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Cheap Eats 2007: Cotton candy at Landmarc
Cotton candy at Landmarc

Photo: Ben Goldstein

Treats Truck
Sweets hit the streets as this dessert-mobile, nicknamed "Sugar," dispenses confections crafted by baker Kim Ima. Rotating specials such as cookies, brownies and ice-cream-cone cupcakes cost just a buck or two, and you'll feel good about sating your dextrose jones: Ten percent of daily proceeds go to charity. Check for times and locations

Cotton candy at Landmarc
If there's one thing Marc Murphy's restaurant does well, it's pinpointing simple pleasures. The off-the-menu cotton candy—free for kids and $3 for adults—is spun, carnival-style, on a paper cone using classic concessions equipment. Depending on the day, eaters can sample flavors like tangerine (in a corresponding orange hue), pink vanilla, cherry, grape and lime. 179 West Broadway between Leonard and Worth Sts (212-343-3883); 10 Columbus Circle at Broadway, third floor (212-823-6123)

Coconut layer cake at Prime Burger
The prices and rituals at Prime Burger seem frozen in time. Whereas most joints call in their desserts, 86-year-old baker Eddie Adams comes to Prime Burger every morning to churn out the iconic homemade pies with flaky crusts (cherry is our favorite). And he makes layer cakes. $4.50 buys you our top pick: coconut cake topped with peaks of airy meringue frosting. 5 E 51st St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-759-4730)

Fondant Au chocolate cake at Beard Papa's
Although we love the cream puffs at this Japanese sweets chain, it's the molten chocolate cake that recently caught our eye (their fancy name for it is the "fondant au chocolate"). It's true, we've tired of seeing these on so many restaurant menus. But it's hard to believe that this dead ringer for more upscale versions made from pristine ingredients—Belgian chocolate, butter, sugar, cocoa, flour, eggs and powdered sugar—costs a mere $2. 2167 Broadway between 76th and 77th Sts (212-799-3770)

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