New York City is home to many crazy food concoctions. From churro cones to cookie shots, this city is constantly coming up with ridiculously cool new ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. NYC’s dessert scene is one of the best in the country, so Spoon has taken up the task of compiling all of the must-try desserts in one epic list.
Whether you’re just visiting or a NYC native, here is the ultimate New York City dessert bucket list:
1. Dominique Ansel Bakery: Milk and Cookie Shot
This classic from Dominique Ansel Bakery is a must-try on your trip to NYC. People wait in line for hours to try this new food trend. A cookie shot glass is completed with cool milk poured in right before your eyes. This dessert isn’t just a treat: it’s an experience.
2. Big Gay Ice Cream: Ice Cream Cone
Big Gay Ice Cream has been taking NYC by storm with multiple storefronts and a truck. This shop is known for its rainbow decor and innovative toppings. Get your cone rolled in crushed Nilla wafers or a rocky road mixture.
We recommend trying one of their specialties cones, like the Salty Pimp or Bea Arthur.
3. Lady M Confections: Mille Crepe Cake
Meaning “a thousand crepes” in French, the mille crepe cake certainly does not disappoint. Each crepe is placed and painstakingly layered with cannoli cream, combining to form a soft, fluffy cake. Lady M also makes different mille crepe cake flavors, such as strawberry and green tea.
4. Holey Cream: Donut Ice Cream Sandwich
This hole-in-the-wall shop just does dessert right. At Holey Cream, you can build your own donut down to the glaze and topping, but the fun doesn’t end there. They’ll slice the donut open and turn it into a custom ice cream sandwich.
#SpoonTip: Balance out the sweetness of the donut with chocolatey ice cream flavors.
5. Momofuku Milk Bar: Birthday Cake Truffles
Momofuku Milk Bar has been an NYC classic for years, and rightfully so. It serves products like crack pie (What’s in it? Nobody really knows but it’s great.), cereal milk ice cream, and best of all, birthday cake truffles.
#SpoonTip: If you’re feeling really decadent, get these little truffles in whole cake form. #treatyoself
6. M’O Il Gelato: Warm Gelato Panino
A gelateria straight from Italy, M’O Il is as authentic as it gets. The gelato is phenomenal on its own, but amp it up a notch and get it pressed between warm brioche buns.
What makes gelato so different from ice cream? Check out this article to find out.
7. Chobani SoHo: Greek Yogurt
This decadent Greek yogurt will prove once and for all that yogurt is a dessert. Chobani SoHo lets you custom build your Greek yogurt with fruits, nuts, and more decadent toppings like coconut shavings and chocolate.
8. Dough: Hibiscus Donut
I know what you’re thinking: this donut is flower-flavored? I know it sounds crazy, but this hibiscus donut from Dough strikes the perfect balance of sweet and fruity. Plus, the gorgeous pink color makes it totally #instaworthy.
9. Schmackary’s: Cookie Dough Cookie
Double the cookie dough, double the fun. Schmackary’s actually ices their chocolate chip cookies with more cookie dough. After eating this cookie, I’m pretty positive that heaven exists and is full of cookie dough.
10. Bibble and Sip: Cream Puff
Biting into one of Bibble and Sip’s luxurious cream puffs is like opening a teeny tiny present. The smooth filling perfectly complements the flaky, crunchy shell. With elegant flavors like matcha cream and earl grey, your tastebuds will be thanking you for these cream puffs.
#SpoonTip: Have a napkin on hand, it can get messy.
11. Black Tap: Milkshake
These outrageous milkshakes have been trending on every social medium there is. Black Tap is building the sugar-lover’s dream dessert fully loaded with toppings like M&Ms, cotton candy, rock candy and chocolate chip cookies.
12. Bouchon Bakery: Chocolate Eclair
Bouchon Bakery is serving some killer pastries, but my favorite is definitely the chocolate eclair. How could you not like a dessert garnished with gold leaf?
#SpoonTip: Complement this pastry with an iced coffee for a refreshing caffeine fix.
