If you’re a Parks and Rec fan, you’re probably familiar with Tom and Donna’s hilarious tradition, “Treat Yo Self” day. If you’re not familiar with it, take a minute and watch this video. I will wait for you.
Okay, good. Now that we have that taken care of, I can tell you that, while writing this post, all I could think about was the “treat yo self” mantra. In fact, if you’re looking for a sweet treat, New York City has you covered, a thousand times over. Plus, since you typically end up walking a LOT while in the city, you can feel (slightly) less guilty about indulging in a sugary snack. And if you want to partake in such an indulgence, these are my recommendations for you:
1) The Creme Brulee Doughnut at Doughnut Plant
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t particularly like doughnuts (shocking, I know). That’s why, even though Doughnut Plant is typically held in high esteem by many NYC foodies, I was never that excited about it. Until, that is, I tried the creme brulee doughnut. It is perfection, with a crunchy creme brulee topping on the outside and a gooey glaze in the center. After trying this, I don’t think I’d ever be compelled to order anything else from Doughnut Plant.
2) The Salty Pimp at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
After following along with several NYC-based bloggers and Instagrammers for years, The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop was near the top of my “to do” list this summer – it seems like everybody loves that place! And, after a visit, I totally understand why, as it serves up some delicious, creative treats in a really fun atmosphere. I chose the Salty Pimp mostly so I could utter the phrase, “I’ll have a Salty Pimp,” but luckily, its flavor profile is right up my alley. Dulce de Leche and sea salt? Yes, please.
3) Gelato Popsicles at Popbar
I can sum up everything you need to know about Popbar with this one phrase: gelato on a stick. So simple, yet so brilliant, right? It’s surprising to me that gelato popsicles aren’t more ubiquitous, but perhaps Popbar is simply ahead of the curve. At Popbar, you can choose from a variety of gelato flavors and then specify which toppings and dipping sauce you want. It’s a fun experience, and you leave with a refreshing treat.
(Pro tip: don’t get chocolate on chocolate – it’s way too sweet. I would go for a fruity base next time)
4) Salted Caramel Gelato at Eataly
If you haven’t been to Eataly, Mario Batali’s gigantic Italian supermarket/restaurant/beer garden/mad house, I highly suggest a visit, as it is basically a foodie’s dream come true. The crowds at Eataly can be suffocating, which might deter you, but I have found a reason to persevere and push through the mobs: the salted caramel gelato. Eataly’s gelato is pricy and I initially questioned if the cost was worth it, as I had tried other flavors that were good, but nothing particularly special. And then I tried the salted caramel, and it was a game-changer. Worth every penny.
And so, those are my four favorite sweet spots in New York – for now. Because, while this all might seem like a lot of sugar, you should know that, in the name of self-restraint, there are many other NYC sweets that I didn’t try this summer. When I return next fall, what’s on my list? A cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery, a macaron ice cream sandwich from Francois Payard, and the Neapolitan ice cream cake from Parm.
What about you? What’s your favorite way to indulge while in NYC?