Must Try Sweets

New York

Curated by Eva Tsang

New Yorker’s take their sweets seriously and the city is filled with some of the best bakeries and sugary hot spots in the world, drawing eager locals and tourists alike. Explore New York City’s best doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies and other irresistible treats with our pick for the best, must-try sweets in the city.

  • 1

    Levain Bakery is famous for their rich and buttery cookies; gooey on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside. The cookies are massive and chunky with a doughy center, making them irresistible to cookie-dough lovers. Their signature flavor is chocolate chip walnut which is packed with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chunks of walnuts so every bite is as good as the one before. The chewy, moist and brownie like double chocolate chip cookie is a chocolate lover’s dream and not to be missed.

    Levain Bakery
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 2

    Mille-Feuille Bakery Café in the Greenwich Village is a delightful French bakery and home to our favorite tiny treat, macarons. The macarons at Mille-Feuille are some of the best in the city and comes in an array of irresistible flavors. Light, airy and filled with the most delectable ganache, jam, or buttercream; each macaron is heavenly. Our favorite is the salted caramel, its caramel filling is smooth, buttery and well-rounded with just enough of a salty kick for balance.

    Mille-Feuille Bakery Café
    Photography by Eva Tsang

  • 3

    There are dozens of cupcake shops in New York City, but Georgetown Cupcake is one of the best. While their cupcakes are almost too pretty to eat, it’s moist cake and lovely buttercream frosting makes it easy for us to devour it in just a few heavenly bites. With so many wonderful and unique flavors, each and every concoction taste as delicious as they are beautifully embellished. Don’t miss their signature flavor; a classic red velvet cupcake with a vanilla cream cheese frosting topped with a red fondant heart. Seasonal specials are also noteworthy, especially the Chocolate Egg Nog and Rudolph Red Velvet for the month of December.

    Georgetown Cupcake
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 4

    The genius behind Doughnut Plant, Mark Isreal, transformed the world of doughnuts with his chewy, gooey, giant delights. We can’t get enough of his irresistible doughnuts and our favorite is his crème brûlée inspired creation. A super-soft, gooey doughnut with a crisp caramelized sugar crust that is filled with creamy and silky vanilla custard. The crème brûlée doughnut is half the size of their regular yeast doughnut but just a few bites of this heavenly treat is enough to satisfy your sugar fix.

    Doughnut Plant
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 5

    Step into Breads Bakery and let the wonderful smell of home-made breads and pastries delight you. Breads Bakery is one of the best new bakeries in town and known for their delicious bread recipes and babka. While the chocolate babka is their bestseller and simply amazing, we recommend the equally amazing chocolate rugelach. A tender pastry, tasting of browned butter and chocolate, cut and rolled like tiny croissants. Its taste is similar to the chocolate babka, but we prefer its smaller size as it is the perfect little treat when on the go.

    Breads Bakery
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 6

    Two Little Red Hens is a charming bake shop on the Upper East Side filled with decorated cakes, latticed pies, rich brownies, fruit-studded tarts and other irresistible confections. They also make what many consider to be the perfect rendition of the New York cheesecake. Its filling is smooth, creamy and light with the perfect balance of sweetness and tart while its buttery and crumbly graham cracker crust just melts in your mouth.

    Two Little Red Hens
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 7

    Zucker Bakery is a charming Eastern European bakery in the East Village offering delicious home baked goods in a cozy atmosphere and their widely-loved Chocolate Rose is one of the best sweet bites in New York City. A cross between a cinnamon roll and chocolate babka, Chocolate Roses are the perfect size when you need a little something sweet to satisfy your sweet tooth. These scrumptious bite sized treats are sweet, soft and slightly crisp on the outside with a gooey center and melting with chocolate when still warm.

    Zucker Bakery
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 8

    Lady M Confections is a luxurious cake boutique in New York City filled with the most decadent cakes and confectionary delights. Lady M turns out about a dozen exquisite cakes daily, including strawberry shortcake, red velvet and chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cake. While all the cakes are to die for, the original mille crepes gets most of the attention and is our favorite. Delicate and irresistible, the mille crepe is twenty paper-thin handmade crêpes layered with ethereal light pastry cream and a gently caramelized top. It sounds simple, but it has to be tasted to be believed.

    Lady M
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 9

    Craving something sweet and decadent? Head to City Bakery and warm up with a cup of their delicious hot chocolate. Their cup of pure chocolate deliciousness is thick and creamy with just the right amount of milk and sweetness to balance out the strong chocolate flavor. Be sure to stop by in February when they have their “Hot Chocolate Festival,” which includes a featured hot chocolate flavor every day from earl grey, espresso and even bourbon hot chocolate.

    City Bakery
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 10

    Momofuku Milk Bar is a must visit for anyone who loves creamy, salty and buttery snacks and ice cream, of course. While all the treats at Milk Bar are irresistible, the crack pie is one of our favorites. The masterminds behind this scrumptious treat did not give crack pie its name without good reason. Just take one bite of this Milk Bar best seller and you’re find out. The rich, buttery, salty-sweet pie with its oat cookie crust is so good, you won’t be able to stop devouring it.

    Momofuku Milk Bar
    Photography by Stefan Karlström

  • 11

    In the style of classic French boulangeries, Bouchon Bakery features a wide selection of desserts created by famous Chef Thomas Keller. While there are many sweet treats to choose from, our favorite is the Thomas Keller’s Oreo or TKO for short. TKO is a reinterpretation of our favorite childhood cookie, the Oreo. Think of it as an elegant Oreo, crisp chocolate cookies held together with a simple white chocolate ganache filling, a sweet counter to the deep chocolate flavor of the cookies.

    Bouchon Bakery
    Photography by Stefan Karlström