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17 Best Desserts in NYC + Ones You Should Skip in 2024

Visiting New York? Don’t miss these delicious desserts.

As my teeth sank in and I closed my eyes, everything around me melted away. “Is it good?,” Esther asked, but all I could think about was the chocolate and marshmallow melting in my mouth with chewy texture of the warm churro. I knew I wanted s’more.’ (Sorry, I had to).

Last month, we were on the search for the best desserts in NYC.

17 Best Desserts in NYC + Ones You Can Skip // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #wanderlust #desserts #icecreamPin

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Last Updated: July 6, 2024

We’re getting into our final months of our time in NYC and, even though we haven’t decided where we are going next, we know that moving will be easy. We’ve partnered with CORT to help us furnish our apartment. It helps make our place feel like home, and we don’t have to worry about moving it all in or out. They help us worry less about our space so that we can focus on exploring the city!

You can check out our apartment tour here! You can also check out the CORT Blog here.

17 Best Desserts in NYC

New York City is no stranger to inventive and delectable desserts, but it can be hard to decide what is worth the visit with so many dessert shops hoping to invent the next big craze. We’ve had a lot of desserts in the city, many of which were beautiful to photograph but disappointing in taste. These are the ones that stood out and are the best dessert places in NYC in our book.

To create our list of places to try, we referenced a ton of articles, and asked our local friends for all their favorites. Soon my list grew to over 150 spots for desserts alone (you don’t want to see my other NYC lists). Even with all that info, we had to try them ourselves. We first started with desserts that were referenced 3 or more times and then started moving down the list. We still have quite a few to try, so we’ll update this as we eat our way through the city.

See More: The Ultimate NYC Food Bucket List

1. Doughnut Plant

Multiple Locations, map

We love our doughnuts, so if anyone asks us about the best dessert in NYC, we always mention Doughnut Plant. All their doughnuts are good, but the Coconut Creme and Brooklyn Blackout are our favorites. Dare I say it’s my favorite doughnut in the US? We’ve been to a LOT, and it’s been a toss-up between the Coconut Creme here and the Strawberry Donut at Donut Man in California.

Doughnut Plant + 17 Best Sweets in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #food #foodie #usa #travel #donut #doughnut #dessertsPin

2. Eileen’s Special Cheesecake, Nolita

17 Cleveland Pl, 10012, map

This is our favorite cheesecake in New York. Not only are there a ton of different options, but they’ve found the perfect blend of fluffy and dense. Jacob’s favorite is the chocolate marble. The salted caramel, cookies and cream, and strawberry shortcake are also scrumptious.

If you don’t want to venture out, they also deliver. Just give them a call or visit their website to see what areas are available for delivery.

See More: Best Cheescakes in NYC Video

Eileen's Cheesecake is the best cheesecake in NYCPin

3. Boqueria

Multiple Locations, map

I’ll start off by saying that I am not a fan of s’mores. Never have, and probably never will be, with one exception the Churro S’mores from Boqueria. The chewy warm churro is everything that the s’more has been missing. The chewy texture perfectly compliments the classic s’more filling.

You should also try something else from their churro-filled dessert menu. The classic churros with chocolate are exactly how they do it in Spain, and the churros stuffed with Nutella, and churro ice cream sandwich are a must-try. Unlike most places on this list, they have a full menu of tapas to balance out the sweet with the salty making it one of the best dessert restaurants NYC has to offer.

4. Bibble & Sip, Theater District

253 W 51st St, 10019, map + Multiple Locations

How cute are the Totoro macarons? We visited Bibble and Sip a few years ago when we were visiting and didn’t care much for it. But I had a change of heart after a recent visit where I ate a Totoro and tried the cream puffs again.

See More: Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows

Bibble and Sip + 17 Amazing and Unique Desserts in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #wanderlust #desserts #totoro #macaronPin

5. Breads Bakery

Multiple Locations, map

We picked up a Chocolate Babka to take home after stopping by to try their cheesecake for our video. It was definitely worth it. Popping a slice of the babka in the microwave for a few seconds made it extra yummy.

Breads Bakery Chocolage Babka + 17 Best Desserts in NYC + the Ones You Should Skip // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #wanderlust #dessertsPin

6. Levain Bakery

Multiple Locations, map

Levain Bakery seems to be the local favorite for cookies. Eat them while they are warm and gooey for the best experience and remember they are massive and best shared.

One would have been enough to share between the two of us, but instead, we ordered four: the chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate chip, and dark chocolate peanut butter chip. We still need to go back for the chocolate chip walnut next time we’re in the UWS.

