If you have a sweet tooth then a trip to New York is bound to satisfy those cravings. With an array of independent confectionary shops everywhere you turn you are sure to find some irresistible delights, as we explore in this article.
We spoke to bloggers to ask for their recommendations on where to find the best sweet treats in and around New York, as well as getting their opinions on why this part of America should be on everyone’s must-visit list.
A classic cheesecake is a quintessential New York treat and according to Jessica from Used York City, the best place to enjoy a slice is at Junior’s. An authentic New York cheesecake is often richer, smoother and thicker than the regular variety and the offers at Junior’s are the best around, says Jessica: “It’s creamy, sweet, and just the perfect amount of tart, complete to a moist Graham Cracker crust, Junior’s has variations ranging from the original to red velvet cheesecake, to my personal favourite, devil’s food cheesecake which is all the goodness of cheesecake mixed with chocolate cake and fudge infused icing.”
Junior’s has been a staple in New York for more than 55 years and to this day, the staff mix all the ingredients by hand. To ensure the highest quality of produce they also only make 88 cheesecakes at once. If you are going all out you can buy a whole cheesecake, or staff will happily box up a couple of slices for you to enjoy.
As well as the gastronomic delights, Jessica also told us why she loves New York: “The city is an incredible place to visit because there are truly unexpected adventures to be had every day. Whether you embark on a peaceful bird watching tour in Central Park or throw your hands in the air as you coast down the Cyclone Roller Coaster in Coney Island, Brooklyn, there’s magic to be found in the every-day moments. As I preach on my blog, it’s essential to get out there and use your city and find inspiration in the little things, every single day.”
Where: Glazed and Confused
Glazed and Confused is a small-batch doughnut shop which opened in 2016. All the doughnuts are made from scratch and the owners only make 30 at once to ensure “only the freshest products”.
Visitors can expect to find classic flavours and toppings as well as a variety of alternative creations to tickle your taste buds, for example; Pardon My Strawberry French Toast is a doughnut consisting of a maple glaze, cream cheese and freshly sliced strawberries topped with powdered sugar, the Up All Night is a coffee-glazed doughnut topped with crushed espresso beans.
Anne from Upstate Ramblings told us what she likes about Glazed and Confused: “I love the delicious artisan doughnuts. They have flavours that seem strange and off the wall but are delicious. My favourite is The Dizzy Pig which is a maple-glazed doughnut topped with bourbon sugar and candied bacon.”
Where: Pasticceria Rocco
Pasticceria Rocco is a traditional family-owned Italian pastry shop in New York’s West Village. According to Instagrammer Jessica Markowski, the tastiest cannoli is found at Pasticceria Rocco. Cannoli is a popular Italian American staple which consists of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough crammed full of sweet and creamy ricotta filling.
Jessica told us why she enjoys this deliciously moreish treat: “NYC is filled with both tradition and innovation when it comes to food, especially dessert. Although buzz-worthy, social media friendly desserts are great to try, trying out something that is an NYC staple is something not to be missed. My favourite treat is definitely a pistachio filled cannoli from Pasticceria Rocco, it’s made with crisp shells and sticky filling, this delectable cannoli is as authentic as it gets.”
We also asked Jessica what makes New York such a great place for people to indulge in their sweet tooth cravings: “From ice-cream and chocolate to cannoli and tiramisu, New York is a fantastic place to visit if you have a sweet tooth. In my opinion, the city offers the best dessert options because it is filled with many options depending on which neighbourhood you choose to go to. This place is so diverse with many different nationalities and cultures, you can satisfy all your sugar cravings from any part of the world. Also, because the restaurant scene in New York is very competitive, you can be sure to find the best and sweetest finds.”
