We’ve all been there. It’s mid-afternoon and you’re on a sugar low. You need a little something sweet before you end up taking a spontaneous nap where you’re standing.
If you happen to find yourself in Dumbo when the cravings hit, you’re in the right place. From gourmet chocolate to French pastries to thick milkshakes, Dumbo has a wealth of options to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The cupcakes, cookies, and whoopie pies at this cozy bakery and café look almost too pretty to eat. Once you take a bite, though, all bets are off. Dawn Casale — the chef, co-owner, and “one girl” — gives her cookies names like Sadie (an orange butter cookie topped with shredded coconut) and Juliette (chocolate cinnamon ganache sandwiched between two hazelnut cookies). Fittingly, the interior of the café, with its light blue accents, is as much a feast for the eyes as the baked goods are.
The very famous Chocolate Chip Cookie | Meghan H. via Yelp
A former pastry chef at Le Cirque, Jacques Torres set up shop in Dumbo way back in 2000. His mission was to make hand-crafted, premium chocolates without preservatives, additives, extracts, oils or essences. Warning: chocolate lovers may pass out upon entering the store. If you can’t decide between dark chocolate candy bars, pistachio-marzipan bon-bons, fresh croissants, chocolate-peanut-brittle, chocolate-covered corn flakes, spicy hot chocolate or the ice cream from his shop next door… don’t panic. You can always come back for more.
Macaroon fruit tarts | Almondine via Facebook
If you don’t have the time for a quick jaunt over to Paris for your afternoon snack, the next best thing is Almondine. Their intricately constructed macarons, tartes and gateaux look as if they could serve as centerpieces in their own right. The crème brûlée, chocolate éclairs, and chocolate-almond croissants are other fan favorites. And it’s not just sweet stuff: you will want to make sure you leave with at least one loaf of freshly baked organic bread.
Frozen Custard | Shake Shack via Facebook
The Dumbo outpost of Danny Meyer’s rapidly growing chain of high-end burger joints is a godsend (or foul temptation) for Dumbo ice cream lovers. Their rich frozen custard is made from real sugar and hormone-free milk, and serves as the base for a whole host of desserts, including cones, shakes, floats, and concretes (super-thick milkshakes with syrups and other goodies stirred in for good measure.) Custard flavors and concrete concoctions rotate constantly — check their website for a calendar of offerings.
Tucked away in the lobby of 68 Jay Street — the inspiration for their name — this pastry shop offers delicate, expertly made cookies, cakes, and pastries. Owner and chef Ayako Kurokawa was once the patissier for MoMA, and she makes cakes and cookies to order. Their madeleines may send you into a Proustian reverie.