For serious diners, ordering dessert isn’t optional but essential to the full eating experience. There’s a reason why “save the best for last” is a thing. For some, that looks like a scoop of creamy peanut butter ice cream. For others, that means a brigadeiro, the Brazilian bonbon filled with butter-enriched sweetened condensed milk. Or two brigadeiros. Or three. Whatever satisfying that sweet tooth involves, you’re always within reach of something delicious, thanks to Caviar and DoorDash. Here’s our list of the top 50 spots for baked goods and other desserts in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Just don’t tell your dentist.
Just as iconic as chef James Kent’s whimsical, technique-driven savory dishes are pastry chef Renata Ameni’s desserts. At this Financial District restaurant, she stuffs dates into her cider-soaked warm sticky toffee pudding and tops satsuma ice cream with toasted marshmallows and crunchy honeycomb candy.
This Union Square pastry counter and shop from chef Yoshie Shirakawa is a sugary wonderland, brimming with croissants of all kinds (ham and cheese, matcha cream and berries), creamy verrines in flavors like toasty soba and sesame apricot, dense poundcakes, buttery cookies, and, of course, housemade milk bread.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
At chef Nicholas Morgenstern’s ice cream shop in the West Village, the vanilla ice cream is made with fresh Madagascar beans, the peanut butter cup ice cream is a double dose of peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter cups, and the rocky road is dubbed the Rockiest Road, complete with chocolate two ways (chunks of dark chocolate and swirls of fudge), toasted almonds, and marshmallows.
This Upper West Side sweet spot specializes in one thing: enormous cookies filled with chocolate chips and walnuts, oatmeal and raisins, and more. (Though if you’re in the mood, they have breads and pastries, too.) Bakers Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald have a following for a reason (and multiple outposts in the city — hallelujah!).
Petee’s Pie Company
Flour and butter are in Petra “Petee” Paredez’s DNA. In 2014, she opened her Lower East Side pie shop after a childhood spent helping her mom with her pie business. It has been a hit ever since. Folks can’t get enough of her crumble-topped apple pie, zingy Key lime, and salty chocolate chess pie. Now Brooklyn diners can order it as well.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
The man behind the Cronut is no one-trick pony. Out of his Soho bakery, he conjures a rainbow of perfectly crackled macarons, cream-filled éclairs, thick cookies, and, yes, Cronuts. Word to the wise: Do not skip out on the DKA, Ansel’s version of a kouign-amann, the caramelized croissant famous in Brittany.
Nougatine at Jean-Georges
Layer-cake lovers, rejoice. This Central Park West restaurant from venerated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has all that and more: four-layer carrot cake swiped with cream cheese frosting, devil’s food cake layered with dark chocolate pudding, custardy ice cream, and butterscotch pudding.
Spot Dessert Bar
There’s an element of surprise built into every dessert from chef Ian Kittichai at this sweets spot, with locations in St. Mark’s and Flushing. Raspberry sorbet lies beneath cheesecake and Oreo crumb “dirt” in The Harvest, while a chocolate cookie oozes with matcha ganache "lava." You’ll have to order to find out the rest.
After baking on the opening team for the beloved Breads Bakery, pastry chef Adir Michaeli struck out on his own with this Israeli-inspired bakery on the Lower East Side. He employed burekas as the buttery base for pizza fillings, added some Nutella to his chocolate babka, and never looked back.
At this Lower East Side shop, you’re literally a kid in a candy store. It specializes in Swedish sweets — yes, even Swedish Fish — but if you’re overwhelmed by all the sugar options, go with any of the mixes, which are ingeniously categorized by flavor, season, or ingredient. Looking at you, Sour Mix.
Ordering dessert should never feel tinged with any shame. This Murray Hill plant-based restaurant ensures that by charging their sweets with healthy ingredients: coconut milk pudding speckled with chia seeds; flaxseed-studded, Omega-3-loaded buckwheat brownies; and the Apple Volcano, made with shredded apples and served alongside rich cashew cream.
