Explore New York City

Treat Yourself: Places to Indulge Before or After a Show in NYC

Where to find the tastiest desserts to snack on before or after seeing a show in NYC.

Sometimes taking the “Parks & Recreation” catchphrase “treat yo self” literally is the only way to go, especially if you already have plans to see a Broadway or Off-Broadway show. Whether you are looking for a sweet treat to keep your tummy from rumbling before intermission, or a tasty dessert after taking in a fantastic performance, here are some suggestions that fit the bill for pre- or post-show indulgence.


Midtown

Many theatrical performances take place in—you guessed it!—the Theater District. There are presently 40 Broadway theaters and more than a fair few Off-Broadway theaters (including New World Stages, Second Stage Theatre, Playwrights Horizons and New York City Center) in Midtown alone. With so much theater to see, it's not surprising there are so many great dessert places at which to eat. 

With cookies these good, you'll be coming back again and again to try every flavor. Lip-schmackin', indeed. (Courtesy Schmackary's)

Schmackary’s: There are cookies and then there are cookies. Schmackary’s serves the latter, in addition to other yummy baked goods. Though there are some cookie choices that always appear on the menu (Chocolate Chip, Maple Bacon, Funfetti, Red Velvet), Schmackary’s changes their lineup daily to reflect the flavors and holidays of the present season. Stop by in the spring for a Dirty Leprechaun (a dark cocoa cookie with mint chips and semi sweet chocolate). Beat the summer heat with a Key Lime cookie (made with key lime zest and oil, white chocolate, pistachios and graham cracker, all topped with a lime and cream cheese frosting). A staple bakery of the theater community, Schmackary's supports non-profits and other charitable organizations by donating cookies or fundraising. There is minimal seating inside, as well as some outdoor seating when the weather permits.

Junior’s cheesecake
Junior's cheesecake can be found next to the Minskoff Theatre, which is showing “The Lion King.” Both are Broadway treasures that can be enjoyed by the masses. (Courtesy Junior's)

Junior's: Home of "The World's Most Fabulous Cheesecake" and a host of other desserts that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Junior's cheesecake is made with premium cream cheese, fresh heavy cream, eggs and vanilla, and then topped or swirled with fresh fruit, homemade purees, imported chocolates or fresh spices. Every cheesecake is made by hand, right there in the bakery. Delicious cakes, cookies, brownies and bars are also available, but the cheesecake reigns supreme. Indoor and outdoor seating is available and there is also a bakery specifically for to-go orders.

Magnolia: Decadent cupcakes are the stand-out among cookies, cakes, pies and other sweet treats. Classic cupcakes include rich vanilla and dark chocolate topped with chocolate or vanilla buttercream frosting and your choice of hand-colored sprinkles. Specialty cupcakes steal the show, though. Choose from flavors like Hummingbird (banana, pineapple and pecan cake with sweet cream cheese icing topped with toasted pecans), Truffle (devil’s food cake and chocolate or white chocolate truffle filling covered with chocolate ganache) and Lemon (lemon cream filling with lemon meringue buttercream), and others. Everything is made fresh daily and from scratch, using the finest ingredients. There is limited indoor seating.  

Bouchon Bakery's macarons are as yummy as they are pretty. (©Deborah Jones)

Bouchon Bakery: Chef Thomas Keller offers French boulangerie fare in the heart of New York City. Indulge in traditional macarons (available in vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, caramel and seasonal flavors), éclairs, croissants, seasonal muffins, hand-made chocolates and cookies. Limited indoor and outdoor seating is available to enjoy the tasty baked goods. 

The View at the Marriott: New York City's only revolving lounge offers a fantastic view of the city while you enjoy a dessert and cheese buffet (that includes a chocolate fountain service, complete with marshmallows, strawberries, pretzels and other tasty treats to transport that liquidy goodness). The lounge is first-come, first-seated and no reservations are required. 


East Village

When you find yourself in the East Village for a show at The Public Theater, Astor Place Theatre, the New York Theatre Workshop, or several other playhouses, stop in here for something sweet.

Veniero's: Since opening in 1894, this family-run East Village landmark has transformed from a social club that served biscotti to a pasticceria that serves more than 200 varieties of desserts, including biscotti, cheesecakes, specialty cakes, cookies, pastries, cannolis and tarts. The indoor seating area is decorated with Italian Renaissance art and a sky-painted ceiling.


Tribeca

SoHo Rep. puts on innovative contemporary theater year-round. Just a couple blocks west, you can grab some dessert and contemplate what you're about to see.

Bubby's: This restaurant is known for its homestyle American cooking (i.e. comfort food like biscuits, mac n' cheese and BBQ), so it's no suprise that its pie is so popular. Available flavors are dependent upon the season and include apple, banana cream and organic peanut butter chocolate pie. The Tribeca location has indoor seating.


West Village

The West Village is home to several Off-Broadway theaters including the Cherry Lane, Lucille Lortel, Barrow Street, and The Players Theatre, among others. It's also where you can find a quirky bakery that sells extremely delicious things.

Molly's Cupcakes: Though Molly's also serves cookies, pies, homemade ice cream, cheesecakes and bars, the cupcakes rightfully deserve top billing. Baked from scratch using fresh ingredients, you can choose from an array of seasonal favorites (including sinfully sweet center-filled cupcakes like the Peanut Butter Nutella - peanut butter cake, nutella filling, nutella buttercream frosting, dusting of cocoa) or create your own by choosing from available cake flavors, frostings and toppings. There is also a sprinkle station because you can never have too many spinkles on a cupcake. Never. There is indoor seating, including swings that are secured to the ceiling and floor.


Union Square

The Union Square Theatre is not the only theater in Union Square—others include the Vineyard Theatre and the Daryl Roth Theatre. All these theaters are within walking distance from quality chocolate.

Chocolate pizza. Have a slice or three. (Courtesy Max Brenner)
 

Max Brenner: Chocolate, chocolate everywhere, and yes, there's lots to drink. Hot chocolate. Chocolate shakes. Chocolate filled crepes. Chocolate fondue. Chocolate pizza (milk and white chocolate chunks with toppings like roasted marshmallows and melted peanut butter). Even chocolate shots (melted chocolate ganache). Indoor seating is available. Reservations are not required, but this place does get busy so plan accordingly if you want a chocolate fix before your show.


Upper West Side

Central Park is home to the Delacorte Theatre. During the summer, this is where thousands of people enjoy free performances of some of Shakespeare's greatest plays. You know what dessert goes great with Shakespeare? Every dessert.

Visions of Sugar and Plumm will be dancing in your head after indulging here. (Courtesy Sugar and Plumm)

Sugar and Plumm: This bistro sells savory items as well, but it's the handmade desserts that give this place its whimsy. Signature ice cream sundaes and specialty milkshakes are available to chase away the heat of the city. Brownies, cakes and pies can be found on the menu, as well as Earthquake in a Fishbowl (key lime pie, Brooklyn blackout cake, New York cheesecake, butterscotch pudding, vanilla, chocolate and salted caramel ice cream and whipped cream). There are macarons, chocolate bonbons and fondue too. There is indoor and outdoor seating (weather permitting).