My name is Emma and I’m the professional eater behind the Instagram account @lets.eat.yall. While I don’t actually spend every hour of the day stuffing my face…I do spend quite a bit of my time researching and trying out new spots in the city. Lucky for you (and unlucky for my waistline) I may have the biggest sweet tooth on the east coast. Actually. In an attempt to use my obsession for the benefit of society, I’ve put together a list of my faves to help guide your NYC dessert adventures 😉
In no particular order, here are my top 8 picks in NYC for SWEEEETS:
Although everyone and their mother has hyped up Milkbar in the past couple of years, it’s still in my top 10 for one reason: It’s worth the hype. Their cereal milk soft serve is a contender for my favorite dessert of all time, and everything else on their menu is also 10/10 (not that I’ve tried it all or anything…) But seriously, you should go. Like now.
- Ideal for: Midday sweet tooth craving, after dinner dessert, casual day date
- What to order: Cereal milk soft serve, corn cookie (trust me on this), blueberry & cream cookie, crack pie, birthday cake truffles
- Plan to spend: $3 to $6 per item
This is a small, lesser known gelato shop with three locations in NYC (and two in Italy)…authentic much? They serve up 20 different flavors of gelato daily with interesting flavors like pistachio, mascarpone and amaretto cookie. But whatever you do, don’t miss out on the hot gelato panini. It’s a brioche bun filled with your choice of gelato and pressed right in front of you, served warm. Yes, it’s as perfect as it sounds.
- Ideal for: Catching up with friends, between meal snacking
- What to order: Gelato panino (my pick is with dark chocolate gelato), Monella or Delirium specialty gelato.
Recently made popular for the churro ice cream cone, Chikalicious is a hot spot in the East Village for all your sugar coated cravings. While the churro cone is delicious, they also have many other desserts worth the wait! If you’re not sure what kind of dessert you’re in the mood for, head over to Chikalicious because you’ll have plenty of options.
- Ideal for: Grab and go (not much seating), Instagramming
- What to order: Nutty professor conechurro, matcha mille crepe cake, nutella dough’ssant
- Plan to spend: $5 to $10
This is a two-in-one pick…not to be confused with each other, these are two separate restaurants owned and operated by the culinary mastermind Dominique Ansel. DAK serves up more of a made-to-order menu with savory bites and sweets alike, where as DAB dishes out the famous Cronut, Cookie Shot, and Frozen S’mores. Head to DAB to keep up with the hottest trends, but swing by DAK for equally delicious sweets without the wait.
- Ideal for: Dessert date with your bestie, outside seating, Instagramming
- What to order:
- DAK: Ultimate s’more, brown sugar DKA ice cream sandwich, burrata or salt & pepper soft serve (weekends only!)
- DAB: Cronut® pastry (flavor rotates monthly), Cookie shot (served after 3pm), Frozen S’mores
- Plan to spend: $5 to $10
A classic spot for doughnuts in the city, and for good reason. I consider myself somewhat of a doughnut expert (based upon the sheer amount I’ve consumed), and let me tell ya…these doughnuts come in right at the top of my list. Every single flavor is incredible. It’s definitely worth going with a group and splitting a few.
- Ideal for: Group orders, bringing into the office on Friday morn
- What to order: Lemon Poppy (my all time fave), Mocha Almond Crunch, Mojito, Mexican Chocolate Doughka (doughnut babka…what?!?)
- Plan to spend: $3 to $5
If you haven’t ventured to the UWS specifically for this cookie then you’ll probably think I’m crazy for saying I have…multiple times. I’m all for variety and trying new things, but at Levain I stick to my classic order and never waver. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- Ideal for: Fieldtripping to the UWS for an afternoon, eating in Central Park
- What to order: Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
- Plan to spend: $4 to $5
This is exactly what it sounds like, an entire bar dedicated to chocolate desserts. No, you’re not dreaming. Located right in Union Square, Max Brenner also has more traditional lunch and dinner options on the menu (which look quite delicious)…but every time I’ve been I go straight for the *massive* dessert menu. Come hungry, leave chocolate wasted.
- Ideal for: Casual date, light night dessert, treating out-of-towners
- What to order: Chocolate Chunks Pizza, Mexican spicy hot chocolate (your choice of white, milk, or dark), The S’more Concoction
- Plan to spend: $10 to $15
A Belgian dessert concept that lets you create your own sugar-filled masterpiece. Wafels=waffles, dinges=toppings. You can either choose from their pre-designed wafel creations, or design your own custom treat with as many dinges (toppings) as you can handle! With multiple locations and trucks throughout the city, you’re never too far from your next wafel!
- Ideal for: Sweet breakfast, outside snacking (location in Bryant Park)
- What to order: WMD (Wafel of Massive Deliciousness) aka unlimited dinges. I recommend bananas, strawberries, spekuloos spread, spekuloos crumble, hot fudge, and whipped cream. But you do you.
- Plan to spend: $6 to $10