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Celebrate National Dessert Day Sunday

We’ve picked 11 great places to satisfy your sweet tooth

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From pies, cakes, and cookies to donuts, crepes, and the famous Boston cream pie, we love our desserts. This Sunday, October 14, is National Dessert Day, so we’ve put together a list of 11 great bakeries, cafés, and chocolatiers in and around Boston so dessert lovers can fulfill their sweet tooth cravings. Have a favorite we haven’t included? Post it in the Comment section below.

The Paris Creperie
278 Harvard St., Brookline

This cozy café was inspired by a trip to Paris years ago by owner Charles Silvestro. Since 2001, he’s been serving up one of France’s most popular street foods. In addition to breakfast crepes and savory crepes, the menu has an array of dessert crepes, with ingredients like Nutella, peanut butter, chocolate, cinnamon, milk caramel, and fruit. The store has limited seating and fills up quickly. Order online and take your treat to go for an authentic Parisian street food experience.

Nutella chocolate crepe with fresh strawberries

Must try: Nutella chocolate crepe with fresh strawberries

Tatte Bakery & Café
1003 Beacon St., Brookline

This popular local chain (11 on both sides of the Charles River) offers a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, but its pastries and desserts alone are worth a trip. Try the croissants, with flavors like pistachio, strawberry and cheese, apple, and monkey bread. There are cakes, tarts, galettes, and gluten-free options as well. Warning: stop by early—the most popular pastries sell out by noon.

Almond croissant

Must try: Almond croissant

Clear Flour Bread
178 Thorndike St., Brookline

Tucked away in an unassuming Packard’s Corner storefront, this bakery specializes in handcrafted authentic French and Italian breads. But Clear Flour also has delicious pastries, like fruit tarts, eclairs, cookies, croissants, and more. One of the most popular items is the tea cakes, which might include vanilla pound, blueberry crumb, or chocolate whiskey, depending on the pastry chef’s whim.

Kouign-Amann pastry

Must try: Kouign-Amann, made with croissant-like dough and lots of butter

Lady M Confections
304 Newbury St., Boston

You have to look carefully to find this luxurious cake boutique—it’s underneath the Fjallraven store. The small shop doesn’t have seating—just one small counter, but you can admire the decadent pastries in the glass display case before ordering a slice to go. The place is well known for mille cakes—20 layers of stacked crepes—as visually stunning as they are delicious. The meringue shells and raspberry chocolate bars are equally good.

Green tea mille crepe cake

Must try: Green tea mille crepe cake

Flour Bakery + Café
30 Dalton St., Boston

“Make life sweeter…eat dessert first!” That’s the motto for Flour Bakery, a popular local chain renowned for its sticky buns, which have been lauded by celebrity chef Bobby Flay. One bite of these rolls, covered in dark, sticky caramel and toasted pecans tells you why. Among Flour’s other sweets are cakes, pies, cookies, and tarts (the lemon is a knockout), as well as a large selection of breakfast pastries.

sticky buns

Must try: Sticky bun

Mike’s Pastry
300 Hanover St., Boston

Founded in 1946, this legendary Italian bakery in the North End is a favorite of Bostonians and tourists alike. It’s best known for the cannoli and lobster tails, but also sells cakes, arcidati (fig cookies), biscotti, macaroons, and other mouth-watering pastries. Be prepared to wait in line if you stop by at night or on weekends. And bring cash: Mike’s doesn’t take credit cards.

two people hold cannoli at Mike's pastry

Must try: Chocolate chip cannoli

L. A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
220 Clarendon St., Boston

Back in 1987 in New York City, Larry Burdick founded this eponymous confectionary company that combines “Swiss know-how, French gastronomic thoughtfulness, and American imagination” to create decadent handmade chocolate confections. While the place may be best known for the signature chocolate mice and truffles, Burdick’s, which has stores in Back Bay and Harvard Square, also sells a variety of European-inspired pastries, including cakes like chocolate raspberry and chocolate-glazed lemon, tortes (the linzer torte is amazing), and more. The hot chocolate is an ideal drink for the cold weather months.

