I Love Cheesecake and NY style cheesecake is amazing! Yes, there is NY style cheesecake outside of New York, all of which I am usually a huge fan, I've even made my own. But nothing compares to real, in person, New York cheesecake. There are a ton of options to try so if you visit NYC there is no shortage of cheesecake to sample. Every restaurant, specialty pastry shop and deli have their own version – although I think some are actually just rebranding/packaging cheesecake from other local bakers – and I love it all. Recently, I decided since I was going to be in NYC for 5 days, I would try a different cheesecake each day… and so I did. Deliciousness every day.
WARNING – Food photos ahead… if you haven't eaten, don't blame me if you want a bite of sugar in a minute. Maybe grab a handful of kale chips and almonds before you continue reading. Please don't expect mind-blowing, magazine quality photographs that you wish you could lick through your screen. I took photos as I was sampling, and sometimes cheesecake eating time in NYC is well after dark. So – just imagine the gloriously delicious photos through my grainy tourist camera lens – believe me, it was mostly all tasty in person.
I decided to sample some of the better known brands of cheesecake along with a couple you might not be familiar with. I'm giving every slice a rating from 0-10 (0 being bad and 10 being awesome) with 2 possible points for each of 5 categories: Appearance, Flavor, Price, Customer service (because everything tastes better when it's delivered with a smile) and overall Lovability.
I am only giving points for the slices of cake I specially ordered. My hubby and son shared in this adventure and I sampled most everything, but to keep things relatively fair, I'm only giving credit for the basic, non-fancy flavored cheesecakes.
In order of my tasting…
Juniors in Time's Square – 9 stars
Appearance – 2, Flavor – 2, Customer Service – 2, Price – 2, Lovability – 1
Junior's is a trend setter and top shelf name in cheesecake. They ship all over the country, so you don't even have to go to New York to have a slice, yet nothing beats fresh out of the kitchen cheesecake. We hit up Junior's at exactly 12 midnight and apparently that's when the restaurant dining area closes. The waitress was just turning us away when the manager came up and said if all we wanted was cheesecake and drinks, we were welcome to surpass the seating area guard and enjoy ourselves… so we did.. and it was AMAZING! The bartender was super nice and the cheesecake was not only delicious, there was enough of it to go around for days. We each tried a different flavor and since we are a sharing family, I was able to sample them all. I went for Plain, my son had the raspberry cheesecake and my husband went after the Carrot Cake cheesecake. This third cake, was, monstrous! Think of a layered cake alternating cheesecake and real carrot cake – so yummy! The only thing I would change, I love graham cracker crusts with my cheesecake and Junior's has a cake-like crust. It's yummy, but I missed that graham yumminess.
Ferrara in Little Italy – 8 Stars
Appearance – 1, Flavor – 2, Customer Service – 2, Price – 2, Lovability – 1
Typically I go to Ferrara's after having dinner at Angelo's and it's a great ending to a delicious evening. This day as no exception, delicious Italian dinner at Angelo's and then dessert at Ferrara. I usually order some kind of gelato but to stick with the cheesecake adventure, I ordered a slice of plain cheesecake. I wasn't able to eat it fresh out of the kitchen because we ordered our cake to go – have you ever tried to eat cake and walk? I can't even chew gum and walk! So I waited until we got back to the hotel. It was good even hours later and filled my dreams with tasty goodness. There was nothing wrong with this cheesecake, but there wasn't anything special about it either. Just good cake served by nice people. Compared to Junior's, this slice was a bit small. I know, I don't need the huge slices, but we're comparing here.
Funny story – I have zero photos of my cheesecake from Ferrara. I took a number of other yummy photos, but apparently I was so excited to grab this slice and go, I forgot to take a photo. So, please enjoy these tasty photos of fruit tarts and other scrumptious desserts from Ferrara… now imagine the cheesecake!
Lindy's in Time's Square – 4 Stars
I really wanted to love Lindy's cheesecake. Lindy's is known for their cake and I walked in with high hopes. However, we sat in our booth for about 30 minutes, repeatedly ignored before I ever got a taste. Then, I paid $10 for an average piece of cheesecake. I don't think it tasted as good as the previous two slices, mostly because the customer services was so bad, I literally had a bad taste in my mouth. We ordered the cake to go because it took so long for someone to take our order, we didn't want to sit there an eat anymore. Once we got our order we headed down to 54th and 6th and grabbed a couple plates of “street meat” – now THAT was delicious!
Appearance – 1, Flavor – 2, Customer Service – 0, Price – 0, Lovability – 1
Cosmic Diner Off 8th and 51st – 7 stars
Appearance – 1, Flavor – 1, Customer Service – 2, Price – 2, Lovability – 1
The Cosmic Diner was across the street from our hotel so we passed it a few times every day. I've never heard of it and I've never eaten there, but at the end of day 4 I remembered I hadn't sampled any cake, so we ran over to the diner to see what they had. It was about 11:30 pm and the owner was right there at the front excited to help us and the place smelled awesome. He said they had been in business for something like 20 some years – at this location maybe 5 or so… it was late, I don't remember the exact details, but I was impressed. The Cosmic Diner a variety of desserts in a traditional dessert cabinet right there are the front and the cheesecake looked scrumptious! We ordered a slice and took it back to the hotel.
Magnolia Bakery in Rockefeller Center – 10 stars
Appearance – 2, Flavor – 2, Customer Service – 2, Price – 2, Lovability – 2
I love love love this Magnolia Bakery cheesecake. I love the creamy flavor, I love the graham crust, I love the unique individual mini cakes vs a traditional slice and I love the atmosphere of the shop. We stopped into two different Magnolia Bakeries during our New York trip and each store was really busy. They are small stores with a great variety, so no matter the size of the line, don't feel like you need to rush to decide, the staff is super friendly and helpful and happy to get you whatever you need. However, don't loiter.. get your goodies and go… there's not enough room in the store to just hang out and chat.
This cheesecake has just the right flavor, with I think, yummy specs of vanilla bean you can see. The crust is sweet and crunchy and moist all at once. The individual cake portion is enough to eat some now and save the rest for later, but I didn't save any for later. I couldn't help myself… I was on vacation! This is a cheesecake I hope to see here in Colorado some time soon.. I'll be first in line to grab some treats!
Because it's so delicious and adorable… here's another yummy view for you to enjoy. Magnolia Bakery offers a variety of cheesecake flavors. I think next I'm grabbing a key lime!
Even more cheesecake tastings – I went to St. Louis for a few days before heading home from my NY trip, so I continued the daily cheesecake routine. I'm saving these reviews for another day, so come on back later and I'll share more delicious views!
Do you love cheesecake? What's your favorite dessert or treat?