Manhattan, New York – Rice to Riches (Rice Pudding)

Restaurant: Rice to Riches
Last visited:
September 9, 2011
Manhattan, NY (Nolita)
Address: 37 Spring Street
Nearby subway stops: Spring Street
Price Range: 
$10 or less

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent 6Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 4.5
Additional comments:

  • Specializes in rice pudding
  • 20+ flavours
  • Unique, gourmet flavours
  • To go dessert
  • Catering available
  • Online ordering
  • Open late

**Recommendations: You can sample them before you choose! I liked the Man-Made Mascarpone with Cherries and Almond Shmalmond, but the French Toast is also well liked. Cheesecake is popular too.
Rice to Riches?! I thought it was Recipe to Riches?! (By the way make sure you get your votes in for your favourite recipe (Dec. 7-9) here!) I gotta support my girl Glo from the sweet puddings and pies category :)) Speaking of sweet puddings though, this was another kind of sweet pudding! Rice pudding!

I was on my way to the famous Lombardi’s for pizza when I saw Pinkberry. Being that Pinkberry was a chain it caught my eye, but not really my interest. However what was next door definitely caught my eye and interest! From the looks of it I thought it was another frozen yogurt/ice cream place, which is fine by me since I love that stuff, but this was even better because it was something new! It was as busy, if not even busier than Pinkberry, and it was basically the “fro-yo” of rice pudding! I know! What the heck right?! Anyways after pizza, it was time for rice pudding!

At first I thought who really likes rice pudding THAT much to dedicate a whole store to it. I guess it’s not that surprising to have a shop dedicated to just rice pudding, but it certainly is rare. In New York there’s everything, but if you’re going to specialize in one thing, you better be damn good at it. They claim it’s “finally a rice pudding that doesn’t suck”, and it really didn’t!

At first sight it could easily be mistaken as a frozen yogurt shop.

Or even an ice cream shop!

But it is indeed rice pudding. If you’re not crazy about rice pudding this could change your mind. It’s not your ordinary British rice pudding that you may or may not dread for dessert. It puts the boring dessert in a new light by offering 20+ kinds of rice pudding and the flavours get pretty interesting. From Understanding Vanilla, to Fluent in French Toast, and even Sex Drugs and Rocky Road, it’s creative rice pudding you wouldn’t mind giving a second chance.

The set up is just like a frozen yogurt shop and you can select toppings, or “Jesus droppings”, to go on top of your rice pudding. The marketing is really edgy, smart and funny, and it just makes you want to buy one even if you’re not a rice pudding fan. It’s rice pudding for the 21st century and it puts a modern twist to an old fashioned comfort food. It made it into something cool and there is a lot of love for it.

If I had a choice I’d rather have ice cream, pastry or cake, but I do like rice pudding, although I never crave it. I would never make it, and I might order it at an Indian restaurant, but this was a game changer. I would actually crave Rice to Riches rice pudding. I don’t know if I would crave it if I had it easily available at home in Vancouver, BC though. Some people might complain that it’s overpriced or too rich, creamy and sweet, and it’s partially true, but I still enjoyed it. If I’m going to have rice pudding for dessert, I’m going to have it here.

Note to foodies with a sweet tooth: If you want to double up, there’s “The Best Chocolate Cake in the World” (name of the actual store) just a block away. If you’re in the area you might as well kill two birds with one stone. The rice pudding doesn’t melt and you can take it to go anyways.

On the table:

Man Made Mascarpone with Cherries Rice Pudding & Almond Shmalmond Rice Pudding with Coconut Crumble

  • Solo (Serves 1/1 flavour only) $6.75 Epic (Serves 1-2) $8.50 Sumo (Serves 5) Moby (Serves 10) $40 + $1 for toppings
  • Man Made Mascarpone & Almond Shmalmond with Granola $9.50
  • $10 for rice pudding is certainly “sit down dessert” pricing, and it was overpriced, but I still liked it.
  • They come in fancy reusable plastic containers which are included in the price already.

