Pain au Raisin at Sarabeth's Kitchen
Sarabeth’s Kitchen started as a small shop on the Upper West Side that specialized in top-quality pastries and preserves. With its open kitchen, jars of cookies, and shelves of scones, the Chelsea Market outpost is similarly quaint (and serves sandwiches to boot.) Our tip? Take home a jar of jam and eat a pain au raisin ($2.75) on the spot. The meticulously made French pastry is a swirl of buttery dough that pulls apart into thin, flakey layers. There are just enough raisins to add a chewy, fruity pop to every bite.
Chocolate Ganache Cupcake at Eleni's
Eleni's is best known for its whimsically decorated sugar cookies, though we think the cupcakes might be even better. Take the Chocolate Ganache ($3.70), which starts with a moist, dense, chocolate brownie cake bottom. The intense cake base satisfies the more-is-more chocolate demon in us, and goes the extra mile with a silky chocolate ganache frosting and a scattering of white nonpareil sprinkles. Our favorite part? The hidden vanilla buttercream center. It lightens up this concentrated chocolate sweet.
Raspberry and Cream Popsicle at People's Pops
Deep, ruby red and studded with seeds, the Raspberry & Cream Popsicle ($3.50) is refreshingly tart, fruity, and not too sweet. Though the flavors at People’s Pops change weekly, don’t worry about choosing poorly— we haven’t tried a popsicle there that we didn’t love. It’s not because we have a serious love for fruit pops (though we might) but because they use fresh, local fruit to create the most flavorful, fruit-packed pops we’ve ever had.
People’s Pops:75 9th Avenue New York, NY 10011 (map); 347-850-2388; peoplespops.com
Almondine Bon Bons at Jacques Torres
Jacques Torres has become the go-to chocolate man on the New York sweets scene, and a stop here is mandatory for chocoholics and cookie monsters alike. If you’re overwhelmed by the extraordinary number of confections, try the Almondine Bon Bons ($1.60). Crushed candied almonds are mixed with a smooth chocolate ganache and covered in a thin chocolate shell. Each tiny treat is perfectly balanced: the sweet, almost fruity almonds contrast with the slightly bitter dark chocolate coating. With the Jacques Torres logo embossed on top, these make a nice take-away treat.
Red Witch at Fat Witch Bakery
Ah, Fat Witch. Your fudgy yet cakey brownies lure us in every time. The classic brownie is delicious: moist, chewy, and deeply chocolaty. We’ve recently become enamored of The Red Witch ($2.95), with combines the original brownie with dried cherries. The cherries add a sweet-tart contrast to the intense chocolate flavor.
Yellow Cake with Pink Frosting at Amy's Bread
We used to shy away from buying cake at bakeries, having experienced one too many slices of bland, heavy, dry, just-not-homemade junk. Then Amy’s came along, with its eggy, buttery, vanilla-scented Yellow Cake ($4.65). It’s available with chocolate or vanilla buttercream, but we’re partial to the pink. It’s a thick, sweet frosting that tastes like home and doesn’t leave a film on your lips or crack under your fork. We say the only thing they’re missing is sprinkles.
Pompelmo Campari at L'arte Del Gelato
Pistachio, zuppa inglese, nocciola—we’ve had our fair share of favorites at this little gelato stand that’s tucked away at the back of Chelsea Market. But after we’ve eaten our way from store to store, a cup of the Pompelmo Campari ($4.50) cleans our palate like no other. Bright and balanced between sweet and tangy, it’s got a full grapefruit flavor and smooth, icy texture. With its hint of Campari, we like to think of it as our digestif.