Serendipity 3, a sweet paradise in New York City

Do you know what Serendipity means? It is a lucky find or discovery. And that is exactly what defines Serendipity 3! Since its creation in 1954 and until today, its motto is to surprise your senses, do you dare trying?

History of Serendipity 3

Three roommates with financial problems, who lived with the hope of one day becoming famous, decided to open a café. I am talking about Calvin Holt, Patch Caradine and Stephen Bruce, dancers who never imagined that the small café would become a NYC institution.

Preparing pastry recipes of their grandparents, they managed to attract local people to this small location that looks like everything and nothing at the same time. The walls are covered with objects found on the streets of New York, not counting the number of Tiffany lamps that cost nothing at that time.

Long ago, before being a known place, Andy Warhol frequented the small cafe, where he was able to exhibit a large number of designs and images that caught the attention of the editors of Vogue. Andy had turned it into his workshop, I even create handbags for Serendipity 3… with the image of the famous Campbell soups, which sold out in less than a week!
The coffee shop quickly became a restaurant, a museum, a boutique frequented by Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Cher, President Clinton among other personalities. I’m pretty sure you watched movie filmed in Serendipity 3.

How is the restaurant?

You could pass by without noticing it, however the place is identified with a large number of people waiting outside.

A small corridor with shelves full of slightly extravagant objects welcomes you. They keep you entertained while you’re waiting for a table!

The restaurant seems to be a bazaar! You can see the Tiffany lamps, a little further away, objects on the ceiling, watches, paintings, etc …

It is worth visiting the first floor, with its large paintings and floral decorations.

I don’t know how to define this place, we would think it is a mixture of Ali Baba’s cavern and Alice in Wonderland atmosphere.

I was so lost with the decoration, that I passed by Stephen Bruce (one of the 3 founders of the café, on the left side of the photo). I think neither he nor I realized I took his photograph.

What can you eat in the restaurant?

They prepare a bit of everything, typical dishes of the house, hamburgers, fish, pasta, sandwiches.
Serendipity 3 also offers delicious coffees and desserts!

I could not try everything, I just came for its specialty; The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, mint flavored covered with thick chantilly that I could not finish.
As for the chocolate… it seems to be a ” hot chocolate frappé”, with a very good flavor. You can also order it with caramel, peanut butter, or natural.

What is the clientele of the place?

On this afternoon, there was a bit of everything, foreign tourists and Americans. I could not tell if some were locals.

And the customer service?

Very good! I went alone, and it is always easier to find a table for 1 or 2. You’re best bet is to book in advance, especially if you are going for lunch or dinner. However, if you just want a coffee and / or dessert, it’s a “first come – first serve” policy only.

Is it expensive to eat at Serendipity 3?

I feel that the prices are average for NYC, with dishes between $15- $20 dollars.
The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, which has a good size, cost me $12 dollars! It’s not that expensive for an original and unique recipe… And yet delicious.

Where is Serendipity 3?

On the Upper East Side, a few steps away from the Roosevelt Island tram. It’s a perfect spot to take a break after a visit of the small island.
Address: 225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022.


I thought Serendipity 3 was a tourist trap. And the truth is that it is not, on the contrary. The decoration is extravagant and harmonious at the same time. I felt very comfortable in this place and the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate was delicious. I’ll have to go back there to try other specialties.


My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

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Serendipity 3, a sweet paradise in New York City

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