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White cajeta mousse sits atop golden fried dough.
Aldama’s buñuelo con mousse de cajeta.
Gary He/Eater NY

22 Perfect Desserts in New York City

Some are fancy, while others are rather simple — but all are incredible

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Aldama’s buñuelo con mousse de cajeta.
| Gary He/Eater NY

Although there’s an endless number of desserts to try in New York, not all sweets are created equal. Some of them are worthy of a special trip, and some even define a restaurant. This here is a list of NYC’s top show-stopping desserts, including Korean-style honey-butter potato chips, Japanese kakigori, Mexican buñuelos, vegan rice milk soft serve, Malaysian rice balls, Indian baked cheese, and more than one sundae.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

For more New York dining recommendations, check out the new hotspots in Manhattan, Queens, and the Hamptons and our guides to brunch, food halls, and Michelin-starred restaurants offering outdoor dining.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Morir soñando at 188 Bakery Cuchifritos

Copy Link
158 E 188th St
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 367-4500
Visit Website

Jose Coto’s 188 Cuchifritos is a palace of pork, a lunch counter that purveys a tail-to-snout array of succulent products like soft ears, meaty stomach, bouncy morcilla, garlicky pernil, and golden chicharrones. The appropriate foil for all these fatty, salty wonders is a drinkable Dominican dessert: the regal morir soñando. Staffers pulverize fresh oranges into juice, then mix the pulpy beverage over ice with a vanilla-laced condensed milk. The sugary, creamsicle-like creation cleanses your palate of all the rampant salts and jolts your body out of a pork-induced torpor.

A person pours yellow morir soñando into a plastic cup.
Morir soñando from 188 Bakery Cuchifritos.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

2. Rice milk hibiscus swirl at FieldTrip

Copy Link
109 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10026
(917) 639-3919
Visit Website

Folks might come to JJ Johnson’s FieldTrip for the stellar gumbo or soft beef brisket, but a meal here wouldn’t be complete without one of the better new entries in the city’s deeply competitive soft serve category. The kitchen blends rice milk, raspberries, and hibiscus into a cool, purple-hued treat. It doesn’t pack the lusciousness of a milkier gelato, but that’s not the point here; the point is to lower your core temperature with fruit and sugar — and without any dairy. The soft serve here is vegan, and it’s light enough to inhale.

A hand holds a small white cup filled with pink gelato and a red spoon.
Fieldtrip’s rice milk hibiscus swirl.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

3. Grapefruit givré at Boulud Sud

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20 W 64th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 595-1313
Visit Website

End every meal at Daniel Boulud’s flavor-packed ode to southern France and the Mediterranean with the refreshing grapefruit givré. The kitchen spoons sorbet into a hollowed-out grapefruit shell, tosses in fresh segments of the fruit and citrus marmalade, and tops it off with sesame foam and rose loukoum, before sealing the grapefruit with a brûléed orange sugar tuile. Finally, halva candy floss is placed on top of it all. The end product is crunchy, crackly, chewy, icy, silky, tart, and perfumed.

A small white bowl filled with a yellow half-grapefruit and toppings.
Grapefruit givré at Boulud Sud.
Evan Sung/Dinex Group

4. Soft serve at Haidilao

Copy Link
138-23 39th Ave
Queens, NY 11354
(917) 231-8888
Visit Website

Haidilao is about warming up one’s insides with firm noodles, fresh vegetables, and well-marbled meats cooked in bubbling chile oil. In the aftermath of so much spice, the human digestive track requires something cool to gentle things down a touch. Enter the chain’s famous soft serve, a complimentary treat delivered to your table at the end of the meal. It might not be the city’s best soft serve, but it’s certainly the best timed one, cooling your palate and your insides when you need it the most.

