Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 19, 2001 02:30 PM

Serendipity 3

  • s

Mention of the word 'serendipity' in a recent post triggered this message: Has anyone tried the food/desserts at this place called Serendipity on East 60th? It's a quirky little place with all kinds of weird knick knacks for sale, and in the back they seem to have a few odd tables. It didn't look like a very inviting spot to sit to eat with people milling around the junk in front, but I wonder if anyone has tried the food there--any good?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Serendipity has been around since the early 60s and they have wonderful desserts - especially the frozen hot chocolate and other campy-named concoctions such as "Aunt Bubba's Icebox Cake" or something like that. The whipped cream is the thickest most decadent I've ever had. They have "fun" food like a foot-long hot dog, chili and the like. It's almost always crowded because people go there before and after the movies that are nearby. I've mostly gone for desserts; especially when I have a chocolate craving.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ruby

      I've never had anything but desserts there, and usually there is a very long wait to get into the place, even during the winter. But its well worth it.

      The ice cream sundaes are great. The frozen hot chocolate is good, other chocolate desserts and cakes there are good. Good selection of teas and novelty coffee drinks, which probably the best in the city.

      The printed menus are a trip too.


      1. re: Jason Perlow

        I just treated a seven year-old to a Birthday lunch there. Long wait. Slow Serice. My advice -- skip the food. It's mediocre at best and overpriced. Head straight for the frozen hot chocolate.

        1. re: Jason Perlow

          I just treated a seven year-old to a Birthday lunch there. Long wait. Slow Serice. My advice -- skip the food. It's mediocre at best and overpriced. Head straight for the frozen hot chocolate.

      2. I still go when I am in the neighborhood even though it is now very "tired". Try the frozen fruit drinks ( about as unnatural as fruit gets though). Omelettes are tough, burgers are OK ( though they bind with egg for some reason) Young Chicken Sandwich is the best sandwich. Despite what you would think, this is not a young child friendly restaurant- they do not allow high chairs or strollers. Overall- only the fact that this restaurant is eccentric allows us to talk about it on this board...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Amy

          I went to at least one birthday party a year at Serendipity from when I was 6 to 11. For me, that meant one Frozen Hot Chocolate a year - at least. I've never found that drink anywhere else and even now I am salivating! Serendipity was 'tired' even then, in the 70's. The "Tiffany" glass must have had 1/2 layer of dust! I can't even imagine what it must be like now, probably filled with raunchy postcards, kitschy, saucy souvenirs? The other similar venue was Rumpelmeyer's.
          (Boys had their parties at East End Bowl on 80th just off York - now an apartment building)

          1. re: magnolia

            Hey, some of us girls had our parties at East End Bowl too- and the place downstairs on 86th Street with the pinball machines...AMY

            1. re: Amy

              I just went to serendipity after hearing about it so much. The service was very weird (weird waiter) and there was a long wait for a table in a tiny space. I found the place to be very very overpriced. I got the forbidden broadway sundae which was very good but incredibly overpriced. I am glad I went there but I wouldn't go there again. I think the place is overrated.

              1. re: Randi

                I don't think that anyone who would read this board would say anything positive about the food- taken out of context it is fairly mediocre. But it is the memories that many of us have for the place that flavors it. Go at an offpeak hour and pretend you are 12....AMY

        2. The ONLY reason to go to Serendipity is for their frozen hot chocolate. However, that's a very good reason to go.

          1. So are there (m)any others left?
            I only eat food there if I REALLY need a base before having a hot fudge sundae.
            I love Serendipity. It certainly is a throwback to the times when ice cream parlours (and everything else in the world) did not cater exclusively to children. To me, it seems SO 1960's gay art director/Interview/East Side.