Where: Pershing Square
Pershing Square is a restaurant located at 90 East 42nd Street under Grand Central Station's Park Avenue viaduct. The restaurant itself is built into one of the viaduct’s archways, boasting a bakery and espresso bar. It has become a firm favourite for locals and visitors alike. Jamie from Thrifty Mumma Thrifty Bubba told us all about the delicious brunch she enjoyed at Pershing Square: “My favourite sweet treat was the traditional buttermilk pancakes served with fresh blueberries, strawberries, banana and 100% pure grade A maple syrup. It tasted delicious, like a true American breakfast and every time I think of New York I think of the time we spent at Pershing Square.”
During the warmer months, Pershing Square operates an outdoor café which can be found on the west side. Many famous faces have also graced Pershing Square because the venue was featured in a battle scene in the 2012 film The Avengers.
We also asked Jamie what else she enjoys about this particular part of the world: “New York is an amazing city to visit because it is so iconic. The backdrop to countless movie blockbusters, it is incredible to walk through the city and see sights what you've seen on screen in real life. There is always something to do, people to watch and shows to see; it truly is the city that never sleeps.”
Milk shaved ice
Where: Sweet Moment
Sweet Moment, which is located in the heart of New York City’s Little Italy and Soho, is famed for its mountain high milk shaved ice dishes. The cooling treats are also known as Bingoos and come in a variety of flavours.
Jay runs Sweet Moment and told us all about Bingoos and their Kremee drinks which they are also famed for: “Bingsoo is a Korean traditional summer dessert that we can enjoy all season long.
We have many varieties of Bingsoo flavours, but the most popular is mango, cheesecake, and watermelon.
“Kremee is a drink that has two choices of base, with flavoured whipped cream on top. It is a popular choice for our customer because there is a cute design on top of the drink. We offer five flavours which are chocolate, matcha, red-velvet, taro, and Thai.”
Vegan chocolate fudge cake
Where: Martha’s Country Bakery
Coffee and cake from Martha’s Country Bakery is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of sight-seeing. The owners work with local coffee roasters who supply the finest coffee beans as well as gourmet teas and fine chocolates.
The bakery serves up some American favourites to eat, from apple pie and red velvet cupcakes to cookies and gelato. Urszula Makokska is a New York native and often visits the bakery: “I have the biggest sweet tooth; I am all about dessert. Martha’s Country Bakery also has a variety of vegan cakes. My favourite dessert to order at Martha’s Bakery is the vegan chocolate fudge cake. It’s so chocolatey and addictive, I order it at least once a week.”
As well as the sweet treats available, New York also has a plethora of architecture to admire as Urszula explains: “New York City is the place to be. I am a Native New Yorker, it is the city that I was born and raised in, it is the city I love and I will not get sick of the place I call home.
“It’s a fantastic place to visit not only because of the historical circumstances surrounding the city and the places to visit but also because it is extremely diverse. You have millions of people from all over the world visiting and living in New York.
“Every restaurant on every street serves different food coming from a different part of the world. You are exposed and have the ability to learn about different cultures. Outside of that, of course, you also have the beautiful modern buildings to visit such as the Statue of Liberty, and the One World Observatory and World Trade Centre. You really are able to see and learn different things in just one city.”
Sweets to take home
Where: Dylan’s Candy Bar
If you want to take home some sweet treats for family and friends then visiting Dylan’s Candy Bar is a must, explains Brittany from The Sweet Wanderlust: “My favourite shop in New York City for sweets is Dylan’s Candy Bar which is the largest candy shop in the world. Load up on candy on the bottom levels and head for the top floor, where you can sit in a cupcake booth and enjoy ice cream, freak shakes and candy-themed cocktails. The shop is fun and the desserts are tasty and beautiful.”
The confectionary emporium opened in 2001 and is arguably a modern-day version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. There are more than 7,000 types of sweets available as well as candy-inspired plush toys, handbags and clothes.
Dylan’s Candy Bar welcomes more than 2million tourists a year with celebrity fans including Oprah Winfrey, Madonna and Tom Cruise.
A trip to New York is always a gastronomic adventure and, as anyone acquainted with the area knows, it can also be one of the best places in the world to satisfy a sweet tooth. Visit some of the New York attractions and enjoy some wonderful treats along the way.
Image Credit: Sweet Moment