Bakeries and Sweet Treats in the Upper West Side

A tray of freshly baked seasonal cupcakes and whoopie pies.
Photo Credit:

With Halloween in the air, it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a sweet something! And lucky for Glenwood residents living on the Upper West Side, there’ss plenty of bakeries in the neighborhood which will cater to any sugary craving! So let your kiddos enjoy their Halloween candy while you dig into the real goodness: cupcakes and cookies and cakes, oh my! We’ve rounded up our five favorite bakeries and spots for sweet treats located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side!

A stack of freshly baked cookies from Levain Bakery in NYC.
Photo Credit: Levain Bakery

If You’re Craving the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie: Levain Bakery

Levain Bakery has somewhat of a cult reputation, and for excellent reason! They make four styles of cookie, which are all hugely ooeey, gooey, thick, and over-the-top scrumptious! The cookie comes in chocolate chip walnut (my personal favorite), dark chocolate chip (my second place runner up), oatmeal raisin, and dark chocolate peanut butter. But of course, the fun here doesn’t stop at just cookies. Come in to satisfy any craving for brioche, sticky buns, pumpkin ginger bread, baguette, or any other delicious baked good treat you can dream up! The line out the door may look a bit daunting, but don’t be intimidated, as it moves quickly.

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For the Best Banana Pudding: Magnolia Bakery 

Banana pudding?”, you’re probably wondering. “But I thought Magnolia Bakery was famous for their cupcakes?!” Well, yes, they are. Don’t get us wrong, their cupcakes are very good! But the real secret here is the banana pudding, which tastes just like my grandma’s from down south (the best banana pudding that side of the Mason Dixon line!) It layers vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding, which merges together like magic. They also have a great selection of bakery items such as icebox pies, brownies, and mini cheesecakes. And while there is minimal seating at the other spots on this list (they’re more of a grab-and-go place), you’ll be pleased to know that Magnolia has a spacious backroom which is perfect for enjoying your sweet treat over coffee or tea with a friend!

A variety of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from Insomnia Cookies in NYC.
Photo Credit: Insomnia Cookies

Craving a Late Night Sweet Treat: Insomnia Cookies

The best part of Insomnia Cookies? They’ll deliver to you all night long! The store was started by college students who had cravings for cookies while studying for finals at 2am, and (shocker!), nothing was open. So, voila! The birth of Insomnia Cookies! But have no fear – if you’re craving a delicious chocolate chip cookie that’s not as thick as the ones you’ll receive at Levain, they are open during the day, too! Along with traditional flavors, they also have seasonal ones, such as the current spiced pumpkin nut.

Treat Yourself with Truffles: Momofuku Milk Bar

Momofuku Milk Bar is home to many unique sweet treats you’ll be hard pressed to find at other bakeries. My favorite? The birthday cake truffles! A three pack of truffles is just enough to satisfy any kind of sweet craving you have, and the soft way they melt in your mouth is pretty reminiscent of eating sugar cookie batter after it’s been refrigerated–delicious! Other staples here worth indulging in are the crack pie (pictured below!), cereal milk soft serve, and cornflake marshmallow cookie.

An array of freshly baked colorful miniature cupcakes from Baked by Melissa in NYC.
Photo Credit: Baked by Melissa

Bite Sized Baked Bliss: Baked by Melissa

Baked by Melissa is most famous for their bite sized cupcakes. In a variety of flavors, from PBJ, to cookie dough, to mint chocolate (my favorite!), there’ss truly a flavor for everyone. These mini cupcakes are perfect if you’re hosting a kid’s birthday party, bringing in a treat for your office mates, or just want to treat that sweet tooth without consuming nearly as many calories as a normal sized cupcake holds. This is my go-to spot for sending a NYC themed birthday treat to my friends and family outside of the city–you place the order, they do all the packing and shipping for you!

Do you have a favorite bakery on the Upper West Side? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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