225 E. 60th St.
Some places are tourist hotspots for a reason. The frozen hot chocolate is a must—less a drink than a confectionary endeavor that requires two spoons and two straws per person. Beyond this notable creation, the dessert menu isn’t particularly unique, but it has classic staples done right. Serendipity also has a comprehensive menu that makes the location more dinner-and-dessert than treat-only appropriate. Still, don’t let Hollywood lead you astray. The family-friendly environment leaves little opportunity for a rom-com meet-cute, but it’s a great place for a night out with friends.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
1011 Third Ave. at 60th Street
This is the place for your five-year-old dessert fantasies fulfilled. With gumball-filled tables, booths shaped like cupcakes, and a menu to match, Dylan’s Candy Bar is the definition of sickeningly sweet in the best possible way. The menu features such delicious absurdities as dessert pizza, fun-due, and a self-aware sandwich called “Crazy Doesn’t Cover It.” For the 21+ population, they have taken the brilliant initiative to combine candy and alcohol, so customers can treat themselves to a variety of candy cocktails. All in all, Dylan is most definitely a friend worth having.
379 Grand St. or 220 W. 23rd St.
If you don’t mind your desserts a bit holey, then you’ve met your peek-a-boo pastry match. Doughnuts at this specialty shop come in three varieties: yeast, caked, and filled. Each has their appealing aspects, but the filled variety offer a special kind of magic. Filled flavors include Blackout and Tres Leches, while seasonal flavors are all the rage in yeast and caked. Be sure to come early because the really fancy types will run out. With calm décor that has little beyond doughnut-shaped pillows adorning the walls, this is the perfect place for a midmorning snack off campus.
Silver Moon Bakery
What this Morningside bakery lacks in otherworldly goodliness, it makes up for in proximity and dependability. With a variety of pastries and baked goods, from classic brownies to light macaroons, there aren’t many cravings that will go unfulfilled. There is no seating, so this shop’s ideal for a quick stop on a walk around the neighborhood. It’s also a great choice if the pretension found in some other local haunts proves overpowering.