Maybe you know it as “Hotlanta.” Maybe you know it as the city where The Walking Dead is filmed. Regardless, most people don’t think of Atlanta as a prime food destination, but us natives know that our city has some true gems that should grace every foodie’s bucket list. So once you have made your way through all of Atlanta’s best savory dishes, be sure to save room and hunt down our city’s must-try desserts.
1. Croissant from Little Tart Bakeshop
You may be in Atlanta, but at this bakery, your tastebuds will take a sweet trip to France. The Little Tart Bakeshop offers a small handful of perfectly crafted, sweet and savory French pastries made from local ingredients.
Don’t leave without trying one of their crisp and light, yet buttery and decadent, croissants. Choose from plain, chocolate, almond, or ham and cheese. Plus, eating French cuisine automatically makes you healthier, right?
2. Georgia Bourbon Pecan Pie from Pie Shop
Peanuts may be Georgia’s state crop, but we actually reign supreme pecan production. Honor this fact with a slice of pecan pie from the absolute best pie maker in town: The Pie Shop. They must know some serious secret trick to making pecan pie to whip out these notorious beauties.
If you’re allergic to nuts, worry not. The Pie Shop rotates their 100+ flavors monthly. Select from a wide variety of Southern classics like sweet potato, seasonal favorites like blackberry, and more original flavors like Almond Joy.
3. The A-Town Doughnut from Sublime Doughnuts
We may think of doughnuts as breakfast food, but let’s be real. Doughnuts are desserts in disguise, and Sublime has some of the best in the nation. Since you’re in Atlanta, you should respectfully try the A-town — a classic cream-filled doughnut shaped exactly like you would expect.
If you happen to stop by on a day when chef Kamal Grant cooks up one of his signature off-the-wall flavors, you might as well and try one of those too.
4. Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Morelli’s
Sure, Jeni’s makes some great ice cream, but true Atlantans will tell you to take a visit to Morelli’s mom-and-pop creamery. Their extra creamy homemade ice cream ranked them the 4th Best Ice Cream Shop in America in 2009. You could try one of their many famous exotic flavors or stick with their most popular item, salted caramel.
5. Coca Cola Cake from West Egg Cafe
Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca Cola, so down here, we use our favorite soda brand for practically everything. But the absolute best way to use of Coca Cola (besides drinking it) is to make a cake out of it, and no one makes a Coca Cola cake better than West Egg Cafe.
Geniusly incorporating soda into the cake and frosting adds an extra layer of unique sweetness and makes it incredibly light and airy.
6. Chocolate Cake from Wright’s Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe
You haven’t enjoyed a true chocolate cake until you’ve had a taste from Wright’s Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe. Their chocolate dessert has perfectly proportioned layers of cake and frosting that expertly balance dense fudginess with airy creaminess. Chocoholics and chocolate skeptics alike are sure to find something to love in this slice of cake.
7. Opera Cake from Alon’s Bakery
This small European market contains a grocery section, deli, and prepared foods counter, but Alon’s shining glory is their bakery. Their pastry case holds some of the most dazzling desserts you’ve ever seen. In fact, compared to some of their other options, the Opera Cake may appear unassuming, but it packs a mouthful of taste.
To create this seemingly simple layered dessert, they soak a light almond sponge cake in coffee syrup before topping it with a rich, bittersweet ganache and espresso cream. They repeat this process two more times before finishing with an extra chocolate glaze.
8. Sticky Toffee Pudding from 4th and Swift
People often think of fruit desserts as light and refreshing, but this is not the case with 4th and Swift’s sticky toffee pudding. This date-based dessert takes indulgence to a whole new level.
A warm, dense date cake meets crunchy candied pecans and cool vanilla ice cream. Finally, as they pour the fresh, homemade caramel sauce over the dessert, the ice cream (and your heart) begins to melt.
9. Cake Shake from Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand
Cake Batter Milkshakes sure sound delicious. Milkshakes made with Madagascar vanilla and homemade double chocolate or red velvet cupcakes? Now that sounds like the dessert mashup of dreams. The name makes meat come to mind, but Atlanta loves a milkshake from Delia’s.
10. Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae from Canoe
It begins with a base of velvety popcorn that’s been infused with ice cream, but the unbelievable layers don’t end there. On top, you have more than a drizzle of caramel, tangy crème fraîche, and crunchy caramel corn (all homemade, by the way). This innovative concoction packs every flavor and texture you could ever ask for in one simple bite.
11. Ice Cream Sandwich from Miller Union
You’ve had ice cream sandwiched between cookies before. Maybe you’ve even had ice cream sandwiched between cookie dough. But what about homemade artisanal ice cream sandwiched between blondies or brownies? Miller Union has discovered the perfect way to turn an ice cream sundae into a neat, parchment-wrapped dessert.
Their seasonal flavors are constantly changing, but you can expect these three options daily: savory basil, brown butter, and sweet corn. Make sure to get there early, because they only sell these babies around lunchtime.
12. Aztec Sipping Chocolate from Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company
Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company plays a role in every step of the chocolate production process. They work with local growers to control the planting and cultivating of their cacao beans, so you know they care about providing you with quality every time. You can purchase many of their high quality chocolates online, but you can only enjoy their incredibly thick, slightly spicy, hot chocolate in-store.
13. Crème Brûlée from Kimball House
We’ve all experienced that magical moment when your spoon cracks through a crème brûlée’s burnt sugar lid and into a pool of cold (perhaps uniquely flavored) custard. But that moment becomes so much more at Kimball House, where the creme brûlée is actually served slightly warm.
By torching the crème brûlée lowly from afar, chef Maitre d’ William Bubier warms the dessert in order to bring out the vanilla flavor and give it a homey touch.
14. Hokkaido Cupcake from Sweet Hut Bakery
Sweet Hut offers such a wide variety of baked goods that it can be difficult to choose what you want. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, make sure to get their hokkaido cupcake. Similar to sponge cake, this Japanese-inspired dessert has a cloud-like texture and mild sweetness that makes it the perfectly light, after-dinner treat.
If you crave a sweeter, more indulgent dessert, their list of popular cakes, pastries, filled buns, and doughnuts is endless.
15. Any Cookie from Ali’s Cookies
I personally adore their M&M chocolate chip cookie, but as someone who has tried every single one of their 15+ flavors, I can assure you that you cannot possibly go wrong with any of them.
Cookies seem like such a simple dessert, but even the most decked out recipe can’t compare to Ali’s cookies. Each one has a perfectly soft center, a nice crisp outside, and a bucket load of flavor.