Best-of Guides New York

Delicious Desserts in NYC

8 Restaurants
"Too full for dessert?" We've never heard of such a thing! At these New York City restaurants, dessert is as delicious, varied, and impressive as are the savory courses. From Meyer lemon and rhubarb pavlova to sinfully dense, rich chocolate cake, these are the best desserts in NYC.
Updated on 18 September 2023
Crown Shy
70 Pine St., 10005 New York
$$$ · Contemporary

This stunning venture from Chef James Kent is set in the landmark art deco tower, 70 Pine Street. The striking lobby leads to a sleek and modern dining room, with soaring ceilings, marble floors, and expansive windows. It’s an undeniable feast for the senses, as the cooking is just as enticing. After such otherworldly delights as Gruyère fritters dusted with lime and chili or white bean hummus with puffy pooris, dig into desserts like satsuma orange ice cream, honey, toasted marshmallow and chocolate tart with stracciatella and sabayon.

Porter House
10 Columbus Circle, 10019 New York
$$$$ · Steakhouse

This is a steakhouse in the moneyed Deutsche Bank Center (née Time Warner Center) after all, so deals here are going down almost as quickly as those bottles of Château Margaux. The food is straightforward, featuring crab cakes with horseradish-mustard sauce and charred cowboy rib steak. End the meal with extremely rich, dense chocolate cake or South Carolina coconut cake, is one fluffy layer after another topped with a smooth and not-too-sweet icing and a heap of shaved coconut for just right crunch.

Marea
240 Central Park South, 10019 New York
$$$$ · Seafood

This ritzy, light-flooded dining room, dressed to the nines with high-gloss Indonesian rosewood, is always filled with movers and shakers. It's hard to beat this scene, but the food has its own appeal. Nothing commences a meal here like the crudo, but other generously sized antipasti, like grilled octopus with smoked potatoes or Nova Scotia lobster paired with burrata offer comfort and flavor. As an homage to this kitchen's creative spirit, desserts like the mascarpone panna cotta are augmented by a cashew tuile, huckleberry mostarda and a scoop of prickly pear sorbet.

Gabriel Kreuther
41 W. 42nd St., 10036 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

This dining room is modern, beautiful and elegant, with neutral grays and plush leather banquettes; it is also spacious and perfect for celebrating special occasions.  Dishes reflect global sensibilities with a strong creative edge. Nowhere is that more clear than in the precisely cut langoustine tartare, topped with a crispy tuile and wonderfully enriched with cauliflower cream. Old-school luxuries extend right through to the cheese trolley, but save space for desserts like a grown-up ice cream sundae with cocoa nib Chantilly or an apple mille-feuille.

Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, 10019 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

An experience at Thomas Keller’s Per Se is one to be savored, treasured, recounted and remembered. Even with those stunning cityscape views afforded by the large windows—and the clever design of the room whereby all tables get to look out—your attention won’t stray far from the plate in front of you. Such is the appeal of the dishes. There are two tasting menus, one of which is vegetarian. Put yourself in the chef's hands and enjoy a meal that is balanced, varied and as seasonal as it gets. The kitchen’s sourcing is legendary and will make you think again about ingredients you consider familiar. For instance, the milk-poached poularde is so exceptionally succulent and flavorsome that any chicken you subsequently sample will seem a disappointment. The meal comes to an exquisite close with desserts like a chic take on "mud pie"—dark chocolate mud cake, liquid caramel, chocolate crémeux, and caramel parfait with sassafras ice cream.

The Musket Room
265 Elizabeth St., 10012 New York
$$$$ · Contemporary

Mary Frances Attea is the master and commander of this restaurant. Sleek glass-framed doors are a noticeable reprieve from the bustling stretch upon which it is set. Inside, the space is rustic in a stunning way—think Danish-style chairs, industrial lighting, and mid-century-modern furniture.
Service is easy yet informed and complements the nature of this food—turned out by an all female-led kitchen team. Heartier yet wholly elegant plates encourage discourse among groups. This is cooking that's contemporary, subtle, and contemplative. To wit: uni toast with poached shrimp and Calabrian chili, or quail with za'atar and fennel. Desserts by Camari Mick, like a springy Meyer lemon and rhubarb pavlova, are thought provoking.

Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., 10019 New York
$$$$ · Seafood

When the definitive history of NYC's dining scene is written, Le Bernardin will have a chapter all to itself. Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert’s icon has been entertaining the city’s movers and shakers for over 20 years and its popularity remains undimmed. Seafood restaurants have no hiding place when it comes to cooking fish or crustaceans and this kitchen always hits its marks—whether that’s poaching halibut, pan-roasting monkfish, baking striped bass or searing tuna. While seafood remains Ripert's passion, his vegetarian tasting menu makes waves with dishes like the Himalayan morel, spring pea and fava bean casserole or the warm artichoke panaché with vegetable risotto and Périgord black truffle vinaigrette. Bid this spread adieu over coconut mousse with shavings of caramelized pineapple.

Cafe Sabarsky
1048 Fifth Ave., 10028 New York
$$ · Austrian

This Museum Mile kaffeehaus is so authentic it may as well be set along Vienna’s Ringstrasse. Instead, find it in a Beaux Arts mansion—home to the Neue Galerie, replete with 20th-century Austrian-and-German art and design. This gorgeous ground-floor den is clad in dark-stained wood with diners seated along a banquette covered in Otto Wagner fabric. It's the cakes and pastries that are the stuff of dreams. Linzer torte and Sachertorte are as classic as they are extraordinary. Feuilletine may be described as a chocolate mousse cake but it is anything but simple with its luscious, well-executed layers.