What to expect when you’re Connecting: Dessert options for ICNY

When your sweet tooth starts demanding attention, do you know where to satisfy it near Inman Connect New York? We did some research on the best places to find a delicious dessert in Midtown Manhattan — focusing on unique options you can’t necessarily find back at home. Whether you’re seeking a sit-down spot where you can connect with your latest and greatest new best friend or just want to walk up and grab some sweet stuff so you can host a party back at your hotel room, there are plenty of places within walking distance (or a quick ride-share excursion away) where you can find whatever dessert you’re craving.

Here are some of our favorite choices for dessert close to the Marriott Marquis Times Square, where all the action will be taking place from January 29 through February 1. If you don’t have your tickets yet, get them now!

1. Shmackary’s
362 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

Who doesn’t love a perfectly baked cookie? That’s what’s on the menu at Shmackary’s, with 75 different recipes that get mixed up every day. You’ll find some traditional cookies available, of course, like “The Classic” (a chocolate chip cookie), but you’ll also find flavors like maple bacon or Mexican hot chocolate (infused with cayenne pepper), plus brownies, macaroons, krispie treats, and more. Schmackary’s doesn’t have a ton of seating, so it’s best to plan on popping in and grabbing a few — or a dozen — cookies to share; don’t forget to load up on coffee or milk, or even a milkshake, to eat with your cookies, too. And if you’re planning on eating them immediately rather than saving them for later, ask the staff to warm them up for you first.

2. Amorino Theater District
Times Square, 721 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036

When you’re the type of person who can’t decide between chocolate or vanilla — or between more exotic flavors — then you need to be patronizing places like Amorino, where you can order a half-and-half combination of gelato and get the best of all worlds. You might have seen the gelato “roses” that Amorino is known for plastered on Instagram, and this is your chance to get your very own social media dessert opportunity if that’s what you’re into. Amorino also carries a selection of pastries and a wide array of gelato, plus plenty of seating inside for relaxing to enjoy your sweet treat. Don’t let the crowds scare you, either; this location sees a lot of foot traffic, and the staff is accustomed to ushering everyone’s order into their hands quickly and efficiently.

3. Baked By Melissa
1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
526 7th Ave, New York, NY 10018

Cupcakes were all the rage a few years ago, it’s true — but if you think you’ve tasted everything that the cupcake trend had to offer and you haven’t tried the mini cupcakes at Baked By Melissa, then you might want to consider jumping on the bandwagon at least one more time. You can buy them in packs of up to 50 cakes, and assembling a mixed-bag pack with a variety of flavors is highly encouraged; the Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Chip Pancake and Tie-Dye cupcakes are especially popular, but you can also order a “Latest & Greatest” pack if you don’t feel like hand-choosing your baby cupcakes. Be warned, these really are bite-sized … but if you’re thinking you might want to eat more than one dessert, the size could be to your distinct advantage.

4. Ample Hills Creamery
600 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

If ice cream in January in New York is your thing (hey, we’re not judging!), then do yourself a solid and hunt down this hidden gem in the Gotham West Market. With fresh-churned ice cream flavors and mostly housemade mix-ins, it’s ice cream from another era where quality was the focus. Every Ample Hills location has its own neighborhood-specific mix you can’t get anywhere else (try the Hell’s Kitchen Sink at this one), but other favorites include an ooey gooey butter cake flavor, salted crack caramel, and more. Got a mini-fridge with a freezer back at the hotel? Invest in a pint; the adorable packaging and decadent ice cream inside will be well worth the effort.

5. Woops!
625 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018

French macarons are the specialty at Woops, and they’re definitely worth checking out, but some folks say that the cookies are even better — the chocolate chip walnut cookie is a particular standout. If you have time (or make time) to sit down and enjoy the ambiance, you’ll find plenty to catch your fancy; the interior is just as sweet and cute as the little macarons peddled here, and although there isn’t much seating, it’s a lovely spot to sip some coffee or a chai latte and catch up on your email. Otherwise, plan to take your macarons back with you to go.

