I visited NYC's iconic Serendipity 3 cafe that's popular with tourists and I'd go back for its frozen hot chocolate in a heartbeat

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I visited NYC's iconic Serendipity 3 cafe that's popular with tourists and I'd go back for its frozen hot chocolate in a heartbeat
  • Serendipity 3 - more commonly known as Serendipity - is an iconic NYC restaurant that reopened Friday after more than a year of renovations.
  • I visited the hot spot and tried its famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate for the first time since I was a kid.
  • The frozen drink brought me right back to my childhood, and it makes the restaurant worth a stop.

Welcome to Serendipity 3, an iconic New York City restaurant known for its world-famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. Serendipity 3 opened in 1954, and, according to The New York Times, the "Serendipity" in its name came from a crossword, while the "3" stands for the restaurant's trio of founders: Stephen Bruce, Calvin Holt, and Patch Caradine.

Welcome to Serendipity 3, an iconic New York City restaurant known for its world-famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. Serendipity 3 opened in 1954, and, according to The New York Times, the "Serendipity" in its name came from a crossword, while the "3" stands for the restaurant's trio of founders: Stephen Bruce, Calvin Holt, and Patch Caradine.
Serendipity 3 in the 1960s and today. Courtesy of Serendipity 3
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It's been a staple of the city for the last 65 years, according to a press release from Serendipity 3 obtained by Insider. When I was a kid living in a New York suburb, I ate there with my family.

It's been a staple of the city for the last 65 years, according to a press release from Serendipity 3 obtained by Insider. When I was a kid living in a New York suburb, I ate there with my family.
People seated at Serendipity 3 on an unknown date and in 2021. Courtesy of Serendipity 3, Joey Hadden/Insider
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Serendipity 3 closed more than a year ago for renovations, and it reopened on Friday with a revamped dining room, according to the press release.

Serendipity 3 closed more than a year ago for renovations, and it reopened on Friday with a revamped dining room, according to the press release.
Serendipity 3's revamped dining room. Courtesy of Serendipity 3
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Serendipity 3 gave Insider a chance to preview the restaurant's upgrades prior to opening. While much of the artwork was new, the classic, funky style of Serendipity's decor seemed to still be present.

Serendipity 3 gave Insider a chance to preview the restaurant's upgrades prior to opening. While much of the artwork was new, the classic, funky style of Serendipity's decor seemed to still be present.
Me in the mirror at Serendipity 3. Joey Hadden/Insider
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At Serendipity 3, there's always something to look at - and that hasn't changed. Look up, and you'll see Tiffany lamps and disco balls hanging from the ceiling.

At Serendipity 3, there's always something to look at - and that hasn't changed. Look up, and you'll see Tiffany lamps and disco balls hanging from the ceiling.
The ceiling on the first floor of the restaurant. Joey Hadden/Insider
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The dining areas seemed less cluttered than they were when I visited as a kid.

The dining areas seemed less cluttered than they were when I visited as a kid.
A dining area with balloons for an event. Joey Hadden/Insider
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There are two floors of dining tables at Serendipity 3.

There are two floors of dining tables at Serendipity 3.
A view from upstairs. Joey Hadden/Insider
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On the second floor, check out the Star Table where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale sat in the 2001 film, "Serendipity," according to On the Set of New York.

On the second floor, check out the Star Table where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale sat in the 2001 film, "Serendipity," according to On the Set of New York.
The table featured in the film "Serendipity." Joey Hadden/Insider
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While the restaurant is photogenic and the atmosphere is fun, the best thing about this place is their signature dessert: the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate -yes, it has three "Rs."

While the restaurant is photogenic and the atmosphere is fun, the best thing about this place is their signature dessert: the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate -yes, it has three "Rs."
People attend an event at Serendipity 3 prior to the reopening. Joey Hadden/Insider
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When I sat down to try my frozen drink, I was excited because I forgot what it tasted like.

When I sat down to try my frozen drink, I was excited because I forgot what it tasted like.
Staff members gather in a dining area. Joey Hadden/Insider
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But when I took a sip, I felt like I was 8 years old again, sipping in a race against my brain freeze. The flavors were familiar and my memory of trying the drink as a kid came flooding back; it seemed to taste just like it used to.

But when I took a sip, I felt like I was 8 years old again, sipping in a race against my brain freeze. The flavors were familiar and my memory of trying the drink as a kid came flooding back; it seemed to taste just like it used to.
The moment I remembered how much I love Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. Joey Hadden/Insider
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Those who haven't tried a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate might assume it's like a chocolate milkshake, but they'd be wrong. More icy than creamy, the drink perfectly captures the specific flavor of cocoa that's in any hot chocolate.

Those who haven't tried a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate might assume it's like a chocolate milkshake, but they'd be wrong. More icy than creamy, the drink perfectly captures the specific flavor of cocoa that's in any hot chocolate.
A close-up of the world-famous dessert. Courtesy of Serendipity 3
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The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate may be the only dessert that's ever made me feel equally refreshed and nostalgic.

The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate may be the only dessert that's ever made me feel equally refreshed and nostalgic.
Me, 25, feeling like a kid again. Joey Hadden/Insider
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