5. Avocado at Empellón

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Read Review |
510 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 858-9365
Visit Website

This deceiving dessert may look like an average halved avocado, but it's actually a key lime pie parfait set on top of citrus-y ice and a smear of eucalyptus yogurt. The $17 parfait is made in an avocado-shaped mold and spray painted to resemble the ombre of a real avocado. According to an Eater NY review, "The dessert is a five-year-old’s dream of what an avocado might taste like, before actually biting into one and realizing it’s oily, fatty, and overrated. The Stupak avocado is pastry as escapism. And it’s delicious."

An avocado and lime purée, eucalyptus yogurt, and lime snow plated on a black dish and set on a light wooden table.
Empellón’s avocado.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

6. Soufflés at La Grenouille

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3 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 752-1495
Visit Website

The soufflés at La Grenouille are just as iconic as the Midtown French restaurant itself, founded 1962 with an interior that flaunts its wild color scheme. The pillowy, eggy, expensive dessert ($38) switches its flavors, but has come in is pistachio, espresso, white dark chocolate, pear, and passion fruit varieties.

An eggy orange top pops out from a white ceramic ramekin.
Souffle at La Grenouille.
Bill Addison/Eater NY

7. Kakigori at the Lobster Club

Copy Link
Read Review |
98 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 375-9001
Visit Website

Kakigori, the Japanese specialty of a towering mountain of flavored shave ice, is having a serious moment, and Stephanie Prida’s version at the Lobster Club is undoubtedly one of the city’s standout versions. The airy concoction ($23) is a foot high, with flavors that change seasonally. Past flavors include blood orange and cream, reminiscent of a Creamsicle.

Mountain of shaved ice, orange on one side and vanilla on the other.
Kakigori at the Lobster Club.
Gary He/Eater NY

8. Husk meringue at Cosme

Copy Link
35 E 21st St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 913-9659
Visit Website

The husk meringue is one of the most written-about (and Instagrammed) dishes on the menu at Enrique Olvera’s groundbreaking Mexican restaurant in Flatiron. The slightly savory corn mousse is topped with a sugary husk meringue that gives the dessert a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

A white meringue broken apart to reveal yellow corn mousse sits on a white plate.
Cosme’s husk meringue.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

9. Fior di latte mochi at Don Angie

Copy Link
Read Review |
103 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10014
(212) 889-8884
Visit Website

Olive oil gelato lovers will delight in Don Angie’s fior di latte mochi ($8). The dessert comes to the table at this West Village Italian-American restaurant looking like a ball of mozzarella cheese, when it’s in fact house-made mochi stretched around milky fior di latte gelato. It’s then topped with olive oil and sea salt. This dessert is all about stretchy and chewy textures, coupled with the subtle flavors of olive oil and high-quality cream.

Fior di latte gelato stuffed inside homemade mochi.
Don Angie’s fior di latte mochi.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

10. Linzer cookie at Té Company

Copy Link
163 W 10th St
New York, NY 10014
(929) 335-3168
Visit Website

There are few experiences more lovely than tea and linzer cookies at this compact tea shop in Greenwich Village. Té packs this true linzer cookie with butter, sugar, and flour for a biscuit that is utterly delicate. What makes this cookie spectacular is a marriage of flavors including pineapple, rosemary, chiles, and plenty of lime and yuzu.

Round, small tea cookies scattered across a dark table, with one sitting on a small, white tea plate.
Linzer cookie at Té Company.
Té Company

11. Gelato and sorbet at Superiority Burger

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430 E 9th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 256-1192
Visit Website

The silky gelato and bright sorbet flavors always rotate, but never disappoint at Brooks Headley’s subversive vegetarian burger shop in the East Village. Always get both sorbet and gelato, whether it’s lemongrass mango and corn tortilla, guava peach and black sesame, rhubarb and rye toast, or any other intriguing combination.

A white paper cup filled with maroon-colored sorbet.
Superiority Burger’s sour cherry sorbert.
Serena Dai/Eater NY

12. Honey butter chips at Oiji

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119 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
(646) 767-9050
Visit Website

The warm, house-made honey butter chips ($16) are stellar bookends to a meal at modern Korean restaurant Oiji. Get them as is for a pre-dinner snack, or have them with vanilla ice cream for a salty/sweet, hot/cold dessert.