13. Dominique Ansel Bakery: Frozen S’more
From cronuts to milk and cookie shots, Dominique Ansel has been coming up with tons of innovative ways to get your sweet on. One of our favorites is the frozen s’more. It’ll bring you back to nights around a bonfire at summer camp, but it’s also perfect for helping you cool off in the NYC summer heat.
14. Sprinkles: Sprinkles Sundae
Ice cream and cupcakes: two of your favorite desserts combined into one perfect sundae. Sprinkles is now topping its ice cream with cupcakes.
#SpoonTip: On the go? Stop by one of Sprinkles’ cupcake ATMs to get some quick and easy dessert.
15. Levain Bakery: Chocolate Chip Cookie
Perfectly photogenic and instagrammable, these chocolate chip cookies are anything but boring. Levain Bakery has grown famous for the melty, gooey inside of their chocolate chip cookies.
16. Boqueria: Chocolate Churros
A major step up from street-side churros, Boqueria is doing it right with its chocolate churros. They’re perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and to sweeten the deal even more, these churros are injected with chocolate. Wow. Just wow.
17. Wooly’s: Shaved Snow
It’s not ice cream, but it’s not exactly shaved ice either. According to Wooly’s, “shaved snow is a hybrid between shaved ice and ice cream.” This shaved snow will melt in your mouth and explode with flavor.
#SpoonTip: Load up on the toppings. Go big or go home.
18. The Good Batch: Ice Cream Sandwich
After a long morning of wandering around Smorgasburg, Brooklyn’s ultimate flea market, a Good Batch ice cream sandwich will give you the boost you need to keep going. The Good Batch is mixing it up with cookie flavors like brownie and rice crispy sandwiching vanilla or mint ice cream.
Can’t make it to Smorgasburg? Visit The Good Batch’s Brooklyn bakery instead.
19. Ample Hills Creamery: Ice Cream
Ample Hills will throw almost anything into its ice cream, including your favorite snack foods. Our favorite flavor is “The Munchies,” complete with Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels and mini M&Ms.
#SpoonTip: Get your ice cream in a luxury cone, like a chocolate chip cookie cone.
20. Magnolia Bakery: Banana Bread Pudding
Magnolia Bakery has been serving up legendary cupcakes for as long as we can remember, but it’s really hit the jackpot with its banana bread pudding. The classic banana flavor never disappoints, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try out their chocolate bread pudding.
Throwing a party? Magnolia sells double bowls of its famous bread pudding that serve 20 people. Don’t worry about leftovers because this bread pudding will be the first dessert to disappear.
21. Ladurée: Macarons
Coming straight from Paris, these macarons are as authentic as you can get. The Ladurée SoHo storefront will transport you to a high tea parlor in France with its delicate pink and green decorations. Make sure to get a box to take home, you’ll be thanking yourself later.
22. Dominique Ansel Bakery: Cronut
The infamous cronut is a must-try NYC favorite. The line outside Dominique Ansel Bakery is worth it to try one of these donut-croissant hybrids. Plus, Dominique Ansel always concocts a new flavor of the month, making each visit unique.
23. The Smith: S’mores in a Jar
Save room during your indulgent dinner at The Smith, because its dessert menu will blow you away. “Deconstructed” is usually code for less work, but The Smith is certainly not slacking with this s’mores in a jar. This new take on a childhood favorite will elevate your tastebuds to new heights.
24. Boulton and Watt: Cast-Iron Cookie
Who knew this elegant NYC restaurant would be the home to the next great dessert: the cast-iron cookie? Boulton and Watt serves a warm chocolate chip cookie in a mini skillet with a small pitcher of milk on the side. A must-try for children and adults alike.
25. Doughnuttery: Mini Donuts
They’re so small, it’s OK if I eat 20 of them, right? Doughnuttery’s baby donuts have a home in Chelsea Market, where you can watch the employee fry and coat your donuts with toppings of your choosing.
#SpoonTip: Don’t skimp on the powdered sugar.
