The sweet life in Harlem and beyond: treat yourself at these 11 bakeries and dessert shops

Updated: Apr 6

A freshly made yeast donut from Super Nice Bakery.

Now more than ever there's nothing more comforting than a bite—fine, maybe a whole plate—of something sweet.

Happily, these uptown bakeries and confectioneries are alway busy churning out mouthwatering treats, from freshly-made donuts to artisanal ice cream.

Here's where to find them:

1. Choc NYC

Inwood 4996 Broadway at 212th St

A wonderland of jewel-like pastries, confections and tarts, including gorgeous pistachio eclairs and delicate flourless cakes.

2. Dulceria

Central Harlem 2220 Frederick Douglass Blvd between W 119th and W 120th Sts

Exquisite Chilean treats, from alfajores (sandwich cookies) to milhojas (a kind of Napoleon), and even empanadas.

3. Harlem Chocolate Factory

Central Harlem 2363 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd between W 138th and W 139th Sts

Resembling a small-but-elegant Strivers' Row parlor, this artisanal chocolate shop specializes in sweets inspired by the neighborhood. Think color-splashed truffles with evocative names like First Nite on Lenox, a mix of smoked peach jam, hazelnut praline and caramel.

4. Lee Lee's Baked Goods

Central Harlem 283 W 118th St and Frederick Douglass Blvd

The scrumptious "rugelach by a brother"—a.k.a Harlem baker Alvin Lee Smalls—comes in three flavors: apricot, raspberry and chocolate.

Lee Lee's rugelach in Harlem
A tray of Lee Lee's rugelach.

5. Levain

Central Harlem 2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd between W 116th and W 117th Sts

Famous for its ginormous (six-ounce) chocolate chip cookies, this cult chain also makes its own brioche, sticky buns and more.

6. Ma Smith's Dessert Cafe

Central Harlem 2380 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and W 139th St

This recently renamed location of iconic Harlem bakery Make My Cake is your one-stop source for all the classics, including red velvet, coconut pineapple and buttercream (in cupcake form, of course, too).

7. Mikey Likes It Ice Cream

Central Harlem 2500 Frederick Douglass Blvd between W 133rd and W 134th Sts

If you really want to treat yourself at this pop culture-inspired ice cream store, get the waffle ice cream sandwich.

8. Mojo Mousse Bar

East Harlem 177 E 100th St between Lexington and Third Aves

A truly one-of-a-kind destination for Belgian mousse made in small batches and served with little gold spoons.

A selection of fresh pastries from Pabade Bakery.

9. Pabade Bakery

East Harlem 135 E 110th St between Park and Lexington Aves

The pastry case here is filled with everything from flaky croissants to buttery financiers (made with almond flour, they're gluten-free). Plus cookies, brownies, vegan muffins and, yes, coffee to wash it all down.

10. Sugar Hill Creamery

• Central Harlem 184 Malcolm X Blvd between W 119th and W 120th Sts

• Hamilton Heights 3629 Broadway between W 149th and W 150th Sts

There are now two locations of Harlem's favorite family-owned ice cream shop, with flavors such as the popular Chairperson of the Board (blueberry cheesecake) and Harlem Sweeties (salted caramel).

11. Super Nice Coffee and Bakery

East Harlem 156 E 117th St between Third and Lexington Aves

This East Harlem bakery has made a name for itself with its hand-made donuts. Some recent options: sprinkle, pistachio, strawberry, and chai-spiced glaze.

For daily updates, follow The Curious Uptowner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

1 comment