Top Spots for Sugar-Free Desserts in New York City

Avo Smoothie
Avo Smoothie | Courtesy of Avocaderia

Living in New York City can be stressful. Between the air pollution, noise pollution, and human pollution during rush hour, any New Yorker would be forgiven for de-stressing with food. It’s all too easy to melt into the New York City food scene — with new restaurants opening all the time, it’s practically your responsibility as a New Yorker. However, for those trying to stay healthy in the city, this isn’t the best idea. We culled through our favorite places and found the top 10 spots for a dessert that will melt away your stress without making you feel guilty the next day. From Filipino fruits to sugar-free Pop Tarts, these are the places where you can satisfy your sweet tooth andthe rest of your body.

1. The Protein Bakery

Bakery, American

The blondies at Protein Bakery are in disguise: they may look like sugary guilty secrets, but the all-natural desserts are actually more like protein bars. The sweets are made with rolled oats, light brown sugar, high-grade chocolate and, to really pack a punch, whey protein concentrate.

2. Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit Co.

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert

For sweet tooths looking for a fix in the warmer months, Chloe’s Soft Serve is the perfect destination for a dessert that won’t set you back. The dairy-free soft serve is made of fruit, water, and just a hint of cane sugar, so you can indulge without any post-dessert remorse.

3. Sans Bakery

Bakery, Dessert, Pastries, Vegetarian

This bakery operates under the maxim that gluten-free doesn’t have to mean flavor-free. That idea applies to their sugarless selection, too. The zucchini and banana breads could even make you forget the word “sugar.” A brick-and-mortar shop just popped up at the Falchi Building in Long Island City, but you can order online or find their goods in NYC establishments like Bluestone Lane, THINK Coffee and Cafe Grumpy.

4. Vegan Divas

Bakery, Dessert

If you want to know exactly what is going into your dessert, this uptown bakery will let you know. They don’t use any animal products, and base most of their baked goods on organic spelt flour and maple syrup. Many products are not only gluten-free but rich in fiber and protein. For those who need to know more, every single ingredient in their menu is listed on their website.

5. Juice Generation

Juice Bar, Healthy

Although the juice fad may have started in California, New Yorkers have adopted juice as their own. To those who want to finish their meals with something a bit healthier, Juice Generation has plenty of tempting offerings. For those looking to go even healthier, add in a wheatgrass shot.

6. Hu Kitchen's Mashbar

Restaurant, Bar, Healthy

Over the past year, Hu Kitchen has taken the downtown lunch crowd by storm. The ultra-healthy menu is a great excuse to get out of the office. But it’s the Mashbar that really keeps everyone coming back. The DIY sundae bar is dairy-free and paleo, and chock-full of healthy, tasty bases like homemade chia pudding, taro pudding, and cashew cream.

7. People's Pops

Dessert Shop, Dessert

People’s Pops are an NYC summertime staple. They’re handmade in Brooklyn from fruit bought fresh from NYC greenmarkets. Each pop comes in at under 100 calories, and their menu is constantly changing based on what’s in season. Although there are locations all over the city (and at Smorgasburg on the weekends), we love walking to the High Line location and strolling through the elevated park with a fruity popsicle in hand.

8. Jennifer's Way Bakery

Bakery, Dessert

This downtown bakery was specially made for people who want to avoid gluten, but the ultra-healthy menu also excludes dairy, soy, refined sugar, and peanuts. That doesn’t mean the menu is boring. In fact, visitors will be delighted with Old Fashioned (vegan) Pop Tarts, pretzels, cookies and even cupcakes.

9. Ube Kitchen

Farmers' Market, Market, Food Court, Food Stall, Food Stand, Philippine

Foodies from around the city flock to the Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
© Frances Roberts / Alamy Stock Photo

This Filipino place sets up at Smorgasburg every weekend, and offers tasty made-to-Instagram treats. The Classic Halo Halo is a dragon fruit shell filled to the brim with ube ice cream, fresh berries, mango, tapioca, red mung beans and a coconut milk sauce.

10. Avocaderia

Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy

This all-avocado eatery made a splash when it opened, with New Yorkers lining out the door to get their fix. Now the world’s first avocado bar is also serving up avo-desserts. The new AvoMangoSmoothie is the best way to satisfy your sweet tooth and your digestive system at the same time.

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