Photo source: Black Tap
New York City is bursting with creativity on every corner.
And that goes for the food — and desserts — too.
For those looking to try something different from the usual New York cheesecake, the following options will have your taste buds going as crazy as the recipes they come from.
Bonus: They’re also all beautiful, making for perfect photos to jazz up your Instagram feed.
1. SugarCube (Long Island City, Queens)
At SugarCube desserts are a work of art — literally! When opening the cafe, owner Peter Zaharatos decided to weave in his architectural background with confectionary, using a 3D printer to create imaginative bars and chocolates.
You’ll find everything from a series of “Historical Black Figures” to modern art that looks like it should be on a canvas more than a chocolate bar. Also of note are the Greek- and Italian-inspired desserts — don’t miss the orange zest cheesecake with Greek sour cherry and raspberry purée — and the gelato in atypical flavors like butter maple cashew and peace raspberry moscato.
Pro tip: Sundays are a great day to visit, as you’ll often find live jazz bands in the evening.
2. Upstate Stock (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
If you like your quirky dessert laced with caffeine, Upstate Stock in Williamsburg doesn’t disappoint. Their most popular offering is a “Camp Fire Latte,” which tastes like a smoky salted caramel as it’s laced with smoked maple syrup.
That being said, the art-adorned matcha latte is an Instagrammer’s dream, and pairs nicely with creative bites like a maple waffle donut from fellow quirky eatery Underwest Donuts, located inside the Westside Highway Carwash.
After satisfying your sweet tooth you can shop their boutique of locally made accessories, many with social good initiatives.
3. Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer (Lower East Side & Midtown, Manhattan)
Now, not only do Black Tap’s imaginative milkshakes taste amazing, but the toppings turn the treat into a quirky work of art. As in, they literally have a section of the menu titled “Crazy Shakes.”
Take their Cotton Candy Milkshake, for example, a strawberry shake with a thick vanilla frosted rim decked out with blue, pink and pearl chocolates. This is then topped with a pillow of cotton candy. Sprouting out from the top is a big swirled lollipop, rock candy sticks, and red and white striped straws.
Another atypical treat: the Cake Batter Shake, where a fat slab of Funfetti cake comes atop a cake batter shake with whipped cream and a cherry on top!
4. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn)
The decadent desserts aren’t the only reason to love Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain – so is the nostalgia. In fact, staff here dress like old time soda jerks in a retro space serving classics like banana splits and egg creams alongside more modern fare.
Note: While egg creams may be a staple to New Yorkers, many visitors haven’t been introduced to this classic. In fact, many consider it the city’s official treat, a mixture of sparkling seltzer, milk and your house of chocolate or vanilla syrup — but no eggs or cream!
Another must-try at Farmacy is the “Sundae of Broken Dreams.” In this indulgent confection, vanilla ice cream gets a taste lift with gooey caramel, broken pretzel bits and frothy whipped cream. Talk about a sugar high!
5. Eggloo (Chinatown, Manhattan)
Head to Chinatown for the craziest waffle cone of your life! Or, as they call them at Eggloo, Hong Kong egg waffles, which use a sweet (vs savory) batter.
Here is how it works:
- First you pick your egg waffle flavor — original, chocolate or green tea.
- Next, it’s time to add the ice cream. Both hard and soft serve is available, with a few of the many options including pumpkin, cherry blossom, black sesame and birthday cake.
- Finally, it’s time to add your toppings; which, by the way, are unlimited! Use your imagination as you decide between Oreo bits, coffee drizzle, mochi, Fruity Pebbles, condensed milk and more!
For an additional quirky dessert twist, Eggloo also offers Insta-worthy made-from-scratch-daily Asian Fusion Cookies in varieties like red bean, durian with Fruity Pebbles and coconut taro.
Bonus: Staff can use these to make you the craziest ice cream sandwich of your life!
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