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Photo by Scott Charles Schroeder III
Photo by Scott Charles Schroeder III

Eat These 18 Restaurant Desserts Right Now

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Photo by Scott Charles Schroeder III

Why is it that if you don't order dessert after your meal, you feel empty inside? Dining out should be a comprehensive experience, a delight from beginning to end. Capping your night with something sweet, especially at a restaurant that puts heart and soul into its desserts, is not only the added indulgence you deserve, but your duty as a diner in this great foodscape we call Philadelphia. To cap off Sweets Week, we've compiled a guide to all of the desserts you should be eating in this city, here and now.

And they range! Gargantuan cakes, comforting pies, ethnic goodies, French delights, what have you — all treats that will make your inner child jump for joy, mapped out south to north for your every convenience.

Have other favorites? Share in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Chocolate Soufflé at Townsend

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1623 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Dip your spoon into this cloud of Valrhona chocolate and you'll know heaven intimately. Townsend's chocolate soufflé with a side of Pernod chantilly is a destination dessert, French at its finest, and a perfect nightcap.

2. Paris Brest at Restaurant Neuf

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943 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 309-5847
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How can something so monstrous taste so good? Neuf's Paris-Brest, a Parisian bicycle race-themed choux pastry dessert, shaped like a wheel and stuffed with cream, gets an added bump of Middle Eastern flair with rose water and cherries.

3. Kaya Toast Saté Kampar

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1837 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 324-3860
It might not look like much when it hits the table, but Saté Kampar's thick-cut white toast slathered with an especially addictive coconut custard is the ultimate Malaysian comfort food.

4. Biscotti Assortiti at Le Virtù

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1927 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 271-5626
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After a feast of homemade charcuterie, fresh pastas, and hunky roasts, you'll probably want a light dessert. Opt for a cappuccino, maybe some amaro, and a stunning plate of homemade Italian cookies.

5. Boterkoek at Noord

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1046 Tasker St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 909-9704
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The Dutch butter cake has become somewhat synonymous with Passyunk Avenue's Northern European BYOB. One slice usually feeds two, the advocaat — a brandy custard — underneath is basically a dessert unto itself.

6. Cake at Bud & Marilyn's

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1234 Locust St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 546-2220
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Any cake at mid-century modern Bud & Marilyn's is choice, but the peanut butter malt ball cake might be the best slice of dessert in town. Make sure you get everything on your fork — fudgy dark chocolate cake, airy peanut butter buttercream, and crispy malt ball — for the perfect bite.

7. Baklava at Kanella Grill

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1001 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 928-2085
Baklava is like pizza, in that it's hard to find bad baklava. But Kanella Grill's baklava is perfect: balanced sweetness, stacked high with chopped nuts — still crunchy and not pulverized to oblivion— and the phyllo still crisp and crackly.

8. Rocky Road at Serpico

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604 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 925-3001
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The cool thing about Peter Serpico's restaurant is that he's pretty much cooking whatever he wants, whatever he likes. And wouldn't you know it, he likes rocky road ice cream. His is made up of frozen chocolate pudding, toasty marshmallows, and candied walnuts—probably better than any rocky road ice cream you'll ever have.

9. Konafi at Zahav

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237 Saint James Pl
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-8800
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Like a Middle Eastern danish, Zahav's konafi-for-two is pumped with chocolate, topped with labneh ice cream, and garnished with seasonal sweets.

10. Tiramisu at Mr. Martino's Trattoria

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1646 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 755-0663
Not too sweet, not too bitter, sublimely spongey — Mr. Martino's cushion of Italian-American goodness is among the best of its kind in South Philly.

11. Pumpkin Pie at The Hungry Pigeon

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743 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 278-2736
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Pretty much any dessert — breakfast, lunch or dinner — at this Queen Village hotspot is worth a try, but pastry chef Pat O'Malley's pumpkin pie is every bit of that comfortable, homey goodness you often crave in the fall.
Photo by Scott Charles Schroeder III

12. Grandmother's Chocolate Cake at Southwark

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701 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 238-1888
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If you're craving a good ol' chocolate cake without any of the fuss, Southwark does it right. Topped simply with some salted caramel ice cream, Chris D'Ambro's grandmother's chocolate cake recipe is top-notch.

13. Banoffee Tart at Stargazy

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1838 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 309-2761
End your hearty meal of pie and mash with more pie—this one stuffed with toffee, and topped with sliced bananas and cream.

14. Toasted Hazelnut Cake at Fond

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1537 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 551-5000
Visit Website
Fond's pastry chef and co-owner Jessie Prawlucki has a laudable seasonally rotating dessert menu, and currently, her toasted hazelnut cake with chocolate hazelnut ganache, raspberry sorbet, and white chocolate cream is an absolute delight.

15. Mille Feuille aux Framboises at Bistrot la Minette

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623 S 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 925-8000
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Bistrot la Minette's mille-feuille is textbook: stacked three layers high with piped pastry cream, raspberries, and a little extra puddle of raspberry coulis love.

16. Bubble Waffle at Yummy Yummy

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52 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 625-9188
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Bubble waffles are what regular waffles should aspire to be, and few do it better than Yummy Yummy in Chinatown. QQ waffles come in a variety of flavors, but green tea is the favorite.