A oval bowl filled with crispy, yellow potato chips.
Oiji’s honey butter chips.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

13. Tiramisu at Fiaschetteria "Pistoia"

Copy Link
Read Review |
647 E 11th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 777-3355
Visit Website

What looks like a cup of cappuccino is actually an ethereally light tiramisu ($12), topped with a thicker-than-average layer of only slightly sweet whipped cream. Underneath the cloud are moistened ladyfingers and some coffee powder. Fiaschetteria Pistoia excels at simple, homey Italian fare, and the tiramisu is no different.

14. Pandan custard at Wayan

Copy Link
Read Review |
20 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(917) 261-4388
Visit Website

The pandan custard at Cédric and Ochi Vongerichten’s Indonesian Nolita restaurant looks like just a pile of passionfruit, but a creamy surprise lies underneath. Oozy, vanilla-laced pandan pudding sits at the bottom of the ramekin, softening the acidic jolt of the tangy fruit and its seeds.

Orange custard in a shallow bowl with black dots on top.
Pandan custard at Wayan.
Gary He/Eater NY

15. Banana rum pudding at Thai Diner

Copy Link
186 Mott St
New York, NY 10012
(646) 559-4140
Visit Website

Ann Redding and Matt Danzer attracted a cult following at Uncle Boons for their indulgent coconut sundae, and while their flagship venue closed during the pandemic, the team has brought back the dessert at Thai Diner, loading it up with coconut caramel, palm sugar whipped cream, and candied peanuts. It’s still a heck of a dessert, but consider trying out some of Thai Diner’s newer creations. Case in point: the banana rum pudding. It’s a tri-level parfait that involves a bottom layer of pudding, a whipped cream middle, and a lotus-root shaped sesame tuile crown at the top. It is a rich study in the aromas of deeply flavorful, slowly-cooked bananas.

A lotus cookie sits atop a chalice of banana rum pudding, which sits on the corner of the mahogany bar.
Thai Diner’s banana rum pudding.
Gary He/Eater NY

16. Chhena poda at Dhamaka

Copy Link
119 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 204-8616
Visit Website

Chef and partner Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar have themselves a fantastic fireball of a regional Indian restaurant. The precisely calibrated dishes like goat’s neck biriyani and grilled goat belly will light the palate ablaze. It’s the type of cooking that begs for an icy finish. If only. The kitchen instead whips up a chhena poda baked cheese dessert — renowned in India’s Eastern Odisha state — that packs a caramelized exterior, a cake-like interior, and an astringent, matcha-like tang (from a banana leaf wrap). Dhamaka serves it so hot it singes your tongue, just like the rest of the exhilarating fare here.

A baked cheese dessert with a burnt top sits in a small clay bowl lined with a banana leaf.
Dhamaka’s chhena poda.
Ryan Sutton/Eater NY

17. Pulut inti at Kopitiam

Copy Link
151 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002
(646) 609-3785
Visit Website

Kyo Pang’s Chinatown stunner remains a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon or evening, sipping black coffee with ghee butter and sampling the Malaysian sweets. There’s really no wrong choice here, from the butter toast with fragrant pandan coconut jam to the hand-rolled muah chee, but there’s something truly special about the perfumed pulut inti. Pang executes the classic masterfully, topping firm, sticky morning glory rice with a dense crown of grated coconut sugar.

Several dishes take up a tabletop at Kopitiam in New York City.
A spread of dishes at Kopitiam.
Jean Schwarzwalder/Eater NY

18. Buñuelo con mousse de cajeta at Aldama

Copy Link
91 S 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(929) 298-0233
Visit Website

Chef Gerardo Alcaraz serves some serious al pastor tacos at this intimate Williamsburg Mexican spot, but be sure to ask about the desserts, including the elegant buñuelo. Alcaraz fries the dough until it takes on a shatteringly crisp texture, then slathers it all with a goat’s milk cajeta mousse, imparting every bite with the flavor of cream and goat’s milk caramel. Pair with mezcal.