Consider this Lower East Side bakery the Willy Wonka–esque factory of croissants and buttery baked goods. Sure, the traditional croissant is delicious, but you’re here for the fun stuff. Think hazelnut-enriched Cruffins, croissant-muffin hybrids; doughnuts filled with passion fruit curd; and even savory options like ricotta and sundried tomato danishes.
After the rise of this West Village cupcake shop (TYSM, Carrie Bradshaw), the charming bakery is still going strong (and has outposts in Midtown West, the Upper West Side, and more). Get the iconic red velvet cupcake with buttercream frosting and definitely add on the banana pudding, which has a following all its own.
Ole & Steen
This Danish import, located in Midtown East, is your home base for all things sugary, yeasted, seeded, grain-filled, and generally hygge, the Danish term for “cozy.” Choose your carb: a slice of the pillowy Cinnamon Social, a hazelnut-topped Tosca cake, or one of many kinds of buns.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
Reinvented classics make up the menu of this beloved restaurant from restaurateurs (and brothers) Eric and Bruce Bromberg, and that includes desserts. Here at this Greenwich Village spot, the bread pudding is served in chocolate chip-studded slices. Don’t skip the hot fudge sundae!
Pastry chef Mariana Vieira looks to her Brazilian background as inspiration for these soft truffles made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter. They’re the namesake sweet of her bakery — with riffs like pistachios and coconut — but they’re not the only reason diners love this SoHo spot. Try any of the cake jars or the Palha, chocolate brigadeiro sandwiched between cookies.
Sundaes and Cones
Sampling a slew of flavors is encouraged at this East Village ice cream shop, and now you can replicate it at home. Founder Royce Chan’s scoop shop is known for inventive, Asian-leaning flavors, like taro, red bean, and Thai tea (a crowd favorite). Order by the scoop or pint and have at it.
Cinnamon-dusted palmiers that grin back at you, lemony pound cake crowned with streusel, flourless brownie cake with the right amount of chew and crackle — this is just the tip of the iceberg that is baker Uri Scheft’s doughy empire. His international bakery chain, with an outpost in Union Square, has whatever you need for breakfast, tea time, or after dinner.
Don’t tell auntie you’ve got a new fixer for halo-halo, the iconic Filipono dessert made with crushed ice, evaporated milk, and sweet toppings such as ice cream or leche flan. This Filipino restaurant in the East Village also cranks out sago gulaman with chewy tapioca and a drizzle of syrup.
This Swedish bakery in Chelsea specializes in traditional Nordic baked goods: cardamom-forward buns, espresso-loaded chokladbollar (Swedish chocolate balls), and jam-filled hallongrotta, a decidedly Swedish upgrade to thumbprint cookies. Just look at those layers!
Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too
Have your cake, and eat it too at this celebrated soul-food restaurant in Morningside Heights. After finishing off your smothered turkey wings and ribs, indulge in any (or all) of the four cakes on the menu: coconut layer cake, lemon pound cake, chocolate cake, and red velvet cake. The description for that last one says, “Don’t leave without it,” and we suggest you heed the warning.
Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
Since 1974, this family-run bakery in Soho has been churning out cheesecakes that are somehow dense but not heavy, sweet but not too sweet. The classic plain cheesecake with a pressed graham cracker crust is the GOAT, but fun twists like the salted caramel or strawberry stand on their own.
There are only two desserts on the menu of this trendy bistro in Tribeca, and they’re proof of quality over quantity. The Mousse au Chocolate is like biting into a Chantilly-imbued cloud, while the Paris-Brest a la Pistache is genre-defining, with its crisp-tender pastry and verdant pistachio filling.
It’s impossible to refuse a Monster Cookie from this Lower East Side bakery. Thick and buttery, they’re the stuff of childhood nostalgia but slightly upgraded (think double chocolate cookies with brownie bits and chocolate chips!). We won’t say no to any of the seasonal pies, rose water–scented pistachio croissants, or cinnamon sticky buns, either.
Soft Swerve Ice Cream
Behold, the artistic and architectural masterpiece that is the swirl of milky goodness from this ice cream boutique in the Lower East Side. Get a cup for today and a pint for tomorrow. We’re eyeing the ultraviolet ube, intensely nutty black sesame, frozen hot chocolate, and strawberry shortcake.
