Manhattan is an amazing island. It's really a foodie's version of Eden. You can get Chinese on one corner, Italian on the next , and Belgian frites across the way. It's also a mecca for great bakeries. too. After all it is the birthplace of the cookie.
New York is teeming right now with cupcakes, thanks to Sex and the City along with the famed Magnolia Bakery down on Bleeker Street. There is also Billy's bakery that makes the same versions and then some. New York cupcakes are what other cupcakes should aspire to. There's a dense , rich cake topped with a mound of butter cream icing and some decorations whether they be sprinkles, chocolate chips or silver dragees. Cakes are phenomenal, with everything from red velvet to cannoli cream filled ones.
Since this island birthed the cookie during the Dutch rule (and is a variation of a Dutch based fried cake), expect to find any and every kind. There is the black and white - made famous on that epitome of al l New York shows, "Seinfeld" along with buttery ruggalah and Lindzer tortes. There are some good small French meringues too, belonging to some of the city's best patisseries.
This is also the island for bread. You can get every kind, from Jewish rye and challah to loaves of crusty French and Italian. There is also German pumpernickel and Arab flat bread as well to fit the variety of sandwich fillings out there too.
Manhattan has some amazing sites , most of them belonging to the food industry. If you're visiting the island, make Manhattan's bakeries your first stop.