White cajeta mousse sits atop golden fried dough.
Buñuelo con mousse de cajeta.
Gary He/Eater NY

19. Sundaes at Crown Shy

Copy Link
70 Pine St
New York, NY 10005
(212) 517-1932
Visit Website

Visually, the sundaes at new FiDi restaurant Crown Shy are a far cry from treats of American childhood. Pastry chef Renata Ameni makes painstakingly composed sundaes where toppings like toasted marshmallow come out with a smooth, artful browning. The flavors, though, call upon the best of playful nostalgia. The satsuma orange ice cream in particular recalls summertime orange creamsicles from a truck, but with a far broader range of textures, courtesy of a meringue, creamy ice cream, and chewy, crunchy honeycomb candy.

A sundae with a burnt, crispy top sits in a shallow bowl with bits of honeycomb candy served on the side.
Satsuma sundae at Crown Shy.
Natalie Black/Crown Shy

20. Almond chess pie at Petee's Café

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505 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

All of Petee’s pies are excellent, but one of the cafe’s most exceptional options is the toasted almond chess pie. A burnished top tiled with sliced almonds gives way to a gooey interior and — only with the black bottom version — a layer of dark chocolate ganache. Get it (or any pie) with a generous dollop of the shop’s maple whipped cream. There’s another location on the Lower East Side, too.

A close-up photo of a single slice of pie on a plate with a fork in the background.
Black bottom chocolate almond chess pie at Petee’s.
Petee’s

21. Labne mousse at Miss Ada

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184 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(917) 909-1023
Visit Website

At Miss Ada in Fort Greene, chef Tomer Blechman uses Middle Eastern flavors throughout the ever-changing menu — including at dessert, where chocolate babka and kanafeh could be on the menu. The light and pillowy labne mousse is a particular star, topped with a fruity granita that changes with the season. It’s what a classic froyo wants to be when it grows up: slightly tart and with the airy texture that must be what biting into a cloud feels like.

An interior photo of a wood-accented dining room and bar with overhead ceiling fans and light fixtures.
The dining room at Miss Ada.
Michael Tulipan/Miss Ada

22. Lavender frozen yogurt at Olmsted

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659 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 552-2610
Visit Website

One of the many, many reasons to visit this Prospect Heights new American charmer: silky house-made fro-yo ($13) with hints of lavender. It's a great meal-capper that doesn't feel heavy, though if more than one dessert is needed, sit outside and toast some s’mores.

A bowl of white frozen yogurt garnished with purple lavender flowers sits on a dark wooden table.
Olmsted’s lavender frozen yogurt.
Olmsted

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1. Morir soñando at 188 Bakery Cuchifritos

158 E 188th St, Bronx, NY 10468
A person pours yellow morir soñando into a plastic cup.
Morir soñando from 188 Bakery Cuchifritos.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Jose Coto’s 188 Cuchifritos is a palace of pork, a lunch counter that purveys a tail-to-snout array of succulent products like soft ears, meaty stomach, bouncy morcilla, garlicky pernil, and golden chicharrones. The appropriate foil for all these fatty, salty wonders is a drinkable Dominican dessert: the regal morir soñando. Staffers pulverize fresh oranges into juice, then mix the pulpy beverage over ice with a vanilla-laced condensed milk. The sugary, creamsicle-like creation cleanses your palate of all the rampant salts and jolts your body out of a pork-induced torpor.

158 E 188th St
Bronx, NY 10468

2. Rice milk hibiscus swirl at FieldTrip

109 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10026
A hand holds a small white cup filled with pink gelato and a red spoon.
Fieldtrip’s rice milk hibiscus swirl.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Folks might come to JJ Johnson’s FieldTrip for the stellar gumbo or soft beef brisket, but a meal here wouldn’t be complete without one of the better new entries in the city’s deeply competitive soft serve category. The kitchen blends rice milk, raspberries, and hibiscus into a cool, purple-hued treat. It doesn’t pack the lusciousness of a milkier gelato, but that’s not the point here; the point is to lower your core temperature with fruit and sugar — and without any dairy. The soft serve here is vegan, and it’s light enough to inhale.

