Forget dieting as a New Year’s resolution. Your new resolution is to try as many of these in 2018 as possible.
17. Convivial’s Milk Chocolate Crème Brulee
When it comes to crème brulee, I tend to be a purist. I like classic vanilla bean, where the custard is sweet, creamy and fragrant. But when I had the milk chocolate crème brulee at Convivial, I was smitten. It is so sinfully silky, with such a quintessential chocolate flavor, that all other crème brulees pale in comparison.
16. Colada Shop’s Guava Pastelito
I love the simplicity of this baked treat. Its features a buttery, flaky crust filled with sweet guava jam. It’s just so comforting, and pairs so well with a cup of coffee, that I find myself craving one at least once a week.
15. On Rye’s Chocolate Egg Cream
I used to work at a Jewish Deli when I was in high school and I had to make egg creams by the dozen several times a day. Although I grew sick of them then, I crave them now. Good ones are hard to find, but the one at On Rye is reminiscent of the sweet concoction I made so often. You may not know this but an egg cream does not have any egg in it. It’s a blend of cold milk, seltzer, and chocolate; basically a fizzy, foamy, chocolate milk. Try the one at On Rye, it is sweet and bubbly and super refreshing!
(Ed. Note: We wrote this before On Rye closed. If you know of any great places to get an egg cream, leave a comment below.)
14. Baba’s Baklava
Baklava is a good thing. And at Baba’s it’s at its best. Layers and layers of soft phyllo, sandwiched between chopped nuts and soaked in a warm honey syrup. Its sticky and sweet and oh so satisfying.
13. Dabney’s Apple Crumble
I love all versions of apple pie. Apple crisps, apple crumbles, apple brown bettys. The apple crumble at the Dabney is an apple dessert lover’s dream. Sweet apples are baked under a spice infused crunchy crumble and then topped with a dollop of woodruff ice cream. Don’t know what woodruff is? I didn’t either until I tried the it at the Dabney. It’s a green plant with a sweet, woodsy flavor. When blended with cream and sugar it makes me feel like I’m eating a sweet, cold evergreen; basically it tastes like the holidays! Enjoying it with the warm crumble is delightful; the woodruff flavor is complimented by the clove, cardamom and nutmeg in the crunchy topping. I would head over to try this dish right away, its likely not going to be on the menu for much longer.
12. Calle Cinco’s Churros
Fried pastry doused in sugar, served with a chocolate dipping sauce. Does dessert get any better than churros? Not all churros are created equally however. The ones at Calle Cinco are especially decadent, right out of the fryer and with a super rich, dark chocolate dipping sauce.
11. Lupo Verde’s Coppa del Nonno
Whenever I go to Lupo Verde I order this dessert. It features a rich coffee and chocolate semifreddo, which is basically a frozen mousse, served in a mug that has been draped in Nutella, and then topped with crunchy caramelized nuts. Its luscious, creamy, chocolate-y and the perfect end to your Italian meal.
10. Rare Sweets’ Mini Pumpkin Cocoa Bourbon Cake
The mini cakes at Rare Sweets are some of my favorite desserts in town, both for how visually tempting they are, and for the care that goes into making them. The flavors change with the seasons, but one of the best is the pumpkin cocoa bourbon. Layers of pumpkin spiced cake are enrobed in a rich, silky bourbon infused milk chocolate frosting and adorned with a crunchy nut. The pumpkin cake is mild, with just a hint of nutmeg and cardamom and the frosting is heady and addictive.
9. Woodward Table’s Petit Four Plate
On their website, they call it famous. And for good reason. This dessert is a compilation of nine decadent mini sweets, each one better than the next. Mini macaroons, small squares of cheesecake, a tiny lemon meringue, chocolate mousse topped with a dollop of pistachio cream, truffles, passion fruit cake and more. This is the dessert if everyone at your table wants to share something but has different tastes. Of course, it is possible for just one person to eat them all. I tried, and succeeded.
8. Astro Donut’s Chai Latte Donut
Donut shops are exploding in D.C., with each shop trying to outdo each other with new and innovate flavors. Some of them are too over the top for me, but Astro has one that is both creative and delicious: the chai latte donut. This heavenly creation is filled with Chai pastry cream, topped with a sugary glaze and sprinkled with white and dark chocolate cookie pearls. I love the crunchy little pearls, which are a great contrast to the yeasty donut. The filling is smooth, creamy and not overly sweet. It’s like having your morning chai and pastry all rolled into one glorious donut.
7. Etete’s Napoleon
I’ve always love the simple flavors of a napoleon: fragrant vanilla custard, crispy puffed pastry, and sweet royal icing. The one at Etete is slightly different than the classic Napoleon, and dare I say, even better. The pastry cream is infused with pistachio, adding a buttery and nutty flavor profile. The dessert is then sprinkled with chopped pistachios, bringing an extra crunch. The contrasting textures with the delicious flavors yields the perfect final note to your meal.
6. The Cookie Jar’s Edible Cookie Dough
I happened to be wandering around Adams Morgan when I stumbled upon this place. A pop-up on 18th street where the sell jars of edible cookie dough to go. They offer a variety of flavors, including oatmeal raisin, m&m, and snickerdoodle, but the chocolate chip is the one I find to be truly absolutely heavenly. Melt-in-your-mouth sticky, slightly gritty cookie dough with hunks of chocolate chips that you can eat with a spoon all day long, without the risk of salmonella. Its like a little jar of joy.
5. Iron Gate’s Loukoumades
Loukoumades are Greek donut holes; small fried spheres of dough, soaked in honey flavored syrup. At Iron Gate, these small donuts come piled high in a glass bowl, perfect for sharing with your friends. Each one is crispy and sweet on the outside, with a soft, moist interior. You will want to lick your fingers when you are done. And you should.
4. All Purpose’s Rainbow Cake
This cake is so stunningly beautiful you will not want to cut into it. You will marvel at the bright colors, the perfect, even layers of cake, the glassy spool of chocolate. But once you take a bite, you won’t be able to stop eating it. The cake has a lovely spongy texture and an incredible sweet and nutty almond flavor. Served in a pool of chocolate and with a dollop of whipped cream it is as tasty as it is beautiful to look at.
3. Blue Duck Tavern’s Ice Cream Sandwich
Blue Duck Tavern has all the best desserts. Classic apple pie. Perfect sugar cookies. And in the summer, the tastiest ice cream sandwich in town. This is no ordinary ice cream sandwich. Two crisp, sweet funnel cakes sandwich a scoop of cold, luscious summer corn ice cream. Expect the best sugar high of your life.
2. Fare Well’s Funfetti Cake
This is the cake of my dreams. Really. I am going to order one for my birthday and eat the whole damn thing myself. The dough is so soft and moist, and the frosting is so perfectly sweet and the ball of cookie dough on each slice is pastry genius . Hats off to Jenny Webb; this is the best cake in DC.
1. Inferno’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies are my end all, be all favorite dessert of all time. Warm, gooey, melt in your mouth freshly baked soft cookies. And at Inferno they are just that. Made with peanut butter and chocolate chips, these cookies are baked and served to you right out of the oven. They come four to an order. You should order two. One to eat now, and one to take home to eat tomorrow. Or later that night. Or in the car ride home.