I moved down to the LES/Chinatown recently, and have since discovered some unique NYC treats that are actually worth it. Sure, you will be confronted with the occasional line, and yes, you might have to loosen your belt buckle just a bit, but I promise you these treats are worth indulging in!
Economy Candy - 108 Rivington St., New York, 10002 (212) 254-1531
Economy Candy has been on Rivington Street, on the Lower East Side, for the last 71 years. It looks like what it is – a proper old-style candy store, down to the barrel of scoop-your-own peanuts. The shop has everything you could ever dream of. From the most delicious candies of today (Jelly Bellys galore, everything Wonka, more licorice flavors than seems possible, and even the Harry Potter treats) to those that have been nearly forgotten (Mallo Cups, Valomilk, French Chewy Taffy, Turkish Taffy, and Abba Zabbas); they also have an endless array of homemade dried fruits and nuts, in addition to some of the most dangerously decadent and endlessly tempting chocolatey creations (chocolate covered smores, mmmm).
The Doughnut Plant - 379 Grand St, New York, NY. 10002 - (212) 505-3700
The Doughnut Plant has turned me into a doughnut convert. Their doughy, delicious creations are quite simply out of the world. With sixteen different options, there is something here for everyone’s taste, and any sort of mood. Blackout, for the chocoholics; carrot cake, for the non-traditionalists; tres leches, for the sweet tooth sophisticate; lavender for the “health conscious;” and crème brûlée for any occasion. You just can’t go wrong!
The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory - 65 Bayard St., NY, NY 10013 (212) 608-4170
Okay, so Chinatown isn’t exactly the Lower East Side, but they are so close I’m throwing this spot in for good measure, and the walk over will give you a little exercise to justify your indulgence! When I think of Chinatown, ice cream is certainly one of the last things that comes to mind, but this place is the exception. They have incredible ice cream, with some exotically Chinese flavors – Lychee, Avocado, Zen Butter (peanut butter ice cream with toasted sesame seeds), and Taro – but it is certainly worth it to be adventurous here! And if you aren’t in the mood for something different, I guarantee you’ll be happy with any of their sweet and creamy basics. The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is so loved, they even have their own sneaker!