109 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10026

3. Grapefruit givré at Boulud Sud

20 W 64th Street, New York, NY 10023
A small white bowl filled with a yellow half-grapefruit and toppings.
Grapefruit givré at Boulud Sud.
Evan Sung/Dinex Group

End every meal at Daniel Boulud’s flavor-packed ode to southern France and the Mediterranean with the refreshing grapefruit givré. The kitchen spoons sorbet into a hollowed-out grapefruit shell, tosses in fresh segments of the fruit and citrus marmalade, and tops it off with sesame foam and rose loukoum, before sealing the grapefruit with a brûléed orange sugar tuile. Finally, halva candy floss is placed on top of it all. The end product is crunchy, crackly, chewy, icy, silky, tart, and perfumed.

20 W 64th Street
New York, NY 10023

4. Soft serve at Haidilao

138-23 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

Haidilao is about warming up one’s insides with firm noodles, fresh vegetables, and well-marbled meats cooked in bubbling chile oil. In the aftermath of so much spice, the human digestive track requires something cool to gentle things down a touch. Enter the chain’s famous soft serve, a complimentary treat delivered to your table at the end of the meal. It might not be the city’s best soft serve, but it’s certainly the best timed one, cooling your palate and your insides when you need it the most.

138-23 39th Ave
Queens, NY 11354

5. Avocado at Empellón

510 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022
Read Review |
An avocado and lime purée, eucalyptus yogurt, and lime snow plated on a black dish and set on a light wooden table.
Empellón’s avocado.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

This deceiving dessert may look like an average halved avocado, but it's actually a key lime pie parfait set on top of citrus-y ice and a smear of eucalyptus yogurt. The $17 parfait is made in an avocado-shaped mold and spray painted to resemble the ombre of a real avocado. According to an Eater NY review, "The dessert is a five-year-old’s dream of what an avocado might taste like, before actually biting into one and realizing it’s oily, fatty, and overrated. The Stupak avocado is pastry as escapism. And it’s delicious."

510 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10022

6. Soufflés at La Grenouille

3 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
An eggy orange top pops out from a white ceramic ramekin.
Souffle at La Grenouille.
Bill Addison/Eater NY

The soufflés at La Grenouille are just as iconic as the Midtown French restaurant itself, founded 1962 with an interior that flaunts its wild color scheme. The pillowy, eggy, expensive dessert ($38) switches its flavors, but has come in is pistachio, espresso, white dark chocolate, pear, and passion fruit varieties.

3 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022

7. Kakigori at the Lobster Club

98 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022
Read Review |
Mountain of shaved ice, orange on one side and vanilla on the other.
Kakigori at the Lobster Club.
Gary He/Eater NY

Kakigori, the Japanese specialty of a towering mountain of flavored shave ice, is having a serious moment, and Stephanie Prida’s version at the Lobster Club is undoubtedly one of the city’s standout versions. The airy concoction ($23) is a foot high, with flavors that change seasonally. Past flavors include blood orange and cream, reminiscent of a Creamsicle.

98 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022

8. Husk meringue at Cosme

35 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010
A white meringue broken apart to reveal yellow corn mousse sits on a white plate.
Cosme’s husk meringue.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

The husk meringue is one of the most written-about (and Instagrammed) dishes on the menu at Enrique Olvera’s groundbreaking Mexican restaurant in Flatiron. The slightly savory corn mousse is topped with a sugary husk meringue that gives the dessert a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

35 E 21st St
New York, NY 10010

9. Fior di latte mochi at Don Angie

103 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014
Read Review |
Fior di latte gelato stuffed inside homemade mochi.
Don Angie’s fior di latte mochi.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Olive oil gelato lovers will delight in Don Angie’s fior di latte mochi ($8). The dessert comes to the table at this West Village Italian-American restaurant looking like a ball of mozzarella cheese, when it’s in fact house-made mochi stretched around milky fior di latte gelato. It’s then topped with olive oil and sea salt. This dessert is all about stretchy and chewy textures, coupled with the subtle flavors of olive oil and high-quality cream.

103 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10014

10. Linzer cookie at Té Company

163 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
Round, small tea cookies scattered across a dark table, with one sitting on a small, white tea plate.
Linzer cookie at Té Company.
Té Company

There are few experiences more lovely than tea and linzer cookies at this compact tea shop in Greenwich Village. Té packs this true linzer cookie with butter, sugar, and flour for a biscuit that is utterly delicate. What makes this cookie spectacular is a marriage of flavors including pineapple, rosemary, chiles, and plenty of lime and yuzu.

163 W 10th St
New York, NY 10014

11. Gelato and sorbet at Superiority Burger

430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
A white paper cup filled with maroon-colored sorbet.
Superiority Burger’s sour cherry sorbert.
Serena Dai/Eater NY

The silky gelato and bright sorbet flavors always rotate, but never disappoint at Brooks Headley’s subversive vegetarian burger shop in the East Village. Always get both sorbet and gelato, whether it’s lemongrass mango and corn tortilla, guava peach and black sesame, rhubarb and rye toast, or any other intriguing combination.

430 E 9th St
New York, NY 10009

12. Honey butter chips at Oiji

119 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
A oval bowl filled with crispy, yellow potato chips.
Oiji’s honey butter chips.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

The warm, house-made honey butter chips ($16) are stellar bookends to a meal at modern Korean restaurant Oiji. Get them as is for a pre-dinner snack, or have them with vanilla ice cream for a salty/sweet, hot/cold dessert.

119 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003

13. Tiramisu at Fiaschetteria "Pistoia"

647 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009
Read Review |

What looks like a cup of cappuccino is actually an ethereally light tiramisu ($12), topped with a thicker-than-average layer of only slightly sweet whipped cream. Underneath the cloud are moistened ladyfingers and some coffee powder. Fiaschetteria Pistoia excels at simple, homey Italian fare, and the tiramisu is no different.

647 E 11th St
New York, NY 10009

14. Pandan custard at Wayan

20 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Read Review |
Orange custard in a shallow bowl with black dots on top.
Pandan custard at Wayan.
Gary He/Eater NY

The pandan custard at Cédric and Ochi Vongerichten’s Indonesian Nolita restaurant looks like just a pile of passionfruit, but a creamy surprise lies underneath. Oozy, vanilla-laced pandan pudding sits at the bottom of the ramekin, softening the acidic jolt of the tangy fruit and its seeds.

20 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

15. Banana rum pudding at Thai Diner

186 Mott St, New York, NY 10012
A lotus cookie sits atop a chalice of banana rum pudding, which sits on the corner of the mahogany bar.
Thai Diner’s banana rum pudding.
Gary He/Eater NY

Ann Redding and Matt Danzer attracted a cult following at Uncle Boons for their indulgent coconut sundae, and while their flagship venue closed during the pandemic, the team has brought back the dessert at Thai Diner, loading it up with coconut caramel, palm sugar whipped cream, and candied peanuts. It’s still a heck of a dessert, but consider trying out some of Thai Diner’s newer creations. Case in point: the banana rum pudding. It’s a tri-level parfait that involves a bottom layer of pudding, a whipped cream middle, and a lotus-root shaped sesame tuile crown at the top. It is a rich study in the aromas of deeply flavorful, slowly-cooked bananas.

186 Mott St
New York, NY 10012

Related Maps

16. Chhena poda at Dhamaka

119 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
A baked cheese dessert with a burnt top sits in a small clay bowl lined with a banana leaf.
Dhamaka’s chhena poda.
Ryan Sutton/Eater NY

Chef and partner Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar have themselves a fantastic fireball of a regional Indian restaurant. The precisely calibrated dishes like goat’s neck biriyani and grilled goat belly will light the palate ablaze. It’s the type of cooking that begs for an icy finish. If only. The kitchen instead whips up a chhena poda baked cheese dessert — renowned in India’s Eastern Odisha state — that packs a caramelized exterior, a cake-like interior, and an astringent, matcha-like tang (from a banana leaf wrap). Dhamaka serves it so hot it singes your tongue, just like the rest of the exhilarating fare here.

