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texas girl lookin' for sweet treats

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I will be spending 5 days in NYC in September with my fellow pizza coworkers on our annual nyc pizza tour.

Because of the salty pizza I'll be consuming 4+ times a day, I need to find balance and satisfy my sweet tooth (teeth).

In addition to hitting up doughnut plant and getting my hands on a cronut, I'd love to try lesser known bakeries to get the full nyc experience.
(please don't suggest Magnolia)

I'll be staying in the LES, but I'm open to all boroughs!

Thank you!

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  1. Oops - my brain isn't working this morning. I read LES as East Village in my head.

    If you ARE in East Village, check out:

    Chikalicious - either the dessert club (order at counter, sit down at booth or take out) or the dessert bar across the street (more sit down style and more expensive). I love their baked apple crisp and strawberry shortcake.

    Also you could walk into Momofuku Milk Bar and grab some of the sweets! Their cookies are amazing :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobabear

      Note that each Momofuku Milk Bar has a slightly different menu--the soft serves aren't all the same, for example.

    2. Since your doing a pizza tour I assume you'll be going to Keste, John's and/or Joes. Right near those you could try a cannelle at Boise Tea Parlor, Pignoli's at Rocco's and gelato at Grom.

      For chocolates I highly suggest a stop at Chocolat Moderne. It's tucked away on the 9th floor of an office building but so worth it for their incredible hand painted bon bons. The flavors are incredible and the staff couldn't be sweeter.

      Cake Truffles and Crack Pie at Momofuku Milk Bar are always a treat and don't forget to have a Macaron on the UES at Laduree or the amazing Crepe Cake at Lady M. Enjoy!

      5 Replies
      1. re: roze

        Near/on Bleecker St there's also Royce Chocolates from Japan, Biscous Ciao macarons, salted caramel goat milk soft serve from Victory Garden, baked goods at Amy's Bread, Murray's Cheese (which carries various sweets, like Mast Brothers chocolate bars, Beurre & Sel cookies, etc), in addition to Cones, Big Gay Ice Cream, and Grom.

        London Candy Co also just opened on Bleecker St, with British candy and Stumptown coffee.

        And Bien Cuit is a short walk away.

        If you're a real chocolate person, the Kee's in Soho isn't too far either.

        And you can get some Two Little Red Hens and Balthazar items at Dean & Deluca.

        1. re: kathryn

          Bien cuit is closed for now...due to damage from flood so they say...I am gonig to check out their Brooklyn shop today. Can't wait until I taste their baguette and other goodies.

          1. re: kathryn

            Are you a fan of Royce Chocolates? I find them a little too sweet for me and the texture almost "too" creamy if that's possible. Especially the white chocolate, almost makes me gag with sweetness.

            I tried Maison du Choclat's "extreme" and I thought it was very balanced in texture, sweetness and flavor. I still prefer Kee's overall.

            1. re: Pookipichu

              I wasn't a fan of Royce chocolate at all. I thought it tasted similar to Japanese chocolate sold in supermarkets.
              I tasted their milk chocolate and thought it wasn't rich enough(creamy but not rich) and had very light taste. Of course chocolate at Mison du Chocolat is to die for.

              1. re: Monica

                I haven't tried their milk chocolate but I've had their white, dark and maccha.

                The white chocolate was so sweet I literally could not tolerate it. All of them have this ultra creamy texture that is so smooth it's strangely off-putting to me.

        2. Get a pistachio cupcake at Sugar Sweet Sunshine (on Rivington, on the LES). Started by two Magnolia alums—I think they're what Magnolia was when it was at its best. Plus, at $1.75, the cupcakes are still cheap.

          Also LES: Laboratorio del Gelato and Economy Candy are must-stops.

          7 Replies
          1. re: loratliff

            Irrespective of the stupidity of the cupcake craze, Sugar Sweet Sunshine is worth a visit, particularly if you're staying on the LES. I was not aware of the Magnolia connection, and I'm glad I wasn't or I might never have tried it, but it's the anti-Magnolia, serving up a great product in a down-to-earth setting at a reasonable price.

            1. re: Blumie

              Also a big fan of sugar sweet sunshine here- perfect frosting to cake ratio

            2. re: loratliff

              "I think they're what Magnolia was when it was at its best."

              Pricing is the only thing in common. Magnolia's cake was more like a corn bread, and the icing was always sweet and thick.

              Sugar Sweet Sunshine are all around better. I wouldn't consider them a gourmet cupcake however.

              1. re: sugartoof

                Well, I personally find them very similar to Magnolia. The icing is almost identical (except that Magnolia's icing is often stale, IMO).

                And pricing... Not even comparable. A cupcake at SSS is $1.75 versus $3.50 at Magnolia?

