Spot Dessert Bar! You’ve probably been before. But I’m going to remind you to go back and take the kids this time. As a (strange) person who does not like ice cream but DOES enjoy a sweet bite after dinner, Spot has held a special place in my heart for awhile now.
Spot opened in 2009 on St Marks Place as a partnership between its Thai-born owners and the Iron Chef of Thailand, Chef Ian Kittichai. A fairly novel concept in New York then, and sadly, STILL not all that common today, Spot offers a waiter service dessert experience as late as 1am on certain nights. The desserts, themselves, are novel, too.
When you walk into Spot you immediately notice the large posters advertising their Signature Desserts. Sure, you can ignore those and, like my younger daughter did, opt for a chocolate chip cookie. There’s also ice cream and bubble tea. But when you are at Spot, I most definitely recommend trying one of Chef Kittichai’s classic or ever evolving seasonal signature treats.
Probably the most Instagram-able offering at Spot Dessert is The Harvest - layers of berries, soft cheesecake, Oreo crumbs, earl grey milk tea served with raspberry sorbet - because said dish is served in a plant pot, with the Oreo crumbs mimicking dirt. My husband loves their Matcha Lava (a green tea take on the classic chocolate version) and our waiter told us it is the most popular dish at Spot. Our older daughter was in LOVE with her Cookie Camp - a fresh half baked marshmallow cookie, pretzels, cookie crumbs served with condensed milk ice cream. Meanwhile I’m pretty sure that EVERY time I’ve visited Spot, I get the classic Golden Toast. This slightly savory dish of warm crispy honey buttered toast with strawberries and condensed milk ice cream just works so well for me (the butter is just a touch sweet from the honey and the toast is perfectly crisp). The signature desserts are generally each $11.95 and well worth it.
Another great thing about Spot is its atmosphere is perfectly New York. The flagship store on St. Marks is tight narrow quarters but the staff makes it run so well and the clientele is usually friendly and happy to be there that you never mind. It’s a casual spot and very welcoming to kids. It does get crowded at night, so note that Spot allows you to join a virtual wait list before you arrive. And if you instead put your name down in person, the system will text you when your table is ready, allowing you to roam nearby instead of lingering by the door.
What started ten years ago as a single shop on St. Marks Place is now a NYC mini-chain. Today Spot Dessert has two locations on St Marks (the location at 5 St Marks being a “take out spot” without a bathroom or liquor license and 13 St Marks being the “flagship” location), plus a location at 11 West 32nd Street Floor 2 in Koreatown and 39-16 Prince Street in Flushing, Queens.
Pro Tip: If your kids are anything like mine, take them to The Bao located directly above the flagship Spot Dessert Bar for great soup dumplings before dessert.