There are few better opportunities to make your mark as the coolest parent on the planet than allowing your kids to skip dinner in favour of a sweets tour of Greenwich Village. When we were in New York City, I really wanted to see the Friends apartment and designed an entire food tour around it.
Opting to forego the official cupcake tour of Greenwich Village that I’d found online (which was about $60 per person), I looked up a bunch of places and mapped it out myself. So to save you the research time, I bring you the unofficial NYC Greenwich Village sweets walking tour map and details!
Attention: if you don’t have a serious sweet tooth or you don’t think your body can handle an influx of sugar and approximately 3,000 calories in a matter of a couple of hours, you might want to do a shopping or cultural tour of Greenwich Village instead and just choose one of these places for dessert.
Greenwich Village sweets tour map
Get yourself to the heart of Greenwich Village by taking the subway to Christopher Street station. Your sweets adventure starts here.
I’ve made a handy Google Map below with all of the locations pinned for easy reference. You might have to click on it to see all of the pins on your screen. I suggest doing the tour in the following order:
- Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleeker St.
- Sockerbit, 89 Christopher St.
- Arianna, 325 Bleeker St.
- Friends apartment, 90 Bedford St.
- Milk & Cookies Bakery, 19 Commerce St.
- Varsano’s Chocolate, 172 West 4th St.
- La Newyorkina, 240 Sullivan St.
What to get on your Greenwich Village sweets tour
In some cases, we knew exactly what to order at each shop thanks to its international reputation while in others we asked staff to make recommendations or we simply sampled a number of things and picked our favourites.
Let’s be clear: THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO DO THIS TOUR.
If you’ve never heard of Magnolia’s banana pudding, then I may need you to book your flights to NYC just for this reason alone. I’ve used the famous banana pudding recipe to make this at home before but this was the first time I’d tried it IRL. I assure you, no matter how good you are in the kitchen — and no matter how closely you follow the directions — it still won’t taste as good as it does fresh from the bakery itself.
Since it’s not very photogenic (being pudding and all), we ordered cupcakes, too. The red velvet minis were very good, though not the best red velvet cupcakes we had (head to Georgetown Cupcake in SoHo another day if you’re a red velvet freak). The pudding, however, was everything I hoped it would be and more. There are two sizes available, so if you’re doing a full sweets tour, get the small one; it’s so rich that two can easily share it.
This Scandanavian candy store is like the IKEA of sweets. It sells everything from hard candy to marshmallows to chocolates, but also really adorable housewares. Grab a paper bag and fill it with as much or as little as you like and you simply pay by weight.
OK, so this isn’t technically a dessert. But we stopped en route because this cupcake display looked so scrumptious that it fooled us into believing they were real! Nope — those are bath bombs. The most expensive bath bomb I’ve ever purchased at US$19, but we couldn’t resist bringing home a momento of our sweets tour.
It doesn’t matter that the cast never actually stepped foot in this apartment. If you loved the series like I did in my teens and early 20s, this is a diehard-fan must. It’s at the corner of Bedford and Grove; look for the restaurant with the red windows and then look up. All there is to do there is look and do a little happy dance on the sidewalk, but it was worth it.
There are no sweets here (unless of course you go into the restaurant to eat, which we did not), but that’s not the point.
Known for its ice cream sandwiches, it was a challenging task to choose just two cookies and a single gelato flavour for our custom order. We went with the double dark chocolate cookie on top, a milk chocolate chip cookie on bottom and a classic vanilla bean gelato in between. It was big enough for the four of us to share and the perfect balance of chewy cookies with crisp edges mixed with a beautifully creamy middle.
Who doesn’t love S’Mores? Well, Varsano’s takes it a step farther and covers a S’More square entirely in milk or dark chocolate. My kids loved it! And I ordered the dark chocolate-covered candied orange peel, which smelled so divine that I ate it before I took a photo. Oops.
Though it’s difficult among this group of stellar sweets shops to write “save the best for last,” I was glad we finished our Greenwich Village sweets tour at La Newyorkina. After inhaling puddings, cupcakes, cookies, gelato and chocolate for hours, palate-cleansing ice pops were a welcome reprieve.
With some of the most interesting ice cream flavours on any menu I’ve seen anywhere, I did first try a mini cone with two tiny scoops of Oaxacan Chocolate Chunk. If you’ve ever tried Toronto’s SOMA Chocolate Mexican Drinking Chocolate, this is very similar. It’s deeply chocolate-y with strong hints of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, with a little chili or cayenne thrown in for a kick. It was so decadent that the mini scoop (affording me about six bites and shared licks from the other three members of my family) was enough.
The real star of the show at La Newyorkina are the paletas — or Mexican-style ice pops. Made from real fruit, these pack HUGE flavour and are very generous in terms of both size and value for money. We tried the pink lemonade and mango flavours and they were incredible. The pink lemonade was super tart with a hint of sweetness at the end, and the mango had small chunks of perfectly ripe mango in it and essentially tasted like someone is dripping ice-cold mango juice in your mouth. Ah-mazing.
I’m sure there are other foodie musts in Greenwich Village, so drop your personal faves into the comments! Happy eating.
DISCLAIMER: There is none. We did this tour on our own dime without any assistance. No one provided gift cards, freebies or suggestions — just good, old-fashioned organic travel.