While there are many desserts to sample in New York, not all sweets are made equal. Some of them define a restaurant, while others make a particular journey worthwhile. Here is a list of some of New York City’s most impressive desserts, including Mexican bunuelos, Palestinian knafeh, Italian gelato, traditional banana pudding, and many sundaes.
A palace of pigs, Jose Coto’s 188 Cuchifritos is a lunch shop that sells a wide variety of mouthwatering items, including soft ears, meaty stomach, bounce morcilla, spicy pernil, and golden chicharrones. The royal morir soando from the Dominican Republic serves as the ideal counterpoint to all of these fatty, salty marvels. Fresh oranges are crushed into juice by employees, who then combine the pulpy concoction with vanilla-flavoured condensed milk over ice. The sweet, creamsicle-like concoction jolts your body out of a pork-induced stupor and cleanses your palate of all the overpowering saltiness.
Location: 158 E 188th St, Bronx, NY 10468
The high temple of barbecued ribs, jerked pork, and of course, thighs and drumsticks that are cooked to order in enormous cast iron skillets is known as Charles Pan-cooked Chicken. Some of the greatest chicken in the city is served here, but too much fried skin might leave you feeling unsatisfied. Try the banana pudding, served in a little plastic cup with wafer biscuits balanced on top and floating banana slices. Additionally, there is red velvet cake, sweet potato pie, and peach cobbler.
340 W 145th St, New York, NY 10039
After seeing a show, Broadway goers and working performers frequent Joe Allen’s, where they may relax with an iced martini and a delicious, medium-rare cheeseburger in a crowded space. A thick slice of banana cream pie with layers of custard and schlag covering a layer of slow-cooked tropical fruit is also served as a surprisingly good dessert. It is the ideal foil for a second martini since it is both warming and delicious.
Location: 326 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
This deceptive delicacy may resemble a ripe avocado, but it’s really a parfait of key lime pie served with citrus-flavoured ice and eucalyptus yoghurt on top. The parfait is created in an avocado-shaped mould and coated with spray paint to replicate the ombre of an actual avocado. It is “a five-year-old’s dream of what an avocado might taste like, before actually biting into one and realising it’s oily, fatty, and overrated,” says Eater reviewer Ryan Sutton.
Location: 510 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022
5, Raspberry soufflé at Le Rock
At this flashy new restaurant in Rockefeller Center, Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr—the team behind Frenchette—are the star chefs, but Mariah Neston and Michelle Palazzo are the team in charge of the desserts. They are certainly sweets. There is a baba covered in génépy instead of rum, a large assortment of mignardises, and an outstanding raspberry soufflé. The egg mixture melts like a cloud on the tongue, while the required crème anglaise, which is served tableside, serves to cool things down and adds a touch of richness.
Located at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
The kitchen’s preference for inverting conventional ideas of savoury and sweet is one of Joomak Banjum’s most distinctive features. Cheese courses have always been a part of good dining, but nobody does fromage quite like Kelly Nam. A potato mille feuille and a vibrant quenelle of raclette ice cream were presented as the dessert course on the $225 tasting this past summer. And now the chef serves brie ice cream with mango gazpacho, giving the fruit soup apparently a hint of quirky richness.
Located 312 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001,
7. Boiling Lübeck Marzipan at Koloman
Marzipan made by pastry chef Emiko Chisholm serves as a reminder of why people should like it. An underdog dessert that steals the show is bursting with the tastes of almond and honey and is encased in a flaky pastry that is infused with a little chocolate and sea salt.
16 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001
The main attraction at this wood-fired Chelsea pizza is unquestionably Georgia Wodder’s sundaes. By combining a rich fudge brownie with mint chip gelato, which tastes like menthol-cut grass, the pastry chef transforms an otherwise straightforward treat into a work of beauty. She adds olive oil and sea salt to mascarpone gelato. To soften the sour tones of the fior di latte gelato and add a punch of almond flavour, she also shaves tricolore biscuits over it like truffles.
85 10th Avenue, New York, New York 10011
One of the most discussed (and Instagrammed) dishes at Enrique Olvera’s ground-breaking Mexican restaurant in Flatiron is Cosme’s husk meringue, which is considered Manhattan dessert royalty. The dish has the ideal harmony of tastes and textures thanks to the slightly salty corn mousse and sweet husk meringue on top.
New York, New York 10010, 35 E 21st St.
10. Banana rum pudding at Thai Diner
Indulgent coconut sundaes created by Ann Redding and Matt Danzer at Uncle Boons gained a cult following. Although their original location was forced to shut due to the pandemic, the duo has revived the treat at Thai Diner by smothering it with coconut caramel, palm sugar whipped cream, and candied peanuts. Even so, you may want to give some of Thai Diner’s more recent dishes a try. Take the banana rum pudding, a tri-level parfait with a pudding layer at the bottom, a layer of whipped cream in the centre, and a crown made of sesame tuile in the form of a lotus root on top. The fragrances of very fragrant, slowly cooked bananas are the subject of this in-depth investigation.
186 Mott Street, New York, New York 10012
At Bonnie’s, you’ll be tempted to order one of everything, including the restaurant’s stunning stuffed rainbow fish and deliciously al dente “cacio e pepe mein,” but be assured that you should save space for dessert. Slices of fresh fruit, which are offered here on a tray, are a frequent Cantonese dinner finisher, but a superb prepared dessert called an ice cream sundae is also available. Deep-fried milk custard cubes are incorporated throughout the dish, and buttered peanuts and hot fudge on top increase the decadence even more. All of it adds up to a satisfying conclusion best enjoyed in moderate doses.
398 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Soft serve gelato is the ultimate summer treat to enjoy with a friend, but L’Industrie makes the case for this tradition all year long with seasonal flavours that vary regularly. On our most recent visit, the Williamsburg pizzeria with excellent slices had two kinds of soft serve that could be ordered individually or swirled together from a soft serve machine at the register. Make sure to drizzle some olive oil on top.
254 S 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
13. At Aldama, a buelo with mousse de cajeta
At this little Williamsburg Mexican restaurant, chef Gerardo Alcaraz offers some very good al pastor tacos, but make sure to ask about the sweets, particularly the gorgeous bunuelo. To give every mouthful a taste of cream and goat’s milk caramel, Alcaraz fries the dough until it develops a shatteringly crunchy texture. After that, he slathers it all with a goat’s milk cajeta mousse. Add mezcal to the mix.
91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
14. Tiramisu at Macosa Trattoria
With its affordable rates and generous wine pours, Bed-Stuy’s Macosa Trattoria is the type of spot that makes you feel like a regular right away. Ask for the tiramisu after finishing tasty Italian appetisers like chicken liver crostini and oxtail ragu; it could be the greatest rendition of the drink you’ve ever had. It has a thick layer of chocolate shavings on top and is as light as they come, with the mascarpone dominating the composition.
310 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
There are several exquisite Middle Eastern desserts available at Knafeh at Tanoreen Rawia Bishara’s Palestinian restaurant in Bay Ridge, including piney sahlab custard, rich semolina-coconut harissa cake, and anise-y macaroni biscuits. However, if you came for dessert, chances are you came for the knafeh, a huge piece of filo-wrapped baked sweet cheese that has been flavoured with orange blossom water. Watching the waitress stretch out the cheese like a pizzaiolo and slice it at the table is half the enjoyment. A big order serves four to six persons, whereas a small order serves two to three.
7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209