Guy Fieri is a polarizing figure: he’s either your favorite Food Network celebrity chef or you absolutely can’t stand the dude. But one thing is for certain: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is a show that makes us all hungry thanks to Guy’s adventurous and voracious appetite. While we love our triple decker burgers and habañero poppers, sometimes all we really need is a great way to satisfy our sweet tooth. These 20 dishes are perhaps some of the best diner desserts you’ll ever try, guaranteed.
1. Apple Dumplings from Smokey D’s (Des Moines, IA)
Get some of their doughy cinnamon apples and share it with your cinnamon apple. We think you probably should order two though, because it’s so good that you probably don’t want to share in the first place.
2. Maple Bacon Donut from Nickel Diner (Los Angeles, CA)
Seems like society is finally becoming more receptive to bacon in desserts. Bless up. The smoky bacon provides just the saltiness you need to balance out the sweet donut, satisfying your sweet and salty craving in one convenient dessert.
3. Butterfinger Pie from Athena’s Greek Cafe (Bakersfield, CA)
Usually we’d complain about getting Butterfingers stuck in our teeth, but that’s not the case with this creamy pie. It might give you a massive sugar rush, but that’s the mark of an excellent diner dessert.
4. Butter Rum Caramel Crepe Cake from Foolish Craig’s Cafe (Boulder, CO)
Stacks on stacks on stacks of thin, sweet crepes. The cream cheese frosting that’s smothered on top is the bee’s knees, I promise.
5. Lavender Honey Ice Cream from The Creole Creamery (New Orleans, LA)
While we certainly have NOLA to thank for beignets and spicy gumbo, The Creole Creamery makes it a point to have some of the best ice cream you can find in the soul food haven. Perfect for a post-stroll snack, or when you need a huge treat yo’self day.
6. Red Velvet Cobbler from Early Bird Diner (Charleston, SC)
You definitely don’t need fruit to have a perfectly good cobbler. This red velvet version is just as rich as its cake counterpart, but even better with its warm and gooey comfort.
7. Crème Brûlée Toast from The Brick House Cafe (Cable, WI)
Having crème brûlée for breakfast is actually possible, and boy does it taste good. Smooth, buttery caramel sauce is drizzled on top of sautéed pears, tying the entire dish together into the ultimate morning dessert.
8. Bacon Bourbon Pie from Dixie Supply Bakery (Charleston, SC)
Dixie Supply’s pie is fit for the Ron Swanson inside of you that craves a sugary, bacon-filled dessert. Think of it as a pecan pie that got a little boozy.
9. Cinnamon Roll from Mountain Shadows Restaurant (Colorado Springs, CO)
Look at the size of that thing. This is definitely a bun you can’t pick up. But have no fear, because perhaps the best part is licking your fingers in satisfaction after finishing the largest cinnamon roll you’ll ever eat.
10. Butterscotch Ice Cream Sandwich from 300 East (Charlotte, NC)
This ain’t your ordinary ice cream truck sandwich. Sorghum molasses is baked into the cookie shells, adding a dark depth to the sweet butterscotch, while the caramelized pineapple on the side cuts through the heaviness of the entire dish. Talk about fancy pants.
11. Frozen Peanut Butter Pie from Cornbread Cafe (Eugene, OR)
Everything on the menu is vegan, offering a plant-based alternative to traditional diner foods. This frozen peanut butter pie is best served a little thawed. That way, you can feel the butter melt in your mouth without it getting too sticky in there. You can also make this peanut butter fudge in the freezer, which is kinda the same thing.
12. Chess Pie from Arnold’s Country Kitchen (Nashville, TN)
That smooth custard filling, doe. They have both chocolate and original flavors, but you’re perfectly entitled to order both and get the best of both worlds if you want. Hannah Montana would be proud.
13. Baklava from Byblos Mediterranean Cafe (Syracuse, NY)
Let the flaky layers shatter with each bite. Tucked between each sheet of puff pastry are crunchy nuts and sweet honey, which is pretty much one of the most authentic Greek dining experiences you’ll ever have.
14. Strawberry Shortcake from Aunt Carrie’s (Narragansett, RI)
Better than how you remember it as a kid. But if you can’t make the trip all the way to Rhode Island, we’ve got you covered.
15. Butter Pecan Donut from Pies ‘n’ Thighs (New York, NY)
Pies ‘n’ Thighs serves up some mad chicken and waffles and homemade slices of pies (obviously), but their donuts are pretty darn good as well. Definitely worth the trip all the way to Brooklyn.
16. Dixieland Crepe from Midtown Creperie (Stockton, CA)
The inside is stuffed with probably the best cream filling you’ll ever have, and drizzled on top is Ghirardelli chocolate sauce. That’s basically liquid heaven, right?
17. Blueberry Cheese Pie from Three Sisters Cafe (Indianapolis, IN)
Nah, that’s not a cheesecake with plain ol’ cream cheese. Three Sisters uses goat cheese, providing just the perfect tang to balance out the sweet blueberries. I promise it tastes better than it sounds. Much better.
18. 8 Layer Citrus Cake from Succotash (Kansas City, MO)
Have no fear, this isn’t a take on the already obnoxious rainbow trend. You’ll find a tart punch in every layer of the cake, but it’s just subtle enough to keep you wanting another bite.
19. Loukoumades from Niko Niko’s Greek and American Cafe (Houston, TX)
These round desserts soak up honey and cinnamon, making each one a pillow of sticky sweetness. Don’t worry about trying to pronounce the actual name. They know just what you’re talking about if you simply say “honey balls.” Greek food is kinda lit, yo.
20. Bread Pudding from Sammy’s Foodservice and Deli (New Orleans, LA)
Alright, I’m sure that by this point you’re literally sick of everything pumpkin flavored. But have no fear, Sammy’s pumpkin bread pudding is just what you need to regain faith in the basic fall flavor. Enjoy the doughy, tender goodness year-round, simply because you can.