                1. re: loratliff

                  When Magolia was at it's best, the cupcakes were a lot cheaper.

                  I prefer Sugar Sweets icing.

                2. re: sugartoof

                  ...doesn't SSS admit to making box-based cupcakes? I think they are terrible, personally. Gritty icing. Two Little Red Hens and Sweet Revenge plus Dessert Club Chicalicious put them to shame.


                  1. re: uhockey

                    Really? I think I've made that accusation about them before, but I figured it was more a fluke that they were just approximating a Duncan box. That would be really hilarious. Mind you, there are some cupcake shops that would do well to just stick to a mix.

              2. Lady M
                Two Little Red Hens
                Minamoto Kitchoan

                6 Replies
                1. re: Riverman500

                  I second Minamoto Kitchoan if you like Japanese sweets, or would like to get to know them. I love their sakura mochi, which are chewy, sweet bean paste-filled rice dumplings, wrapped with slightly salty cherry leaves.
                  Kyotofu is wonderful too.
                  Also, Paris Baguette in Korea Town for an Asian twist on French pastries. The one in Flushing is better, but I have a feeling you won't be heading to Flushing for pizza.

                    1. re: kosmose7

                      Kyotofu Midtown west is closed? wow...

                      1. re: Monica

                        They are retail now. I tasted their products at Whole Foods.

                    2. re: Riverman500

                      Tried Lady M for the first time on Saturday, and fell in love with the classic Mille crèpe!

                      1. re: ellenost

                        The banana chocolate and green tea crepes are very yummy too :)

                    3. I copied part of a previous post I wrote--it gives you a little more information than you wanted. Enjoy your trip.

                      Il Cantuccio is an Italian (Tuscan) café that uses entirely authentic recipes when preparing their biscotti, bread, pizza, and focaccia menu items (including Italian sandwiches). They produce baked goods that are of superior quality. The biscotti and cookies will cost you about $1.25 each(they weigh the items and sell them priced per pound). They give generous samples of biscotti, cookies, focaccia, and on weekends samples of their wonderful Italian airy donuts(donuts are only available on Sat & Sun). There are wonderful variations on focaccia with everything from pizza to toppings of tomatoes and olives, sandwiches too. This place makes a very traditional cappuccino that puts most places to shame. The staff is very friendly. They offer outside seating but I didn't go outside.

                      Il Cantuccio is located in the West Village (91 Christopher St) just down the street from the subway (Christopher St. - Sheridan Sq (1, 2 subway). The location near the corner of Bleecker St. allows you to walk down Bleecker where there is an Amy’s Bread and Pasticceria Rocco’s. Several ice cream or gelato stores are in the area too.

                      Additionally, for a classic NY Slice of pizza, you are near Joe's Pizzza (7 Carmine Street)--just around the corner and across the street from a nice park with plenty of shade and benches(Father Demo Square) at Bleecker and Carmine.

                      Since you are in the LES, check out a hole in the wall pizza place called Stanton Pizza (127 Stanton St).

                      1. I know it's frowned on here but if you don't have access to retro candy where you are swing by Dylan's. SkyBars, marathon bars, candy cigarettes, etc. Not gourmet, not hip and trendy, no buzz etc but those things are all mail order for me so we make a point of stopping in. Brings me right back to childhood.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: foodieX2

                          Economy Candy has all of the same stuff without the froo-froo aspect of Dylan's.

                          1. re: loratliff

                            Don't care about atmosphere but if if Econ make you feel better go for it. Its all about the candy!

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              Right, but Economy is probably cheaper than Dylan's too. You're not paying for that uptown rent.

                              1. re: loratliff

                                Also note economy candy is on the LES where OP is staying

                          2. re: foodieX2

                            Dylan's??? Consider Economy candy on the Lower east side instead!!! Dylan's prices are an insult!!!

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              "Not gourmet, not hip and trendy, no buzz etc"

                              You're describing Economy while talking about Dylan's.

                              Apologies for piling on, but try Economy next time. If you're really after retro candies, in a no buzz, non-trendy setting, you'll love it. Imagine stepping into crowded warehouse showroom for the places you order your mail candy from, and then make it 100x's more New York in atmosphere, and you've got Economy Candy. The only downside are the hours.

                              1. re: sugartoof

                                Nah, I'm good. Been there once but Dylans for us is easy, in and out. Economy had some things cheaper some things more expensive. Overall, I'll take Dylan's for selection, ease and convenience. When you get to NYC only 1-2x a year that's the name of the game for me! But then again I always hit Katz too, much poohed poohed here too so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

                                1. re: foodieX2

                                  I'm puzzled by this, considering I'm one of the few people in CH history who vocally dislikes Katz's. It's as beloved on this forum as any place.

