August 02, 2017
New York is blessed with dozens, if not hundreds of delicious dessert places! While guidebooks are filled with different options, I wanted to share my favorite ones. After 4 years in New York City, I've tried many places, but always go back to these 3 places whenever I want a sweet bite or am invited somewhere and have to bring dessert. It's funny to note that none of these places offer traditional French desserts. For this post, I wanted to focus on treats that you can only find in New York City.
While I like to sit down and take time to enjoy food, I find it more fun to order these desserts to go and sit in a park nearby. This way, you'll be able to people-watch, relax and immerse yourself, just like a New Yorker would.
Levain Bakery Multiple locations (Original location 167 W 74th St)
The best chocolate chip cookie in the world. Yes, this is what you can find there.
Levain Bakery offers 4 different kinds of cookies: dark chocolate & chocolate chips, dark chocolate & peanut butter and oatmeal raisin, but the one you want to try is the chocolate chip walnut cookie. While they make an amazing afternoon snack, a word of caution... they are HUGE. I suggest splitting them with someone or eating them in 2 sittings, or you may fall asleep from all this cookie deliciousness. Their large size is what allows them to be gooey inside and incredibly crispy on the outside. You have to try one to understand!
If you’re visiting on a weekend, I suggest heading to their Harlem location or their newly-opened store on Amsterdam Avenue. Same cookies but no lines!
Melt BakeryMultiple locations (Original location: 132 Orchard St)
I discovered these ice cream sandwiches at a restaurant when I wasn’t inspired by any of their other desserts. It was a nice surprise and a great discovery! I usually don’t love ice cream sandwiches – the cookies can be too soft and the ice cream unmemorable. However, the ice cream sandwiches at Melt Bakery could not be further from this statement. The ice cream is flavorful and the cookies have a perfect consistency: crunchy, but soft enough to bite into them.
My two favorite flavors are the original (chocolate chip walnut cookie + vanilla ice cream) & the red velvet. Sadly, the restaurant I used to go to does not offer these anymore, but as I am typing these words I am five blocks away from the Melt Bakery flagship store… I think I know what my afternoon snack is going to be.
Alice’s Tea CupMultiple locations on the Upper West and Upper East Side
Alice’s Tea Cup serves lunch & brunch – you can have an assortment of mini sandwiches, tea & desserts but what they’re most famous for is their scones. The flavors vary daily, but some are always available such as Buttermilk & Pumpkin. Among their alternating flavors are white chocolate & raspberry (my personal favorite), blueberry coconut, vegan dark chocolate and strawberry & banana.
The scones are served with cream & raspberry jam (offered to you even if you purchase them to go). If you decide to eat there, you will be transported to Alice in Wonderland. Every little detail about the restaurant is well thought-through, from the adorable menu to the small tea cups & décor on the wall. In the winter, I like eating in their adorable shop and order a cup of tea with my scone. In the summer, I take the scones to go and eat in nearby Riverside Park or Central Park.
Quick Tip: If you’d like to know their daily flavors, you can check their Twitter account (@AlicesTeaCup) – they (usually) tweet in the morning and announce the flavors available that day.