Whether you’ve accidentally wandered too far north in Central Park, or live in the city and are just looking for new places to satisfy your sweet tooth, the Upper West Side (UWS) is a land of cute bakeries, shops, and adventures.
There are plenty of incredible options to get your sugar fix on the UWS, but we visited our top five favorite dessert locations even though we’ve been multiple times (just to be sure, you know?). Here were our thoughts on places you must visit:
Located at 69th and Columbus, this is only one of Magnolia’s locations (their original location is in West Village).
But don’t worry, it still holds it’s yummy quality and quaintness! Per their standard, you can always see their buttercream being made behind the counter and you are greeted by lovely, friendly bakers!
Although their cupcakes have been featured on Sex and the City and other TV Shows/movies, their most popular dessert is the banana pudding. Amidst a whole bakery full of the most beautiful cakes, cookies, and cheesecakes, we had to take the recommendation of the public and went with the classic banana pudding.
Let’s just say there is a reason it’s the most popular.
If you’re looking for a dessert that still feels somewhat light, but has a complete richness equal to your grandmother’s pudding (and grandma was a top-notch baker), this is your dessert. And it’s banana based, how bad can it be for you?
Levain. Le sigh. I have dreams about these cookies at night.
Weighing in at 6 ounces each, Levain’s perfectly gooey cookies are a dessert that will be in your memory forever. To give a little context, the two owners of Levain Bakery perfected their recipe while training for a triathlon, so be sure to exercise a whole lot after eating one (OR just don’t google how many calories are in one). Chocolate Chip Walnut is classic, but you cannot go wrong with any of the cookie flavors.
Spoiler alert: We make a stop here on our Upper West Side Walking Tours
Buy a few, send some to your friends (they ship), shout it from the rooftops – they’re amazing!
Located at W 74th and Amsterdam, it would be easy for you to overlook the tiny basement bakery if it weren’t for the line stretching down the block. Well worth the wait though, and if you deem that it’s not, there’s a second storefront right around the corner. You’re welcome.
If you visit with a crimson rose and copy of Pride & Prejudice, you may just find love with other fans of You’ve Got Mail .
Aside from being famous for the scene where Kathleen Kelly tells Joe Fox he’s similar to the generation of cocktail waitresses with only first names, their desserts are as high quality as this movie.
Located at W 83rd and Amsterdam, their twinkle lights, large french windows, and adorable cafe atmosphere will entice you to sit and stay a while. Grab a slice of their cheesecake (or anything from their full cabinet of goodies), and you won’t be disappointed. They do a full brunch, have a full bar with boozy milkshakes, and even live jazz on certain evenings.
Sit. Snack. Sip. This is what every cafe experience should be.
This place is every little kid’s sugar heaven. If you visit, make sure you watch the Chef’s table episode on Christina Tosi (and have some crack pie nearby in case of a dessert craving emergency).
We popped into the W 87th and Columbus location of Milk Bar for the necessary cereal milk ice cream (add the crunchy toppings, worth it). Seriously, I could eat endless amounts of this stuff. The flavor keeps every bite interesting and you don’t feel sick after eating too much – dangerous.
This location is close to Central Park West, so if you’re visiting the park and want some quality ice cream on a hot day, do yourself a favor, and walk a little further than the normal ice cream stands.
(Also try everything on the menu, because it’s a dream)
This is not your run of the mill bakery. They are a small space with a lot of passion poured into their goodies. Their chocolate ganache cake will melt in your mouth, the loaves of bread are fresh, and the less likely goddess of their menu is the hot chocolate.
Located at W 105th and Broadway, you’ll be able to smell the loaves of bread at least three blocks away. If you’re grabbing something on the go before you start your walk in Riverside Park on a fall day, this will satisfy your sweet tooth and warm your belly. Pair with a cinnamon roll and heaven isn’t too far away.
If you’ve read this far, you can imagine how much pain we were in at this point. The things we do for you, active readers…
We know this isn’t every amazing dessert spot on the UWS, but we chose according to our palettes. Feel free to comment with your favorite! Happy sugar binging, and keep up that NYC walking speed to burn off the extra calories!