17. Nutty Buddy at Wister BYOB

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26 N 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(267) 239-5900
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Wister's Nutty Buddy will make you feel young again. The big bowl of Franklin Fountain chocolate ice cream, chocolate peanut ganache, caramel, and tiny waffle cones is the type of over the top dessert a child would dream up. And you, as an adult, will love every spoonful of it.
http://wisterbyob.com/

18. Gâteau Basque at Helm

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1303 N 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 309-2211
Visit Website
Ordering the Gâteau Basque at Helm is tradition. The adorable creation — a lifelong fixture on the restaurant's chalkboard menu — comes out warm and buttery, always, and forever, topped with goodies of the season.

1. Chocolate Soufflé at Townsend

1623 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Dip your spoon into this cloud of Valrhona chocolate and you'll know heaven intimately. Townsend's chocolate soufflé with a side of Pernod chantilly is a destination dessert, French at its finest, and a perfect nightcap.
1623 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

2. Paris Brest at Restaurant Neuf

943 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
How can something so monstrous taste so good? Neuf's Paris-Brest, a Parisian bicycle race-themed choux pastry dessert, shaped like a wheel and stuffed with cream, gets an added bump of Middle Eastern flair with rose water and cherries.
943 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

3. Kaya Toast Saté Kampar

1837 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
It might not look like much when it hits the table, but Saté Kampar's thick-cut white toast slathered with an especially addictive coconut custard is the ultimate Malaysian comfort food.
1837 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

4. Biscotti Assortiti at Le Virtù

1927 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
After a feast of homemade charcuterie, fresh pastas, and hunky roasts, you'll probably want a light dessert. Opt for a cappuccino, maybe some amaro, and a stunning plate of homemade Italian cookies.
1927 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

5. Boterkoek at Noord

1046 Tasker St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
The Dutch butter cake has become somewhat synonymous with Passyunk Avenue's Northern European BYOB. One slice usually feeds two, the advocaat — a brandy custard — underneath is basically a dessert unto itself.
1046 Tasker St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

6. Cake at Bud & Marilyn's

1234 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Any cake at mid-century modern Bud & Marilyn's is choice, but the peanut butter malt ball cake might be the best slice of dessert in town. Make sure you get everything on your fork — fudgy dark chocolate cake, airy peanut butter buttercream, and crispy malt ball — for the perfect bite.
1234 Locust St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

7. Baklava at Kanella Grill

1001 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Baklava is like pizza, in that it's hard to find bad baklava. But Kanella Grill's baklava is perfect: balanced sweetness, stacked high with chopped nuts — still crunchy and not pulverized to oblivion— and the phyllo still crisp and crackly.
1001 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

8. Rocky Road at Serpico

604 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
The cool thing about Peter Serpico's restaurant is that he's pretty much cooking whatever he wants, whatever he likes. And wouldn't you know it, he likes rocky road ice cream. His is made up of frozen chocolate pudding, toasty marshmallows, and candied walnuts—probably better than any rocky road ice cream you'll ever have.
604 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

9. Konafi at Zahav

237 Saint James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Like a Middle Eastern danish, Zahav's konafi-for-two is pumped with chocolate, topped with labneh ice cream, and garnished with seasonal sweets.
237 Saint James Pl
Philadelphia, PA 19106

10. Tiramisu at Mr. Martino's Trattoria

1646 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Not too sweet, not too bitter, sublimely spongey — Mr. Martino's cushion of Italian-American goodness is among the best of its kind in South Philly.
1646 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

11. Pumpkin Pie at The Hungry Pigeon

743 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Photo by Scott Charles Schroeder III
Pretty much any dessert — breakfast, lunch or dinner — at this Queen Village hotspot is worth a try, but pastry chef Pat O'Malley's pumpkin pie is every bit of that comfortable, homey goodness you often crave in the fall.
743 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

12. Grandmother's Chocolate Cake at Southwark

701 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
If you're craving a good ol' chocolate cake without any of the fuss, Southwark does it right. Topped simply with some salted caramel ice cream, Chris D'Ambro's grandmother's chocolate cake recipe is top-notch.
701 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

13. Banoffee Tart at Stargazy

1838 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
End your hearty meal of pie and mash with more pie—this one stuffed with toffee, and topped with sliced bananas and cream.
1838 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

14. Toasted Hazelnut Cake at Fond

1537 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Fond's pastry chef and co-owner Jessie Prawlucki has a laudable seasonally rotating dessert menu, and currently, her toasted hazelnut cake with chocolate hazelnut ganache, raspberry sorbet, and white chocolate cream is an absolute delight.
1537 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

15. Mille Feuille aux Framboises at Bistrot la Minette

623 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Bistrot la Minette's mille-feuille is textbook: stacked three layers high with piped pastry cream, raspberries, and a little extra puddle of raspberry coulis love.
623 S 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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16. Bubble Waffle at Yummy Yummy

52 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Bubble waffles are what regular waffles should aspire to be, and few do it better than Yummy Yummy in Chinatown. QQ waffles come in a variety of flavors, but green tea is the favorite.
52 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

17. Nutty Buddy at Wister BYOB

26 N 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
http://wisterbyob.com/
Wister's Nutty Buddy will make you feel young again. The big bowl of Franklin Fountain chocolate ice cream, chocolate peanut ganache, caramel, and tiny waffle cones is the type of over the top dessert a child would dream up. And you, as an adult, will love every spoonful of it.
26 N 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

18. Gâteau Basque at Helm

1303 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Ordering the Gâteau Basque at Helm is tradition. The adorable creation — a lifelong fixture on the restaurant's chalkboard menu — comes out warm and buttery, always, and forever, topped with goodies of the season.
1303 N 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Related Maps