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New York has some fantastic baked goods, partially courtesy to the influx of big foreign brands, such as Paris’s Maison Keyser and Ladurée, to name a couple. And thanks to the rise of Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and all those other social media platforms out there (shameless plug, follow us!), there have been some particularly trendy developments of late. Make no mistake though, there are plenty of local classics that keep us happy. Here’s what we recommend to NYC visitors, presented in no particular order:

1. Spot Dessert Bar’s Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake

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.

2. Lady M’s Mille Crêpes Cake

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.

3. Levain Bakery’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie

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.

4. Milk Bar’s Cereal Milk Soft Serve

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.

5. ChikaLicious Dessert Bar’s Prix-fixe Experience 

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.

Address Book

Spot Dessert Bar: Multiple locations. My preferred location is the one in the K-town food court because there is more seating there. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t find a seasonal item. Luckily, the chocolate green tea lava cake and the lava cookie are not seasonal items. 11 W 32nd St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001Lady M Cake Boutique: Multiple locations. The location I frequent the most is the one next to Bryant Park. 36 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018

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