With some of the best restaurants in the USA, New York doesn’t disappoint when it comes to dessert. You’ll find most places have a dessert menu, but only a select few have sweet, decadent flavors that make a lasting impression.
So, we’ve done all the work for you and narrowed it down to our absolute favorites. If you have dietary restrictions, there are options for you as well. Try a new cake, ice cream, or pastry and we’re sure you’ll end up finding your new go-to treat! Check out this list of the 23 best desserts in NYC!
Found in Harlem, this creamery presents you with ice cream flavors just as unique as their names. Sugar Hill Creamery is a husband and wife-owned shop that rotates flavors throughout the seasons. The classics that are always available are Andy Griffith (Gluten Free vanilla), Chairperson of the Board (blueberry cheesecake), Hello, New World (caramel and oreo), Nunu’s Peach Cobbler (peach), and Sweet Socialism (GF and vegan dark chocolate sorbet.)
Along with your ice cream, you can grab a cup of locally roasted coffee to enjoy.
Since opening in November 2019, Spots Dessert Bar has become known for serving some of the best desserts in NYC. Take a group of friends and head to Spots for a variety of unique tapas desserts. This confectionary staple is the spot to go to (no pun intended) for their signature matcha lava cake, golden toast, and The Harvest, a soft cheesecake topped with berries and Oreo crumbs, served in a pot with raspberry sorbet. Their flagship store is Manhattan, but there is also a location in Flushing.
A restaurant devoted to sweet treats certainly seems inviting enough that tourists and locals alike flock here. Try something new or grab a classic… whatever you grab, you’re in for a treat.
Where: 13 St. Marks Pl, Manhattan, or 39-16 Prince St., Queens
Some bakeries specialize in bread, and Breads Bakery is one of the best known for its dessert bread. A variety of the classic Jewish Babka and challah bread are available, coming in flavors like chocolate, cinnamon, sesame and poppy seed.
Here you can also find loaf cakes, tarts, cheesecake, and packages of cookies you can take to go. Even if you are just popping in quickly, there’s no doubt something in the display case will catch your eye.
Where: 18 E 16th St., 1890 Broadway, 1294 3rd Ave. or 1080 – 1090 6th Ave, Manhattan
Known for their big, goey cookies, Levain Bakery was initially established in 1995 as an artisan bread bakery. Fun fact for you: their signature cookie recipe was actually developed while the owners were training for the Ironman Triathlon.
Whether you’re a chocolate lover or prefer the cookie that started it all (the chocolate chip walnut cookie), every flavor they offer is perfect for any occasion or just to munch on. Plus, they recently released a brand new spring cookie. If you’d like to send your favorite cookie to those you love, they have the option to ship them!
These cookies are special due to their density. A cross between a scone and a cookie, Chip City Cookies serves up a daily rotating menu. Don’t worry though, you’ll always find a chocolate chip option no matter what day you visit!
Though, these aren’t your normal cookie flavors. They can vary from seasonal favorites to Lucky Charms, Nutella sea salt, or cannoli cookies. No matter where you are in NYC, Chip City has plenty of open shops for you to stop by and sample what they offer that day!
Where: Various locations in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
Need a cake that looks spectacular, or do you just want to spoil yourself? Lady M Cake Boutique is on the pricier side, but since 2001, has been known as the top New York City luxury confection with over 50 other stores nationwide. Their most famous dish is the Millie Crepes which consists of light and fluffy layers of crepes and soft cream. The Mille Crepe comes in flavors such as chocolate, tiramisu, passionfruit, red bean, earl grey, green tea, and more.
Find Lady M Cake Boutique at one of its 5 Manhattan locations: 36 West 40th St., 41 East 78th St., 1178 Broadway, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite U, or 101 Liberty St.
If the mood strikes you for a sweet drink, Bibble and Sip Bakery Cafe has you covered. Their specialty drinks include various flavors of matcha, teas, lattes and floats. This family-run business brings its French confectionery training that is inspired by Asian flavors to create decadent treats such as cream puffs, macarons, and cakes to eat in or take out.
Relatively new to the dessert world, Sweet Rehab opened in early 2020 with a mission to provide each guest with an interactive visit. You’ll see the open kitchen and the chefs baking away as well as a display case of all their delicious treats.
This boutique has various flavors of tarts from raspberry to cherry, feuilles, brioche, and madeleines cookies, just to name a few. Enjoy a sweet treat or buy a box. You can’t afford to skip it!
Located in Koreatown, Grace Street Dessert Cafe is serving up happiness with its specialty Korean drinks and desserts. Their menu is geared toward those who love desserts, coffee, and matcha.
Perfect for warm summer days, Grace Street serves up shaved snow with various toppings to satisfy your craving for something sweet and cold. If it’s the pastries you’re looking for, Korean donuts, waffles with ice cream, burnt cheesecake, or boba toast are available on the menu for your delight.
Love ice cream, but your body doesn’t like dairy? Whipped Urban Dessert Lab is the first oat milk ice cream shop in the world, and there are many options including dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy it regardless of dietary restrictions.This is one of the best desserts in NYC because of the options available for those with certain allergies. To top it off, there are natural options for sauces and crumbs.
This unique treat is something you’ve probably never come across before! Jell and Chill serves Bing Fen, a Chinese jelly dessert are made with plant seeds and used in Chinese medicine for calming and relaxation. It’s made daily through the process of working the seeds and then stirring to create the bubbly texture. The sugar is imported from China where it is in its natural state without any additives.
