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12 Iconic New York City Desserts (Worth the Wait)

Dominique Ansel December 2022 Cronut

Like with most things, New York City has the cream of the crop, desserts are no exception. Treats from all over the world find their way to this international city, which makes daily life in NYC that much sweeter. After 10 years of living in NYC, I’ve had my fair share of interesting desserts. From viral sensations to time-tested classics, here’s a roundup of the most iconic desserts in NYC from a local’s perspective!


Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (10 Best Neighborhoods & 3 to Avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s my favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.


The Best Desserts in New York City

(Table of Contents)


Best desserts New York City
The Nutella Cruffin from Supermoon Bakehouse

The Nutella Cruffin from Supermoon Bakehouse

Supermoon Bakehouse is the brainchild of Ry Stephen, the mastermind behind San Francisco’s most popular bakery, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. Renowned for its creativity and innovation, the baked goods have folks waiting on line for 1+ hours.

The star of the show is the Nutella Cruffin, a mixture between a muffin and croissant which tastes as good as it sounds. Intricate layers of airy doughy goodness entangled with a soft and creamy nutella center. Sheer perfection.

Website:Supermoon Bakehouse
Neighborhood:Lower East Side
Address:120 Rivington St, New York, NY


Dominique Ansel December 2022 Cronut

The World-Famous Cronut from Dominique Ansel

I’ve visited Dominique Ansel Bakery plenty of times and can tell you confidently that it’s impossible to be disappointed when visiting. The best way to describe this popular New York City bakery would be: Michelin-star quality at a fraction of the price.

Often considered one of the most innovative bakeries in New York City, the Cronut (half croissant, half doughnut) put them on the map in 2013 and the lines (still) wrap the block, 10 years later. The flavor changes monthly and never repeat (once the month is over, the flavor disappears for good). To see this month’s flavor, check out their website.

Website:Dominique Ansel Bakery
Neighborhood:SoHo
Address: 189 Spring St, New York, NY


Famous matcha cream puff from Bibble & Sip, best desserts in New York City

Cream Puffs from Bibble & Sip

Bibble & Sip has garnered a reputation for making the most heavenly cream puffs in New York City. These delightful treats, particularly the matcha and earl grey flavors, are culinary masterpieces, featuring delicate choux pastry shells filled with luscious, flavorful creams.

The bakery’s unique approach combines French and Asian inspirations, creating an array of pastries and desserts that are not only a delight to taste but also a feast for the eyes as well. This is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for the best desserts in New York City.

Website: Bibble & Sip
Address: 253 W 51st St, New York, NY


Red velvet seasonal banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery, NYC
Seasonal red-velvet banana pudding from Magnolia

Banana Pudding From Magnolia Bakery

It’s not uncommon for Magnolia Bakery to be sold out of their famous banana pudding most days of the week, especially the seasonal flavors. Layered with vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and sweet whipped cream, this banana pudding is rich and creamy, making it a great treat year-round.

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, opt for the fun seasonal flavors. My personal favorite was the apple crisp banana pudding from last November (if you see it on the menu, it’s a must-order in my opinion!). I’ve been to this bakery so many times in the past month, I’m surprised they haven’t put me on the payroll.

Website: Magnolia Bakery
Location: 7 locations in New York City


Best desserts NYC

Chocolate Babka from Breads Bakery

Dark chocolate ribbons of Nutella delicately folded into layers of airy dough, Bread’s babka was named the best in New York City.

But the chocolate babka alone isn’t what makes this one of the best Jewish bakeries in NYC. Rather, it’s the fact that everything on the menu is top-notch. From classics like chocolate croissants to traditional Jewish baked goods like rugelach, there’s a reason Breads Bakery has spread to 8 locations in the city since opening in 2013.

Local’s Tip: Breads Bakery recently opened a new location on the Upper East Side. They chose to create a baked good exclusive to the location and landed on a delicious twist on the iconic black-and-white cookie. It’s one of my favorite deserts in New York City, I can’t recommend it enough.

Website: Breads Bakery
Locations: 4 bakeries in New York City


Pinklady Cheese Tart

I’m a big fan of Japanese desserts, especially after trying some cheese tarts in Tokyo a few years ago. Years later, I still found myself craving the delectable international treat which is how I came across Pinklady Cheese Tart in Chinatown. Perfectly salty and sweet, the cheese tarts are made with a blend of three types of rich cheeses and creams.

The fluffly cream is a great companion for the twice-backed crust, which adds a satisfying crunch in every bite. There’s a few flavors to choose from, like matcha, ube, blueberry, chocolate and the original cheese filling. As much as I like the non-traditional flavors, I think the original cheese tart takes the cake.

Website: Pinklady Cheese Tart
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Address: 11 Mott St, New York, NY


Best desserts NYC

Chances are good that you’ve heard of Levain, arguably the most famous chocolate chip cookies in New York City, if not the world. Consistently ranking among the best desserts in New York City, their gooey chocolate chip walnut cookies have amassed a cult-like following.

