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5 Best Desserts In New York City For 2024

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4 months ago

When it comes to desserts, I like to think there is no better source than someone who thinks Trader Joe’s is the best supermarket in America (that’s me). No one does pumpkin spice quite like Trader Joe’s.

These are always my favorite articles to write because I can go eat as much sugar as I want and I can say that it’s entirely for business. And I can’t put these guides together without actually having done it myself.

New York Skyline in Late Afternoon
The City is filled with amazing desserts – you just need to know where to find them

Here are the 5 best desserts in New York City right now.

5. The Grand Marnier Soufflé (for two, apparently) at Minetta Tavern

This is a long-standing favorite of locals and visitors alike. Minetta Tavern has combined the aesthetic of a soufflé with gooey goodness to make what many would agree is one of the best desserts in New York and probably the best soufflé in New York City.

I once made the mistake of going before 5 pm so I had to sit at the bar for two hours before I could finally order the soufflé.

Souffles at Minetta Tavern and Man with White Jacket
The famous Grand Marnier and Chocolate soufflés at Minetta Tavern

Local tip: If you’re going for the soufflé at Minerva Tavern, make a dinner reservation because the soufflé is not on their lunch menu.

4. The Choco & Nut Goddess Bun at Shingane

This one is pretty unique. It’s a dough pastry filled with chocolate and nuts. I really enjoyed the crunch of the nuts, warmth of the chocolate and crispness of the pastry coming together.

And it comes on a little lollipop stick so it feels like you’re having an ice-cream (which we always love).

Choco and Nut Goddess Bun at Shingane with Statute of Liberty on the waffle

I’ll admit, I’ve been to Korea and I don’t think I happened upon this particular dessert so this might one of those beautiful creations that happens when Asian cuisine comes to America.

Shingane opened in summer 2023 so it’s the new kid on the dessert block. Give it a shot. I think this will make the major lists about best desserts in New York when they catch up.

Building with Plants on it in New York City

3. The Cupuassu Brigadeiro at Brigadeiro Bakery

I got super lucky when I last visited because they had just started making the cupuassu flavour. For those who don’t know what cupuassu is, it’s a fruit native to the Amazon. A quick search tells me that, in English, we call it white cacao but it’s just so wildly different to cacao that I think it’d be tantamount to an insult to try to box this flavour into the category of chocolate.

If I had to put words around it, I would say it did have a faint taste of white chocolate, but it was more like a light caramel with a smidge of the tanginess of pineapple.

Different flavors of Brigadeiros
Their selection rivals what you can find in Brazil

If you’re going for this one, it might be worth ringing ahead because there’s a good chance that this particular flavour is seasonal. If you’ve arrived and they’re not making it that season, you can’t go wrong with the pistachio and nuts, and the banana and cinnamon.

Brigadeiro Bakery also does an excellent pão de queijo if you want something savoury and cheesy instead.

2. The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery

Magnolia Bakery popularised it, but in my controversial opinion, Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery perfected it. The Nog is a pudding with pumpkin cake layers, egg nog pudding and whipped cream. I first stumbled upon it in the Essex Market branch, but I think having it in the original shop just a three-minute walk away on Rivington Street is a generally nicer experience.

The Nog from Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery, one of the best desserts in New York
You will not be disappointed by The Nog

I love this and want everybody to love it, too, but the texture can feel a bit like baby food. I think baby food is comforting (take from that what you will), but I know it’s not for everyone.

In heart-breaking news, when I visited Sugar Sweet Sunshine in September 2023, they let me know that they’re only doing the Nog seasonally now. If this one piques your interest, check back in fall. It’ll be worth it – I’m staking my reputation on this one as one of the best desserts in New York!

Street with Citibikes in New York City

1. And the best dessert in New York City is…

I’d like to start this by apologising – profusely – for introducing you to one of the best desserts in one of the best establishments in the city. It truly is special – and very indulgent (if we had to adjust these reviews by amount of calories, this would be off charts).

Rice to Riches has taken the humble rice pudding and turned it into an artwork to be appreciated by mouth. Fluent in French Toast has all the hallmarks of a great French toast: buttery, crispy, a little bit custardy, and feels like a pancake.

And on Rice to Riches itself, I oscillated between describing the shop itself or letting it take you by surprise. I’ll give you a clue as to what you’ll see: dotted around the shop are signs with very, very amusing quotes, most of which are designed to pressure you into accepting the fact that you’ve had, are having or just about to have more than your daily allowance of calories in one just one dessert (think: “Eat Right, Exercise, Die Anyway – so just eat the rice pudding anyway”).

There’s also an urn in corner with a sign underneath it that reads “the ashes of difficult customers”, just for good measure.

Pancake with syrups being poured on top
This is a city built for dessert lovers

If French Toast as a flavour doesn’t make you rumble, try the Coast to Coast Cheesecake or the Oreogasm. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad flavour here (aside from maybe the carrot cake but maybe I was sick that day because I don’t believe carrot cake can be bad), so take advantage of the three samples and choose what your heart desires. Rice to Riches has vegan options, too!

The Wildcard

We’ve been told that the torta al cioccolato at Senza Gluten is an unexpectedly great dessert. We haven’t tried it ourselves, so if you do, let us know if you think this one should have made it on to the list for fall 2023.


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