A very sweet East Village tour
Looking for a sugar high? There’s no better place to go than the East Village. We’ve lost count of the sweet spots that dot the landscape. From decades-old traditionalists to nascent experimenters, it’s a walking tour guaranteed to have you bouncing down the street.
Momofuku Milk Bar
207 SecondAve., at 13th St.,212-254-3500
When the Momofuku folks branched out into sweets, pastry chef Christina Tosi got to showcase her super-sweet-tooth with insanity like the crack pie ($5.25), which is as addictive as it sounds. Prices have increased and portion sizes decreased, but don’t miss the kooky soft-serve ($4) (rotating flavors include Thanksgiving stuffing and the famed cereal milk) or the everything-goes compost cookie ($1.85).
342 E. 11thSt., 212-674-7070
This classic Italian pastry shop has lasted generations for a reason.Heart-shaped cheesecakes ($29 for whole cake), ricotta-filled cannoli ($3) and rows of butter cookies (3/$3) are just some of the tasty treats. Veniero’s gets crowded with out-of-town visitors but is ideal for a midday cappuccino ($3.50) or as an after-dinner dessert destination.
170 Second Ave., at 11th St., 212-979-9505
A local go-to for celebration cakes, Black Hound’s Second Avenue shop bakes gorgeous cakes ($25 and up) for everyday or special occasions. Savory puff-pastries ($6.50/1/4-lb.) are an unusual surprise, baked with cheese and spices. But the popular Busy Bee cake —roasted crumbs on a mini-cake ($3.50) – was virtually flavor-free.
Dessert Club ChikaliciousPanya
204 E. 10thSt., 212-475-0929
For those who can’t commit to three sweet courses at dessert-only restaurant Chikalicious, the owners opened up the Club across the street for on-the-go éclair ($3.50) and cupcake ($1.75) purchases. Grab one of a few seats up front and enjoy mini molten chocolate cake ($4.95) or brioche bread pudding ($3.50).
8 Stuyvesant St., 212-777-1930
Japanese desserts tend to be lighter on sugar than American-style desserts, and flavors such as green tea and red bean predominate. This newly re-launched Stuyvesant Street fixture makes green tea shortbread cookies ($4) that are a gorgeous verdant shade and have a sour hint of matcha, while the sugar-crackly green tea custard cookie ($2.75) is a satisfying balance between bread, cookie and pudding.
Spot Dessert Bar
13 St.MarksPl., 212-677-5670
Pichet Ong, one of New York’s finest pastry chef, lures diners underground with this new below-street level spot. Wild creations include avocado parfait ($8) and five-spiced fennel cake ($8). The mad alchemies hit all the senses including the visual: the cupcakes ($2.75) — in flavors such as mocha salt caramel —are dusted with edible glitter.
123 E. 7thSt., 212-677-2880
There may be nothing more over-the-top than a box of frosting shots ($5), a six pack of buttercream served in little cups. The cupcakes ($2.50) here are also favorites.
Birdbath (223 First Ave., at 13th St., 646-722-6565), aCity Bakery offshoot, its built entirely with green materials and specializes in chocolate chip, coconut or oatmeal cookies ($2.50) that strike a perfect balance between gooey and crispy.
Pinisi shows real dedication to the ’hood with two EV locations. We recommend the chocolate on fire cake ($35): layers of flourless chocolate and red velvet cakes cloaked in chocolate ganache.
A kosher shop that’s a holdover from the old days, Moishe’s Bake Shop (115 Second Ave., btwn Sixth and Seventh Sts., 212-505-8555) has European pastries such as rugelach ($13/lb.) and strudels ($6.99) and hamentashen ($13/lb.) that are as reliable as grandma’s.
Seemingly unchanged since its opening 36 years ago, Something Sweet (177 FirstAve., at 11th St., 212-533-9986)bakes traditional cakes ($20 and up) for birthday parties and celebrations.