Once the New Yorker has had their fill of bagels and pizza, only another classic New York food will hit the spot. From traditional versions to Japanese and French interpretations, nothing satisfies the local’s sweet tooth like cheesecake. Lactose-interolerant readers needn’t continue: here are the best cheesecakes in New York City.
New Yorkers have been sweet on Eileen’s Special Cheesecake since the 1970s, when Eileen Avezzano sold her first of many traditional New York cheesecakes. Today, the Nolita kitchen churns out more than 20 flavors, including Mandarin Orange and Kahlua, in addition to Avezzano’s classic recipe.
Even the creator behind trendy treats like the cronut can’t resist this New York classic. Predictably, however, the Cotton Soft cheesecake at Dominque Ansel Bakery is, well, unpredictable: whipped whole-milk ricotta is spread atop a moist almond sponge before being torched. The result? A lighter cheesecake begging for its crème brûlée-like coating to be cracked.
The Upper East Side’s Two Little Red Hens may be an American bakery, but its cheesecakes are pure New York. Classic, cherry, and pumpkin flavors keep things simple, while thoughtful touches such as a housemade toasted graham cracker crust and strong sour notes prevent tradition from tasting tired.
Junior’s is a New York City staple for a reason, or rather, two reasons: Philadelphia cream cheese and sponge cake. These are the humble main ingredients of the beloved cheesecake at this Downtown Brooklyn mainstay, where rounds are still hand-mixed and baked daily like they were 68 years ago.
Cheesecake connoisseurs can attest to the unique deliciousness of Japanese cheesecake. However, it doesn’t take an expert to explain the popularity of Keki Modern Cakes’ Bouncy Cheesecake. Local organic milk, Amish cream cheese, and organic free-range eggs are combined in this recipe from Osaka, Japan to create an airy, silky cheesecake that’s as good to play with as it is to eat.
Many would be surprised to learn that one of New York City’s best desserts can be found in College Point, Queens. What La Cheesecake lacks in a fashionable address (and a seating area), the 38-year-old bakery makes up for in quality: the spot’s cream cheese and chewy sponge cheesecake is a foodie favorite.
At Pasticceria Rocco, cheesecakes taste just like Nonna used to make. The Generoso family has been preparing its Italian cheesecake recipe for nearly 45 years, during which time Pasticceria Rocco has perfected its crustless fresh ricotta dessert.
Even self-proclaimed Manhattan lifers leave the island when an S&S Cheesecake craving strikes. With their fluffy sponge crust and browned edges, these all-cream cheesecakes are worth the trip to this residential area of the Bronx. Tip: you can also snag an S&S slice (or two) at local restaurants including Peter Luger.