How Sweet It Is! L.A.'s Top Dessert Spots



When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, Los Angeles has countless restaurants, bakeries, ice cream shops and cafes that serve up tasty treats. So how is a dessert lover to choose? Like much of what happens in L.A., choices are often made by proximity. It's tough to drive for 20 miles in traffic for your favorite piece of pie, let's face it. But sometimes, the travel time is worth it, as proven by these top places for dessert and coffee that range all over our gigantic city. A number of the most delicious are found in downtown L.A., including Pitchoun! French Bakery Cafe and Bottega Louie, places where customers can have a full meal before indulging in their epic desserts. Out by the beach in Santa Monica, Huckleberry reigns supreme, while in the San Fernando Valley, Porto's Bakery always draws a crowd. For classic treats all night long, Du-par's has been satisfying peoples' dessert cravings (especially for pie) since 1938, still in the Fairfax District right by The Original Farmer's Market where it began so long ago; and Fosselman's is the grandaddy of them all, making homemade ice cream since 1919 in Alhambra and drawing fans from every corner of the city. So no matter where you roam in the City of Angels, there's a place to indulge in a piece of pie, a chocolate fantasy, a churro, cobbler or mousse, an ice cream cone or gelato scoop. It's the beauty of living in a city this large.



10
Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe
Photo courtesy of Huckleberry Bakery Photo by Matt Armendariz


 

Everything Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe serves is made on site, using top-quality ingredients, including organic flour, Vahlrona chocolate and farmers' market produce. As the menu explains, their offerings are "almost exclusively" organic and GMO free, sourced from local growers every day. There are plenty of sweet delights here, changing seasonally. Expect Blueberry Cornmeal Cake, eclairs, assorted cookies, doughnuts, fruit tarts and more, paired with specialty coffees from Caffe Luxxe Coffee Roasters or loose-leaf teas from the Art of Tea. Before indulging, have a full meal for lunch or an early dinner (they close by 5 p.m.) and top it off with one of the delectable desserts that have put this place on the map since 2009.


9
North Hollywood
Republic of Pie
Photo courtesy of Republic of Pie


 

It's pretty easy to figure out what Republic of Pie does best â€" this NoHo Arts District pie place and coffeehouse consistently offers up slices of warm pie that simply melt in your mouth. Classics including Strawberry Rhubarb, Pecan or Banana Cream are naturally found here, along with more exotic choices including Earl Grey Cream Pie, Marionberry or the Triple Threat Pie Cake. Coffee is taken to an art here as well, as baristas create beautiful designs in the perfect lattes and other specialty drinks they serve. There's an extensive menu of teas as well here; and like any good coffeehouse, savory offerings of quiche, pot pies and grilled cheese sandwiches are also available.


8
Alhambra
Fosselman's
Photo courtesy of Fosselman's


 

The 48 flavors of homemade ice cream that Fosselman's makes were born in Iowa in 1919 and brought to Alhambra in 1924 by three brothers dedicated to making the very best. It's obvious that they had the right idea, as the soda fountain continues to this day, still run by the Fosselman clan. Flavors range from classic Tahitian vanilla to Burgundy Cherry (with big chunks of Oregon bing cherries stirred in by hand) or Coffee & Cookies (Oreos, naturally), all the way to Green Tea, Lychee and even Taro. We only want Rocky Road! But now and then, the sorbets call our name; there's lowfat frozen yogurt, too, if there are some crazy days when counting calories are important. For regular days, make room for their milkshakes, sundaes, banana splits and smoothies. It's worth it!


7
Bottega Louie Restaurant, Gourmet Market and Patisserie
Photo courtesy of Bottega Louie


 

The lure of Bottega Louie is obvious from the moment you step through the doors. Suddenly, your senses are assaulted by the brilliant colors of a bakery case chock full of French Macaron cookies, gorgeously displayed. Keep walking and you'll see even more delectable desserts in the case; but we suggest that you wait until after a meal to indulge in those delights. For Bottega Louie is much more than just a lovely patisserie. It's a huge, noisy restaurant with 255 seats and a friendly staff ready to serve up tasty pizzas, pastas, salads and main courses. Dive into the Crab Beignets, served with a tangy Remoulade sauce. The Trenne pasta is like nothing you've ever had, hollow pan-seared pasta smothered in braised prime rib eye and kale. Don't miss dessert, of course, particularly the Chocolate Souffle, the Butterscotch Budino and those gorgeous Macarons.


6
Miracle Mile/Fairfax District
Du-par's
Photo courtesy of Jenny Peters

 

It doesn't matter what time of day or night you are hungry, Du-par's is open and ready to feed you. Since 1938, this homey diner has been satisfying just about any craving you could have, be it a hearty breakfast of fresh eggs, pancakes, French toast or one of their famous blue-plate specials. For lunch or dinner, Du-par's offers a wide range of sandwiches (BLT, Monte Cristo, French dip, Reuben, to name a few), salads, appetizers and entrees, but they have made their name because of their pies. There are more than 10 mouth-watering choices baked daily right on the premises (beyond the Original Farmer's Market restaurant, there are locations in Pasadena, Encino and Studio City), as well as seasonal specials like pumpkin, peach or apricot.