Win Son Bakery
At this Williamsburg bakery, the sister restaurant to Win Son, pastry chef Danielle Spencer plays with the form of beloved baked goods, both American and Asian. She makes popular bolo baos, works millet and red rice into chewy doughnuts, and bakes up petite red date cakes.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen first began baking pies out of their Crown Heights apartment before opening their pioneering pie shop. And their thickly crusted, inventively filled baked goods continue to sell out. Get one of the Baker’s Choice options to try them all, like the salty honey or seasonal fruit pie.
Legend has it that pastry chef Christina Tosi threw together whatever was in the kitchen of wd~50, the now-closed molecular gastronomy–minded restaurant, and came up with her riff on chess pie. The staff loved it back then, and customers throughout Tosi’s baking empire still can’t get enough of it. Her Williamsburg commissary kitchen cranks out this pie and so much more: Cereal Milk soft serve, towering birthday cakes, and corn cookies.
Bakers Renato Poliafito and Ginger Fisher Baldwin teamed up to reimagine sweet treats with an Italian American flair at this Prospect Heights all-day cafe. Think Italian tricolor bars slicked with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry jam, and biscotti (or “classic Italian dunking cookies,” as the menu explains) in fun flavors like apricot almond.
Sure, the creamy arroz con leche with whipped cream and seasonal fruit and crunchy, sugary churros are clear dessert winners on the menu of this regional Mexican restaurant in Gowanus. But the diamond in the rough is the chocolate bar, made in collaboration between Claro and La Rifa, a Mexico City chocolatier, that pairs perfectly with smoky mezcal.
“Best doughnut shop in Brooklyn,” Daniel H. writes. “Honestly, every doughnut so far has been a little trip to heaven,” Brady R. says in his review. If that doesn’t make you want to order from this Bed-Stuy bakery stat, not sure what else will. Pastry chef Fany Gerson specializes in yeasted, whimsically flavored doughnuts, like tangy mango lassi and Mexican cinnamon sugar.
Taste the Tropics
Transport yourself to the Caribbean anytime of day (or year) with just one pint of ice cream. This Flatbush ice cream parlor channels warm weather and good vibes, thanks to founding brothers Jerry and Richard Zirino, who turned island flavors into creamy goodness. Guava, grapenut, and soursop are perennial favorites, but don’t skip the eggnog.
Fresh flour, small-batch mixing, and slow fermentation are the hallmarks of baker Zachary Golper’s pastries. You can taste that intention in each of his Cobble Hill bakery’s offerings, including the twice-baked almond croissants, salted chocolate buckwheat cookies, and blondies studded with pecans.
You may not think to save room for dessert during brunch, but at this Middle Eastern cafe in Bed-Stuy, it’s crucial. You’ll want to sink your teeth into the Wonder Bar, a dense, seedy bar sweetened with maple syrup and tahini; cover yourself in buttery flakes from the chocolate croissant; and get a blueberry Danish or mixed berry scone for the next day.
Pooja Bavishi sees ice cream as a blank canvas to be imbued with the warming spices of chai, to explode with bird’s eye chile and chocolate, or to make taste just like auntie’s carrot halvah. In her Carroll Gardens ice cream shop, she combines ice cream with the South Asian flavors she grew up with. And for that, we’re forever grateful.
Yes, the green chile cheeseburgers and hulking New Mexico–style breakfast burritos from this Crown Heights counter are incredible. But real ones know that the must-order items are the baked goods from pastry chef Eric See. The tender brioche doughnuts glazed in prickly pear and raspberry, the concha scented with rose water, and the Mexican wedding cookies are in a class all their own.
The dessert menu is short and sweet at this Italian-leaning restaurant in Park Slope — sometimes it’s only one dessert — but don’t let that fool you. Dessert here is dialed in and singular. One particular dessert our diners can’t get enough of is the olive oil cake, a simultaneously dense yet light slice that comes crowned with an orange-lemon marmalade. Jump on the bandwagon!
