New York City is one of my favorite places in the world when it comes to food and since I have such a sweet tooth, it’s no surprise that I’ve found some amazing desserts to try there! From cheesecake to cupcakes and lots in between, here are some of my favorite New York City desserts to try, along with my favorite places to try them!
When you think of New York food, along with pizza and bagels, cheesecake if probably high on your list. It’s one of the most famous New York City desserts and with so many different varieties to try, there’s something for everyone!
The best cheesecake in New York
The most famous cheesecake is going to be at Junior’s Restaurant and Cheesecake. Junior’s Cheesecake is world famous and in my opinion, lives up to its reputation. Their original restaurant is in Brooklyn and was founded by Harry Rosen in 1950, but there’s also a second location in midtown Manhattan on 49th Street and Broadway near Times Square.
Pictured above is the Key Lime cheesecake, which is perfect for the summer, but I actually love their original New York style cheesecake as well. If you’re with a group, it’s definitely worth picking up an entire cheesecake to share – it took all of my restraint not to just buy a whole one for myself!
Having a slice of Junior’s Cheesecake is such a New York City tradition that I’ve put it on my New York City bucket list!
We often visit New York City at Christmas and finding ice cream in below freezing temperatures is never top of our list! But after my solo New York City trip this summer, I was able to finally track down some of the best ice cream in New York City to enjoy in the sunshine!
The best ice cream in New York City
Sugar Hill Creamery has locations in Hamilton Heights and Harlem, although I actually tried it in Brooklyn in Time Out Market. A locally owned company founded by Harlem residents, the ice cream is handmade in small batches using local ingredients and it is SO good!
I tried the honey lavender, which was so amazing that I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I went back 30 minutes later to try something different (thankfully someone new was on the counter and I could pretend I hadn’t just been there!) The second time I tried strawberry with basil and lemon curd and it was incredible!
Pastries are one of the best New York City desserts; they accompany a wide range of sweets and treats, and there are some amazing bakeries in the city!
The best pastries in New York City
If you want to try a variety of pastries in New York City, I love Laduree. A Parisienne patisserie famous for their amazing macarons, they also serve a variety of other exquisite pastries that look as good as they taste.
I’ve tried their macarons in Paris and London (and they really are as good as everyone says they are!) so I had to stop by to pick some up in New York as well, but I couldn’t leave without trying one of the pastries as well. This framboise éclair was incredible, sweet with a hint of tartness, and absolutely delicious.
I’d recommend visiting their Madison Avenue location; they have outdoor seating and it’s so enjoyable to sit at an outdoor table with an iced tea and a pastry to watch the world go by.
Bubble waffles are one of my favorite things; they’re lighter than a regular waffle and you can choose to eat them by themselves, or load them with all sorts of goodies!
The best bubble waffles in New York City
Bubbleology is my favorite place to try bubble waffles in New York City (and I’ve tried a few places!) The waffles are light and airy, and you can get either vanilla or chocolate.
I actually get them by themselves most of the time, but Bubbleology offers so many different options to fill the waffle cones. Different flavored gelato, fruit, sweets, and sauces can be added to make the waffle however you’d like, but if it’s all a bit overwhelming, go for one of the choices on the menu instead. Grab a bubble tea while you’re there, and you’re all sorted!
It might seem bizarre when, with all of the unique and amazing New York City desserts on offer, I would suggest getting a chocolate chip cookie – but as with a lot of things, New York City knows how to take cookies to the next level!
The best cookies in New York City
If you visit New York City without getting a cookie from Levain Bakery, you’ll just have to plan another trip to go back. These are hands down my favorite cookies in New York City – I might even go as far as to say, my favorite cookies ever!
The best thing about these cookies is that they’re served warm so that when you break them apart, the chocolate chips in the middle are melted and gooey. They’re not too rich or sweet, and they actually keep surprisingly well if you want to take some with you (although obviously then you miss out on the melty chocolate chips!)
I’m quite picky about my cupcakes; I like the frosting to be sweet but not too sugary, and I’m very particular about the cake to frosting ratio. I’ve tried hundreds (no exaggeration) of cupcakes over the years and my favorite bakery for cupcakes will always be in New York City.
The best cupcakes in New York City
Magnolia Bakery has been around for a long time, but really became famous after being featured in 90’s TV shows like Friends and Sex and the City.
While my favorite thing to order from Magnolia is their famous banana pudding, their cupcakes are my favorite and I can never resist buying a few. I’ve actually flown home from New York City to Orlando with a box of Magnolia cupcakes precariously balanced on my lap as my hand luggage!
They check all the boxes for me: not overly sweet, and not a ridiculous amount of frosting piled on top. While they have various locations dotted around New York City, I like the original Greenwich Village location best; there never seems to be the crazy lines to enter that you get in some of the more touristy spots, and I always think it’s nice to visit original locations of businesses and see where it all started!