Life Is Sweet: 10 Divine Dessert Destinations in Seattle

In Seattle, it's an effortless endeavor to satisfy your sweet tooth with a relaxed, sit-down dessert or an on-the-run bite that you won't soon forget. The Seattle area offers a wide range of dessert choices–from the traditional ice cream, cookies, and cupcakes, to local dessert fare that makes waves near and far. Seattle's bistros, bakeries, restaurants and food trucks offer something to tempt everyone's palate.

Molly Moon offers homemade ice cream with a rotating menu that changes with the seasons. Simply Desserts definitely lives up to its name, with selections that are simply delicious. The casual elegance of MistralKitchen and the cozy Francophile ambiance of Le Pichet are nicely counterbalanced by Fran's Chocolates and Fainting Goat Gelato. Unusual - and unusually addictive - flavor combinations like smoked salted caramel, honey lavender and balsamic strawberry are available year round. The best news: people with dietary restrictions can find organic, vegan or gluten-free options, too.

Are you more fond of sweet or spicy desserts? Richer treats or lighter fare? An elegant presentation on china and linens or a speedy, handheld option? You may have to look a bit harder than in some cities, but you'll also find that an increasing number of Seattle-area restaurants offer amazing desserts from around the world...and from right here at home.


Get transported to a Parisian cafe with charming, authentic decor like 19th-century sconces from a church in the French countryside, a clock that once hung in a Paris metro station and a host stand that once serviced a small French hotel. The food is equally delightful; try main dishes like moules frites, steak frites, the fish of the day, ricotta Cavatelli and the roasted half chicken with Dijon dumpling, black trumpet mushroom and Brussels sprout gratin. Enjoy desserts from Cherry Crumble Cake to Malted Milk Chocolate Cremeux. The Back Bar, the self-proclaimed "sexiest place in town" with a crystal chandelier and Art Deco sconces, is the ideal spot for cocktails before or after your meal.

Perk up your afternoon with a piping hot cup of organic coffee at Macrina. Happily, a wide variety of cakes, artisanal breads and pastries is available to accompany your java. You'll have trouble deciding between chocolate cranberry coffeecake glazed with chocolate ganache and a Morning Glory muffin, studded with pineapple, raisins, apple, coconu, and walnuts. Consistently garnering accolades from local publications, the friendly establishment is perfect for a rendezvous with old friends or for a quiet hour with the morning paper. Whether you choose an apple turnover, a piece of lemon sour cherry cheesecake, or one of their vegan cookies or gluten-free cupcakes, Macrina's fresh-baked goodies are sure to please.

The Whale Wins
Photo courtesy of The Whale Wins

The Whale Wins is the latest restaurant from award-winning chef Renee Erickson and partners Jeremy Price and Chad Dale (renowned throughout Seattle, thanks to their other masterpiece, Ballard's acclaimed The Walrus and the Carpenter). At this welcoming Fremont venue, the culinary team draws inspiration from the cuisine of some of Erickson's favorite places in southern Europe and England, and they promise their "wood-fired, vegetable focused menu will feature the very best foods from local beaches, gardens and farms prepared simply and served casually in a lively, light filled, cottage-like space." Diners should expect ripe, seasonal vegetables, wood-oven fired meats and fish, and pickled treats in a bright, beautiful setting. Finish the meal with delightful desserts like the can't-be-missed butter-roasted zucchini bread.

Westward & Little Gull
Photo courtesy of Photo by Sarah Flotard

Hot spot Westward is a water-inspired, full-service restaurant and bar that first opened its sails in the fall of 2013 on the north shore of Lake Union. The stellar culinary team sends out delectable, innovative dishes that balance contemporary Northwest and Mediterranean flavors with an approach called "natural and continually evolving, reflecting the simplicity of great products, fresh ingredients and the changing seasons. Dessert gems include the Affogato and Butterscotch Pot de Creme. A wood-burning oven anchors the kitchen, and each seat in the restaurant boasts stunning views of the lake and cityscape. Outside, a large deck, fire pit and beach area provide the ideal vantage point for sipping cocktails in the warmer month or to snuggle under wool blankets (provided by the venue) in the winter. A 150-foot dock provides boat parking or a place to tie up kayaks while enjoying plates of oysters or creative cocktails.

