NYC Desserts: Yay or Nay?

Rhetorical question here- who doesn't love dessert? People like Yummy and FeedYourGirlfriend make a living off of people intrigued by colorful, wacky, oversized and overindulgent desserts. I'm HELLA one of those people.

Along the same lines as my previous post about NYC food stops worth making, I decided to do a dessert specific list because it's the best part of the day. Except at some of these locations.

I'm going to start of with some repeat stories just to be clear here about my feelings and discoveries.

Magnolia Bakery, Midtown, Manhattan: Fuckin Nay. Boooo.

Like I had said previously, this was the place I was told to visit the most. So I was initially excited to see it and to hear about the building's history during the walking tour of 30 Rock with my guide Lindsay. That was the end of the joy. I waited in line for about 15 minutes behind the slowest and most annoying people. Like, there is a LIST of FLAVORS on the board and you're standing in line for a lifetime asking the girl what every flavor is. In all of that time how did not one single person ahead of me already know what they wanted? Needless to say, though, by time I got to the counter I was super rushed by other people and the counter staff who was SUPER rude, got hit by a stroller and two younger women buying 8 cupcakes jumped back in front of me, literally, jumped over stuff to add to theirs. There is no control here. Because I was rushed I got a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting because nothing was restocked up front. The cake was dry and sturdy. Like, I probably could have put my book on top of it and it would not have smashed. I'm no pro, but I think that's a bad sign. I scraped off half of the frosting and threw it out. It was piled way too thickly and very dry itself so it didn't help the cake at all. Made it worse, actually. The only thing soft on this expensive ass cake was the smattering of sprinkles- those were somehow almost papery in texture, like when a cake has been sitting on your counter overnight from your niece's birthday party. Another bad sign. What a sad, pathetic waste of money. For all the buzz this place gets, you'd think there would not be a bad batch or a bad day like this. I thankfully only got one cake so it was only a $4 loss to my wallet, but the disorganization was maddening and I will never go back.

Charlotte Patisserie, Greenpoint, Brooklyn: Yay! Really Nice.
So, as I am known to mention- I met Matthew Gray Gubler at a book signing in Brooklyn! You can read that majestic sighting here. Well, on my way I stopped at two bagel shops and a bakery to mostly have a pee (no restrooms in either shop?) but also kill some time because for some reason I didn't think there would be 600 people in line at WORD (wrong). Anyhow, I made my way to Charlotte's by Googling french macarons near me and away we went. It's my custom to find at least one macaron (not macarOOn) in every city I visit. Charlotte Patisserie did not disappoint. After much debate I settled on a strawberry macaron I also got a Raspberry Creme Brulee cake with a mirror glaze and white chocolate curls. I loved most of it- found out that I do not like the texture of mirror glaze (I try to ignore the gelatin part) but the rest was SPOT on. It was the perfect size and a good price for both desserts. It's a lovely cafe in a hip area, so I wasn't bothered by a waitstaff, nor did I feel any eyes on my back for my tiny table near the water jugs. I read there for about a half hour (finally got to potty!) and let my feet rest. Turns out I had already walked two miles in like, 46* chill. So with a nice cake in my belly and two bagels in my bag (one for my BnB host and one from The Bagel Store) I was off. I felt so refreshed and happy to have found this little place. It's well worth the stop for a sit down. My mom would have ordered one of everything if she were there. Truth. I bet moms love this place.

Momofuku Milk Bar, Union Square, Manhattan: Medium-Low Yay* 
*With possible reason. I went early in the morning to a location that's connected to the kid's area CAMP in my favorite part of Manhattan, Union Square. All I wanted to try was the garbage can of a cookie, this Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow beaut. Nothing was fully set up yet (for a 9am ice cream?) because I went within a few minutes of opening on my way to something else. I got the cookie! I put it in my bag and went. Forgot about it until I got back to my stay, so that's why it's busted. Thing is, it wasn't good. I was bummed! I think if it were fresh and warm it would have made me cry happy tears, however, being packaged and sitting on a table in a gorgeous shop made it lose things in translation. The flavors were good, but it was difficult to chew. That's a rough description for a cookie! It's hard and dry and the mallow congealed, making it difficult to eat. If I had known, I would have heated it up a few seconds. Alas, now YOU know. Microwave it a few seconds and then eat it. You'll thank me.

Dun-Well Donuts, E. Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Hell Yay!
I popped by here because I was early to meet my girl Gina for lunch and thought hey, why not spoil my appetite with a donut? Doughnut? So in I went, because, naturally, I will choose desserts and snacks over real food. Dun-Well has a gorgeous selection of all vegan friendly varieties and I'm lucky I saw a lemon poppy seed and stopped there. Otherwise I would have walked to lunch with half a dozen or so. Kind of an expensive place, but I know it costs a lot more money to make vegan baked goods than the more manufactured kinds like Dunkin or Timmy's. It was worth it. I would have been a-ok without the poppy seeds, but the lemon glaze was so nice. I reminded myself of Homer Simpson with my face under the glazing dohickey with my mouth open like AHIDHUIAJKDNLAK*drool* The donut itself was light and fluffy and melted in my mouth. I ate the whole thing in roughly one minute. I'm lucky I even got a photo because in my joyous stupor I nearly forgot my blogger missions and nearly shoved the whole thing straight in my facemouth. Straight. In. And I would have zero regrets about it, nor did I care about the construction crew nearby who probably saw my whole jaw unhinge like a snake to avoid poppy teeth. Still worth it. Worth all of it.

Carlo's Bake Shop, Times Square: Expensive Yay!
I came into Carlo's for a handful of reasons. I wanted something
sweet but I could have gone anywhere for that. I wanted something to bring back to my depressingly distant Harlem AirBnB so I could go back and watch my Netlfix app with something to look forward to (besides their broken tailed cat who loved me and stayed with me all night). But mostly it's because my dad and I watched Buddy's show for years and I thought, if anything, this is the one thing he would want me to do. I did indeed have to wait in line for a good chunk of time, but unlike Magnolia, it was worth it and painless. Seriously, though, this line. It was organized, pretty fast and the cake was delish. It was all so beautiful. There was music playing rather than the sound of counter staff shouting like above. It's set up more like a checkerboard diner but the staff is so efficient with their Ipads. They run it like a personal shopper- they got my name and my initial order as I got to the counter (which was ready for me by time I got to the register) and then stuck with me throughout the line in case I wanted to add to it. I obviously chose the rainbow slice and paid around $10-11 for it but honestly, one bite in and I did not mind. It reminded me of the richest cake I'd ever had at the end of a theatre show closing party. A little fudgy, thick, I ate it for two days. Total tourist spot. Totally worth it.

This is my round up for NYC dessert stops. Do you agree? Disagree? Have you been to these spots or have some other ideas for me to check out? Let me know below.

Until then, my sweets, here's the kitty with no tail from Harlem.

Remember to show some kindness out there!


  1. These desserts look and sound yummy my mouth is watering

  2. Those desserts look amazing; thank you for sharing.


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