5
West Los Angeles
B Sweet Desert Bar
Photo courtesy of B Sweet Desert Bar


 

Chef Barb Batiste has singlehandedly made Bread Pudding into an art at B Sweet Dessert Bar in West Los Angeles, using recipes she developed while cooking for her extended Filipino-American family. Now she serves up six kinds of bread pudding each week, chosen from the over 40 flavors she has created. Have banana chocolate one day, then try the salted caramel the next. These things, served hot in an individual-sized white paper container, are addictive. We also love the German Chocolate Cake, so watch for that when it is on the menu. nd don't miss tasting the Classic Baked Goods that have been on the menu from the beginning � CCBB Banana Bread, Fudgiest Brownie, Sluttiest Brownie and the Cookie Monster. For coffee that will get your heart racing, go for B Sweet's Nitro Can Coffee, but be prepared. That stuff is full of tasty, rich java, but it is rocket fuel � you won't sleep for hours after having one of those!


4
Fairfax District
Cake Monkey Bakery
Photo courtesy of Cake Monkey Bakery


 

At Cake Monkey Bakery, co-owners Lisa Olin and Elizabeth Belkind are dedicated to bringing back the best memories of your childhood, with one key difference. Their versions of those mass-produced sweet treats (think Pop Tarts, Ring Dings, you get the idea) are a whole different animal, homemade (of course) and like nothing you ever tasted out of a cardboard box. Try the luscious Pop Pies, bursting with cherry, blueberry apple or chocolate almond fillings, or go for the El Rollo, with chocolate cake rolled up with vanilla cream, coated with bittersweet chocolate and you'll be happy to be an adult, indulging in a whole different level of delicious than in those childhood days. Try their mini layer cakes, too, individual cakes with melt-in-your mouth ingredients like the Triple Berry Crumble Cake. Order any of those in full size, too, or go fore one of their award-winning pies, like the Cider Roasted Apple Pie in Double Cheddar Crust. We love their Li'l Merri's, an oatmeal cream pie sandwich cookie filled with maple vanilla buttercream; those things are decadently addictive.


3
Porto's Bakery & Cafe


 

Rosa Porto emigrated to Los Angeles from Cuba in 1960 and brought with her the recipes that have sustained her famous bakery ever since. She's now retired, but her kids and her extended family still bake up her world-class delicacies at three locations (Burbank, Glendale and Downey) and fans still line up to get a taste. Be sure to try the Cheese Rolls (a cream-cheese filled flaky pastry) for only 80 cents each, along with the classic Refugiados (a guava and cream-cheese strudel), which will cost you 89 cents. Porto's Tres Leches Cake is a 10-inch yellow sponge cake soaked in a three-milk sauce and topped with meringue icing, a steal for $17.05. Don't miss the savory delights found here, too, from the infamous Potato Ball (a mashed-potato ball filled with seasoned ground beef and fried up) for $1 to the empanadas and chorizo pies that melt in your mouth.


2
La Cienega Corridor
Sweet Lady Jane


 

It was over 25 years ago that Jane Lockhart brought her passion for cakes to Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood; nowadays Sweet Lady Jane has two more locations, in Santa Monica and Encino. Her custom cakes are constantly sought after by everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Stevie Wonder; and the ones for sale every day match the quality of those special creations. The triple berry cake is legendary, or try the lemon tart, chocolate fudge blackout cake or one of the many delectable cheesecakes, cookies, brownies or pastries. Visitors can settle in for dessert and coffee or tea, or have a full lunch and stay for the cake afterward.


1
Pitchoun! French Bakery Cafe
Photo courtesy of Pitchoun! French Bakery Photo by Anne Fishbien


 

At Pitchoun! French Bakery Cafe, Frederic and Fabienne Soulies prepare everything from scratch using their family's traditional recipes. The couple migrated from France to Downtown Los Angeles in order to bring those unique French boulangerie tastes to Southern California. So you'll find crusty baguettes, of course, along with croissants, brioches and other baked goods. But it's the desserts that will make you swoon, all made with eggs from free-range and pasture-raised chickens, and the highest quality pressed extra virgin olive oil or canola oils (no hydrogenated oils). Think Macarons, Madeleines, Tart Tatin, Creme Brulee and more. All are so good you'll be hard pressed to choose just one. Pitchoun! also offers cold and hot sandwiches, tartines, salads and soups in the cafe, so you can have a full meal here, topped off with a lovely dessert and a cappuccino.


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Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny

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