Something about summer just makes me crave sweet treats constantly. Perhaps it’s all the walking around town or the heat that makes my stomach grumble, or maybe it’s just the overabundance of desirable snacks at my fingertips. If you’re like me, then you’ll know that a sweet tooth is inescapable! So why not stop fighting it and just embrace it?
With coffee shops, tea rooms, ice cream stands, and cafés on every street corner, grabbing a quick afternoon snack is a piece of cake. Here are my recommendations for the perfect summer snacks awaiting you in the city:
The Tea Spot (127 Macdougal St.): This cozy little café offers some of the best tea in the city. In the summer months, the Tea Spot’s fruit based iced tea offers a deliciously cool relief from the sticky heat. Bring a book or a friend and relax a while before heading back out.
Tea and Sympathy (108 Greenwich Ave): Tea and Sympathy is situated in the short block between 7th and 8th Ave known as Little Britain. This tiny restaurant has a homey feel to it, with the crooked paintings on the wall and floral print wallpaper. Tea and Sympathy offers a wide selection of teas, served in adorable teapots as well as traditional British scones. In the summer months, the iced tea of the day or lemonade really hits the spot. Tea and Sympathy also has some of the heartiest desserts on the planet, all served warm in a pool of custard. No doubt you will be left wanting more. I especially recommend the apple crumble as a fun summer treat.
Ten Ren Tea Time (79 Mott St): Head down to Chinatown for some delicious bubble tea at decent prices. Of all the bubble tea restaurants I have tried, I am most pleased with Ten Ren. They serve a large bubble tea (we’re talking big) for $4.50, and their tapioca pearls are never too hard. Their teas are just sweet enough, and they offer a variety of fruity and non-fruity flavors.
Think Coffee (248 Mercer St or 1 Bleeker St): Great lemonade, iced coffees, and iced teas (perfect summer treats)await you in this hip environment. Think serves environmentally-friendly coffees and teas purchased in a way that actually benefits the farmers. Sit at the bar and work or read all day. Think also serves wine.
Sunburst Espresso Bar (206 3rd Ave): At Sunburst, you’ll find reasonably priced coffee and teas as well as homemade scones somewhat off the beaten path. Sunburst has both indoor and outdoor seating, and is usually without a huge crowd so you can lounge a while as you sip on your beverage.
Gimme! Coffee (228 Mott St): A New York coffee chain that began in Ithaca, NY, has now found its way into Manhattan and Brooklyn. Gimme! Coffee has been labeled “hands, shoulders, ears, and skull above any cup of coffee we’ve tasted, anywhere” by the New York Press. What does that means for us? Gimme! makes a perfect shot of espresso that both gives us a boost and tastes mighty delicious.
ICE CREAM STOPS
Sundaes and Cones (95 E 10th St): This cute ice-cream shop is situated in the East Village on a quiet block. The menu offers an array of classic flavors as well as exciting new flavors such as Red Bean, Taro, Lychee, and Ginger. The customer service is great, and there is indoor seating as well as benches outside. Grab a cone and enjoy!
Otto (1 Fifth Ave): This pizzeria and wine bar offers some of the best gelato I have ever had in the states. I ordered a combination of dark chocolate, clementine, and vanilla and practically licked the bowl clean. The gelato is handmade in the restaurant daily by pastry chef Meredith Kurtzman. The flavors are infused with fresh fruit, mint, and chocolate, creating a rich and creamy treat. For $7, you can mix and match three flavors – the perfect amount for sharing (though you won’t want to)!
Pasticcerie Bruno (506 Laguardia Place): This bakery makes some of the best pastries for affordable prices this side of Italy. With both French and Italian dessert classics, it’s hard to go wrong. The fresh fruit tarts are too die for and so is the tiramisu. Patisserie Bruno also serves up some refreshing gelato for those muggy afternoons. Make sure you don’t decide to visit Pasticcerie Bruno on an empty stomach. The results could be dangerous!