops offer delicious, home-baked goodies you can take home and enjoy:
- Magnolia Bakery
Buttercream frosting, rich, flavorful cakes, sprinkles, a cute shop in the West Village…need I say more? Visit during the week to avoid long lines.
- Location: 401 Bleecker Street at 11th Street. 212-462-2572.
- Get there: 1/2/3 trains to 14th Street
- Ferrara Bakery and Café
Visit this famous bakery in the heart of Little Italy for delicious Italian pastries and desserts.
- Location: 195 Grand Street, between Mulberry and Mott Streets. 212-226-6150.
- Get there: B/D trains to Grand Street
- Dylan’s Candy Bar
Dylan’s is a dream to any candy fanatic. I’m waiting for someone to discover oompa-loompas running a factory under the store.
- Location: 1011 3rd Avenue at 60th Street. 646-735-0078.
- Get there: N/W/R or 4/56 trains to 59th Street/Lexington Avenue