26. ChikaLicious: Churro Ice Cream Cone
Churro. Ice cream. Cone. I never thought I’d see the day that something this beautiful was invented. This fluffy, warm churro cone definitely trumps the classic wafer cone.
Be careful with this one: once you try a churro cone from ChikaLicious, you’ll never go back.
27. Eight Turn Crepe: Crepes
Japanese crepes? Why not. This cone-shaped dessert is perfect when you’re on-the-go but still need your sweet fix. With Japanese flavors like lychee valentine and classics like strawberry banana, Eight Turn Crepe has something for everyone.
28. 10Below Ice Cream: Rolled Ice Cream
Why eat your ice cream in a scoop when you can have it in 5 spiral rolls? 10Below is changing the ice cream game with this new twist on your favorite sweet. The best part of this deal is that they’re loading on the toppings.
29. Baked by Melissa: Mini Cupcakes
Good things come in small packages. Your trip to NYC is not complete if you haven’t tried Baked by Melissa’s bite-sized cupcakes. Perfect for snacking, you can eat a box of 12 by yourself. Try as many different flavors as you can, but our favorite will always remain tie dye.
#SpoonTip: If you’re not in NYC but want to try these cupcakes, Baked by Melissa ships nationwide. You’re welcome.
30. Serendipity 3: Frozen Hot Chocolate
Serendipity 3 has been doing dessert right since 1954. This frozen hot chocolate has been my dream dessert ever since I was a child. Perfect for sharing, this luxurious frozen hot chocolate is not just a cool treat but a social experience.
31. Kith Treats: Cereal Ice Cream
Kith Treats is NYC’s first cereal bar, but we’re traveling there for the ice cream. Infuse your ice cream with over 20 choices in cereals and tons of toppings to build the ultimate custom blend. Why just have plain cereal when you can blend it into your ice cream?
32. Max Brenner: Chocolate Pizza
Max Brenner is bringing the gift of chocolate to the world, centering its entire restaurant menu around chocolate. Yes, you heard that right. From burger buns dusted with cacao powder to decadent chocolate fondue, you can have a five-course meal built around chocolate.
The chocolate pizza is the best of both worlds: not cloyingly sweet, but perfectly indulgent.
33. Play J: Ice Cream
Track down this truck in NYC for a fun twist on your ice cream. Play J is serving vanilla and chocolate soft serve in a crispy, J-shaped cone. This whimsical dessert is just as much fun to look at as it is to eat.
34. Eggloo: Egg Waffle Ice Cream Cone
These days, people are making cones out of anything, from churros to chocolate chip cookies. However, our favorite is the egg waffle cone from Eggloo. Straight out of Hong Kong, these light and fluffy cones perfectly compliment your loaded ice cream.
Check out this article to learn more about this new trend.
35. Chloe’s: Soft Serve Fruit
Feeling healthy? Trade in that ice cream cone for this equally as delicious soft serve fruit. Fresh and tart, Chloe’s soft serve fruit is the ultimate way to keep your beach bod while indulging.
For more healthy substitutes, check out this article.
36. The Meatball Shop: Ice Cream Sandwich
I know what you’re thinking: why would I go to a meatball shop to get ice cream? Well, The Meatball Shop is stuffing its killer freshly-baked cookies with handmade ice cream. You can build your own sandwich from the ground up, choosing your cookie and ice cream flavors to make your dream dessert.
Looking to make your own ice cream sandwich at home? Try this recipe for an easy chocolate donut, Nutella and coffee ice cream sandwich.
37. Melt: Ice Cream Sandwich
With fun flavor names like “Lovelet,” “Maplemaker,” and “Seduction,” Melt’s ice cream sandwiches are fun and playful. You can even get them shipped outside of NYC here. After all, a girl needs her ice cream sandwich no matter where she lives.
38. Ice and Vice: Ice Cream
Ice and Vice will try anything and everything when it comes to ice cream. This experimental ice cream shop partnered with SpoonU to create a custom flavor: Fireball ice cream with a ramen brittle and Flaming Hot Cheeto ramen pieces.
