While most parents do their best to avoid overloading their kids on sugar, the occasional indulgence is a rite of passage in childhood. Whether it’s a slice of birthday cake, an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, or a holiday-themed cookie, the prospect of enjoying a special dessert is always appealing to little ones. Sweet-toothed Manhattanites are particularly fortunate, thanks to the city’s ever-expanding wealth of dessert destinations. If you’re eager to take your little one out for a special treat, here’s where to head to ensure you get this year’s “coolest parent ever” badge:
Dylan’s Candy Bar | 1011 Third Avenue
When it comes to kids, the Upper East Side has it all, from kid-friendly luxury buildings, like The Kent, which boasts a camp-themed kids’ playroom, enormous indoor pool, and Lenny Kravitz-designed recording studio, to the best dessert spots in town. Among the most notable is Dylan’s Candy Bar, a dessert mecca founded by Dylan Lauren, daughter of famed designer Ralph Lauren. Whether your passion is candy, milkshakes, cookies, or chocolate, you’ll find it all at Dylan’s Candy Bar. The store’s flagship location on 60th Street is a celebration of all things sugary, with candy-themed décor, music, and virtually every sweet treat imaginable right at your fingertips.
Momofuku Milk Bar | 251 East 13th Street
Momofuku Milk Bar’s unbelievable cookie combinations are a treat the whole family will love. Unique flavors, like the corn cookie, cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookie, or the famous compost cookie, which combines potato chips, pretzels, graham crackers, chocolate chips, butterscotch, oats, and coffee, will delight even the pickiest palates, and their 6-cookie to-go tins make it easy to enjoy these treats at home, too.
Dough | 700 Eighth Avenue
Kids will delight in the massive portions and parents will delight in the grown-up flavors available at this charming chain of NYC donut shops. Not your average coffee shop donuts, Dough’s delightful desserts come in flavors like hibiscus, passion fruit, horchata, matcha, and blood orange.
Billy’s Bakery | 184 Ninth Avenue
Enjoy a sweet treat at this cozy Chelsea bakery for a taste of home. Decorated like your grandma’s kitchen and churning out lovingly-prepared cookies, cupcakes, and brownies that taste just like home, Billy’s is always comfortable for kids and parents alike. Whether you’re stopping in for a slice of lemon loaf for breakfast or Billy’s famous banana cake for dessert, there’s no wrong choice on this menu.
Serendipity III | 225 East 60th Street
If you’re looking for a dessert that will leave your little ones delighted and stuffed, look no further than Serendipity. This Upper East Side institution is famous for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, an oversized dish of hot cocoa blended with ice and topped with a mountain of whipped cream. For those who don’t like drinking their dessert, the menu also boasts fruit and fudge fondue, pecan pie, chocolate mousse cake, and a long list of equally decadent sundaes.
No matter what neighborhood you find yourself in, there’s no place that compares to New York when it comes to dessert. Uptown, downtown, or anywhere in between, life with your little ones is always a little sweeter in the city.