                                  As for Dylan's, by all means, if it's convenient, then great. Unfortunately, the Dylan's you describe; void of buzz, or trendy gourmet items, or easy in and out no fuss, without attempting hipness, simply doesn't exist. I would liken it closer to visiting Toys R' Us a week before Christmas. Once again, the place you describe matches closer to Economy Candy. Either way, I'm glad you've found the candy you're looking for when visiting.

                            2. If you're in the East Village, you might want to try the do'ssaint at Chikalicious Dessert Club (East 10th Street between First & Second Ave. but closer to Second Ave.); their version of the cronut is delicious; I won't get in line at dawn for a cronut. I love the special caramel cupcake at Chikalicious. Also excellent is Macaron Parlour at St. Marks Place & First Ave. Macaron Parlour has some very unique (and tasty) macarons; I love their bacon macaron. They also have an excellent version of kouign amann.

                              On the LES, you should try Bisous Ciao for macarons. The boutique is a jewel box, and their macarons are excellent (especially their caramel).

                              If you find yourself on the UES (upper east side), I highly recommend the macarons at Laduree on Madison Ave. & E. 70 St. Laduree's macarons are my favorite.

                              1. Great neighborhood you'll be staying, since I live there!!!

                                You'll love Doughnut Plant. Try there chai latte! and creme brûlée!

                                The macarons at Bisous Ciao is to die for.

                                The cupcakes at Sugar Sweet Sunshine (better) and Babycakes (good) are the places to check out.

                                and for ice cream, you'll have to go to il laboratorio del gelato!

                                Also, there are many bakeries in Chinatown that you should swing by!

                                1. No one mentioned Big Gay ice cream, in e village with creative flavors
                                  City bakery near union sq for the big chocolate chunk cookie and if you can handle more salt the pretzel croissant
                                  Francois Payard bakeries may still have the macaron ice cream sandwich, i also like their pistachio macaron

                                  I am sure fellow chowhounders would appreciate a recap of your favorites after the pizza-thon tastings!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    There's also a Big Gay Ice Cream Shop now in the West Village, 7th Ave.

                                    1. re: kathryn

                                      Stopped by the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop on Seventh Ave. South & Grove St. before seeing "Buyer & Cellar"--the funniest show I've seen in a long time--and I ordered the famous "salty pimp" that was wonderful! Vanilla soft serve in a cone with dulche de leche and sea salt coated in a chocolate shell (a Carvel Brown Bonnet for the 21st century). There is seating, and service was very nice.

                                      1. re: ellenost

                                        How's the seating? Want to take our daughter (who loves ice cream!)

                                          1. re: loratliff

                                            Thanks! It's counter service, right?

                                  2. Just tried the new ROYCE in Midtown/Bryant Park and it was pretty awesome.

                                    Potato chocolate chips!


                                    1. If you have a sweet tooth, I hope you do at least one brunch at Shopsin's in the Essex St Market.

                                      1. Also W Village near Johns, Joes, Arturos, Keste, etc:

                                        Mille Feuille on Laguardia for chocolate or almond croissants, and macaroons too. Incroyable. Really.

                                        Molly's cupcakes on Bleeker by Carmine, better than other bigger names in the neighborhood IMHO.

                                        Amorino gelato over on University Pl, much richer and more flavorful than Grom I think.

                                        1. Nobody has mentioned The Sweet Life on Hester Street, an adorable candy shop where everything is homemade or LI-Lac in the West Village, a venerable candy shop in the West Village. Two musts in a quest for non-ordinary candy..

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: pammi

                                            Not everything at The Sweet Life is homemade. Maybe the chocolate dipped items are done homemade in house. Cute shop though.

                                          2. Pie Face has some amazing desserts
                                            Junior's Strawberry Cheese Pie is my all time favorite. They also make amazing sundaes!!

                                            1. I had a similar query for my upcoming September visit. Some overlap, but you might want to check out the responses:


                                              1. If you are in town on September 17, Shake Shack is offering a one day only concrete that includes the Cronut in butter caramel frozen custard. Only at the Madison Square Park location. Sad cuz I don't arrive until the 18th.

                                                6 Replies
                                                  1. re: quof

                                                    and what time do i have to wake up for that?

                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                      Well, the MSP location has a webcam, it might be amusing to check it out.

                                                      1. re: quof

                                                        Wonder if there will be a special cronut concrete line?

                                                        1. re: quof

                                                          The SS web cam isn't even zoomed out enough to show the end of the burger line on nice days. Gonna need satellite view for the Cronut Hole Concrete line!

                                                        2. re: Monica

                                                          I wonder if this would be a good day for anyone who's ever been curious about the cronut but hasn't wanted to brave the lines at Dominique Ansel. Maybe a few of the cronut fanatics (cronatics?) will be at Shake Shack instead.