Sometimes you just want something sweet and when you get that sugar craving, you have to satisfy it right then and there. Baking cookies or brownies takes too long and that small piece of chocolate you have in your pantry just won't do it for you. But, there are multiple places around town serving up killer desserts. You just have to walk inside, choose your poison, sit down and enjoy it. How easy is that?
We are aware that a multitude of restaurants offer quality desserts, like the chocolate coconut shell, el coco, at Caracol, the banana's foster at Brennan's of Houston and the tres leches at the Cordua restaurants. However, we want to share with you the ten best places that specialize in just desserts. These are the places you want to visit and know you're going to indulge in something sweet. These are the places where sugar is the common denominator. And these are the places you can count on to always satisfy your sweet tooth.
Best Place for Sweets Almost Too Pretty to Eat Dolce Delights Candace Chang creates some of the most beautiful and exquisite desserts in the city, whether it's her bright and colorful macarons available in just about every flavor imaginable, or her mousse cakes easily mistaken for works of art. Although her cakes and sweets are almost too pretty to eat, once you take a bite of anything in her display case, your hesitancy to ruin her creations will go out the window. Share a Pick Me Up cake complete with Devil's food cake wrapped in espresso cheesecake, all sitting on a graham cracker crust, or take the fruity route and try the Lady Bug featuring pistachio cream in the center of raspberry mousse on top of an almond sponge cake. Pair any of these cakes, cookies or macarons with a mocha or caramel macchiato, or take your sweetness to the next level with a cookies n' cream frappe.
Best Place for Miniature Indulgences Petite Sweets Just because the name of this bakery implies small desserts, that doesn't mean the flavor is lacking. Sink your teeth into one of the famous custard sandwiches featuring two chocolate chip cookies and a thick filling of swirled chocolate and vanilla custard, or grab a cup of your favorite gelato paired with a macaron for a refreshingly, sweet dessert. Of course, a couple of miniature Bacon Jam Pancake Cupcakes or a few salty caramel macarons with a cappuccino make for an incredible evening dessert. Take a seat inside the bright and colorful sweet boutique, and indulge in a frozen custard parfait. If you want a larger cake or cheesecake, yes I'm talking about that vibrant red velvet cheesecake, then order it in advance or stop by BRC Gastropub.
Best Place for Late Night Sweet Tooth Cravings House of Pies Thank goodness the House of Pies on Kirby reopened because we were at a loss of where to go for late-night dessert cravings, specifically ones for pie. Cozy up to your own slice of apple pie, Texas pecan fudge or the ever-popular Bayou Goo complete with a crunchy pecan crust topped with cream cheese, vanilla custard, chocolate chunks, and the finishing touch of fluffy whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Honestly, any slice of pie at HOP will do the trick.
Best Place With Something for Everyone Ooh La La Dessert Boutique If you love cheesecake, your spouse prefers cookies and your kids want Rice Krispies treats and cupcakes, then Ooh La La Dessert Boutique is the place for you. There's something for everyone inside Vanessa O'Donnell's bakery. Each day her display cases are filled with a wide variety of desserts ranging from German chocolate and birthday cake cupcakes to turtle cheesecakes, banana cream pies, walnut fudge brownies and coconut cream pies. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more in the dessert cases that wrap around the store. It's hard to choose just one treat to eat at the bakery, but that's what to-go bags are for.
Best Place for A Chocoholic The Chocolate Bar Chocolate fanatics, this place is for you. It's like the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. Indulge your sweet tooth in one of the extraordinary giant slices of cake, such as Aunt Etta's Chocolate Cake with four layers of chocolate cake and icing, or Uncle Darryl's version featuring four layers of dark chocolate cake layered with chocolate frosting studded with toffee and bittersweet chocolate chunks plus a chocolate ganache coating. If cake isn't your go-to chocolate treat, we suggest a Junkyard chocolate candy bar cookie, a slice of Toll House chocolate chip cookie pie, chocolate pecan brownies or two scoops of creamy dreamy truffle ice cream.
