These days, it’s likely your evening confidants now mostly involve bulk quantities of chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream. Give your bent spoon a night off, and order some dessert from one of the places on this guide. Alternatively, if you’re here to order a dessert for someone in your life - know that you’re an excellent friend and that there’s pretty much no better way to tell someone you love them without a smooch on the mouth.
A quick story: the first time we ever went into Maman’s Soho location for coffee and a cookie, someone was crouching at eye-level with the cookies on display. This gesture said: “I see you, cookie, and you will be mine.” It was striking and kind of sexy. While you can’t mimic this approach in Maman’s bakery right now, you certainly should try it once their cookies arrive at your apartment. They also have DIY cookie kits available if you want to bake at home (or send someone a present).
Unless you’re living with a French pastry chef (if this is the case, well done), you probably won’t be able to make anything that even closely resembles the desserts at Patisserie Chanson in Flatiron. Go to their website to place your order for things like eclairs, macarons, and salted caramel kouign amanns. They deliver all over Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
If you couldn’t glean from the name already, know that Ciao, Gloria specializes in Italian pastries and cookies like biscotti and amaretti, but there are plenty of brownies and full birthday cakes, too. You don’t have to tell them it’s not you’re birthday until July. Go to their website here to place your order.
This is an official motion to substitute all greeting cards with Mekelburg’s chocolate babka instead. It will save paper, it will save friendships, it will make everyone feel extraordinarily loved. You can go to Mekelburg’s website to send someone (or yourself) this new form of greeting card. Plus, both Brooklyn locations have tons of other things to stock your fridge with, like beer, kitchen staples, and sandwiches.
We don’t want to start any civil disobedience among the NYC babka-loving community, but you should also know that Breads Bakery in Union Square and Lincoln Center makes the best version in the city (in addition to all of their other pastries, cookies, and sweets). Okay maybe we do want to start babka-specific civil disobedience.
If you’re looking for some external motivation to get through your workday, Bien Cuit’s chocolate croissants, blondies, and brownies should provide enough sugar and thrill to help out. The Cobble Hill, Midtown East, and Crown Heights locations of this excellent bakery are open for takeout and delivery. And when your boss gives you a “nice work today” message at 6pm, you can pat your belly and thank the fudgy brownie that knew you could do it all along.
The 37th Avenue location of this Colombian bakery in Jackson Heights recently re-opened for takeout and delivery every day from 7am to 7pm. You can order everything from whole cakes and flan to empanadas loaded with juicy beef. Just call 718-478-4691 to place your order.
Martha's Country Bakery
Maybe you’ve been scanning this guide for the word CHEESECAKE. Well, here it is again: CHEESECAKE. Martha’s Country Bakery has ten varieties available for takeout and delivery (as well as a ton of other different cakes, cookies, and pastries). You can call their Bayside, Astoria, and Forest Hills locations to place your order for pick-up or delivery, and order from their Williamsburg location online here.
In addition to their great Thai food, Dek Sen in Elmhurst has a bunch of over-the-top desserts that will make you feel like you’re about ten years old again, and the world is simple and good. Expect lava cakes, fried bananas with fried ice cream, homemade Thai tea ice cream, and rainbow cakes with tons of thin layers. You can place your pick-up or delivery order online or by calling 718-205-5181.
Milk Bar Chelsea
An idea for a Zoom birthday: have everyone order matching cakes from Milk Bar and cut out slices from opposite sides to create the illusion that you’re eating from the same one. In addition to offering takeout and delivery in NYC, Milk Bar is shipping their cakes, pies, and cookies all over the country. You can place your order online.
You don’t need a reason to order yourself a slice of cherry pie. But here are two possible ones: you watched a few episodes of Mad Men where Betty makes mid-century Americana food (think meatloaf, shrimp cocktail, and jello salad) and gets jealous of her kids, or maybe you had a night terror about a monstrous cherry chasing you and you need to reclaim your relationship with the fruit. Either way, Pies ‘n’ Thighs in Williamsburg is prepared to deliver you the goods.
This Astoria spot has donuts, massive cinnamon rolls, and guava turnovers available for delivery and takeout weekdays from 10am to 9pm every day except Mondays. If you want to pair some booze with your dessert, they also have a bunch of to-go cocktails you’ll want to drink on your roof like a watermelon limeade slushie. Check their Instagram for more information.
In case you are deeply comforted by the presence of rugelach and black and white cookies, know that the LES and Navy Yard locations of Russ & Daughters are open for carryout, and their Jewish Museum store is also online. Russ & Daughter’s also ships nationwide, in case your cousin in Austin needs some chocolate babka right now.
You aren’t going to be one of those people that learns how to bake beautiful cakes during quarantine, it’s simply not your style. Luckily both locations of Sugar Sweet Sunshine on the LES are delivering cakes and other pastries all over lower Manhattan. You can place your order for cupcakes, puddings (their banana one is excellent), and whole cakes online.
If you’re uptown and don’t want to wait for your oven to pre-heat to eat something sweet, Orwasher’s is open on the UES and UWS. They serve Jewish pastries like rugelach and hearty black and white cookies that you could feasibly use as plates for other desserts, as well as some great almond croissants.
All of the slightly burned yet doughy cookies you’ve been making are...wonderful in their own rustic way. But, they’re not Levain cookies. If you want to get schooled in cookie anatomy (or make someone outside of NYC very happy), order a few to your apartment or ship a box nationally.
If you’re in Greenpoint or Williamsburg and you want something sweet and celebratory (or, if you’re reading this on behalf of someone else and want to make their day), get some excellent donuts from Peter Pan. They’re open or pick-up orders, starting at 4:30am.
If you need a birthday cake right now and don’t trust yourself to bake one in your fifth floor walk-up, let Mini Melanie handle it. This Chelsea Market bakery is delivering custom cakes of various sizes that you can present to someone you want to watch blow out candles for many years to come. They also have others sweets like chocolate chip cookie dough truffles and tins full of blondies that can be delivered nationwide - call 646-681-4747 or head to their website to order.