I am looking for the best cheesecake in midtown Manhattan. I'm visiting for the weekend with my father (who makes almost everything he eats from scratch - he's a tough critic). During our annual trips to NYC he is always on the hunt for the perfect cheesecake and we haven't been able to deliver just yet.
We are staying at 42nd and 2nd but it doesn't have to be in the vicinity of our hotel - very open to walking. I would just like to blow his socks off.
Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
For many many years I have loved Junior's cheesecake. It's cream cheese style. My all time favorite is the strawberry cheese pie. We even had one for our wedding "cake."
You can get it at the Grand Central Market, the food court @ Grand Central or Juniors restaurant in the Times Square area.
Our second favorite is Eileen's in SOHO. Try them both and report back!!
You could try Rocco's if you want to stay in Manhattan (caveat: I haven't been there lately and also have had either a cannoli or baba au rhum most of the times I've been there). OK, I just looked at their menupages.com menu. $58.00 for an 11-inch ricotta cheesecake with no other options? That's crazy expensive in my book!
If you don't mind taking a fairly long trip to Bensonhurst, your best bet is the wonderful and inexpensive Villabate. They have no prices on their site, but I am positive your cake would be way cheaper and way better than you could get at Rocco's or anyplace else in Manhattan, and I'm guessing by a factor of 4. However, I haven't tried Court St. Pastries, which is indeed a lot less far into Brooklyn.
I'm a fan of Junior's myself, but I recently had a Baby Watson cheesecake from D'Aiuto's Bakery (8th ave bet 30/31st). It has no crust, it's just creamy and dense, not too sweet.
Apparently they have been making these cheesecakes since 1924, but I never see them mentioned on these boards.
Juniors, Carnegie Deli and Baby Watson cheesecakes are all cream cheese based and IMO overly sweet.
For really good ricotta cheesecake you'll have to go further downtown. As already mentioned Veniero's at E 11 St and 1st Ave ispecializes in ricotta cheesecake.- it's pretty good. It's a huge operation with a big retail counter and dining room.
Di Robertis, directly across 1st Ave from Veniero's is a family run Italian bakery that's been there for years. I'd give their ricotta cheesecake a slight edge over Veniero's .
But the very best ricotta cheesecake requires a trip to Brooklyn - to Court Street Pastries in Carroll Gardens.- one of the finest Italian bakeries in the Northeast. Great cookies, cannoli,. And it's not really as long a trip as it might seem- take the F train on 34th and 6th Ave to Carroll St in Brooklyn- it's the fourth stop once the train isin Brooklyn and a 20 -25 trip in total.
One place to avoid is Ferrara- a well-known Italian bakery in what used to be little Italy (Grand St., I think. It's a real tourist trap with extremely mediocre, over-priced stuff.