By Mika Park
For Unwind magazine
On Oct. 25, the New York City-based Momofuku Milk Bar opened its newest location at CityCenterDC. Known for its high end sweets, the store offers a variety of unique ice creams, milkshakes, cookies and coffee products.
Chef Christina Tosi founded Milk Bar in 2008. This is the bakery’s first expansion in the U.S. outside of Manhattan and Brooklyn, where 5 other locations have given it fame in addition to a set up in Toronto. The bakery also provides an online ordering option to have products shipped nationwide. It has gained popularity through features in The New York Times and TV shows like “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and the “Today Show.”
Tosi grew up in Springfield, Virginia, not too far from D.C., which is why Milk Bar selected the city for its latest expansion endeavor.
Neighboring the bakery are upscale retail establishments such as Hermès and Kate Spade New York, and the bakery itself is located within the Momofuku CCDC restaurant. It’s easily accessible for University of Maryland students via the Metro.
Once inside, customers can buy ready-made products as well as colorfully packaged tins of cookie mixes to make at home, and cookbooks from the chef. Midafternoon on a Monday, the small storefront was crammed with people eagerly awaiting Milk Bar’s treats, enjoying the calming indie rock music playing in the background. Milk Bar’s menu is neatly handwritten on chalkboards. The minimalist style is punctuated with bright pops of neon color framing the counter.
Sarah Smith, a freshman kinesiology major, recently visited the new D.C. location after hearing about it from friends. She tried the cereal milk soft serve ice cream and loved it.
“The fact that the soft serve literally tastes like milk makes it different,” Sara said. “It feels like you are eating a dessert cereal.”
This is one of Milk Bar’s more popular products, along with their Crack Pies.
Kelly Smith, a freshman government and politics major, stopped by Milk Bar after shopping in Chinatown.
“I had seen pictures of its iconic neon pink sign on Instagram before, so I figured I would stop inside,” Kelly said.
She enjoyed the Perfect 10 Klossie and a birthday cake milkshake. Supermodel Karlie Kloss collaborated with Milk Bar to make three types of cookies known as Klossies, which gave the bakery lots of press and social media attention. Initially called Karlie’s Kookies at their first release in 2012, these treats are gluten and dairy free. Proceeds from the Perfect 10 go to FEED, an organization that donates meals to the hungry.
Tosi’s creative baked goods make for conversation pieces, with interesting innovations on classic bakery staples. The signature neon logo welcomes customers with glowing pink light through the window, and the bakery itself is just as photo ready as its products. CCDC and the surrounding areas offer great shopping, making Milk Bar both a convenient place to stop in to refresh as well as a destination in itself.