Drinking chocolate

Must try: Drinking chocolate, a big mug of thick, rich melted dark, milk, or white chocolate

Party Favors
1356 Beacon St., Brookline

This Coolidge Corner mainstay has been designing and selling custom cakes, cookies, candies, cupcakes, and more since 1965. While best known for their elaborately decorated cakes, Party Favors also offers a full line of French- and American-style tortes, pastries, and cookies—including some gluten-free and dairy-free options. Stop by to try one of the beautifully frosted cupcakes in unique flavors like passion fruit, Oreo, and hot chocolate.

boston cream cupcakes

Must try: Boston cream cupcake

C Fruit Life
171 Brighton Ave., Boston

This Chinese dessert spot began in Hong Kong more than 30 years ago and has since expanded into Mainland China, Australia, and now the United States. It offers colorful dishes with bold flavors and Instagram-worthy presentation. Try the signature snowdaes—mountains of shaved ice in an array of flavors—or one of the delicious puddings, crispy milk cakes, ice creams, or smoothies for a taste of genuine Hong Kong–style desserts.

Mango snowdae

Must try: Mango snowdae

Athan’s Bakery
1621 Beacon St., Brookline

Athan’s brings European café culture to Washington Square (there’s also one in Brighton Center). The café serves a variety of pastries, cakes, tarts, tortes, cookies, and handcrafted chocolate made with the finest ingredients, using traditional family recipes handed down over generations. The cozy brick-walled interior boasts plenty of marble-topped tables for catching up with friends.

baklava

Must try: Baklava, traditional Greek pastry made with filo dough, honey, and chopped nuts

Max Brenner
745 Boylston St., Boston

This chocolate bar has outposts throughout the world—happily, there’s one right here in Boston. A chocolate lover’s paradise, Max Brenner serves up a huge selection of chocolate-based dishes, including waffles, crepes, fondue, ice cream, hot chocolate drinks, and an out-of-this-world banana hazelnut crepe. You can’t go wrong with any dessert on the menu.

Chocolate chunks pizza

Must try: Chocolate chunks pizza, melted milk- and white-chocolate chunks and a choice of two toppings: hazelnut bits, bananas, peanut butter, or roasted marshmallows

In the mood for ice cream? Check out our list of 10 of the best ice cream parlors near campus here.

Madeleine O’Keefe can be reached at mokeefe@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter @OKeefeMadeleine.

6 Comments

6 Comments on Celebrate National Dessert Day Sunday

  • Kyuu on 10.12.2018 at 7:12 am

    Was there any thought put into why none of the many Asian bakeries around Boston were not included on this list? I didn’t realize it was national western cafe desserts day.

    • John O'Rourke, BU Today on 10.12.2018 at 11:15 am

      Kyuu, would you please post some bakeries that you feel should be on the list in the Comments section at the end of the story? Thank you.

      • Kyuu on 10.12.2018 at 1:48 pm

        Hi. I am happy to do that. A list of patisseries and cafes I think are worth checking are below. But before we get to that, I want to mention this is somewhat exceptional and I think most publications wouldn’t ask their readers to do some of the legwork. However, I understand BU Today is primarily student run and you are actively engaging with me based on a concern I voiced, which I appreciate.

        That being said, my comment was mainly about the editorial process and the lack of foresight into the diversity at BU, which includes a diversity of tastes due to cultural background as well as price point. I’ve either liked or been recommended all these bakeries on the list, and I don’t have a problem with them personally. But my point is that when someone reads a fluff/fun piece like this and they do not see their socioeconomic or cultural identity (and ergo, needs) reflected on these kinds of lists, you are unintentionally excluding people from the BU/Boston experience. Diversity is not just engaging people on serious topics but also taking their existence seriously, including in preferences or perspectives for lighter topics.

        While not all the bakeries I’m about to list are necessarily Instagram-worthy, but the food is fine. My list is also by no means exhaustive, but just to give you a sampling of alternate options when thinking through pieces like this.

        Asian:
        Ho Yuen Bakery (Chinatown)
        Eldo Cake House (Chinatown)
        Tous Les Jours (Downtown/Allston)
        101 Bakery (Chinatown)
        Japonaise Bakery and Cafe (Brookline)
        Yi Soon Bakery (Allston/Brighton)
        Paris Baguette (Cambridge)

        Latin American (which I have less experiences with, but they are also numerous in Boston):
        La Sultana Bakery (East Boston)
        Lolly’s Bakery (East Boston)
        Cucchiello Bakery (East Boston)
        Tito’s Bakery (Chelsea)

        • I'm Asian Too on 10.13.2018 at 4:51 pm

          Alright Kyuu, thank you for the list– but why so sensitive.. it’s literally just an article.

  • Amina on 10.12.2018 at 1:09 pm

    Great list!
    May I also suggest Japonaise Bakery which is a Japanese/ French bakery close to campus.

  • Bill on 10.13.2018 at 3:22 pm

    Modern. Better than Mike’s.

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