Food is art. If you don’t believe us, we’re about to show you, ’cause we’re presenting to you today America’s most beautiful (and delicious, and unique, and amazing) creations that are both edible and sugary. Who needs an art museum when you can eat the world’s most amazing creations instead (and post it on the internet forever on your Insta — cause if you didn’t gram it, did it really happen?).
1. Frozen Hot Chocolate, Serendipity 3, New York City, NY
This posh Upper East Side establishment is oh-so Gossip Girl-esque where you can dine like Serena and Blair with your bestie while sipping on their famous frozen hot chocolate. Come here on your next hot date and split one of their notoriously large banana split sundaes, or, conversely, come here and treat yo’self (we’re positive you deserve it). But expect to wait even with reservations, ’cause wait times are often up to 90 minutes for a coveted table. It’s that good. Here’s more you gotta try in the Big Apple.
2. Acai Bowl, Haleiwa Bowls, Haleiwa, HI
One of the OG acai bowl establishments, Haleiwa Bowls showcases what Hawaii does best, which is yummy frozen acai bowls topped with your favorite fruits and other treats. Best served on a hot and sunny Hawaiian day (which is practically every day), this place dishes up what O’ahu knows best. And, if you happen to head over to the big island, here’s 50 things you’ve gotta eat in Honolulu.
3. Strawberry and Cream Waffle, Sweet Iron Waffles, Seattle, WA
The waffle has officially been revolutionized. You can get your waffle done up with delicious treats in dozens of ways here, but our personal favorite is the classic dessert strawberry and cream waffle (however, we’re very intrigued by the prosciutto, creme fraiche, and green onion waffle option as well). Don’t believe us? It’s probably time you tried it. But we promise that’s not the only thing good in Seattle.
4. Macarons, Pistachia Vera, Columbus, OH
We were promised the most luscious tasting macarons that you could possibly experience outside of Paris here, and we weren’t disappointed. Of course, this cute little bakery/cafe does much more than just macarons (they also do other otherworldly tasting French pastries, to be sure), but the macarons are absolutely the stars of the show. If you’re unable to get out to this cafe, why not try this macaron recipe at home?
5. Ice Cream Sandwich, Diddy Riese, Los Angeles, CA
Known for blessing the LAX area with delicious ice cream sandwiches since 1983, on nice days, locals line up down the block for their sandwiches, which consist of a generous scoop of ice cream squeezed in between two gourmet cookies. And did we mention it tastes like absolute perfection? If you’re not able to get to LA, try this epic cookie dough ice cream sandwich recipe.
6. Push Pop, Bink’s Midtown, Phoenix, AZ
Serving up tons of healthy optioned mains, the dessert isn’t the only part of the meal you’ll feel indulged during. Their famous push pop, a total throwback to your childhood (#retro), is a classier version of what five-year-old you indulged in. A butter pecan vanilla ice cream pop in a small glass is served up with sea-salt caramel and a brownie. If you happen to need other Phoenix recommendations, we’ve got you covered.
7. Lychee Ice Cream, The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, New York City, NYC
With a slew of insanely cool Asian ice cream flavors, our all-time favorite is the lychee. Of course, you’re totally allowed to try their other offerings, which include flavors like taro, almond cookie, red bean, black sesame, green tea, and durian. If you’ve grown up in a Chinese household like me (or you’re just super familiar with your local Asian supermarket), you’re certain to recognize some of these delicious flavors. Don’t worry, you can’t go wrong (trust me, they’re all insanely good). If you’re craving Chinese now, here’s more delicious food you can make at home.
8. Shave Ice, Matsumoto Shave Ice, Haleiwa, HI
The locals on Hawaii’s North Shore all know about this place, and you’ll find them congregating after surf sessions here for a cool-off treat. Shave ice is one of Hawaii’s most classic treats, and it’s definitely worth a visit (also, bonus, it’ll turn your mouth into a rainbow). Here’s other snacks all Hawaii kids know about.
9. Fruit Tart, Pastiche Fine Desserts, Providence, RI
Pastiche’s famous fruit tart is all people seemed to be raving about, so we figured we’d give it a go. While you can almost certainly guarantee this little nook of a place to be jam packed on the weekends, it’s a perfect place to enjoy a little slice of tart after a long day of work with some good friends. And, if you happen to see more of Providence, here’s some other food joints you’ve gotta stop by.
10. Guy’s Cheesecake Challenge, Guy Fieri, Las Vegas, NV
Based in famous Caesar’s Palace Casino in Las Vegas, you can try celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s terrifying cheesecake challenge (and the dessert itself looks awesome). Literally a mountain of cheesecake topped with potato chips, pretzels, and hot fudge, this is the kind of place you need to prepare yourself for months in advance. For more in Sin City, check this out.
11. Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake, Bouchon Bakery, New York City, NY
Have you ever seen a cheesecake so cute? Deliciously creamy with a tart graham cracker bottom (jus’ the way we love it), and topped with gourmet strawberry rhubarb jam, it’s the best thing you’ve ever tried. Here’s some more sick bakeries you should try (some of which are in the city too!).
12. Fruit Tart, Corner Cafe, Atlanta, GA
We don’t always love eating our fruits and veggies even though we know they’re good for us, but we definitely love eating ’em in tart form. And, honestly, isn’t this the cutest tart ever? Here’s some more good stuff you’ve gotta try in the ATL.
13. Un-Cupcake, Rush Patisserie, Dallas, TX
This Dallas establishment is known for their unique creation known as the “un-cupcake.” What’s that? Basically destroyed cupcakes, and we’re so in. You can choose from eight signature flavors like wedding cupcake, chocolate ganache, lemon crunch, caramel chocolate and cream cheese, s’mores, red velvet, strawberry and cream, and caramel macchiato. De-lic-ious. But there’s way more to Dallas — try these places out.
14. Moon Pies, Felix’s Fish Camp, Mobile, AL
Alabama is famous for their moon pies, yeah, but Felix’s takes them to a whole new level. What do we mean by that? They pair it with delicious vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate fudge. Absolutely delicious. Here’s more Southern food you’ve gotta try (especially if you happen to be a Northerner like me!).
15. Brioche Bread Pudding, Apolline, New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is known for their classic soul food, and, fusing that with some delicious American favorites. Including pecans and vanilla ice cream, it brings out the city’s absolute soul. With rich flavors and great texture, there’s no way you can miss out on this classic dessert. Here’s more places in NOLA you need to eat at.
16. Agutuk, Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Denali, AK
This funky Eskimo dessert is only ever tried by the hardiest of Alaskan travelers, but apparently, it’s really good (we’re not actually sure how we feel about it, though). Nicknamed “Eskimo ice cream,” it’s made by mixing seal oil, reindeer fat, snow, and berries, and hand whipped to foamy perfection, it was traditionally eaten only for survival, but now Alaskans eat it for fun. We guess it’s probably worth a try. Anyways, it doesn’t look so bad.
17. Kouign Amann Tarts, Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe, Santa Monica, CA
Huckleberry’s delicious kouign amann tarts with candied mandarinquats on top are unbelievably saliva inducing. Get your daily dose of vitamin C (plus, they’re gluten-free!). Want more good eats in LA? Read this.
18. Siracha Doughnuts, Diggity Doughnuts, Charleston, SC
These doughnuts are known for their intense flavor, from the spicy siracha to the sharply sour key lime. And we’re crazy about it. With a slew of unique flavors, there’s no way you can’t find a favorite. Plus, they’re known for classic Southern hospitality. Looking for more good eats in Charleston? We’ve got you covered.
19. #10, Bambu, San Francisco, CA
Tapioca tea, milk tea, boba… It’s all got us feelin’ some typa’ way. But our personal favorite is the #10 with pandan jelly, grass jelly, and coconut milk. Don’t trust us? Guess you’ll have to try it for yourself. But there’s way more to the Bay Area, and we can prove it. Just read this and see for yourself.
20. Bingsu, Sul & Beans, Los Angeles, CA
This hip place serves bingsu, otherwise known as “Korean shave ice,” and it’s magnificent. Often made with chopped fruit, sometimes matcha (here’s why we so dig matcha), fruit syrup, and Azuki beans, it’s not to be missed. Period. Don’t have much time in LA? That’s ok, we can help you out here.
21. Deep Fried Watermelon, Cardinali Family Concessions, Pleasanton, CA
Can you deep fry a watermelon? Apparently, yeah, it’s possible. And, apparently, it’s unbelievably delicious (does this count as one of our five a day?!).
22. Pistachio Gelato, Amorino, Chicago, IL
Offering real Italian gelato, Amorino is perhaps the closest place to real Italian gelato you can get in America (anything better, and you’ll definitely have to pay for that plane ticket). While you’re there, pick up a gelato flower, ’cause it’ll totally up your Insta game. Trust us. There’s way more to the Windy City, though — read this.
23. Alcoholic Ice Cream Float, Pavilion, Chicago, IL
Situated at the fancy Langham Hotel, celebrity chef Scott Green dishes up an exciting array of food — but the dessert is what keeps us coming back. I mean, just check out this guy’s alcoholic ice cream floats. How can we even resist? Here’s some more boozy desserts you also need to try while you’re at it.
24. Mochi Donuts, J.Sweets, San Jose, CA
Seriously, Japanese mochi is oh so good. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. But it’s probably best tried in donut form, which you can get at J.Sweets (well, mochi is good in any form, but don’t save the best for last in this case). Honestly, they’ve totally changed the mochi game, and we’re fans of this revolution.
Is it time for dessert yet, or what?