In a city like New York, it’s easy for things to get lost in the fray. In a world of constant motion with new innovations popping up every single day, it’s impossible to know what will stand out.
Facebook pages and Instagrams are littered with photos of the most picture-worthy desserts and foods deemed beautiful enough to grace ours feeds.
But what about those desserts that feed our sweet tooth?
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good Supermoon croissant as much as the next girl. Enough to eat them basically every day. But sometimes we need something different. New desserts may be out of your comfort zone, but how can you find your new favorite thing if you don’t try it?
Let us let you in on a few of our secrets for some of the best under-the-radar desserts, where you’re sure to be satisfied, but maybe without the lines, which is even better, right?
1. Ring Ding Bar (179 Duane Street)
Growing up, Ring Dings and Ding Dongs were one of many friend-favorites to indulge on whenever they came over for a playdate. The soft chocolate ganache shell, moist chocolate cake, and creamy center meshed together in the best way. And this was even before we could fully appreciate how complex the flavor combos were.
Mastermind Madeline Lanciani shares our appreciation for the childhood snack and holds them in so much revere that she based her business on it.
Ring Ding Bar offers a riff on the classic treat, providing different flavors like Funfetti and Strawberry Shortcake, so you can feel like a grown up and still eat like the kid you know you are.
2. Joey Bats Pastel de Nata (457 West 17th Street)
Have you ever had a Portuguese Custard Tart? Or even heard of one? Neither had we until Dessert Goals a few years ago. And one taste sparked a near-obsession in which we tried to recreate them at home, but without much success.
For that, we leave it to the experts. The Tart is a puff pastry filled with a complicated-to-make egg custard which is much sweeter than the egg-y name implies. It is sweet from the custard, savory from the tart and basically one of the most glorious things you’ll want to indulge in over and over again.
3. P.O.P. Cakes (Dekalb Market Hall - 445 Albee Square West)
Remember when you were younger and you loved eating those Flintstone’s push-pop ice creams? Do you also remember how damn messy the ice cream was when it dripped all over your hands because you couldn’t get to it before it started to melt?
P.O.P.’s cake-pops sort of solve that problem. Cake fans won’t mind a little mess, though, for this fun take on an old favorite. And if they do, they don’t deserve the sweet treat anyway.
Why does Baked by Melissa get recognition for a monopoly on mini pastries, while Prohibition serves mini boozy treats and gets basically nada? It’s time to change that.
Prohibition has been around for years, and their cupcakes are as good, if not better because of the addition of booze. Their cupcakes are based on popular cocktails like Hot Buttered Rum, Pretzels and Beer, and Car Bomb, each infused with the liquor typically associated with their namesake.
The physical location is permanently closed, so you have to order online. It's a small price to pay for such deliciousness.
5. City Cakes (Lower Level, 251 W 18th Street)
If you’re walking down 18th street, you might find yourself passing this place… literally. It’s that easy to miss. Hidden underground in a hole-in-the-wall space are some of the best cupcakes and cookies you will ever try.
City Cake prides itself on its gigantic half-pound cookies in classic flavors like Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal with anything but basic taste. That’s not to say its cupcakes should be overlooked.
In fact, in our opinion, they’re even better! The salted caramel will change your life, and they also have a monthly flavor aka a different new flavor on rotation every month.
Another Dessert-Goals discovery, Baonanas took us by surprise. Technically, they’re from NJ, but their banana pudding deserves a mention nonetheless. Plus, they’re usually found at NYC food markets anyway so they’re basically the Jets/Giants of dessert.
We’re partial to #Cream and Cookies, but other flavors like #Matchananas and Vegan #Coconanas are pretty great too. And as a bonus, if you noticed, they’ve already got your hashtags ready.
7. Rice To Riches (37 Spring Street)
From banana pudding to rice, we give you Rice to Riches. This small shop in the heart of the East Village is easily missed, but shouldn’t be ignored. Even those who admitted to not being the biggest rice pudding fans were fans of this place.
They have mouth-watering flavors with names that will make you laugh, but oddly also crave a taste, like Sex, Drugs and Rocky Road, Fluent in French Toast, and Oreo “Gasm”. It’s definitely worth an add on your bucket list, don’t you think?
8. Dessert Kitchen (192 Bleeker Street)
Dessert Kitchen is a veritable wonderland of sweets. They’ve got what is basically the equivalent of dessert ramen, as well as jellies, parfaits, sundaes, waffles, shaved ice and more. They even have a cute way of topping croissants with ice cream so they basically act like a cone.
If you’re looking for a way to step up your Insta-game, look no further. These desserts are as pretty to see as they are to eat. Tucked away on Bleeker, it’s a wonder this place isn’t more well-known.