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Best desserts in nyc

I'm looking for a place with an assortment of excellent desserts for my birthday this weekend. My mom's a pastry chef, so I'm a bit spoiled. That being said, I love classic and unconventional sweets alike. But I'm not a fan of creamy things (creme brulee, flan, rice pudding, etc.) All others welcome. Apple pie is a fav.

Any ideas? A few I've considered are Bolo, Balthazar & the Odeon.

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  1. Cafe Sabarsky. If you're looking for more of a restaurant, Blaue Gans or Wallse.
    I think Bolo is mediocre

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lucia

      Cafe Sabarsky (86th and 5th ave, in the Neue Galerie) has some of the best pastries and THE best coffee in the city--no small accomplishment.

    2. Out of all the desserts I've ever had I still think that the Olive Oil Gellato at Otto is the best. Although that might not fit what you're looking for.

      You could always check out one of those all dessert places.

      1. Hi muffintop,

        Not sure why Bolo, Balthazar & the Odeon were in your consideration, as I did not find their desserts to be exciting. For straightly desserts, I will suggest dessert tasting at WD-50 and ChikaLicious for more inventive desserts. For the classic dessert fares, you can go to Landmarc (now with a new location in Time Warner Center) for their dessert sampler. While you are at TWC, you can also go to Bouchon Bakery for macaroons or other pastries.

        Other places that I like for cakes or pastries include M Lady (the layer cake) & Bread Papa for a cheap and delicious cream puff. Although you do not like creamy, I also echo wingman's suggestion on the Olive Oil Gelato at Otto - best for the hot summer!

        1 Reply
        1. re: kobetobiko

          I totally second WD-50. The dessert tastings are unbelievable and you'll have your choice of 3 or 5 course tastings. Even the rest of the desserts on their menu are quite original and may suit your needs, since you're open to unconventional sweets.

          There are photos of the desserts here:


          Presentation is spectacular.

        2. I am sure that I will be lambasted by my fellow chowhounds for saying this but my favorite place for desert in the city is Ferrara's in Little Italy (yes, I know--it is touristy and crowded). I am a sucker for gelato and I tend to go there and get a piece of tiramisu with some tiramisu gelato anytime I feel like I need about 7,000 calories.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ohromujici

            Cafe Mozart is an absolute winner when it comes to deserts! It might be a little too small for a birthday party, but definatelly worth checking out

            I also really like Max Brenner's place on Union Square. it might not be the best chocolate in the world, but it's definatelly entertaining! They have chocolate pizza, chocolate soup and many other deserts that make my mouth water every time I think about it...

          2. i'm a big fan of Chikalicious and Kyotofu (love LOVE kyotofu). those are definitely unconventional desserts- a bit more unconventional but delicious nonetheless.

            ini ani on the LES has some great things, as well as clinton st. bake shop for fresh pies. also Bubby's in Tribeca for pies and more classic desserts. bar veloce has 2 of my favorites: strawberries, vanilla gelato, and drizzled balsamic; and their nutella panino with vanilla gelato. both the bomb.

            2 Replies
            1. re: emilia

              Two of my favorites for take-home eating are Black Hound in the east village and Financier. Also, not Balthazar so much as Balthazar Bakery.

              1. re: emilia

                I LOVE Kyotofu as well! I've been there three times and the co-owners practically know me. If anything, just go for their chocolate cakes (the cupcake or the miso choco cake). It's so rich and decadent.

                I've written three posts about them (from most recent on):

              2. I'm not a dessert fan, but the banana tart at Union Sq. Cafe is the best I have ever had

                1. Some of the places mentioned are a bit suprising to me (Bolo?) as they really are not famous for their desserts. Gramercy Tavern has really good desserts because it was Claudia Fleming that made it famous.

                  Another good choice would be Payard bistro on the Upper East Side as it is Francois Payard's place. Another famous pastry chef in the City.

                  If you are in to home made ice creams and pies then look at Quality Meats in Mid-town. Yes it is a steak house but Cory Colton the pastry chef is very good. He had trained with the folks at Ben & Jerry's so it is the real McCoy. Their pies and ice creams are on a rotation.

                  Don't forget the famous Jacques Torres chocolates in DUMBO (Brooklyn). Their sweets are out of this world.

                  One other cool little joint is Serendipity on Midtown east. They have something called the "Frozen Hot Chocolate." I'll leave it at that - go check it out for yourself!

                  Another personal favorite is the Tres Leches at Ideya on West Broadway in Soho. Awesome! (We liked it so much that I bought a whole pie for my wife's birthday).

                  I hope this helps!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foodiechan

                    I love the Tres Leches Cake from Ideya!


                    It's one of my favourite spots -- and they have excellent cocktails, too!

                  2. For a pastry chef, I would absolutely do the 5-course dessert tasting at WD-50. P*ong also does a 5-course dessert/cheese tasting, though I've never been there, but have heard good things.

                    1. Try Room 4 Dessert. Different and fun concoctions. Here are some links for you.


                      I am not saying it's the best in NYC but it is great fun.

                      If you want spectacular go to L'atelier De Joel Robuchon.

                      1. My favorite restaurant desserts these days are at Tocqueville. Everything we've tried has been unbelievably delicious and often inventive.

                        Pichet Ong, the award-winning pastry chef, has recently opened a dessert space in the West Village. I'm looking forward to trying some special treats there, and think you would LOVE his desserts!

                        1. For a pastry chef, I would suggest doing something that they wouldn't make regularly. What about a traditional Italian bakery like Venieros? Wd-50 is also excellent. Bouley and Bouley bakery have nice desserts. For a less upscale and fun place I also would suggest Max Brenner Chocolate by the Bald Man on 2nd avenue (not union square that one gets too crowded).

                          1. Jean Georges' boasts great desserts by Beard award winning chef Johnny Iuzzini. His are always top notch! Good luck and happy b-day