What are the best places for dessert in New York City?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Michelle Doucette

New York City knows a thing or two about dessert. Where else can you find a store that sells nothing but rice pudding (Rice to Riches), a sweet shop with a namesake romcom (Serendipity 3) and a cupcake mecca where legions of TV fans queue around the block for a taste (Magnolia Bakery)? There’s no shortage of places to curb your sugar cravings in New York, but here are six of the best.

If it’s a restaurant experience you’re after, Mario Batali’s Babbo is a great place for a sweet bite late at night. Sit at the bar and order an imaginative Italian dessert — like saffron panna cotta — from the dolci e formaggi menu. Love your dish? Purchase the Babbo pastry cookbook, Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen, and try to create it at home. For classic American desserts, head to Tribeca and enter Bubby’s (which is also a top brunch spot). The popular restaurant started as a pie shop in 1990 and still makes some of the best pies around. As you walk in, check out the diner-style dessert display case and make a mental note of your favorite find.

Ice Cream
Ice cream is a summer staple in New York, and there are plenty of upscale ice cream trucks to prove it. But when it comes to ice cream shops, I particularly like Il Laboratorio Del Gelato on the Lower East Side. Flavors are on rotation — with 48 on the menu each day — so there’s always something new to taste. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is another place that specializes in uniquely flavored cones; go for the taro or red bean ice cream.

Baked Treats
For a grab-and-go treat, the chocolate chip cookies at Jacque Torres’ five locations are hard to beat. You won't see chips in these warm cookies, but rather thick layers and ribbons of high-quality chocolate. Finally, for your best New York cupcake experience, my money is on Billy’s Bakery. There are three locations, including one at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Plaza Hotel, at which you generally won’t find the lines you’ll see at that other beloved cupcake bakery — but the cupcakes are amazing. Take a few mini cupcakes with you and you'll be set for sustenance while sightseeing.

Photo for Eric Ripert

La Maison du Chocolat has great dark chocolate, desserts. It’s close to my house. And then I eat dessert in the restaurant most of the time. Yesterday at Balthazar, I had my two canelés, and then they brought me profiteroles. I didn’t say no.

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