If you can’t make it out to NYC, they also ship within the US or you can try this copycat recipe here. Let me know what you think. 

See More: 101 Things to Do in NYC

7. Alimama, Chinatown

89A Bayard St, 10013, map

We visited Alimama when we lived in NYC, and while we tried the mochi donuts, we completely missed the cream puffs, During our recent trip, we went back because we needed to try them. We’re not huge cream puff fans but these were so good that they were the most memorable thing we ate on our trip.

See our reel here.

alimama cream puffs nycPin

8. Keki Modern Cakes, Midtown East

315 5th Ave, 10016, map

These bouncy and fluffy cheesecakes are just as fun as they are to jiggle as they are to eat. We loved watching them package the cakes in the window, and if you’re shooting photos and video, they know how to shake it just the right way to get maximum jiggle. Just remember that as time passes, it will jiggle less.

We tried the ube cheesecake and absolutely inhaled it. It doesn’t really taste like cheesecake since it’s so light but you get a hint of the cheesecake flavor at the end. We liked it so much we brought one home with us.

See our reel here.

See More: 21 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting NYC

keki modern cakes + best desserts in nycPin

9. Chip City, Asotira QNS

Multiple Locations, map

It’s hard to say if the cookies at Chip NYC or Levain Bakery are better. The cookies at both are really dense and the texture feels like a hybrid of a cookie and a scone. After trying a few, we loved the regular chocolate chip the best, but they also have more creative concoctions like butterscotch toffee, apple pie, and blueberry cheesecake.

Chip NYC + Best Cookies in NYC and Best Desserts in NYC // Local Adventurer #cookies #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #astoria #dessertsPin

10. Dominique Ansel Bakery, SOHO

189 Spring St, 10012, map

We’ve tried their Cronut (one of the most popular NYC dessert trends), DKA, and cookie shots. The cronut makes food history, so it’s worth trying it once, and the original is still better than the dozens I’ve tried elsewhere. I wouldn’t wait hours in line, but if you’re in Soho, drop in and let us know what you think of all of Dominique Ansel’s creations.

The good news is they no longer have ridiculous lines. We were able to order some at noon, but it depends on how busy it gets. Go earlier if you want to make sure you get them. Also, the milk will leak out the bottom if you don’t take your cookie shot fast.

See More: 11 Top Free Things to Do in NYC + More

11. Lady M Cake Boutique

Multiple Locations, map

If you’re looking for beautifully crafted cakes then head to Lady M. Everything we tried was pretty good. They are best known for their Green Tea Mille Crepe, which they ran out of while we were there, but we got to try the Chocolate Mille Crepe instead.

Local Tip: If you visit the shop near Bryant Park and the wait is long for a table, grab it to go and sit at table in the park.

See More: Best Things to Do in Central Park NYC

Lady M New York + 17 Famous Dessert Places in NYC // Local Adventurer #cake #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #ladym #dessertsPin

12. Magnolia Bakery

Multiple Locations, map

We tried some of the cakes and didn’t love them, but the Banana Bread Pudding from Magnolia Bakery is something else. It’s so good, and with so many locations throughout the city, it’s easy to pick up to take home or back to your hotel making is one of the best dessert places in Manhattan. They serve them in convenient cups too so it’s easy to eat wherever you are and we can’t resist dropping in if they’re open.

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding + 17 Best Dessert Places in NYC // Local Adventurer #bakery #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #magnoliabakery #dessertsPin

13. Mah-ze-dahr Bakery, Greenwich

28 Greenwich Ave, 10011, map

This bakery / pastry shop has earned a name for itself among the locals. It made our list of best cheesecakes, but there is so much more we have to try. Our friend who lives in the neighborhood goes daily and told us it’s easier to point out ones to skip than which ones to get, since they’re practically all good. Everyone seems to have their favorite item, so ask one of the locals when you visit. Next on our list is the Brioche Braid.

See More: 25 Most Instagrammable Places in NYC

Mah Ze Dahr Bakery NYC + Searching for the Best Cheesecake in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #desserts #cheesecakePin

14. Spot Dessert Bar

Multiple Locations, map

Spot Dessert Bar NYC creates fun and creative desserts, like the Harvest, where you water your plant before eating it. Everyone also raves about the Matcha Molten Lava Cake, which was fine, but we actually liked the Sesame Cookies more when we visited the East Village location.

