By Jessica Allen

Ah, marshmallows. So easy to mess up, so heavenly when done right. We tried hard ones, soft ones, fat ones, fresh ones, dried ones, and everything in between to figure out who offers the very best in the city. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. Check out our definitive list of the best marshmallows and marshmallow treats in NYC.

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Ample Hills
623 Vanderbilt Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(347) 240-3926

The origin of Ample Hills, an ice creamery with several locations in around New York, has become the stuff of legend: its ice cream proved so popular on opening day in 2011, the store was forced to shut down until more of the good stuff could be carefully prepared. What’s an ice cream store doing on a list about marshmallows, you ask? Good question. Go ahead and order a scoop or seven of Snap Marshmallow Pop, a reverse engineered Rice Krispie featuring marshmallow ice cream shot through with chunks of Rice Krispies. You’ll not only understand why this spot made the cut, but you’ll instantly be taken back to the best bake sale of your life.

City Bakery
3 West 18th St.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 366-1414

Hot chocolate and marshmallows go together like ham and cheese or chips and salsa. For the best version of this classic combination head to City Bakery. The hot chocolate is so thick, it’s practically a fondue while the marshmallow is a hefty hunk of sweetness, as if a perfect cloud floated down from the sky and somehow landed in your cup. It’s a dreamy drink anytime of year, but every February City Bakery features specialty flavors like espresso, lemon, chili pepper, ginger, caramel and even toasted marshmallow. The Hot Chocolate Festival always makes the darkest days of winter a little brighter.

89 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10014
(212) 206-8170

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Truth be told, we like our candy stores with a bit more verve than Sockerbit. However, don’t let the clinical surroundings fool you: from inside this all-white store in the West Village comes lots and lots of yummy things, each and every one imported from Sweden. Sockerbit’s mission is to make people happy via smågodis, or little candies. Everything is the same price, so you can fill up bag after bag of chocolates, licorice, sour jellies and marshmallows, denser and less airier than their American cousins. Go for a scoopful of the sura bananer, whose fruity marshmallow-y exterior yields to a pleasantly sour center.

Squish Marshmallows
120 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10009
(646) 896-1667

Squish Marshmallows makes “marshmallows of magnificent magnitude.” Founded by a voiceover artist with an entrepreneurial spirit, Squish offers preservative-free marshmallows and marshmallow-based creations in all kinds of cool flavors and imaginative formulations. To wit, in honor of National Burger Day, the East Village shop constructed a burger featuring a toasted Mississippi mud pie marshmallow patty and white chocolate “cheese,” drizzled with strawberry puree “ketchup” and served on a cookie bun. Try the marshmallow “donuts” and “tacos” too, or opt for a good old banana pudding marshmallow.

Sweet & Sara
Various venues
New York, NY
(718) 707-2808

Available in such stores as Whole Foods, Garden of Eden and the Park Slope Food Co-op, Sweet & Sara’s marshmallows are non-GMO, kosher, small batch, family-owned and 100 percent vegan (marshmallows are traditionally made with gelatin, making them a no-no for vegans and vegetarians), produced in a factory in Sunnyside, Queens. Sweet & Sara’s range of marshmallow-based products include a peanut butter and jelly s’more, rocky road bark, birthday cake marshmallows and the absolute coup de grâce — dried mini marshmallows that totally mimic those found in cereal.

The Sweet Life
63 Hester St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 598-0092

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Since 1982, The Sweet Life has been ensuring that life stays, well, sweet. This tiny candy store on the Lower East Side features tons of bulk candy deliciously arrayed in apothecary jars, from licorice to Jelly Belly jelly beans to gummy frogs, worms and rats (hey, to each his own). For a true treat, head to the counter where the chocolate-dipped confections are displayed and zero in on the “softy pop,” a marshmallow robed in sustainable Belgian chocolate and stuck on a stick for easy eating. We’re happy to report that you can buy these babies in packages of 20.