Myriad specialty desserts spots in Flushing will offer you a glimpse of the neighborhood’s rich diversity and dynamism. Whether you’re seeking a late-night sugar rush or an elegant afternoon tea, our bustling neighborhood will surprise and delight! Yes, Flushing is a great place for a piping hot bowl of noodle soup for lunch or an expansive Cantonese banquet for dinner, but afterwards take a stroll along Prince Street, down 37th Avenue, or along Main Street and make your desserts a high point, rather than an end point to your meal. Here are a few places worthy of your taste buds:
This cozy dessert nook offers authentic as well as unusual Hong Kong-style desserts. While their black sesame paste sweet soup may be novel to the western palate, served hot, it’s actually deeply comforting and satisfying. This dessert may be just the thing before heading out on a chilly Friday. Their menu is organized around different categories of desserts, for example, there are fresh fruits served with either sago pudding or grass jelly, sweet crepes, sweet chewy balls, and a standalone category of durian desserts. Their creamy mango pomelo with grass jelly is a feast of contrasting textures, with crunchy fruit and wobbly jelly. Their mango sago pudding is light and refreshing, a perfect choice to cleanse the palate after a heavy meal. The durian supreme, combines the smoothness of custard with the custard-like, soft texture of durian flesh.
37-06 Prince St, Flushing, NY 11354 | Hours: Noon to 12 a.m.
Thai Iron Chef Ian Kittichan is reinventing dessert. And judging by his fusion dessert bar, it’s easy to see why he has been chosen as a judge for Thailand’s own Top Chef series. More of a bakery than a bar, the high point of his current menu, which changes with the seasons, is his take on cheesecake. With a puff pastry base, glazed edible roses and raspberries, this rich, dense offering is a favorite Valentine’s Day treat. His signature golden toast would satisfy the most craven sweet lover. Freshly baked sweet bread is toasted on honey butter giving it a crisp outer crust and deliciously soft interior. Served with condensed milk ice cream, strawberries and cream . . . it is a dreamy sweet treat. Keep an eye out for their special events and tasting menus.
Spot Dessert Bar
39-98 Prince Street, Flushing, NY 11354 | Hours: Noon to 12 a.m.
Not every hungry diner in search of something sweet is looking to overindulge. For a nice ambiance that transports you away from the busy life, check out Prince Tea House. This is the place to combine elegant fine china tea service with sophisticated desserts. This magical dining room is ideal for that special date or late-night end-of-meal treat paired with a wide variety of teas. A perfect choice to impress a date, or your future in-laws, this establishment pleases all the senses with an infusion of delicately scented incense, perhaps made necessary by unforgettable desserts such as durian tiramisu and durian mille crepes cake.
Prince Tea House
36-39 Prince St, Flushing, NY 11354 | Hours: Noon to 12 a.m.
Dumpling Galaxy is well known for its savory dumplings, but don’t overlook this famous restaurant’s sweet offerings – dessert dumplings. Chef Helen You’s dumplings are both surprising and delightful, handmade from rice flour and served hot. They include, strawberry sesame tang yuan, eight treasures and pear sweet dumpling, red bean paste sweet dumpling, hawthorn and white wood ear mushroom sweet dumpling, and hawthorn and nuts sweet dumpling. Served hot, these dumplings round out a meal or make a perfect stop for a sweet rush. The stand out item is their signature pumpkin with black sesame tang yuan served in warm sweet soup.
42-35 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355 | Hours: 10 a.m to 10 p.m.
Part of a Queens-based chain with stores in College Point and Fresh Meadows, Iris is a Taiwanese bakery with a twist of Japanese-style goodies. This is the place to find delicious indulgent cakes such as peach and mango, and traditional favorites like milk and sugar cheese bread, and pineapple soufflé bread. While not cheap, the cakes are works of art and come in collections (based around variations on a classic). For example, the Black Forest Cake collection includes very berry chocolate swirl and chocolate blossoms, perfect for special occasions. There is also a blueberry cake collection and strawberry cake collection.
Even the made-to-order 3-foot-high wedding cake display in the shop window was beautiful and eye-catching. Everything is made fresh and the desserts I tasted were delicious.
Iris Tea and Bakery
39-07 Prince Street, Flushing, NY 11354 | Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Durian, is a most controversial fruit – it tastes great, but has a very provocative smell – and is emerging as a theme in Flushing desserts. C. Fruit Life is for the hard-core durian lover! The smell hits you when you walk in the door and lingers after you leave. Whether this is a blessing or a curse will depend entirely on whether you love or hate this rich custard-like fruit. Their signature dish, the durian pizza is irresistible to durian loves like me. However, you must come with friends; they only sell whole pies, not single slices.
As the name suggests, most of their desserts are fruit based. If durian isn’t your thing, try the iced coconut and mango base with sago, pomelo mango ice cream and fresh mango, or for something lighter, the grass jelly with fresh fruits and mango ice cream.
C. Fruit Life
13529 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing NY 11354 | Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Jillian Abbott is an award-winning writer. Her features and op-ed columns appeared in Newsday, NY Daily News, The Washington Post, and more. She teaches writing at CUNY and has lived in North Flushing (Whitestone) for over 10 years. Connect with her: @themindfulmouth on Instagram, and @Jannabbott on Twitter.