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Top Five Sweet Stops in New York City

Discover Mouthwatering Treats at NYC's Best Dessert Stops

Mouthwatering treats abound in New York City. From cheesecake to pizza and everything in between, the city is a trove of delicious and decadent desserts. From traditional NYC delicacies to adventurous concoctions, visitors will find scrumptious treats at every turn. Need some help deciding where to eat those vacation calories? Be sure to stop at one of these top picks for unique and authentic New York desserts.

1. The Doughnut Project

Everyone knows that the world's best donuts are found in New York City. And The Doughnut Project, located in Greenwich Village, may be one of the most unique donuts in NYC. Going far beyond the standard chocolate glazed and jelly, The Doughnut Project offers inventive food and cocktail flavors combined with exceptional dough. "The Doughnut Project is unique because our doughnut flavors are inspired by food and cocktails," explains co-owner Leslie Polizzotto. "We use real ingredients, such as blueberries, beets, carrots, parsnips, bacon, olive oil, bone marrow, and ricotta cheese."

Try out a few of The Doughnut Project's offerings, which range from sweet to savory and spicy. "Those Beetz are Dope", a donut with a beet glaze and ricotta cheese whip filing, is among the most popular varieties and won "Fan Favorite" at the 2016 DonutFest in Williamsburg, NY. Other must-try donuts include "PB&J 2.0", a peanut butter and jelly-filled donut with blackberry glaze, and the Everything Donut, made with cream cheese glaze, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and pepitas roasted in butter, salt, and garlic. Be sure to arrive early--The Doughnut Project regularly sells out long before the posted 6:00 PM closing time.

2. ChickaLicious

Cheesecake is another NYC staple. But East Village's ChickaLicious takes cheesecake to a whole new level. In business since 2003, ChickaLicious was New York City's first dessert bar. Guests enjoy an innovative three-course Prix Fixe menu featuring American Desserts, French Presentation, and Japanese tasting portions, along with paired wine. The menu changes daily, offering visitors the chance to explore a wide range of surprising culinary creations.

ChickaLicious' eye-catching take on cheesecake is among its most popular offerings. The spherical Fromage Blanc Island Cheese Cake is one of only two desserts always on the menu and it sells out daily. While it may not look like traditional New York cheesecake, the Fromage Blanc balances a smooth, fluffy texture with a rich, creamy taste, making it among the top choices for cheesecake in the city.

3. Cookie DŌ

Photo credit: Dina Coloma

At Cookie DŌ in Greenwich Village, guests can relive their favorite childhood moments and indulge in some freshly-made cookie dough. These safe-to-eat cookie dough creations range from classic flavors like chocolate chip and sugar cookie to decadent cookie dough sundaes and milkshakes. "DŌ is unique because it creates an experience for our customers to eat cookie dough any way they crave it," explains founder Kristen Tomlan. "Within the space, I created a fun environment where customers can see the dough-making process up close, taste various flavors, and add their personal touch with toppings. I think it brings out our customers' childhood fantasy of safely eating the dough straight from the mixing bowl."

Cookie DŌ's most popular flavor is its Signature Chocolate Chip, with Confetti--the signature base with sprinkles, white chips, and chocolate chips--and Chocolate Dream--made with brownie batter, Oreos, and chocolate chips--as close runners-up. Make sure to arrive as early as possible--this popular destination frequently cuts off the line prior to closing in order to accommodate all guests.

4. Wafles & Dinges

No one makes Belgian waffles like Wafels & Dinges--outside of Belgium, that is. Thoroughly unimpressed with the soggy pancakes masquerading as waffles sold in American diners, Thomas DeGeest, Special Envoy for Waffles, began selling authentic Belgian Waffles from a food truck in New York City in 2007. Now, Wafels & Dinges has a flagship cafe in East Village and trucks scattered throughout the city. "These are actual Belgian 'street style' Liege waffles," DeGeest says. "These are made out of a unique dough--not batter--that contains pearl sugar, which gives the waffles--in Flemish, 'Wafels'--a wonderful glazing of caramelized sugar. All of the dough is made fresh daily in our bakery kitchen in Brooklyn, using the best natural ingredients and lots and lots of butter."

Prepare to have your expectations about waffles shattered. "We offer not one but three kinds of Belgian waffles," DeGeest explains. "Most people, except the connoisseurs, are surprised by the choice between the 'light 'n crispy' Brussels wafel, the 'soft 'n chewy' Liege wafel, or our incredible savory hash brown waffles." Guests can keep it simple with a simple dusting of powdered sugar or can pile on their choice of "dinges"--a Flemish slang word meaning "whatchumacallit"--such as nutella, whipped cream, and strawberries.

5. Big Gay Ice Cream

Photo credit: Donny Tsang

Founded as a food truck in 2009, Big Gay Ice Cream now has three shops in New York City, located in East Village, West Village, and the Meatpacking District. "Big Gay Ice Cream offers a new take on the old school ice cream parlor experience," says Big Gay Ice Cream's office manager Patty Devery. "We mix high-quality ingredients with guilty pleasures, traditional flavors with the unexpected, and a youngster's imagination with an adult's knowing wink and a satirical tongue."

By far, Big Gay Ice Cream's most popular offering is the Salty Pimp--vanilla ice cream injected with dulce de leche, sprinkled with sea salt, and dipped in chocolate. Other highlights include the American Globs cone, which is topped with dark pretzels and chocolate dip, and the Bea Arthur, which is vanilla soft-serve injected with dulce de leche and covered in crushed Nilla Wafers. Of course, a vanilla cone with sprinkles or chocolate dip is always a great choice.

-- By Ettractions Digital Content Editor  EMILY JARMOLOWICZ


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