Rarely, in a city offering SO many food options, does a place stand so far above the rest but Levain Bakery is an exception. These incredible treats will reappear in dreams. The menu is fairly small (five cookies and a few baked goods) which makes ordering a breeze. The line well out the door most hours of the day and can take 30+ minutes during weekends.

Website: Levain Bakery
Featured in: 10 Best Cookies in New York City


Best dessert NYC

Earl Grey Ice Cream from Van Leeuwen

Van Leeuwen originally started as a food truck in 2008, but has now spread to 19 brick-and-mortar shops in NYC. The founders focused on creating ice cream with simple, fresh ingredients, without using stabilizers or artificial additives.

Characterized by rich flavors, this artisanal ice cream is all about creativity. In addition to exciting seasonal flavors, Van Leeuwen is known for offering unique flavors like brown sugar cookie dough, Sicilian pistachio and Earl Grey tea (my favorite!).

They also have a range of dairy-free and vegan options, with flavors like cashew milk rocky road and oat milk brownie sundae raspberry swirl. So if you’re in search of the best dessert in New York City on a hot summer day, you need not look further than this local gem.

Website: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Featured in: 15 NYC Ice Cream Shops to Enjoy by Summer’s End


The Creme Brulee Doughnut from Doughnut Plant

Every great foodie city has their go-to spots for amazing doughnuts and Doughnut Plant is at the top of our list for best dessert in NYC! Customization is the name of the game here. The case overflows with innovative flavors like fresh blueberry sourdough(nut) and the famous crème brûlée donut. Filled brûlée with a creamy vanilla bean custard and torched to caramelize the sugar topping, it’s perfect for a sweet-tooth!

Website: Doughnut Plant
Locations: 5 shops in New York City


Best Desserts New York City
Petee’s Pie Company

Petee’s Pie Company

Petra “Petee” Paredez was born to bake. Her parents own a successful pie company in Virginia so it’s no surprise that she’s able to hold her own in New York City. Committed to using real ingredients, including seasonal local produce and natural sweeteners, the crusts are made with organic flour and butter from grass-fed cows in Upstate New York.

Petee’s Pie Company offers a variety of pies, including both sweet and savory options, but my favorite item on the menu is the banana pie (followed closely by the traditional apple pie). So if you’re exploring the Lower East Side, swing by for some of the best desserts New York City has to offer.

Website: Petee’s Pie Company
Address: 61 Delancey St, New York, NY


Keki Modern Cakes

The Bouncy Cheesecake at Keki Modern Cakes

AKeki Modern Cake’s Japanese “Bouncy” Cheesecake is one of the best desserts in New York City. Take everything you think you know about cheesecake and toss it out the window. Keki’s Bouncy Cheesecake (light and silky) is like nothing you’ve ever had before. Made fresh daily with organic grass-fed milk, Amish cream cheese, and organic free-range eggs, these are some of the best sweet treats in NYC.

Website: Keki Modern Cakes
Locations: Midtown & Chinatown


Best desserts New York City

24-Layer Cake from Maison Pickle

The 24-Layer Cake at Maison Pickle is exactly what it sounds like. 24 layers of perfectly moist cake sandwiched between layers of frosting. To call it an indulgence is an understatement. The mile-high cake is massive, which means you should plan to have leftovers for a few days. So not only is this some of the best dessert in new York City, it seems to be the the gift that keeps on giving!

Website: Maison Pickle
Address: 2315 Broadway, New York, NY
Featured in: 10+ Toothsome Upper West Side Brunch Spots


Best Desserts in NYC (Post Summary)

In sum, these are the best desserts in New York City:

  1. Levain cookies
  2. Pinklady Cheese Tart
  3. Cronut from Dominique Ansel
  4. Nutella cruffin from Supermoon Bakehouse
  5. Banana bread pudding from Magnolia Bakery
  6. Chocolate babka from Breads Bakery
  7. Earl Grey Tea ice cream from Van Leeuwen
  8. Creme Brulee Doughnut from Doughnut Plant
  9. Petee’s Pie Company
  10. Cream Puffs from Bibble & Sip
  11. Japanese Bouncy Cheesecake from Keki Modern Cakes
  12. 24-Layer Cake from Maison Pickle

NYC Desserts FAQ

FAQ
What’s the most famous dessert in NYC?

The most famous dessert in NYC is (undoubtedly) the cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo. Since its invention in 2013, this popular NYC dessert stills has folks lining up 10 years later. Speaking from personal experience, it’s completely worth the hype.


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And there you have it my friends – a quick roundup of the best desserts in NYC. Cheers!

Ellen

Thursday 21st of December 2023

I tried the seasonal red velvet pudding at magnolia on your recommendation -- holy cow! had no idea it was so good and I walk by it almost daily. sooooooo good!

Antonina

Thursday 21st of December 2023

I'm so glad you liked it, Ellen! I'm a huge fan too!