Does the mere sight of a perfectly frosted Nutella-filled cupcake or a super soft sugar cookie make you weak in the knees? (If so, same.) New York City is an amazing place for chocoholics, soft serve lovers and those who enjoy ordering enormous, elaborately crafted desserts to post on Instagram and make their friends super jealous. So if you’re ready to truly live for the first time (and to set your social media accounts on fire), here are a few sweet places to visit in NYC.
1: DO (Greenwich Village)
This place is famous for its edible cookie dough (which is sometimes criticized for being too sweet, but I beg to differ). However, it has WAY more than just raw dough. Stop by for baked dough “cupcakes” stuffed with Nutella, frozen cookie dough ice cream sandwiches, pies made of cookie dough flavored ice cream, and, of course, the classic baked cookie variety. The first time I went here I ordered two scoops of pure cookie dough, saw fireworks and rainbows as I ate the first one, then went into a sugar coma and couldn’t even start the second one. Let me tell you, the sugar coma was worth it.
2: Max Brenner (Union Square)
AKA “chocolate by the bald man” and a personal childhood favorite. This place is a giant chocolate bar, store, and restaurant all in one. The restaurant area serves amazing regular food — they offer waffle bread for sandwiches — but you’re probably gonna want to stop by the chocolate store to gaze in amazement and/or waft your surroundings for about two hours. They offer every form of chocolate you can imagine, as well as chocolate first aid kits and doctor style chocolate “shots” filled with ganache. Once you’ve had your meal, the large array of dessert options includes chocolate pizza with marshmallows, milkshakes in “drink me” cups, fondue towers, and a variety of hot chocolate flavors.
3: Taiyaki (ChinaTown/ Little Italy)
It may seem like your average little ice cream shop at first, but don’t let that fool you. Their Japanese soft serve is both delicious and adorable, with flavors like matcha and black sesame to get you out of your chocolate and vanilla rut (though those are offered too). You can order a preset ice cream, topping, and cone combo or choose to make your own. Their signature fish cone comes with a custard or red bean tale filling. And best of all, it fits a college student budget. Sometimes they have BOGO deals, so come with a friend to get soft serve for only three dollars.
4: Insomnia Cookies (Everywhere TBH)
If you’re a college student in NYC, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of this place before, if not ordered a dozen peanut butter cookies to your dorm room at two thirty AM. They may not have the frills and bows of some other dessert places in the city, but Insomnia has two things going for it that few others do: hours that work for your sugar cravings and a delivery service that works for your laziness. Their cookies come in adorable mini pizza boxes that’ll look great in your “HA HA, I just had cookies delivered at three AM” snap. And, of course, they’ve got the flavor thing down.
5: Black Tap (Various Locations)
Their logo says “craft burgers and beer” but that is a total and absolute lie. While yes, they do sell craft burgers and beer, their best feature is their shakes. They offer classic or “crazy” shakes, and if you get the latter you’d better share with a friend to avoid a sugar-induced heart attack. While the classic shakes come in some noteworthy flavors like coffee, black cherry, and Nutella, the crazy shakes are the ones for Instagram. By some feat of physics, they manage to pile a giant mount of candy, cookies, and cake on the rim without it falling off.
Now that you’ve gotten some ideas, go out and take a sugar tour of NYC. Once you’ve explored these options, there are many, many more cupcakes and ice cream cones waiting to be tasted. In NYC, there’s a stellar sweet shop at every turn if you just go out and look for it.