6. Magnolia Bakery
1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020

When you want an excuse to dip inside the Rockefeller Center, why not use dessert? You’ll find cupcakes, pies, mini cheesecakes, cookies, brownies and icebox desserts (pies and bars and classic icebox cake) at Magnolia Bakery, but the standout at this eatery is the aptly named Famous Banana Pudding, available in either classic or chocolate flavors. The classic consists of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and vanilla pudding, while the chocolate features Oreo wafers, chocolate pudding and chocolate shavings on top. Rich and decadent, it’s well worth waiting in line, and then you can stroll around the center while you nibble.

7. Little Pie Company
424 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

The pies aren’t necessarily all that little at the Little Pie Company — you can get a five-inch pie, but you can also order them in eight-inch and ten-inch sizes if you’d like extra pie to share. And pie isn’t the only thing on the menu, either; cake, muffins, turnovers, brownies, cookies and ice cream are also available, in addition to milkshakes, coffee and assorted other drinks. However, if pie is on your mind and you just can’t shake it, this is definitely the place to sate your cravings: The sour cream apple pie and Southern pecan pie are among the favorites, but you can also get berry pie, key lime pie and old-fashioned apple pie (plus a sugarless apple pie variety if you’re trying to be good about your desserts). There’s not much seating to speak of, so you may want to plan to take your pie (little or otherwise) to go.

8. Junior’s Restaurant and Bakery
1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

Junior’s is a restaurant in addition to offering a truly dizzying array of desserts from the bakery, including several varieties of cheesecake that get rave reviews from everyone who tries them. So if you want to pair your dessert with a meal, it’s a great option near the hotel, and the interior is cute as can be (though you may face a wait to grab a table — try the call-ahead seating if you’re in a hurry so you won’t get stuck missing sessions). But if it’s dessert and only dessert that you’re after, you can order straight off the bakery menu, from rugelach to cupcakes to brownies and cookies and layer cakes. The cheesecakes come in regular, medium, large and restaurant sizes, and some flavors are only available in certain sizes, so you might want to check out the menu online and bring a friend or three before you decide; Junior’s has all the standard flavors (plain, strawberry, cherry, blueberry) plus some that you might not have encountered before (carrot cake, apple crumb, brownie explosion or tiramisu).

9. Paris Baguette
567 7th Ave, New York, NY 10018

On the first floor of Paris Baguette, you’ll find the bakery; the second floor is home to more standard mealtime fare, like soups and salads and sandwiches; and the third is devoted for seating, so you have somewhere to enjoy your food. The selection varies by store, but you can usually find slices of some of Paris Baguette’s most popular chiffons and cakes, like the green tea, chocolate or blueberry chiffons, or the chocolate ganache cream cake, subject to availability. Pair your sweet treat with the royal pudding drink (highly recommended), milk, or a frappe or latte (the honey cold brew latte is another standout), then relax and enjoy in the ample seating area — this is one dessert shop that can accommodate friends, though you might not be in the mood to share!

10. Donna Bell’s Bake Shop
301 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

Donna Bell’s features fresh-baked items that might run out before you have time to stop by for lunch, so here’s a tip: Run over there for breakfast and stock up on the items you know you might want to nibble on for dessert later in the day. The 300-square-foot shop isn’t well suited for sitting and enjoying your food, so plan to grab and go, but the good news is that the desserts at Donna Bell’s are quite portable: chocolate chip cookies, krispie treats, banana pudding and a variety of scones top the list of sweets to try … but while you’re there first thing in the morning, you might as well grab one of their famous breakfast biscuit, right?

Did we miss your favorite dessert venue? Let us know in the comments!

Discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York, January 29 – February 1. Jumpstart 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.

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Photo by Hannah Pemberton on Unsplash

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