This refreshing treat comes with a variety of concoctions including fruits, chocolate, jam, honey, tapioca pearls, and much more. You’ll find vegan options available, too!
When owner Nino Settepani migrated from Sicily to New York, he carried a love of Italian pastries with him. Settepanis is a family-owned bakery specializing in both classic and modern Italian confections. Their pannetone is made traditionally, but offered in a variety of unique flavor profiles such as Nutella and pistachio.
Having been recognized by publications such as The New York Times and even by Chef Rachel Ray, Settepanis could be your new go-to if you want the classics done right, and the eccentric done even better.
Surreal Creamery has probably made its way onto your social media pages before with their colorful variety of soft serve ice cream. Served in their signature reusable mason jars or swirled on top of bubble tea, customers can also customize their ice cream combinations from a selection of flavors such as taro, strawberry, matcha, chocolate, earl grey and even “Cookie Monster.”
Where: 538 2nd Ave or 126 MacDougal St., Manhattan
For almost 40 years, Lloyd’s has been making New York history with its famous carrot cake, served with decadent cream cheese frosting and optional walnuts or raisins baked into the cake. If you’re already an established fan, branch out and try one of their other cake flavors– you cannot go wrong with German chocolate, strawberry, red velvet, or pineapple! Notably, Lloyd’s also uses certified Kosher dairy (but you cannot use their products for Passover).
New York cheesecake is reimagined in a variety of wonderful flavors at the iconic Eileens. Chocolate cappuccino, salted caramel, dulche de leche, and other special decadent cheesecakes that have made this a highly coveted spot in the dessert scene.
Ice cream extravangza Emack & Bolios was originally started by music lawyer Bob Rook, who wanted a place for musicians to hang out and grab a late night treat after a show. It has since evolved into a beloved ice cream shop carrying sorbet, yogurt, and vegan ice-cream. They carry eccentric flavors that emulate the rock&roll crowd the shop was initially started for, such as “Space Cake,” “Grasshopper Pie,” “Caramel Moose Prints,” and “Cappucino Fudge Swirl.”
Where: 81st St. and First Ave., 79th St and Amsterdam Ave., or 1005 2nd Ave, Manhattan, or at 741 Fulton St., Brooklyn
Little Cupcake has been listed as one of the best cupcake shops in NYC. Best known for their “Brooklyn Blackout” cake, this coffee shop and bakery specializes in well, the special. “PB&J,” “Hummingbird,” “Pistachio Grape Jam,” “Black & White,” and other flavor profiles are available in the form of spongy, moist cakes.
Where: 30 Prince St., Manhattan, or 9102 Third Avenue and 598 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn
One of the best things in life is a cup of Magnolia banana pudding. It’s arguably the most popular item that the landmark bakery sells, and for good reason. Carrot cake is the seasonal spin of the classic pudding currently offered, but the equally rich and creamy red velvet and chocolate hazelnut are year-rounders. Magnolias cakes and cupcakes are on the sweeter scale of desserts, making it perfect for those with the biggest sweet tooth.
Martha’s Country Bakery is a staple in the food hub of NYC. Weekly specials at this down-to-earth bakery can include the likes of distinct treats such as white chocolate raspberry-cheese cake (with raspberry sorbet) or black and white mousse with mint chocolate chip tres leches. The menu at Martha’s covers all corners of the dessert world, selling a variety of cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, puddings, gelato, and other pastries. A stop at this bakery will almost guarantee finding your new favorite sugary delight.
Where: Various locations across Astoria, Forest Hills, Bayside or Williamsburg.
A staple emerging from the Bronx’s Little Italy, Gino’s is hailed as the Cannoli King. Arthur Avenue is a hub of some of NYC’s best Italian pastries, but Gino’s is a standout for their chocolate and pistachio covered cannolis, paired with a cup of the best cappuccino in town.
When it comes to banana pudding, Magnolia is not the only sheriff in town. Sugar Sweet Sunshine is a quaint bakery on the Lower East Side serving their own cups of decadent pudding in various flavors, but they are most known for their assortment of delicious cakes and cupcakes! If you’re curious to find out the difference between their “Sexy” and “Sassy” red velvet cakes, or what vegan french toast cupcakes might taste like, check out this bakery. As mentioned, most of their baked goods have vegan options!
Doughnut Plant is a specialty donuts and coffee shop with several locations across Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The flavors you come across at this bakery are not like your average donut. Yes, there’s a classic strawberry and chocolate, but there’s also creme brulee, wild blueberry, tres leches, and even coconut cream. As we approach a warmer season, their matcha or rose petal infused “Wonder Wheel” donuts, which are filled with ice-cream, might be more in your dessert repertoire. As New York Magazine said, “Taste anything from Doughnut Plant once, and you’re hooked.”
Where: Various locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
For desserts that taste like springtime, visit Laduree for wonderful hints of floral flavors. This French establishment is most frequented in the spring, when the cherry blossom trees in their SoHo location are at full bloom. But all year-long, Laduree serves buttery, decadent French delicacies such as raspberry-rose dessert ispahan, chocolate eclairs, millefeuille, croissants and of course, macarons. Visit for teatime or brunch, and make sure to grab a box of pastries on the way out.