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Prospect Heights is ground zero for the ice cream empire builders behind Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, brothers Ben and Peter Van Leeuwen and partner (and Ben’s wife) Laura O’Neill. This outpost — the first of many in New York City — still has its original magic touch when upgrading nostalgic flavors, like cheesecake with marionberry, mint chip made with dark chocolate and peppermint extract, and peanut butter brownie chip with actual chunks of brownie.
Shanghai Dim Sum Garden
Don’t be fooled by the name. This Park Slope dim sum parlor doesn’t specialize only in steamed meaty parcels, but also in delicate cakes. Choose your crepe cake player: mango with velvety bits of fresh fruit, lavender-hued purple sweet potato, matcha, or even durian!
The Good Batch
Are you on team thin, chewy cookie or does your cookie allegiance lie with all things dense and thick? At this Clinton Hill bakery, it doesn’t matter; you can have the best of both worlds, courtesy of baker Anna Gordon. There are domed tahini chocolate chunk cookies and chunky peanut butter cookies, crisp buttercrunch cookies and textbook chocolate chip cookies — and no room for further argument, thank you very much.
The perfect savory-sweet treat is a crisp and buttery shortbread cookie inflected with caraway seeds. Whic
h is why we’re into this charming Jewish and Eastern European spot from chef Jeremy Salamon. Add on the rum-soaked prune coffee cake while it’s still here; it’s making a comeback due to popular demand.
When a craving for chocolate cake strikes, there is only one place you need to turn to: this cake-centric bakery in Greenpoint founded by Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin. (Ovenly is also in the West Village and Cobble Hill.) Their best-selling item is the Brooklyn blackout, a behemoth of a cake made with dark chocolate stout cake layers, salted dark chocolate pudding, and buttercream.
The Industry City location of the Lebanese specialty food shop not only has savory food options but also carries sweets that live up to the family name (the fourth Sahadi generation now runs the shop). Try the tahini brownie sundae studded with halvah crumbles, the seasonal fruit plate, or if you can’t pick, the Mediterranean sweets plate brimming with an array of Middle Eastern pastries, baklava, and dried fruits.
Attention: All the doughy rounds from this Williamsburg shop are vegan — yes, all of them. Order by the half or full dozen and you’ll receive whatever is coming fresh out of the fryer that day. That might mean strawberry sprinkle, triple chocolate, caramel apple pie, pistachio — the list goes on. Whatever you end up with, you won’t be disappointed.
OddFellows Ice Cream
Since pastry chef Sam Mason opened his fantastical ice cream shop (with locations in Dumbo and Williamsburg), he and his team have churned out more than 500 “wacky and weird flavors,” as described on the OddFellows website. Case in point: the Kitchen Sink, with its chocolate-covered potato chips and everything sesame sticks, and the peanut butter s’mores flavor, a collaboration with the band LCD Soundsystem.
This plant-based Ethiopian restaurant in Bushwick goes all in on its single dessert: baklava. Golden-brown layers of phyllo dough separate piles of toasty walnuts and pistachios, all drizzled with a coffee-spiked demerara syrup. Bonus: It’s vegan!
Banana and passion fruit sorbetto. A raspberry macaron with a mango iced tea. These are just a couple dessert power couples, and this Gowanus sweets shop has invented one more: crisp macaron and rich gelato. Get a 12-pack of macarons and find your perfect gelato match (we’re eyeing milky fior di latte), or go for the mini sundae, a scoop of gelato crowned by one perfect macaron.
This artisanal deli in Prospect Heights has fancy cheeses, satisfying sandwiches, and naturally top-notch desserts. Order some of the housemade options — cornmeal chocolate chunk cookies, duck fat–enriched Rice Krispies treats, mascarpone-topped polenta cake — as well as other goodies curated from neighboring bakers (Runner and Stone, Amy’s Bread).
There is a lot more to this wellness-focused cafe in Park Slope than smoothie bowls and wellness shots. Scan the food section of the menu for delicious desserts that’ll make you feel good: chocolate tahini bites, “Snickers” bites with a creamy vegan nougat in the center, and coconutty Day & Night Pudding.
Oddfellows by Philip Negron
Ovenly by Justin Walker