Matcha Molten Lava Cake at Spot Dessert Bar + 17 Best Desserts in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #travel #desserts #cake #matchaPin

15. Soft Swerve, LES

B, 85 Allen St, 10002, map + Multiple Locations

They have flavors that rotate, but they are best known for their Ube Ice Cream. The first time we visited, they had an amazing black sesame flavor as well.

See More: Pros and Cons of Living in New York

Soft Swerve + Cool Ice Cream Places in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #usa #food #foodie #softserve #softswerve #desserts #icecreamPin

16. Taiyaki, Little Italy

119 Baxter St, 10013, map

You’ve probably seen these fish cones on Instagram. They stack them high with soft serve flavors, likes matcha and black sesame, making it a great photo op before you dive in.

Local Tip: They also serve Souffle Pancakes now but only on Saturdays and Sundays for the first three hours. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out for us during our last visit but we definitely want to try it next time!

17. Two Little Red Hens

1641 2nd Ave, 10028, map

Temporarily Closed – moving to a new location!

This was our favorite cheesecake until it got bumped to #2 by Eileen’s. It’s still worth the visit if you’re in the UES and don’t want to make it all the way downtown. We forgot to take pictures, but it’s in our best cheesecake in NYC video, if you want to see it.

We did try some of the other items like the red velvet cupcakes, but the cheesecake has been the only thing we’ll order again.

Needs a Second Visit

We see some dessert spots consistently pop up on other lists, but we either didn’t love our first experience or maybe we ordered the wrong menu item.

  • Big Gay Ice Cream – We ordered the regular vanilla with rainbow sprinkles like an idiot, and I immediately regretted it. Next time I have to try only the Salty Pimp or Bea Arthur.
  • Dough – This Hibiscus Doughnut makes the list for a lot of people, but we tried it plus 3 others and thought they were just okay. We also prefer yeast over cakey doughnuts unless they are just that good.
  • Olmstead – Need to try the lavender frozen yogurt here.
  • Max Brenner – It was okay but nothing really stood out.
  • Maison Kayser – On our move-in day, our friend brought us a bag of goodies from here. I remember loving the chocolate croissants, but we haven’t tried it since.
  • Momofuku Milk Bar – We aren’t fans of the cereal milk soft serve, but we also don’t love leftover cereal milk. We still need to try the Crack Pie, Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies, Klossies, Cereal Milk Shake Soft Serve, and Birthday Cake Truffles before we completely write this place off. 
  • Pasticceria Rocco – We didn’t like their NY cheesecake (too much vanilla), but we haven’t tasted their Italian style cheesecake, pistachio-laced cannoli, black-and-white cookies, and chocolate chunk cookies.
  • Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream – This is a popular ice cream shop. It just wasn’t anything special and our ice cream was gummy, which we learned happens if the scoopers only scoop from the outside. Maybe it was just an off day.
  • Wafels & Dinges – We went to the Bryant Park location, and I have to say it was nothing special. We want to give one more location and something sweet and savory a try.

Desserts You Can Skip

Don’t waste your time at these spots.

  • Bouchon Bakery – The original is in Yountville, CA, which is roughly an hour outside of San Francisco. But since they have multiple locations throughout the US, we recommend visiting places more unique to NYC before eating here.
  • Black Tap is known for over the top and therefore instagrammable milkshakes. It’s more for photos, since it doesn’t taste especially great.
  • Buca di Beppo – The Brownie Sunday was on a lot of people’s list, but this is a nationwide chain, so find a place close to home to try it.
  • Junior’s Cheesecake – You can really taste the cheese in this NY cheesecake. If you like dense cheesecakes and don’t mind touristy spots, then it’s worth a try. We’ve tried it twice and still don’t like it. Some friends who visited us from Atlanta loved Junior’s, but they were obsessed with finding the densest cheesecakes.
  • Laduree – The macarons are a great souvenir to take back to friends, but they have locations all over the world.
  • Sprinkles – This is another nationwide spot that started in Beverly Hills. They’ve always been just okay.


Running a food business in NYC is rough. When we were doing research, a lot of these spots were still featured but have closed. Check back, because some of the above may also end up here.

  • Cocoa V
  • Doughnut Project
  • Eggloo
  • Yes Please Bar
  • Lula’s Sweet Apothecary
  • Play J
  • Pops by Haley
  • Sugar and Plumm
  • Ice and Vice
Egloo Ice Cream + Cool Ice Cream Places in NYCPin

Map of the Best Desserts in NYC

Anytime you’re walking around asking yourself where the best desserts near me are, use this map!

Best Places to Stay in NYC

Planning Checklist

What’s on your NYC food bucket list? Any famous New York desserts or secret ones we left out?

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

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