The Harry Potter New York store — the first official Harry Potter flagship store — offers an impressive selection of apparel, memorabilia, and other merchandise that pay homage to the Harry Potter universe. It also happens to be the go-to source for treats and drinks featured in the books outside of the Universal Studios theme parks.

Located by the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park, Harry Potter New York often employs a virtual queue to manage high demand, despite being open since June. Once inside the store, there are several things to do like explore the Wand Shop or dive into the virtual reality experiences (those have to be booked in advance). If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, though, then you should head straight to the Butterbeer Bar and confectionary area. 

The Butterbeer Bar offers two main products: butterbeer ice cream and fresh butterbeer. There is also a stunning display of cupcakes and cookies decorated with different symbols from the Wizarding World. While the cupcakes are elegantly decorated, the flavors themselves don’t directly draw inspiration from the books — and they come at a steep price too ($9 for one cupcake). To stay true to the books, I decided to try only the butterbeer and candy products. 

Butterbeer Ice Cream

Sophie Mohindra-Green

The butterbeer ice cream costs $8 per cup, which is expensive given the portion size. The texture of the ice cream was far more custard-like than soft serve, giving it a soft and delicate mouth feel. The ice cream itself had a subtle butterbeer flavor, but the majority of the flavor came from the sauce on top, so I tried to get some of the sauce with every bite of ice cream. I enjoyed the ice cream, but I don’t think the $8 price tag is entirely justified. I recommend trying it once for the novelty, but there are other ice cream options that are better tasting and priced more reasonably.

Fresh Butterbeer

Sophie Mohindra-Green

This is the truly iconic Harry Potter product, so I had relatively high expectations when trying it. The fresh butterbeer typically costs $12 per glass when it is in the novelty mug, but when I visited, they ran out of mugs and decreased the price to $9 per glass. Similar to the ice cream, the price is marked up significantly, which is understandable considering the store is mostly a tourist attraction. The butterbeer itself tasted true to the description in the book: “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.” The only area where it failed to deliver was the “less-sickly” part. The butterscotch flavor tasted a little bit too artificial, detracting from the appeal of the product. Aside from the artificial butterscotch flavoring, the cream on top provided a nice complement to the sweetness of the soda. However, the overall product didn’t feel that different from a traditional cream soda.

Honeydukes Treats

The confectionery area of the store offers iconic treats from the books such as Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. The decor draws inspiration from Honeydukes, the fictional sweet shop located in Hogsmeade, adding to the magical feeling of the shopping experience. I tried both the Chocolate Frog and the Every Flavor Beans, both of which were in the $12-$15 range depending on the type of packaging chosen. The price primarily reflects the quality of the product as a souvenir rather than a candy. The ingredients in each are similar to that of traditional chocolate and jelly beans (with the exception of some gross flavorings used for the Every Flavor Beans), so there was nothing particularly novel about the products themselves. They would both make great gifts for avid Harry Potter fans, but not necessarily for those who consider themselves “foodies.”

Overall, the Harry Potter store has a lot to offer fans, but the high prices of their food items indicate that they may not be worth the purchase. They may be worth buying for the novelty, but from a culinary perspective, the money could probably be better spent elsewhere.

Harry Potter New York is located at 935 Broadway, New York, NY, 10010.