Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s Pistachio Cupcake, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Later this year, we’ll pen our Best of NYC issue, our annual love letter to what’s great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you’ll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes, and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.

No. 83: Pistachio cupcake from Sugar Sweet Sunshine

It’s entirely possible that the cronut has the power to usher out the cupcake era for good, and it may, at long last, deal the final blow that will fell the years-long trend of tiny, overpriced treats. We won’t exactly be sad to see that era go, but we’re also optimistic that the best of the cupcake bakeries (cupcakeries?) will survive the fallout and become embedded in their neighborhoods forever just in case, you know, you get nostalgic and need your fix. If we were betting people, we’d put money on that happening to Sugar Sweet Sunshine, a bakery that’s been serving the Lower East Side for a decade. Over that time, the crew just about perfected every cupcake in the case, but we’re most enamored of the pistachio flavor, a citrus-tinged cake that’s lighly sweet, imbued with the rich, earthy flavor of the nut, and topped with a whipped, butter-loaded mousseline frosting dusted with more crushed pistachios. Ideally matched to a cup of black coffee, it’s priced at just $1.75, another gesture that shows Sugar Sweet Sunshine is a good neighbor. If you can’t stomach even one more cupcake, by the way, the spot also serves a venerable banana pudding, the light, creamy base buoyed by slices of real bananas and bits of Nilla wafer.

No. 100: Carnitas from Taqueria Lower East Side
No. 99: Steamed mussels from Tartine
No. 98: Cookie Monster ice cream from Malu
No. 97: Havana salad from Coppelia
No. 96: Clay Pot Catfish from Falansai
No. 95: Khao Soi Kaa Kai from Uncle Boons
No. 94: Salted caramel “impossible” flan from ABC Cocina
No. 93: Peanut noodles from Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
No. 92: Country-fried duck and waffles from Distilled
No. 91: Octopus salad from Calliope
No. 90: Diver scallop crudo from Charlie Bird
No. 89: Fig and pepper bread from Silver Moon Bakery
No. 88: Egg, cheese, and sausage on a roll from Stage Restaurant
No. 87: Marbella’s Full Moon from Manzanilla
No. 86: Bia’s Cary Ga
No. 85: La Newyorkina’s pineapple jalapeño paleta
No. 84: Empellón Taqueria’s skirt steak tacos


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