On Monday, I met my friend Chloe in Manhattan. We typically spend our time on the Upper East Side, but this time we decided to hang in the Village! After an amazing dinner in Chelsea Market, we began planning our shopping route for our Fashion Week wardrobe. But then, we got distracted and decided to do some dessert taste testing! Chloe and I usually grab dessert at Sprinkles or Laudreé when we are on the east side, but since we were in a different area, we tried three new dessert places: Doughnuttery in Chelsea Market, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop on Grove Street, and Bisous, Ciao on Bleecker Street. We based our reviews on Taste, Presentation, Cost, Uniqueness, and Cab Rating (is it worth taking a cab across the city for?). Each dessert place was ranked out of 25 points, and here are our reviews!
Sloane: I really liked this place a lot. It is hidden within Chelsea Market, and the location is so adorable. The doughnuts are tiny, so I didn't feel like I was over-indulging on my dessert. They make the perfect post-dinner sweet treat!
Chloe: This place is really a hidden gem. I've been to Doughnuttery once before and each time it gets better and better. The staff is very friendly and the doughnuts are delightful; it's almost impossible not to get hooked. They are the perfect "I'm already full but I want something sweet" treat, and I would definitely recommend them!
Taste: 4.5 We ordered the Cinnamon Sugar and Cacaoboy (cacao nibs, chocolate cookies, mesquite) flavors. We also ordered a side of Dark Chocolate dipping sauce. Both doughnuts had a really unique taste. They were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside! The only downside is that the doughnuts were a little cold, and we probably would have given them a 5 if they were warm.
Presentation: 4 On one hand, there wasn't anything really special about how the doughnuts were presented; they were just wrapped in a bag. On the other hand, it's supposed to be a simple, sweet treat, so the presentation really couldn't have been intricate. The shop itself is adorable
Cost: 5 Super reasonable! Each doughnut is only a $1, however they are sold in packs, starting at 6 doughnuts for $6. For a Manhattan dessert, that's a pretty great price! In addition, you can get a dipping sauce for only $1 extra.
Uniqueness: 5 There are other doughnut shops in Manhattan, but Doughnuttery is different because the doughnuts are miniature. It's almost like the Baked By Melissa for doughnuts. They are a perfect bite-sized treat, and there's really nothing else like it!
Cab Rating: 3 Doughnuttery is great, but it's not worth a cab ride. If we were already in Chelsea Market, we would be sure to stop by. But if we were in Midtown, we would pass on it.
Overall Rating: 21.5/25
Doughnuttery is a fun and unique dessert shop. It's got a great location in Chelsea, so it's not touristy. The food is delicious, and if you're a big fan, they even sell shirts & other apparel. We would definitely recommend this to friends!
2. Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
Sloane: I've heard a lot about this ice cream shop, so I had pretty high expectations. And, it did not dissapoint. The vibe of the store itself is fun and colorful, and the sundaes have fun names. The ice cream was significantly better than a normal ice cream shop, and I really enjoyed our dessert here!
Chloe: My dad actually turned me on to this ice cream shop, and I could not be more thrilled! If you are looking for an unforgettable ice cream experience, this is the place for you. With delicious sundaes and enthusiastic workers, it’s almost impossible not to smile when you walk through the door. But, it is a very popular sweet-treat stop on a summer day, so be prepared to wait up to about 30 minutes.
Taste: 5 Really, really great taste. We ordered a sundae called "American Globs," which includes vanilla ice cream covered with a chocolate shell, pretzels, and sea salt. The vanilla ice cream was really soft and creamy, and the pretzels added a cool sweet and salty flavoring.
Presentation: 4.5 The atmosphere of the shop is really fun! They cover their store with rainbow-colored artwork and unicorns (which we think is their mascot?). The ice cream comes in a cup, but they still include the cone just in case you want it!
Cost: 3.5 Our sundae was about $6. So it's not the cheapest ice cream in the city, but not the most expensive either. Overall, it's a pretty reasonable price.
Uniqueness: 5 The name really says it all; this place is no ordianry ice cream store.
Cab Rating: 4.5 We actually did take a cab to come here, partially because we really wanted to try it, but partially because it was freezing cold in the city! It is definitely worth the trip!
Overall Rating: 22.5/25
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop has awesome ice cream and an awesome vibe. It is totally worth checking out if you're in the mood for ice cream!
3. Bisous, Ciao Macarons
Sloane: I don't even want to talk about this place because I'm still mad.
Chloe: Unfortunately these macaroons did not live up to par. I actually had pretty high expectations because of the awesome location and adorable shop, but the macaroons themselves were a disappointment. The ratio of shell to filling was completely off, and after indulging in Laduree and Bouchon for the last 2+ years, they ultimately could not compare. I do have to say that these were much better than the macaroons we attempted to make last year, because those were a complete fail.
Taste: 1 Not the best macarons we've ever had. We tried the Salted Caramel and Vanilla flavors. The layers were weird and didn't taste right. All macaron connoisseur, like ourselves, know that there's supposed to be a unique combination of crunchy and fluffyness, with an airy layer separating the filling and the shell. This layer did not exist in these macarons, and we were dissapointed. There was way too much filling in the middle, which made the flavor too strong for a delicate macaron.
Presentation: 3.5 The shop itself is really nice, and clean. They only sell macarons, and they have a lot of different flavors, which is kind of cool. The macarons came in cute little bags, and if you buy enough of them (maybe 16 of them?) they put them in a cute tree formation.
Cost: 1 These little french cookies were WAY too expensive. $2.75 for one macaron?! Yes, this is Manhattan, but that's a ridiculous price. We were expecting basically the best macaron in the world for that price, and they were not good.
Uniquenes: 1 It's a macaron shop...in Manhattan. There was actually another store selling macarons right next to it, and one right up the block.
Cab Rating: 1 If you're going to take a cab for macarons, go to Laudreé or Bouchon. Those places are WORTH IT. Bisous, Ciao is NOT.
Overall Rating: 7.5/25
One word: dissapointment.
We had a blast trying some new desserts in a different neighborhood!