Top ten must-eat sweets in NYC

Enjoy this guest post by Amy Thomas, author of the recently-published book: Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate).

Trying to pick the best sweets in New York City no easy task. For me, it depends on so many things such as the neighborhood I’m in, the time of day, the season, my mood, and if I’m wearing an elastic waistband. But, it’s a fun and important exercise to conduct every few months as there are constantly new introductions around town. As of late, here are my Top 10 sweets (in no particular order).—Amy Thomas

Photo courtesy of Levain Bakery
1. Levain’s six-ounce uber decadent chocolate chip walnut cookie. I love the savory-sweet balance and the middle that is almost raw cookie dough. Perfection.

Patisserie Claude
2. Pain au chocolat from Patisserie Claude. Early morning, when they’re still warm and melty is best. In fact, it’s heaven. (Other great croissants are City Bakery’s pretzel croissant and Café Margot’s almond croissant.)

3. The chocolate bread pudding from Dessert Truck. I am a sucker for bread pudding and this version is warm and spongy with a beautiful molten middle that’s topped with crème anglaise.

The chocolate Elvis from The Spot.
4. Cupcakes from The Spot. Inventive flavors like berry chocolate, mocha caramel with Malden sea salt, vanilla yuzu lemon, and vanilla caramel Viennese coffee, were created by one of my favorite pastry chefs, Pichet Ong. They’re not to be missed.

Photo courtesy of City Bakery.
5. City Bakery’s peanut butter cookies. Wee scoops of peanut butter batter, baked to moist, savory perfection. They pack a punch.

6 Macarons from Bosie Tea Parlor. The pastry chef, Damien Herggott, worked at Pierre Hermé for four years and with every bite of one of his delicate, double-decker treats, you know it’s the real deal.

Creme brûlée from Kee's Chocolates
7. The crème brulée truffle at Kee’s Chocolates. Kee makes all kinds of wonderful bonbons, but this one is exceptionally decadent. It has a thin, crisp shell that hides an interior of soft, sweet and creamy crème brulée. Dessert in a bite.

8. The chocolate blackout cake doughnut from Doughnut Plant. Yes, it’s as dense and naughty as its name implies.

9 Tarte Tatin at Buvette. This lovely French-Italian bar in the West Village does everything right, and the tarte tatin, a French classic, is no exception. The contrast of the sweet caramely apples and refined crème anglaise is pitch-perfect.

Photo courtesy of DKA.
10 Dominique’s Kouign Amanns (DKAs) from the Dominique Ansel bakery in Soho. These are the most buttery French pastries you could ever imagine, made chewy and sweet from caramelized sugar. Definitely not for the faint at heart.

Learn more about Amy Thomas’s sweet tooth (and the fun she had living in Paris) in my Q&A on The Gourmet Food Blog at Dean & Deluca or visit her site, Sweet Freak.

  1. Ok, I am now dizzy and am thinking when get I get there and enjoy all of the above mentioned treats with you.  I am a sucker for Kee’s, Doughnut Plant and Tarte Tatin at Buvette WAIT did I just mention four of the above, no no no, I am going to have to indulge just like a TRUE busy hedonist and try all of the above! I am sure each and every bite of each treat is a wonderful journey into pure bliss! SIGN me UP!

  2. Whoa, Tracey!  What an excursion into the decadence of your palette!  And… I have to say I was spoiled by my mother’s exceptional baking.  From cookies like the first above, to cinnamon buns and blueberry pies to die for.  So I am not so sure these swanky places can pull it off like a 70 yeared baker could… especially one who grew much of what she baked with!  I will allow you to put them to the test when next I am in NYC.  (some of these desserts I have never even heard of.  Need some education!)  Look forward to it!

  3. I’m quite certain that these places can’t hold a candle to your mom’s baking! It must have been quite an experience growing up with all those scents in your home. I look forward to hosting you here in NYC so you can try some of these sweets!

  4. when you’re in NYC next, we must go try some of these sweets! though of course we’ll mix it up with some green juice. lol.