Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature foods really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. Charleston has had much success creating a substantial market for Dessert. Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent food, and you'll often find them, along with eager tourists, at popular Kaminsky's or at Paolo's Gelato Italiano, a major player in the field. Make sure you see what all the fuss is about!

10 Kaminsky's
Kaminsky's is a dessert place with a full bar. So if you find yourself craving cheesecake and an Amaretto, say, you know where to go. Sweet martinis, coffee drinks, milkshakes and sundaes, and about 25 cakes, pies and cheesecakes to choose from. Good luck! (843-853-8270)

9 Boone Hall Farms
The café at Boone Hall Farms market serves huge slabs of cake — the chocolate is absolutely sinful, and the spicy, tender carrot cake has a thick layer of cream cheese icing that has to be seen to be believed. There's also ice cream and a few home baked cookies and brownies, if you'd rather. Before you indulge in all that, take a peek around the store, where you'll find an assortment of clever gifts, wine, produce and gourmet foods. And if time permits, this is a great place for lunch, with satisfying sandwiches, soups, and chilidogs. Free WiFi too. (843-856-8154, 843-856-5366)

8 Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream
Ice cream, the old-fashioned way. 32 flavors, in drippy, goopy hot fudge sundaes, mammoth banana splits, and creamy milkshakes. If you need to precede the sugar with a meal, you can get satisfactory sandwiches and burgers here too. There are a few other locations in the region, including West Ashley and North Charleston. (843-727-1227)

7 SweetSmith
Martha Feil and Lynn Smith craft divine goodness. Pies, cheesecakes, layer cakes, and cookies, each one as tempting and satisfying as the next. Breakfast-y offerings include cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, muffins and hot coffee. If you're looking for a between-meals treat, or a special occasion dessert, you can't go wrong here! (843-573-2322)

6 Paolo's Gelato Italiano
Cool off with a scoop of Italian-style ice cream, available in a host of exotic flavors. (843-577-0099)

5 Pitt Street Pharmacy
Pitt Street Pharmacy's old-fashioned soda fountain is ideal for an afternoon pick-me-up. Try a thick chocolate milkshake, a malt, a cherry Coke or a double-dip cone. (843-884-4051)

4 Kilwin's
After a long day covering Market Street and the surrounding Charleston attractions, delve into the sweet seduction of Kilwin's Chocolate and Ice Cream. The sweet aroma of sugar heaven hits you as open the door. With so many flavors to choose from and so many ways to savor them, it's easy to see why visitors rave about this tiny little shop in the French Quarter. (843-722-6887)

3 Cupcake
What is it about cupcakes? We loved them when we were kids, and some of us never lost that affection. Luckily for us, expert cupcake makers are "opening shop" all over the country, and Charleston has its very own cupcake specialist. Choosing from the array of flavors may prove to be difficult — depending on the day, you might try lemon-blueberry, red velvet, praline, chocolate chip mint, cinnamon swirl, rocky road, with classic chocolate and vanilla versions available every day. Yum! (843-853-8181)

2 Charleston Cookie Company
Nationally recognized on Food Network's Rachael Ray Show, this tempting shop's rumored to sell the best treats in town, from their specialty chocolate-chip pecan cookie, and other decadent products like the Oreo brownie, soft gingerbread cookie and white chocolate cranberry cookie. Popular for holiday gifts and corporate events! (843-762-4185, 800-606-9001)

1 Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts
Started in late 2010 by Culinary Institute of Charleston graduate and aspiring chef Allison Smith and her husband Mark Remi, Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts stands as the best doughnut shop in town. All of the doughnuts are made from scratch using always fresh, all natural, ingredients with as many local inputs used as possible. The doughnuts on the menu are changed daily and they rotate through nearly one hundred different kinds of doughnuts, cinnamon buns, eclairs, and twists of all different flavors. ((843) 577-5557)

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Maps and Directions

Kaminsky's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Bakery, Ice Cream
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Pastry Chef, Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
Boone Hall Farms 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Southern
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: MOUNT PLEASANT
Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Ice Cream
Dining Options: Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
SweetSmith 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Bakery
Dining Options: Kosher, Take Out
Neighborhood: WEST ASHLEY
Paolo's Gelato Italiano 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Ice Cream, Italian
Neighborhood: JOHNS ISLAND
Pitt Street Pharmacy 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Southern
Neighborhood: MOUNT PLEASANT
Kilwin's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cupcake 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Bakery
Neighborhood: Downtown
Charleston Cookie Company 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Bakery
Dining Options: Take Out
Neighborhood: JAMES ISLAND
COST: $$
Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Bakery
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Pastry Chef, Take Out