Alright, kids – seeing as we are already at part 3 of 3 on my New York series, I think by now we know the drill 😉
10 favorites to celebrate 10 years of living in NYC. This, the grand finale, is featuring what you’ve all secretly been waiting for…the DESSERTS!
Dive in, take a peak, and let me know if your favorites made the list!
1. Serendipity III
Ah, in many ways, my original dessert spot in NYC.
I knew about Serendipity long before I moved to New York. My brother scouted it out when he was at NYU, and when I ultimately followed in his footsteps, Serendipity served as my “trust me, I may be from Utah, but I know my way around New York” location.
Known for its connection to Andy Warhol and desserts of generous proportions, Serendipity is well worth the wait and price tag – although in truth, I’d tell you to enjoy dinner elsewhere and head to Serendipity for a dessert-styled nightcap.
There is an entire, jumbo-sized page of desserts to try; however, the frozen hot chocolate wins out every time. Go for either the classic or the one featuring peanut butter – ok, fine, even the mocha one is to die for. The whip cream is fresh, the chocolate shavings on top adds an extra punch of flavor and texture… honestly, I’m getting weak in the knees just describing these frozen hot chocolates to you.
Despite attracting a solid amount of tourists, and despite the hour long wait you encounter 90% of the time, Serendipity is a place I’ve happily returned to again and again throughout the years. If you haven’t yet been, be sure to treat yourself and give it a go. You may just find the entire experience serendipitous. (see what I did there? 😉 )
As the pictures above show, while I have changed drastically over the years, the Levain cookie has stayed true to it’s classy self.
So good, they only need 4 flavors: chocolate chip walnut, chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate peanut butter. If you can’t tell by all my photos, it’s the chocolate peanut butter that I would like to see take my last name. #marryacookie
The story goes that these mountains of heaven were created by two friends while training for the Ironman competition. Seeking a way to more easily achieve their required caloric intake post strenuous workout, these beautiful cookies were born.
Always fresh, always a touch gooey in the middle – these are hands down my favorite cookies…period. Thank god they ship – that’s all I’m saying 😉
Step aside all you who preach about The Doughnut Plant, Dough will always hold my vote as the best donut in NYC.
Soft, fluffy, sofa-sized…what’s not to love?
I’ve tried several of Dough’s flavors over the years, but I always come back to the horchata donut. It’s like a classic glazed donut with just a little extra kick. Pair it with an iced matcha latte as pictured, and you’ve got a recipe for heaven on earth.
If you’re looking to kick it up a notch – check out their Hibiscus, Passionfruit, or Nutella doughnuts. Each are as delicious as they are pretty to look at!
I’d recommend venturing to their location on West 19th Street for the full experience, but they also have several pop up shops in gourmet food courts throughout the city.
I cried the first time I tried this cake, and I’m not even kidding.
Look, I’m a tough person to please when it comes to chocolate cake. Most of the time it’s too rich or too bitter, too gooey or too dry, but when it comes to the Brooklyn Blackout Cake from Ovenly…it is the damn Goldilocks of chocolate cakes.
The frosting is made with the same cocoa found in Oreo Cookies while the intensely dense cake is made from Brooklyn brewed stout. I can only imagine that THIS is the cake Raul Dahl envisioned when creating that infamous Bruce vs the chocolate cake moment in Matilda.
If chocolate cake just isn’t your thing, you still have every reason to haul ass to an Ovenly location. Their flavors are on seasonal rotation, and I have yet to find a treat there that isn’t absolutely amazing. If you time it appropriately, Ovenly has an amazing 2 after 2pm special that will get you any two slices of cake for just $10. Well worth the price given the size of each slice will have you rolling in cake for well over a week.
5. Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
I can already hear the hoards of people asking, “but why not list Magnolia’s Banana Pudding?” And my simple response is because I would put any of Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s ten, I repeat TEN, pudding flavors before Magnolia’s one and only. #sorrynotsorry
Take your pick between Banana Puddin’, Chocolate Chip Deliciousness, Chocolate Bomb, Awesome Peanut Butter Chocolate Puddin’, The Coffee Java Xpress, Schmapple Puddin’, Sexy Red Velvet Puddin’, The Nog, Strawberry Lemon Trifle, or Mint Chocolate Chip Puddin’ – the truth is you can’t go wrong.
If you’re overwhelmed by paralysis of analysis, let me recommend the Chocolate Chip Deliciousness as pictured. It’s like having a bowl of the most delicious chocolate chip cookie dough. Throw in some butterscotch and whipped cream and it’s like you’re eating a magical cloud that will make all your wishes come true. Think I’m sounding ridiculous? Go try this pudding and get back to me – I bet it’ll make you change your tune.