Brimmer and Heeltap
Photo courtesy of Will Foster

Since late 2013, this charming neighborhood venue has been delighting loyal patrons in an environment they call "inviting, lively and comforting." (We concur; it's all true!) The friendly staff pridefully brings "a sense of playfulness" to everything they do�from the authentic hospitality and warm ambiance to an inventive menu of fresh, seasonal dishes. Veggie lovers savor the delightful Poached Radish Salad and seasonal goodies like grilled, local asparagus, while stand-out mains range from the Salmon Aguachile (cured, sockeye salmon, radish, coriander) to the Guajillo Braised Beef Cheek (masa gnocchi, olive confit). For a memorable grand finale, tuck into the Horchata Panna Cotta (chile caramel, chocolate crisp) or seasonal delights, while vowing to return this to this welcoming Seattle oasis as soon as possible.

Sure, Molly Moon's doles out the oft-requested vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice creams at its many scoop shops around town. And they make them using local, organic and fair-trade ingredients whenever possible. But it's not just that: there are incredibly creative flavors like honey lavender, Earl Grey and Stumptown Coffee, too. In addition to their seasonal menu, more flavors are rotated in regularly ; follow them on Twitter to get notice of the newest releases, or to put in your own request. Have Molly Moon come to your company picnic, the family reunion, your friend's birthday party...or your own house. The best news? This delicious operation sources 90% of their ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.

Simply Desserts

This dessert shop offers dozens of tantalizing sweets, including Gooey Bailey's Irish Cream Cake. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a luscious morsel of chocolate truffle cake or perhaps a slice of chocolate cognac torte. A turtle brownie with a glass of milk will transport you back to your mother's kitchen. If you're in the mood for something a tad less decadent, strawberry cake and lemon blueberry cake are excellent choices too. In fact, whatever your desire, you're likely to find it at Simply Desserts. All desserts are made to order that same day, so call ahead to order your whole cakes or cookies-by-the-dozen.

Sometimes, a few pieces of quality chocolate are all the dessert you need. Since 1982, this nationally acclaimed chocolate authority has satisfied Seattle's sweet tooth with an unsurpassed array of sumptuous candies. According to the website, "[Fran's] pursuit of maintaining the purity of chocolate and pairing it with only the finest ingredients has been an inspiration to both chocolate artisans and aficionados alike." Fine truffles, candy bars and triple chocolate tortes are just a smattering of the goods that will have you grinning ear to ear. Find locations downtown, in Bellevue, University Village and Georgetown, too. Whether you're seeking the perfect gift or simply wanting to treat yourself, Fran's will do the trick.

Photo courtesy of RN74

Locals and visitors alike flock to RN74, Michael Mina's downtown outpost, known for "creative, modern, yet simple interpretations of regional French cuisine"—often presented in the most beautiful manner. In the chic lounge area, visitors enjoy delectable treats like chilled prawn cocktails and duck fat fries. Main dishes include locally-sourced, seasonal highlights like house-aged steaks, vegetables from local organic farms and Puget Sound seafood. Recent gems include the Sweet Corn Agnolotti, Anderson Valley Lamb Saddle, Local King Salmon Aux Poireaux and, of course, classic renditions Les Steak Frites. Decadent dessert "musts" range from beignets and profiteroles to coconut panna cotta and cheese platters, too. But perhaps, most importantly, patrons return for RN74's extensive wine list. From boutique Northwest wines to extremely rare vintages from Burgundy, RN74's collection of more than 2,200 bottle selections makes this a mecca for wine lovers from near and far.

Flying Apron
Photo courtesy of Flying Apron Bakery

Flying Apron bakery celebrates good health by using gluten-free, vegan ingredients; whole grain wheat-free flours and non-hydrogenated oils. Diners can use alternative methods to sweeten items with such ingredients as agave, maple syrup and stevia. The best news? There's no guilt involved when sampling the cafe's goodies that range from salads and soups to the sweet (muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cakes) and the savory (personal pizzas and shepherd's pie). Chefs get creative with the mock rye bread, tofu scrambles, pepper peanut quinoa, pesto tapinade pizza and delectable veggie lasagna. A few sidewalk tables give diners a nice outdoor-dining option for when the Seattle sun shines.


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne