If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed in New York thinking about dessert: I’m here for you. I’ve tried a ton of places so you don’t have to go into dessert spots blind. Let me know on my social media if there’s somewhere you want to hear about! Without further adieu, let’s get to what you’re really here for.
Definitely my favorite dessert spot in New York City. Spot Dessert Bar, coming from Iron Chef Ian Kittichai, tops a few other dessert places gone viral as well as others a bit less well known. Whether you are in need of sweets or want a place to go out with your friends on a friday night, Spot is your place. The desserts are creative, ‘grammable, and, most importantly, awe-inducingly delicious. Don’t miss their signature Spot golden toast or the harvest experience (it looks like a potted plant), but also take advantage of the fact the menu frequently incorporates new options! One criticism with their boba. You may’ve seen their lightbulb cups on social media and you will pay for it if you want one. Only, once you get the cup, you’ll realize it’s cheap plastic that is not worth the trouble it would be to save it. Honestly, unless you want to pay for the photo op, skip the drink.
I found Sweet Moment early on in my time in New York. I’ll be honest, what originally drew me here was the adorable cream art that the baristas make on their drinks. That being said, Sweet Moment pleasantly surprised me and surpassed my expectations. If you enjoy asian desserts ( think Korean 빙수 aka more shaved ice, fruit, and unique toppings) you’ll love Sweet Moment’s offerings as much as I do. The earl grey pudding here is also delicious (probably my favorite thing) if you’re looking more to do work here for a while and need a snack.
(A big shoutout to my best friend, Seri, for this picture.)
With locations in 4 states and abroad in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan Lady M has an international reputation for class. Lady M has an atmosphere rather different from the first two places on the list. The locations I’ve been to in New York are upscale, almost entirely made of marble and glass. If you need peace and sugar, you can step out of the hecticness of the city and take a seat in their boutique. I’m not always a big fan of matcha desserts (I often think they’re too sweet), but Lady M’s matcha mille crêpe cake is exceptional. It’s a cake on the lighter side with just the perfect amount of sweetness. The mille crêpe cakes are what Lady M is famous for, but if you’re in this for the chocolate look no farther than my second favorite dish: couronne du chocolat (crown of chocolate).
Thanks @foodbabyny for bringing this place to my attention. This was originally not going to be included in the post. However, I am constantly giving in to my ‘treat yo self’ mentality, hence the discovery of this dessert spot in K-town. You could be confused when you initially walk by, Besfren also sells skin care. But that is not the best thing about it. I loved this match-taro swirl soft serve. Not only does the ice cream make a fantastic picture, you will not be let down once you taste this. I mention in my Lady M review that I don’t always like matcha in desserts, but here the Taro balances the flavor out. It was the perfect dessert to follow up some KBBQ. Another selling point is bang for your buck. When a dessert is this aesthetic + they give you a significant amount it is normally pretty expensive in New York. But Besfren comes through for our wallets, you can share this cone between two people (or one honestly, I did it myself) and it rings up to under $5 pre-tax.
Chinatown may be my favorite neighborhood in New York. There’s nowhere else that you can get this high quality food for the price in Manhattan. Lucky King Bakery caught my attention because of their fresh pineapple buns and, on a non-dessert note, steamed pork buns. Last summer I was living in Hong Kong where I was introduced to pineapple buns. These aren’t nearly as sweet as most of the desserts I’ve mentioned, but when the bread is fresh and warm this one of my all time favorite treats. Pineapple buns have a sugary coating on top that melts in your mouth when you bite into them. I’ve been to Lucky King far too much this summer and have introduced quite a few friends to the place because I love it so much. It’s not a chain and it’s not fancy, it is just an authentic Chinese bakery. The ladies working behind the counter are always lovely, even when we have a bit of a language barrier in communicating. This place is worth a stop in.
If you’re indecisive, this may be the wrong spot for you. Veniero’s serves up an astonishing number of desserts. The place has been a New York staple around since 1894. The decor is a bit outdated, but it has a certain charm characteristic of the city. If you’re in a group there will be something for everyone and if you’re alone you’ll be tempted to order more than you can finish. They stay open late and you’ll see all kinds of characters here. Settle in with your favorite gelato and cake combo. I’m a personal fan of the milk chocolate mousse. The regular cannolis (not the chocolate flavor) are also highly recommended.
Daily Provisions is not a dessert place as the prior places on this list. It also offers (and focuses on) savory food. However, Daily Provisions carries Salt & Straw ice cream. Salt & Straw is located in Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. So, Daily Provisions is the way to get access to this uniquely flavored ice cream in the Big Apple. My favorite flavor is actually an exclusive collaboration between Daily Provisions and Salt & Straw: Joe Coffee & Freckled Chocolate. Daily Provisions is also, like Lady M though warmer (think navy blue minimalism at its finest), a higher end setting that allows you to relax for a bit as you enjoy flavors like honey lavender and roasted strawberry coconut.
Worth Mentioning: R.I.P. Places trending on Instagram and Facebook videos.
This place is adorable. They won major points with me just for their Golden Girls decor. People are happy to be here and the line seems to move quickly. I got the classic ‘Salty Pimp’ ice cream although you can customize your order. The ‘Salty Pimp’ is good. But, the fact of the matter is, you could have a very similar ice cream anywhere with a dipped chocolate cone on the menu. That being said, the prices here are not as high as New Territories and I am eyeing the ‘Rocky Roadhouse’ cone to try.
Though I don’t plan another visit, New Territories does have my favorite neon sign. It’s no wonder why their desserts have gotten so much attention. They’re gorgeous and excessive. To New Territories’ credit, being ‘grammable is a fantastic business tactic. However, you could spend less and get some desserts that taste just as good, if not better (Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream, I’m looking at you) depending on which dessert you pick. My Prince Edward bubble waffle + ice cream was a safe choice despite its looks. My boyfriend’s U’Be Trippin’ meanwhile wasn’t worth the hype. Very pretty, but entirely too fruity because of the cereal overpowering the earl grey ice cream. Perhaps the milkshakes are better, but I don’t feel willing to risk the rather large investment in one (these desserts are expensive) because of the experience with the bubble waffle + ice cream combos.