This is the dessert that made Spot Dessert Bar famous. I love the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake (pictured in feature photo) because it’s unique, the flavors work well together, and the presentation creates an Instagram-worthy boast. The green tea lava inside chocolate cake is a tasty surprise, and the cake itself is on the dark side of the chocolate spectrum. Overall, the experience is a delectable balance of contrasts: sweet and bitter, gooey and crunchy, warm and cool.
Dark horse alert: Spot Dessert Bar recently came out with a Lava Cookie, dark chocolate cookie with matcha lava, and it is to die for. It takes gooey cookie to a whole new level. Go. Spot. Partake.
One word: divine. This is Lady M Cake Boutique’s signature creation. Available in several flavors, but the green tea cake is my favorite. There are almost no words to describe it. Creamy and rich and drool/dream-worthy. Lesson learned: try to go early or right after they restock.
Peanut butter. Gooey peanut butter. Warm, gooey peanut butter in a dark chocolate she’ll that’s crisp on the outside and warm on the inside. Did I mention gooey peanut butter? Levain Bakery has lines forming out of its basement/hole-in-the-wall establishment, usually for their chocolate walnut cookies. As a diehard fan of the chocolate-peanut butter combination though, this is my poison of choice.
Milk Bar is an obsession-worthy, cult-level shop that is worthy of the hype and is on its way to truly becoming a NYC icon. True to owner Christina Tosi’s sweet tooth roots (recently explained in Netflix’s Chef’s Table Season 5, Episode 1), Milk Bar’s cookies and pies are pure shots of sugar that keeps you wanting more, but the true star is the savory Cereal Milk Soft Serve. Perfect for when the dessert craving hits and you’re trying to watch your sugar.
The ChikaLicious brand is run by Chika Tillman, an ex-Wall Street banker who took culinary classes at night and worked at leading NYC restaurants like Gramercy Tavern and was executive pastry chef at Restaurant Bid (at Sotheby’s auction house). ChikaLicious Dessert Bar was opened in 2003 and has wowed fans with its refined dessert experience (date night alert!) that comes with options for wine and tea pairings and a seasonal menu. Come early, sit at the bar, and watch Chika herself prepare your desserts for you in this omakase-esque setting. If there’s no room (the space is pretty limited), there’s a line, or if you don’t have the time to set through a three-course dessert offering, hop on over to Dessert Club, where you can purchase her creations to go.
Levain Bakery: Multiple locations. The flagship location is in the Upper West Side. 167 West 74th Street, New York, NY 10023
Milk Bar: Multiple locations. The location I frequent most is off of Fifth Avenue, near Central Park. 15 W 56th Street, New York, NY 10019
ChikaLicious dessert bar: 203 East 10th Sreet, New York, NY 10003
A foodie in perpetual wanderlust, Rose makes it a mission to sample the best ugly delicious delights around the world, but also enjoys the occasional dress-code-required fare and is always ready for a spot of afternoon tea. Currently based in the Boston area, she has been writing for GMF since 2013 and called DC, NYC, and Mexico City home. Rose is a graduate of the University of Virginia and New York University, and is on the board of the University of Virginia’s Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network as well as the Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund, which supports the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. She pays her bills by helping companies communicate with Wall Street as an investor relations professional.