So remember how I told you guys that I put on a few pounds since February and I’m allowing myself “one” day a week to eat a meal out and “one” day a week for a cupcake/dessert. Well, this past Saturday I ate the meal portion at Cafeteria, which leaves me “one” day to enjoy the dessert portion. Life is full of choices, you know? 🙂
Today I had a meeting in the Flatiron district and decided to check out The City Bakery since it was around the corner. This place boasts some of the best hot chocolate in NYC. I figured since I’ve already tried the best hot chocolate in the world at Paul’s in London, I’d be able to judge if The City Bakery lives up to the same standard. Here is an image of Paul’s Liquid Hot Chocolate – seriously amazing!
3 W 18th Street (btw. 5th & 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10011
The City Bakery is cute, it almost looks like a Hot Chocolate Factory due to the high ceilings and pillars. There is seating around the corner and plenty more seating upstairs.
American, Bakery, Cafe.
MENU – $$
The City Bakery Menu. Although this is a bakery/cafe sort of place, I wouldn’t exactly say The City Bakery is cheap. Reasonable? Uhmm, not quite.
Take a look at the photos… a small little personal pizza will cost you about $6 here and it probably won’t fill you up. They are famous for their Macaroni & Cheese which is about $14 a pound, a little steep if you ask me.
The Pretzel Croissant is another one of their specialties coming in at $3.75 each.
Drink & Dessert for 1
Hot Chocolate + Cookie = $7.50
RECOMMENDED HEALTHY EATS… choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition. When dining at cafes/bakeries, there is generally nothing healthy on the menu. If you must try something, I suggest splitting the dessert item with a buddy. In addition, at The City Bakery, opt for their salad bar and I’m sure the items keep changing. There is no online nutritional information available for The City Bakery, please use your own discretion when making a decision.
It was my dessert day and I wanted to try their Hot Chocolate to see what the hype was all about. I went up to the cashier and asked for a small hot chocolate and was given the option of milk chocolate or dark chocolate. I went for dark hoping those antioxidants will miraculously slow my aging process. 🙂
My initial thoughts – YUM! This stuff was rich, smooth, creamy, however as I walked home and sipped my hot chocolate, I realized it wasn’t hot enough, but rather lukewarm, I felt it was way too sweet, I felt full rather quickly, and I felt a bit nauseous. My poor stomach!
Now don’t get me wrong, the hot chocolate was good initially, but I could have easily split it with a buddy if there was one to split with, just a tip. Price tag for this hot chocolate, uhmm, $5 for a small. Seriously?!? Yeah yeah, it’s New York, but $5 for Hot Chocolate is a rip-off, anywhere!
I went ahead and made another purchase, something sweet for my husband to enjoy as well. They didn’t have cupcakes so I opted for a Coconut Cookie at $2.50. The cookie was good initially, but way TOO rich and way TOO buttery. I had so much grease left behind on my fingers – YUCK! Furthermore, the cookie wasn’t soft and chewy, but rather crunchy which isn’t exactly what I was hoping for. My husband seemed to like it, but he too mentioned it was crunchy and not soft enough.
VERDICT – 3.5 / 5
Where do I start? I’m all for paying up on food prices in NYC, but this place is way too overpriced for a mediocre cafe. There isn’t exactly a romantic scene going on with candlelight and amazing food, hence why I’m perplexed as to what exactly are we paying for? If you plan on getting hot chocolate and a piece of dessert, expect to spend at least $8, if not more. If you plan on having lunch here with dessert, you will easily spend $20, if not more. In my opinion, there are many other fabulous NYC restaurants that offer great lunch specials, so what’s so special about The City Bakery? Beats me! For the amount you are spending, you aren’t really getting your money’s worth for the amount served. Having said that, if you are a first timer and are in dire need of Hot Chocolate, I would give theirs a chance, it is indulgent and is worth trying at least once.
Thoughts? Thoughts? Thoughts? I’m waiting for a “chocoholic” to completely tear me apart! 🙂
TELL ME: What’s the best “hot chocolate” you’ve tried in New York City?