119 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002

17. Pulut inti at Kopitiam

151 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
Several dishes take up a tabletop at Kopitiam in New York City.
A spread of dishes at Kopitiam.
Jean Schwarzwalder/Eater NY

Kyo Pang’s Chinatown stunner remains a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon or evening, sipping black coffee with ghee butter and sampling the Malaysian sweets. There’s really no wrong choice here, from the butter toast with fragrant pandan coconut jam to the hand-rolled muah chee, but there’s something truly special about the perfumed pulut inti. Pang executes the classic masterfully, topping firm, sticky morning glory rice with a dense crown of grated coconut sugar.

151 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002

18. Buñuelo con mousse de cajeta at Aldama

91 S 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
White cajeta mousse sits atop golden fried dough.
Buñuelo con mousse de cajeta.
Gary He/Eater NY

Chef Gerardo Alcaraz serves some serious al pastor tacos at this intimate Williamsburg Mexican spot, but be sure to ask about the desserts, including the elegant buñuelo. Alcaraz fries the dough until it takes on a shatteringly crisp texture, then slathers it all with a goat’s milk cajeta mousse, imparting every bite with the flavor of cream and goat’s milk caramel. Pair with mezcal.

91 S 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249

19. Sundaes at Crown Shy

70 Pine St, New York, NY 10005
A sundae with a burnt, crispy top sits in a shallow bowl with bits of honeycomb candy served on the side.
Satsuma sundae at Crown Shy.
Natalie Black/Crown Shy

Visually, the sundaes at new FiDi restaurant Crown Shy are a far cry from treats of American childhood. Pastry chef Renata Ameni makes painstakingly composed sundaes where toppings like toasted marshmallow come out with a smooth, artful browning. The flavors, though, call upon the best of playful nostalgia. The satsuma orange ice cream in particular recalls summertime orange creamsicles from a truck, but with a far broader range of textures, courtesy of a meringue, creamy ice cream, and chewy, crunchy honeycomb candy.

70 Pine St
New York, NY 10005

20. Almond chess pie at Petee's Café

505 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
A close-up photo of a single slice of pie on a plate with a fork in the background.
Black bottom chocolate almond chess pie at Petee’s.
Petee’s

All of Petee’s pies are excellent, but one of the cafe’s most exceptional options is the toasted almond chess pie. A burnished top tiled with sliced almonds gives way to a gooey interior and — only with the black bottom version — a layer of dark chocolate ganache. Get it (or any pie) with a generous dollop of the shop’s maple whipped cream. There’s another location on the Lower East Side, too.

505 Myrtle Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

21. Labne mousse at Miss Ada

184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
An interior photo of a wood-accented dining room and bar with overhead ceiling fans and light fixtures.
The dining room at Miss Ada.
Michael Tulipan/Miss Ada

At Miss Ada in Fort Greene, chef Tomer Blechman uses Middle Eastern flavors throughout the ever-changing menu — including at dessert, where chocolate babka and kanafeh could be on the menu. The light and pillowy labne mousse is a particular star, topped with a fruity granita that changes with the season. It’s what a classic froyo wants to be when it grows up: slightly tart and with the airy texture that must be what biting into a cloud feels like.

184 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

22. Lavender frozen yogurt at Olmsted

659 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
A bowl of white frozen yogurt garnished with purple lavender flowers sits on a dark wooden table.
Olmsted’s lavender frozen yogurt.
Olmsted

One of the many, many reasons to visit this Prospect Heights new American charmer: silky house-made fro-yo ($13) with hints of lavender. It's a great meal-capper that doesn't feel heavy, though if more than one dessert is needed, sit outside and toast some s’mores.

659 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

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