**Almond Shmalmond Rice Pudding 4.5/6

  • It is probably the best rice pudding I’ve had to date.
  • It was like the love child of rice pudding and a custard.
  • It was super thick, ultra rich, creamy and smooth and there was more cream than there was rice.
  • It was creamy like Greek yogurt creamy, and I would consider it heavy for a rice pudding.
  • It was custard-like, but with less egg, more cream, and maybe even some vanilla.
  • This flavour was less sweet than most creme brûlées and it wasn’t hurt your teeth sweet.
  • The rice was a really soft short grain and it seemed like broken down or overly churned arborio rice.
  • The almond flavour was actually quite mild, and it was just extract with no actual almonds, but I still enjoyed it.
  • The coconut crumble topping (+$1) tasted like light brown sugar granola crumble on a baked apple pie.
  • It was reminiscent of a graham cracker pie crust and it was sweet, sugary, nutty and crunchy, but I wanted more coconut.

**Man Made Mascarpone with Cherries Rice Pudding – 4.5/6

  • This was perhaps less sweet than the almond and maybe even a a bit thicker, but the cherries helped to break it up and gave it a tartness.
  • It had sour dried cherries throughout and it wasn’t cheesy from marscarpone, but it was still very rich and thick.
  • It actually barely tasted like marscapone or cheese, but I didn’t even care. It was just good!

Cinnamon Sling Rice Pudding & I Gotta The Panna Cotta Rice Pudding

  • Epic (Serves 1-2) $8.50
Cinnamon Sling Rice Pudding 4/6
  • I liked the I Gotta The Panna Cotta flavour better, and the cinnamon in this was quite mild.
**I Gotta The Panna Cotta Rice Pudding 4.5/6
  • The Panna Cotta was probably the thickest and richest of the flavours I had and it tasted just like a panna cotta in rice pudding form.
Fluent in French Toast Rice Pudding – 4/6
  • It tasted just like French Toast Crunch cereal, but it was a bit too sweet for me.

Rice To Riches on Urbanspoon


  • Glo McNeill says:

    O wow Mijune! There is no justice in this world! Why don’t you way 200 lbs!!!!!

  • Mijune says:

    @Glo – People need to vote for you!!!

  • Tina says:

    out of curiosity, I clicked into Urbanspoon and upon which, I clicked into another food blog…then I saw the Rice to Riches sign…NO SKINNY BITCHES!!!

  • Linda says:

    mmm another place to add to my itinerary! i actually really like rice pudding and i love fro-yo so a combination of the two? awesome possum! i really like that they serve everything in reusuable containers too! did you keep them? 🙂

  • Louise says:

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm I randomly found that place when I was in New York in 2005 and being an avid rice pudding fan, I also went in and was not disappointed. I think I’m still drooling from the experience… 😀

  • Mijune says:

    @Tina – ha! I took a picture of that sign too! Just didn’t include it in the post 🙂

    @Linda – I can’t wait to see you list! I left them for a friend! No room in luggage lol. I do/don’t like the containers.. I would like the option b/c sometimes it ends up being more “wasteful”… like reusable bags… “green washing” just overwhelming amount you know? You’ll love this place Linda!

    @Louise – you did!??!? yay!! Lou!! I miss you!! We should go to NY together!

  • mmmm that sounds amazing! If you like rice pudding, you must try the rice pudding tarts at Patisserie Lebeau near Granville Island. They have plain rice pudding tarts, ones with pear, with blueberries, etc.

    My favourite is actually their apple pie but it has rice pudding (it acts kind of like custard), apples, and streusel on top. It’s to die for!

  • Mijune says:

    @Michelle – yes! I like Patisserie Lebeau! Haven’t tried their pudding tarts yet though. Mmmm apple and rice pudding sounds delicious! Thx hun!

  • JOTHI says:

    Mouth Watering Rice Puddings !
    ENJOYED first Time —-can”t wait to Eat EVERY time I am In NYC <3 <3

  • Mijune says:

    @Jothi – awesome!! Thanks for commenting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.