The best thing about New York, is the walking (stick with me here). Walking from sight to sight, you pound out mile after mile and this means, you can indulge in sweet treats relatively guilt free. (If you don’t have a sweet tooth, check out my list of savoury treats here). Where should you go for New York’s best sugar-laden goodies? Here are some of our favourites:
Cupcake, Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, 780 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065
Yes, you read that correctly. New York has a cupcake ATM!! Just North of Bloomingdale’s on Lex, it makes an ideal pit stop after a day’s shopping or wandering in Central Park.
You approach the pink machine and hit the touch screen to bring up your baked options. There are cupcakes and cookies to choose from. There are gluten-free and vegan options as well as sugar free ones, meaning than you can even visit if you have dietary requirements! We opted for an orange and cranberry cupcake and a peanut butter pretzel cookie.
Oh SO good!
I sort of assumed it was just a window through to the bakery but we head inside and saw the back of the machine. This made me love it all the more (especially as going to the machine rather than queuing inside meant I got the last orange and cranberry cake rather the lady just asking for it at the counter).
The Pegasus – DRINK AEO, 1551-1555 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Tucked into the front of the American Eagle Outfitters is a very funky bar. It showcases a selection of small American soft drink companies, in fact all it serves is soft drinks. They have five different sodas on tap and many more in the fridges below. Over summer they released a drink of such sugary, sweetitude that has appeared on many an instagram feed.
As far as my tastebuds could work out, the base of the drink is a strawberry milkshake. Added to that is another layer of milkshake absolutely FULL of blue colouring. I am pretty sure there is nothing organic in this beverage whatsoever! The drink is topped with whipped cream, sugar sprinkles (hundred and thousands) and candy-covered chocolate balls. Finally, stuck into the top you get a marshmallow stack, a sugar stick for your coffee later that day, and a unicorn lollipop.
Doughnuts, Doughtnut Plant, 220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
The humble doughnut (donut) is an American staple. In New York, you can stumble into a Dunkin’ Donuts on every other block but the best ones I have ever had came from this independent cafe in Chelsea. Here you will find doughnuts in loads of flavours colours and even shapes. We saw star shaped doughtnuts, doughnut holes and even doughnut roses. They are light rather than stodgy, full of flavour rather than merely sweet.
They take their frying seriously! You can check out their current menu here. I tried a blueberry glazed cake and it was so good that I didn’t mind sharing it with everyone, just so we could all have a bit. However, in my excitement to get it into my mouth, I totally forgot to take a photo. Whoops.
Cronut, Dominique Ansel Bakery, 189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Have you heard of a “cronut”? If you have read anything about “hipsters” then I am dare say you have., but if not, let me explain. Basically, it the sweet, sweet love child of a doughnut and a croissant. Fried, filled with flavoured cream or jam (jelly), covered in sugar and, in this case, frosting it has all the naughty bits that make doughnuts so good. However, inside you will find a light, laminated texture which means you can pull it apart and enjoy it like a fine french pastry.
The only place to get an official “cronut” is at the bakery of the inventor Dominique Ansel. They produce one variety a month and when we visited (November 2017) it was pumkin frosting with cranberry jam. It was truly delicious, and better yet, going late on a Thursday meant the infamous queue was nowhere to be seen. There is always the risk that they seel out before you get there, but in that case, just try one of the other absolutely delightful cakes, and come back the next day!
People’s Pops – High Line, Between 15th and 16th St, New York, NY 10011
Under the eaves of Chelsea Market, on the high line, you can find People’s Pops (during the warmer half of the year). They make artisan, real fruit ice-lollies (popsicles). They are handmade in Brooklyn and change with the season. I have tried three and they are seriously punchy! You can also try their shaved ice, again made with fresh fruit and cane sugar.
In the July heat, we struggled to keep up with the melting lollies. I wanted to savour it but I didn’t get the chance! On our return, in September, we could take our time and enjoy every last lick.
Can’t get to the high line? You can find People’s Pops at the Smorgasburg food fairs in Williamsburg and Prospect Park. Then there are the very special alcoholic pops at the Loopy Doopy bar where they are used to make very special cocktails. You will be able to read more about this in my New York bars post (coming soon).
Cheesecake – Junior’s, 1515 Broadway (45th St), New York, NY 10019
The one thing that I cannot leave New York without eating is cheesecake. Oh cheesecake, it is gooey, sweet, filling and utterly more-ish.
Available in slices, a single portion, or a full face-smushing cake, you will find a wide selection of flavours to over-indulge on. My favourites are the cherry and the lemon.
In the past I have also tried the red velvet slice which is made of red velvet cake and cheesecake. The cheesecake mixture in this is much lighter, more like the european version. However, that is NOT why I buy NY cheesecake and so I have reverted back to the baked kind…with much suucess!
I have toyed with the idea of visiting Junior’s restaurant, next door to the bakery, on the odd occasion but I cant even finish one slice of their delectable cake in one sitting so I don’t think I’d stand a chance.
Time For Dessert
So, now you’ve seen the best of what New York has to offer in the sweet stakes, it’s time to hit the streets and started munching. You better remember to bring your toothbrush with all that sugar!