Like any good Cuban, I love rice pudding (or arroz con leche). Nothing had ever matched (or come close to) my grandma’s arroz con leche—until I tried Rice to Riches. It’s this quirky little shop in Nolita that literally only serves rice pudding (aside from beverages, obviously) and is decorated with bright, clever, politically incorrect signs that leave you no option but to laugh. It’s always busy and there are a bajillion rice pudding flavors and toppings. Or, as one infamous sign claims, “dozens of delicious flavors and 3 shitty ones.” Last summer I stopped by Rice to Riches out of curiosity—I literally lived two blocks away—and only sampled a flavor.
My review is about the cinnamon rice pudding in the Little Diva size, aka the to-go version. I had just left a very filling dinner at Jack’s Wife Freda (review to come), so I wasn’t in the mood for the regular dish sizes (the smallest portion is huge and costs $7.50). However, I did sample the French toast rice pudding and was really tempted to just buy the big bowl of it. Note: the pictured rice pudding is the smallest serving size, not the size I bought (Little Diva).
Name: Rice to Riches
Location: 37 Spring Street
Time: 7:30 pm on a Thursday
Order: Cinnamon rice pudding in the Little Diva portion
Review: WOW. Major props for this delicious rice pudding! The rice was ideally cooked, the flavor was spot-on and the cinnamon was perfect. The portion was also just what I wanted. I ate half of it at the shop and the other half later that night when I binge watched Friday Night Lights. Although I’ll faithfully defend my grandma’s rice pudding until the day I die, I can’t say that I’ve tried better rice pudding in Manhattan.