Plus, show them that you follow Spoon on Instagram and get 20% off our flavor. Win-win.
39. The Doughnut Project: Everything Bagel Donut
Donut and everything bagel: your two favorite breakfast foods, combined into one. A recent NYC innovation, the Doughnut Project described the everything donut as “topped with a light cream cheese glaze, roasted poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds, pepitas and a hint of garlic and sea salt.”
You may be skeptical on this dessert-breakfast hybrid, but give it a try.
40. Morgenstern’s: Avocado Ice Cream Toast
I don’t think you could get any more basic than avocado toast, but Morgenstern’s new take has us thanking the dessert gods. Avocado ice cream may sound funky, but our love for avo knows no bounds. You’ll have to trust us on this one and try it for yourself.
41. People’s Pops: Ice Pop
Great pops with a great view. This highline ice pop stand dishes out the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Fruity and fresh, these ice pops will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated for some more NYC exploring. We recommend the raspberry-lime flavor.
Step up your own pop game with these DIY margarita ice pops. The more boozy the better.
42. Parm: Ice Cream Cake
Go to Parm for dinner, but the real main course is the dessert. Parm’s three-layer ice cream cake definitely beats your 5th grade birthday cake. This chocolate-strawberry-pistachio combo is the total package, complete with a cherry on top.
43. Francois Payard: Macaron Donut
Francois Payard has brought us the newest development in the generation of hybrid desserts: the macaron donut. Payard has 30 years of experience making French pastries, so it’s no surprise that he thought up this innovation on the macaron. Line up to try this specialty dessert because there are only two available per customer.
If you’re ballin’ on a budget, check out these three sweet treats under $3 in New York.
44. Pop Bar: Ice Pop
Who knew ice pops could be so funky? Toss those supermarket ice pops aside for these gourmet frozen treats. Pop Bar is putting its handcrafted frozen gelato on a stick (and sometimes even dipping it in chocolate). With flavors like dulce de leche dipped in caramel corn and green tea, Pop Bar is a must-try.
45. Sundaes and Cones: Ice Cream
Sundaes and Cones is using Asian flavors to put a new spin on the classic ice cream cone. Flavors range from vanilla and chocolate to wasabi and black sesame. Many of the adventurous flavors are colorful, adding a nice pop to your insta feed.
46. Snowdays: Shaved Snow
NYC back at it again with the shaved snow. With ridiculous toppings and a variety of flavors, Snowdays will make you want to give up ice cream for good. It’s featured frequently on @new_fork_city, one of NYC’s most famous food Instagrams.
47. Round K Cafe: Raindrop Cake
Wait… what? You’re probably just as confused as I was when I first saw this raindrop cake. According to Darren Wong, creator of the raindrop cake, it’s inspired by traditional Mizu Shingen Mochi from Japan.
This is a dessert you just have to taste to understand. Head to Round K Cafe on the Lower East Side to see what it’s all about.
48. Batter and Cream: Mini Whoopie Pies
Mini. Whoopie. Pies. You may think it doesn’t get better than that, but it does. Batter and Cream will ship its mini whoopee pies straight to you. Talk about convenient.
49. The Stanton Social: Donuts
The Stanton Social is a cool shared-plate collaboration restaurant started by some of NYC’s top chefs. Not only is its dinner delicious, but these chefs are killing the dessert game too. Order a bunch of different dishes and share them so you can try as many of these sweets as possible.
All the desserts are really creative, but I’m a sucker for some fluffy warm donuts complete with caramel, chocolate and berry dipping sauces.
50. Pops by Haley: Cake Push-Up Pop
Perfectly playful and convenient. Eat your cake without all the mess in Pops by Haley’s layered cake push-up pop. Complete with cake, frosting and sprinkles, you’ll never settle for a boring old slice again.
I hope that this ultimate dessert tour of NYC keeps your sweet tooth satisfied. And remember, there is no such a thing as too much sugar.