Of course, you could just get a three-ounce chocolate bar and call it a day.
Best Place for Brilliant Pastries Common Bond How can a list of dessert places not include the newly established Common Bond? Each treat is masterfully created by chef Roy Shvartzapel and his team of pastry chefs. As you peel away the delicate layers on the almond croissant, or slice your fork through the work of art that is a kougn amman, you realize that you're about to eat something amazing. It's difficult to choose between the sticky buns or cinnamon rolls for breakfast, or a perfectly layered chocolate entremet or tiramisu for an afternoon dessert. All of the baked products look so enticing. But, you can never go wrong with a simple chocolate chip cookie. As soon as you break the cookie in half, the chocolate chips and chunks begin to melt, inviting you to gobble it all up right then and there.
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Best Place for Home-style American Sweets Red Dessert Dive Red Dessert Dive is a welcome addition to the Heights neighborhood. The desserts are down-home classic treats everyone grew up eating, like Italian cream cake and cupcakes, strawberry cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies. But, the best part is that you can sit down with a berry cobbler, scoop of banana pudding, or warm bread pudding paired with a glass of wine or local craft beer. How many places in Houston offer that sensational combo? During happy hour, guests receive $3 off wines and a dollar off all beers. We have to think a salted caramel brownie goes great with a Karbach Rodeo Clown.
Best Place for When You Don't Want to Eat at the Cheesecake Factory Happy Fatz Seriously, the cheesecakes at Happy Fatz are the shiz. Each is dense and creamy, just as a cheesecake should be. When you'd rather go somewhere local for a beautiful slice of Turtle Cheesecake swirled with toasted pecans and caramel sauce, or a sensational slice of White Chocolate Raspberry, Happy Fatz has got the hook up for you. The cheesecake options change daily, so call ahead and see what the Heights cafe and bakery has available. If a slice is too much for you, you can choose a miniature version that will certainly hit the spot. A classic New York Cheesecake topped with seasonal berries, or a light and fresh Strawberry Cheesecake finished off with a dollop of fresh whipped cream is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Best Place for Desserts Just Like Mom Used to Make Three Brothers Bakery Three Brothers Bakery has made a name for itself by sticking to its classic family recipes. Craving a slice of cake? Choose from honey pound cake, carrot cake, checkerboard rum cake, coconut crème, Italian crème, cookies and crème, seven layer mocha and so much more. The bakery also has cheesecakes, cupcakes, petit fours and a seemingly endless selection of cookies. You can't go wrong with a large gingerbread man or one of the beautiful dipped and decorated cookies, but a classic Jewish hamantaschen in any flavor will make your taste buds sing. Visit the location on Washington to create a cake parfait featuring layers of cake with various fillings, icings, cookie crumbs and extra toppings like fudge or sprinkles in a parfait glass.
Best Place to Stare at the Dessert Case Ruggles Cafe Bakery When you walk inside Ruggles Cafe Bakery, intending on having a sit-down meal, you will probably find yourself staring at the dessert case and your cravings will shift from savory to sweet. The Rice Village bakery serves everything from chocolate crème brulee and brownie a la mode to white chocolate bread pudding and hummingbird cake. The giant cakes and cheesecakes will make your mouth water. We can't get enough of the Red Velvet Cake featuring thick layers of vibrant red cake and cream cheese frosting; the thick, tall slice of cake also has cake crumbs on the outer frosting layer, adding a little touch of color to the off-white cream cheese frosting. Of course, the strawberry bomb which includes angel food cake, cold mascarpone and strawberries, is a refreshing and sugary treat on any hot day in Houston (which is just about every day). If you can't finish your dessert in one sitting, then we suggest taking it home for leftovers, and maybe throw in some more sweets while you're at it. You'll be glad you did when that midnight snack craving attacks.