6. Dig Inn
Ok, no – Dig Inn is not a dessert spot. In fact, I’m pretty sure a place like Dig Inn doesn’t even want it widely known that they serve cookies (#healthyeating). Still, the fact remains, their “Kitchen Sink” Cookie is absolutely amazing.
Crunchy but soft, salty but sweet – this cookie has it all. Throw in all the nuts and seeds and you could almost pretend this treat is good for you….no? Too far? But look at all those flax seeds! Fiber, man! This cookie is giving you fiber!
Don’t want to hear about fiber in regards to your desserts? Fair enough. Just get out to a Dig Inn location and try this cookie – I know you won’t regret it!
7. Mister Softee
I’m not even ashamed of this one.
Yes, I consider the ice cream that comes out of these cliche, musical trucks to be one of the best desserts in NYC. Is it the nostalgia? The happy reminder of Summer? Perhaps, but let’s also just face it – the ice cream is damn delicious!
There is a caveat, however. You MUST be sure that the truck you are ordering from is ACTUALLY a Mister Softee’s.
New York is a city of capitalization – seeing Mister Softee’s success, a lot of imitators followed close behind. Don’t be confused by trucks touting visually similar names such as Mister Freeze, New York Ice Cream, Soft Ice Cream, or even the bright pink Frostee truck. While they appear similar enough, their products simply don’t hold up against the true experience of a Mister Softee.
To be painfully clear, you’re seeking out one of the trucks as pictured below.
My recommendations would be a chocolate covered, vanilla cone, or a rainbow sprinkle, vanilla cone; however, I have several friends who swear on the cherry dip. Oh, who am I kidding – go marvel at the menu of pictures and let your inner 12 year old do the ordering 😉
8. Holey Cream
Obvious jokes about the business title aside, Holey Cream is a must try for every dessert/food lover.
If you thought their selection of ice cream flavors was overwhelming, just wait until step #2 when you decide how you’d like your ice cream to be served. In a cup? On a cone? In a milkshake? Or how about picking up to 3 flavors to be sandwiched inside a donut that you then get to choose the glaze and toppings for? Sounds a bit like the dessert version of Narnia, doesn’t it?
If ice cream really isn’t your thing, let me also tempt you to Holey Cream by mentioning their completely decadent frosted brownie. Brownies are rarely my first choice for dessert, but there is something about Holey Cream’s brownie that has it jumping to the front of the line.
In the mood for some gelato, pretty enough to be Instagram worthy? Look no further than Amorino.
Let’s cut to the chase on this one – the wide array of flavors of their gelato and sorbet are fantastic. When ordered to be served in a cone you can choose up to 3 flavors to be presented to you as a delicate rose. If that’s not enough excitement for you – opt to add a macaroon or homemade whipped cream on top (nom nom nom).
My biggest recommendation for Amorino is to visit the location just above Washington Square Park. Pick up your cup or cone and then venture into the park to enjoy your treat near the fountain. The experience will be so perfectly picturesque and quintessentially New York that it will be utterly gag-worthy (in only the best way possible 😉 ).
My biggest recommendation when it comes to DŌ… order tentatively.
After standing in line for about 20 minutes, once you actually enter DŌ’s colorful shop, the smells and sights are going to attempt to overexcite your eyes and stomach.
DŌ is a delicious, fun treat, but those little cups are deceptive as all hell. Dare to eat too much of the dense cookie dough, and you’ll be feeling a heavy rock in the pit of your stomach for a number of hours afterwards.
DŌ is served similar to an ice cream counter – and I’d be sure to take advantage of their taste test policy before ordering. As exciting as all their wild and crazy flavors sound, I found that the dough got aggressively sweet depending on the number of mix ins.
So with so many disclaimers, why and how did DŌ still make my list? Because it’s freaking cookie dough – hello! It’s a literal ball of happiness! I’m only offering my disclaimers as a means to better guide you to the best ball of happiness for you!
I went with “Confetti” for my first visit to DŌ, but were I to return, I think I’d dive into their “Commando” option. I have a feeling that ordering their naked dough would bring back fond memories of baking cookies with my mom, snitching those oversized spoonfuls of batter. 😉
I can’t believe this series has already come to a close, just as I can’t believe my time living in New York is already over. I love and miss New York with all my heart – I hope to visit very soon.
Until next time NYC, I expect you stay your fierce, strong, blunt, beautiful self – I’ll only attempt to do the same. 😉