Ranked: The 21 Best Desserts in Town
Life's short--order seconds
In San Francisco, you have your pick of the best of the best, including deconstructed cake, do-it-yourself soft-serve and the one and only peanut muscovado milk shot. (Trust us, it’s amazing.)
Here are the 21 restaurant desserts to add to your list of must-eats.
21. BLACK SESAME ICE-CREAM SANDWICH AT RAMEN SHOP
Thin, moist brown-butter cookies cradle rich black-sesame ice cream in the perfect combo of savory and sweet.
5812 College Ave., Oakland; 510-640-5034 or ramenshop.com
20. POT DE CRÈME AT TROYA
Infused with Turkish coffee and topped with whipped labneh (strained yogurt), this rich bowl is not for the faint of heart.
2125 Fillmore St.; 415-563-1000 or troyasf.com
19. GINGER CAKE AT CHOW
It will remind you of fall, but you can order it off the menu year-round. And, as unassuming as it is, this cake is one of restaurant critic Michael Bauer’s favorites.
Multiple locations in the Bay Area; chowfoodbar.com
18. BOMBOLONI CALDI AT DELAROSA
Three soft Italian-style doughnuts + three dipping sauces (chocolate, raspberry, mascarpone cream) = double triple threat.
Multiple locations in San Francisco; delarosasf.com
17. CHEVRE CHEESECAKE AT FOREIGN CINEMA
Nothing boring about this cheesecake, which comes with seasonal berries and an oat crumble that cuts through the richness.
2534 Mission St.; 415-648-7600 or foreigncinema.com
16. DOUGHNUT BREAD PUDDING AT CAUSWELLS
It may not be pretty, but don’t let that fool you. This bread pudding drowning in spiced milk will convert even the staunchest naysayer.
2346 Chestnut St.; 415-447-6081 or causwells.com
15. MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE-CREAM SANDWICH AT PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB
Cocoa nibs for crunch. House-made mint marshmallows, ever so slightly charred to perfection.
563 Ruger St.; 415-885-1888 or presidiosocialclub.com
14. ZEPPOLE AT PICCINO
Fresh from the fryer, we bet you can’t eat just one.
1001 Minnesota St.; 415-824-4224 or piccino.com
13. POP TART AT STONES THROW
Say hello to the gourmet version of your guiltiest breakfast treat.
1896 Hyde St.; 415-796-2901 or stonesthrowsf.com
12. “BIRTHDAY CAKE” AT PARK TAVERN
Flavors change monthly, and it doesn’t have to be your birthday to indulge.
1652 Stockton St.; 415-989-7300 or parktavernsf.com
11. ESPRESSO GRANITA AT ZUNI
Icy and caffeinated with just the right amount of sweetness from a light whipped cream.
1658 Market St.; 415-552-2522 or zunicafe.com
10. 'NILLA PUDDING TART AT CORRIDOR
Two words: vanilla butter. Ask for a little scoop of the sweet, sweet stuff to go.
100 Van Ness Ave.; 415-834-5684 or corridorsf.com
9. SOFT-SERVE SUNDAE AT ZERO ZERO
For this DIY treat, you choose the flavor (vanilla, chocolate or swirl), the toppings (from hot fudge to house-made “Junior Mints”) and the side of your choice (doughnuts, brownie, brown-sugar cake). Because what’s dessert without some more dessert?
826 Folsom St.; 415-348-8800 or zerozerosf.com
8. LUMBERJACK CAKE AT FRANCES
Don’t judge this cake by its color. The flavor is rich and layered, thanks to Medjool dates, pears and coconut.
3870 17th St.; 415-621-3870 or frances-sf.com
7. BUTTERSCOTCH AND CHOCOLATE POT DE CRÈME AT TOWN HALL
Butterscotch pudding layered over rich dark chocolate pudding, with shards of butter-crunch toffee on top. Need we say more?
342 Howard St.; 415-908-3900 or townhallsf.com
6. PRINCESS CAKE AT VOLTA
Not your typical slice, this dessert comes deconstructed--but that just makes the fluffy vanilla-almond cake, custard and marzipan one step easier to inhale.
868 Mission St.; 628-400-6200 or voltasf.com
5. PANNA COTTA AT DELFINA
Just when you thought you couldn’t eat another bite, there’s this little bit of heaven on a plate.
Multiple locations in San Francisco; delfinasf.com
4. LEMON MOUSSE AND BROWN BUTTER STREUSEL AT LEO'S OYSTER BAR
It’s a mouthful of citrus cream with enough sweet streusel crumble to cut the tartness and leave you longing for the next bite.
568 Sacramento St.; 415-872-9982 or leossf.com
3. “WORLD PEACE” PEANUT MUSCOVADO MILK SHOT AT STATE BIRD PROVISIONS
This creamy shot of peanut milk with a pinch of black muscovado (dark, unrefined sugar) might actually save the world.
1529 Fillmore St.; 415-795-1272 or statebirdsf.com
2. “CANDY BAR” AT AL'S PLACE
The restaurant’s inventive version of a PayDay: a warm chocolate brownie, gooey caramel and crunchy peanuts topped with creamy peanut butter ice cream. You’ll never look at candy bars the same way again.
1499 Valencia St.; 415-416-6136 or alsplacesf.com
1. STRAWBERRY “GOOD HUMOR” AT SPAGHETTI BROS.
This layered take on a childhood classic will bring you right back to summer afternoons at the ice-cream truck.
3213 Scott St.; 415-400-8500 or spaghettibrossf.com