NYC Food Adventures: Magnolia Bakery

Notes from a New York City Foodie Trip

Is the banana pudding worth the hype?

Magnolia Bakery apparently became famous because of a scene in Sex and the City – an early 2000s show about four single women living in NYC. While I watched the show, I didn’t remember the bakery at all, but it came up repeatedly during my research of what to eat while in New York City.

Magnolia Bakery is particularly famous for its banana pudding. So much so that, at least in the case of the branch at Rockefeller Center, they have a line dedicated for people ordering the banana pudding alone. As you can see, very few people seem to visit the bakery and not order it.

banana pudding

The pudding is prepackaged into ice-cream style cartons, and comes in thee sizes. We had the medium (12 oz, $7.25) the first time, and the large (16 oz, $8.75) in a subsequent visit.

The banana pudding is light, with large chunks of cooked banana. The top is somewhat frothy. It has a strong banana flavor but it’s not as sweet as I feared – though that’s relatively speaking, as cooked bananas are incredibly sweet. I liked it, as far as banana pudding went, but I didn’t love it. Then again, I’m not a huge fan of banana pudding. My husband, who is, was in love with it. He pronounced it “really good” and went back our last night, after an incredible dinner at Kochi, to get more.

So, is the banana pudding worth the hype? I think yes, if you are a banana pudding lover – and no, if banana pudding is not your “go to” dessert.

Magnolia Bakery serves, of course, a plethora of other baked goods. The cupcakes and cheesecake are said to be particularly good. However, we didn’t try anything else.

Magnolia Bakery has 9 locations in NYC, one in West Hollywood and one in Chicago. In addition they have a plethora of locations in Asia and the Middle East.

Magnolia Bakery
1240 Avenue of the Americas (at 49th Street)
New York City
(212) 767-1123
Hours of Operation

Sun-Thurs: 8 AM - 10 PM EST
Fri-Sat: 8 AM - 11 PM EST

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