10 Must-Try Desserts That Aren’t a Cronut

By Zagat Staff  |  July 29, 2013

Though everyone is waiting in the hot summer sun outside the Dominque Ansel Bakery in SoHo, you could always opt to visit an air-conditioned restaurant and get your sugar fix without the hassle. We’ve rounded up our favorite new desserts right here - some are at just-opened restaurants, others are at old favorites that have updated their lists, and none of them involve getting in line at 6 AM.

Photos: Gabi Porter

  • Sugar and Plumm: Ebelskiver

    The Danish treat is available at the Back Room in the Bleecker Street sweets shop Sugar and Plumm. The pancake sphere is offered in flavors like apple caramel, berry jam and chocolate Nutella. There are also a few savory options like spinach and mushrooms, and tomato mozzarella. The bites are served in groups - two for $5, four for $9 and six for $14. If that’s not enough for you, pair them with a new milkshake dubbed the Fluffernutter, which is a combo of peanut butter swirl ice cream and housemade marshmallows.

    37 Cornelia St.; 212-388-5757

  • The Musket Room: Pavlova

    Get your dessert fix New Zealand-style at this recent opening in Nolita. The light, meringue-based treat is made with passion fruit and topped with strawberries and cream. It’s light and airy enough that you can walk away without feeling any guilt (or you can transfer said guilt over to the booze department by ordering another round from its excellent list).

    265 Elizabeth St.; 212-219-0764

  • Credit: Alden Gewirtz

    Distilled: S’mores

    Summer means it's time for the classic marshmallow and chocolate treat, but you’re not going to find so many campfires in NYC. Stop by this TriBeCa newcomer instead to try its take on the classic, which avoids the fire and the sticky fingers that come with. The plate is made with housemade graham crackers and chunks of graham cracker cake served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate mousse. Then it’s time for the marshmallow, which is smeared over the dish and torched right before serving.

    211 W. Broadway; 212-601-9514

  • Maison Premiere: Rhubarb Shortbread

    Once you’ve had your share of oysters at this Williamburg restaurant and cocktail bar, hit the spiced rhubarb shortbread, which eschews gobs of sugar for some chai spice and ginger curd. It’s also topped with some strawberries and goes great with the dessert cocktails on the list (the spice really pairs well with absinthe).

    298 Bedford Ave.; 347-335-0446

  • The Nook at Red Rooster: Snow Cones

    If you need to beat the Harlem heat, hit up The Nook, the small stand at the entrance of Marcus Samuelsson’s New American restaurant. Pastry chef Deborah Racicot is dishing out a selection of snow cones this summer from 11 AM-5:30 PM. Expect flavors like tres leches with white chocolate, and cucumber watermelon. The cool-offs are available for $6 each.

    310 Lenox Ave.; 212-792-9001

  • Catch: Banana Brulée Split

    Pastry chef and Zagat 30 Under 30 honoree Thiago Silva just put an epic ice cream sundae on the menu at Meatpacking District hot spot Catch. This eyepopper has been on the list for a while, but the maestro recently updated the ice cream flavors to include cherry frozen yogurt, cinnamon milk chocolate and cookies 'n' cream. The artfully aranged plate is like a deconstructed banana split, allowing you to savor the flavors in each bite instead of having them congeal into a gooey pile of mush. The crowd here is fashionable (aka waistline-obsessed), but don't worry, this dish makes for good sharing. 

    21 Ninth Ave.; 212-392-5978

  • The FourthQuatrième Coffee Pot of Crème

    This frozen dessert, made with the restaurant’s own blend of coffee, can be enjoyed after dinner or bought at the grab-and-go counter during the AM hours. It’s rich, creamy and cool, making it a great treat for the season.

    132 Fourth Ave.; 212-432-1324

  • Aldea: Gianduja Mousse

    Paging Nutella fans! Pastry chef Miroslav Uskoković is putting his spin on a Nutella and banana combination with his gianduja mousse. Orange pound cake is topped with a banana-based brûlée and gianduja mousse with Nutella powder and frozen Greek yogurt. The dessert follows George Mendes’ new menu, which expands the restaurant's focus from Portugal proper to the cuisine of the country’s colonies.

    31 W. 17th St.; 212-675-7233

  • DBGB: Baked Alaska

    The baked Alaska has been on the menu at this Daniel Boulud bistro for quite some time, but it gets a face-lift with the changing seasons. This one, which looks like it's all dressed up for the Easter Parade, has pistachio and strawberry ice cream layers, a little frozen yogurt, a fine layer of pistachio cake to wrap it up nice and snug, and French meringue. The whole thing is doused in kirsch and set on fire tableside. We are 100% behind this "everything old is new again" trend, especially if it means that chef Mymi Eberhardt will continue turning out desserts like this.

    299 Bowery; 212-933-5300

  • Doughnuttery: Donuts

    Chelsea Market is changing by leaps and bounds these days, and as we were wandering the old Nabisco halls and dodging tourists and Food Network employees, we found this spot tucked away in the little alcove by the 15th Street-side entrance. The Doughnuttery sells tiny donuts, and that's it. It's a magical little corner with an assembly line that pumps little batter discs into a tiny oil-bath conveyor belt with the cutest autoflipper imaginable. The mini donuts are flipped out onto a wire rack and sold by the half dozen or dozen, and they have a whole menu of exotic sugars you can choose to have your little fried pillows tossed in. We chose a vanilla and lavender sugar, because we're fancy like that.

    425 W. 15th St.; 212-633-4359