Is there a more comforting word in the English language? Dessert is what you crave, and luckily there are some delicious desserts on the Upper West Side just waiting for your aggressive consumption. You always say you’ll just have a bite, then you finish the whole thing. It’s the sweet or savory end to a good day or a good meal, and the pick-me-up when your day or meal isn’t quite as good.
The Upper West Side is chockfull (no pun intended) of places to satisfy your dessert fix. But gone are the days where just going for a scoop of ice cream is doing it justice. I’ll concede up front, I’m a lover of rich desserts, and not everyone has the same palate. That being said, there are several options that hit the spot without emptying your wallet if you’re looking for some yummy desserts on the Upper West Side.
We gave ice cream shops their own article.
200 Columbus Ave (at 69th Street)
Maybe not the most offbeat choice, the place is packed and everyone knows what they make. But that’s for good reason. The cupcakes are outrageously moist, and the buttercream frosting is smooth and delicious. Eat the cupcake with cake and frosting together in one big bite, or lick the frosting then devour the cupcake. Either way you can’t go wrong. Magnolia is even better known for banana pudding, sold in cups for people and in tubs for parties. There are other options like pies and brownies, but stick to the classics.
2167 Broadway (between 76th and 77th Streets)
A cream puff may not be everyone’s idea of a quick dessert on the go. But credit Beard Papa’s, they’ve made it simple and delicious. You go in, choose your shell, choose your filling, and they make it on the spot. Some of my favorites are the strawberry and the peach. Keep in mind though, they usually have the classic vanilla filling, and a seasonal special that rotates, so don’t assume any flavor on the website is available. But at 2 dollars a pop, it’s a good dessert to fill you up.
167 West 74th Street (between Amsterdam and Columbus)
351 Amsterdam Ave (between 76th and 77th Streets)
Mirrors Magnolia with the long lines for a handful of options, but the cookies here are notoriously good. And for shorter lines, visit their location on Amsterdam Ave. A slight crunch on the outside, moist and gooey inside. Not for people who only eat hard cookies, but for fans of soft baked, the chocolate chip walnut is a must, and most people end up sharing. Don’t shy away from Levain’s lesser known choices like bomboloncini, a small jelly donut with raspberry filling. The lemon cake also isn’t bad. You can find Levain Bakery all over NYC’s Instagram scene!
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Mille-feuille Bakery Cafe
2175 Broadway (between 76th and 77th Streets)
None of us were happy when Big Nick’s closed, but their replacement could have been way worse!
Everything at this French bakery is honestly amazing. And I would know because I’ve had everything. From macarons to croissants to all kinds of danishes.
They’ve also ton a really great job with the space; it’s very well-lit and a pleasant place to sit.
Momofuku Milk Bar
561 Columbus Ave (at 87th Street)
Dessert chain known for some pretty unique offerings!
- Compost Cookies: made with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch and chocolate chips.
- Crack pie: “toasted oat crust with a gooey butter filling.”
- Cereal Milk: made with milk, cornflakes, brown sugar and salt.
Momofuku is a chain with locations throughout NYC and several other US cities, as well as Canada.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
285 Amsterdam (between 73rd and 74th Streets)
Chocolate shop with locations throughout NYC.
- Assorted boxed chocolates
- Very popular hot chocolate
- Chocolate covered treats (almonds, macadamias, cheerios, cornflakes + more)
- milk and dark chocolate barks
- bon bons! cookies!
They also offer classes and tours at their location at 350 Hudson Street.
405 Amsterdam Ave (between 79th and 80th Streets)
Open every day until 3am (and delivering until 3am), which is a great tip for those frequenting the nearby bars until the wee hours of the night.
They serve delicious cookies, cookie cakes, and AMAZING cookie ice cream sandwiches!
Hungarian Pastry Shop
1030 Amsterdam Ave (between 110th and 111th Streets)
A Morningside Heights staple and popular hang out with amazing baklava and other Hungarian pastries. Family run and on the UWS since 1961.
Here’s that baklava waiting to be gobbled up!
2740 Broadway (at 105th Street)
Long time bakery and cafe with challahs, cakes, pastries and muffins. Plus, they are Kosher and vegetarian and have outdoor seating.
Terrific blueberry muffins and awesome chocolate babka (pictured below)!
560 Columbus Ave (between 87th and 88th Streets)
They offer the traditional macaron flavors plus an array of pretty inventive options.
With 19 types of macaron on their website, some of the flavors include:
- Apple Cider Caramel
- Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese
- Red Velvet
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