Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 21, 2008 12:07 PM

Max Brenner E. Village

planning on taking the family there for a chocolate splurge.
Is this a good idea and if so what to order or what to miss?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I found the chocolate pizza to be very good, along with their Italian hot chocolate. However, I'd suggest ordering less than the amount you expect to eat - the chocolate gets overpowering pretty quickly!

    1. ugh...just the thought of this place makes me ill. its pretty horrible quality chocolate. i call it the starbucks meets chuck e cheese of chocolate.

      jacques torres is horrible as well. i suggest you go to some place with excellent desserts instead...

      6 Replies
        1. re: holldoll

          go to chikalicious instead...not far from max - b...they don't have a chocolate focus per se but desserts are very good. I disagree on Sam's view on Jacques Torres...I think he is solid...never been to max B so can't comment...but my wife likes his hot chocolate...:)

          1. re: Scotty100

            when i wrote my post, i was wondering where i can steer you to that has similar offerings but unfortunately cant think of any...which is why places like max brenner do rather well.

            i like the gelato at grom...they just opened a new branch on carmine in the west village. rice to riches is cheesy but wow, i really love their hazelnut rice pudding. ronnybrook farms in the chelsea market has great does stand, the hamburger joint on 12th street off university place.

            i dont think chikalicious would be great with a family but my suggestions may work.

            1. re: Scotty100

              I don't think Chikalicious would be great for a family/kids, which I think was holldoll's intention. Holldoll if you are going with kids, Max Brenner is fun and the kids will enjoy it. Certainly not the highest quality desserts out there, but that's not what you go to a place like Max Brenner for. Avoid the chocolate popsicles as the ones I had recently were freezer-burned and pretty bad. The crepes, waffles and chocolate pizza were decent.

          2. re: sam1

            sam i 100% agree with you on both counts.

            i'm not really sure where else to go for great chocolately treats. i like the CITY BAKERY hot chocolate festival, but that's all i got.

            1. re: mrnyc

              There's tons of places: small and very rich cakes from Black Hound, the chocolate bruno at Blue Ribbon, chocolate ice cream or macarons from La Maison du Chocolat, Kyotofu's chocolate miso cupcake, chocolate chocolate chip ice cream at East Village ice cream, thai chili chocolate gelato from Il Laboratorio de Gelato, chocolate covered champagne grapes (aka zante currants) from Scharffen Berger, chocolate dipped confections and chocolate bars from Jacques Torres, the best chocolate truffles/bonbons in town from Kee's, spicy hot chocolate from Vosges, chocolate croissant from Patisserie Claude or Ceci-Cela, chocolate bread from Balthazar, wichcraft's chocolate cupcake, chocolate bread pudding from Gramercy Tavern or the Dessert Truck, the chocolate "oyster" at Martine's, retro chocolate bars (salty pretzel!) from Chocolate Bar, TKO at Bouchon Bakery, old-fashioned turtles and chocolate covered fruits at Li-Lac, chocolate-chip cookies from Jack's Stir Brewed or Chikalicious Dessert Club...

              Too bad the Dessert Studio at Michel Cluizel closed down. You can still go after dinner and order chocolates there though. Other dessert bars you might be interested in are Chikalicious and p*ong. You might also want to stop in at the bar at WD-50 or Tailor and order dessert. Have also heard good things about Cocoa Bar on the LES.

          3. I'm not a fan of Max Brenner. For dessert alternatives, check out this thread:
            Otherwise, Kee's, Pierre Marcolini, and Maison du Chocolat are my favorite chocolate shops in town. PM and Kee's don't have seating. Maison du Chocolat has some limited seating. Jacques Torres is also fun and has some great alternatives (hot chocolate, cookies) to straight chocolate.

            1. If such things matter to you, note that Max Brenner received a 0 star review from the New York Times. If you must, just stop in and get an Italian hot chocolate to go. That is the only thing I would recommend there.

              What time are you planning your splurge? Many of the better and more well-known shops aren't open very late. If this is after dinner, and you wish for table service, there's not a whole lot that's comparable to Max Brenner (i.e., super chocolate-focused) AND stays open late.

              If you want a high quality chocolate splurge, consider La Maison du Chocolat, Kee's, Jacques Torres, Vosges, MarieBelle, or for a more experimental bent, the Will Goldfarb chocolate bar at Michel Cluizel inside the ABC Carpet and Home Store. Of those, Kee's is my favorite. La Maison, Vosges, and Jacques have seating but you must pay at the counter. Kee's does not have any seating. I imagine the Will Goldfarb bar is the closest to what you are looking for, but is much more experimental. It's also a little confusing to enter after ABC Carpet and Home closes -- you have to enter through a side entrance, through Lucy's tapas restaurant.

              If you are tied to that particular location (East Village), then definitely try Chikalicious (which is more nouveau and very cute, but also very small and popular) or perhaps Black Hound or Veniero's (not 100% chocolate focused but they have a wide variety of desserts).

              Note also that Chocolate Bar (which stocks a variety of products, including Jacques Torres chocolates) is moving from their West Village location to the East Village (7th Street between 1st and A) very soon, and would be within walking distance of Max Brenner. I imagine that they will steal much of Max Brenner's business when they open, as they plan to stay open late, and have higher quality offerings. I can't wait.


              Honorable EV chocolate mention should probably also include strolling down to Whole Foods Bowery, and having the thai chili chocolate gelato (from Il Lab counter).

              1. I can't speak for most of the desserts there (due to food allergies) but I really like their italian hot chocolate and the ice cream.