St. Augustine is a city filled with a crazy amount of important history. It's the oldest city in America and was originally colonized by the Spanish in 1565. That's 42 years before Jamestown was founded by the English in Virginia

I'm not here to give you a history lesson, but the fact that St. Augustine is so old makes it pretty damn unique. Plus, the famous Ponce de León claimed to have discovered the famed Fountain of Youth right within the walls. The city is a blend of cultures and tastes from different settlers over time and this is what lead me on my own quest to discover the best dessert places in the city.

Maple Street Biscuit Company

chicken, maple syrup, bacon, waffle
Holly Tishfield

My first stop of the day was Maple Street Biscuit Company. Situated on a tiny street corner just outside the bustling heart of the historic city, this is one spot you do not want to pass up. The restaurant has an open kitchen which allows you to watch the chefs cook your meal. Perhaps my favorite part was the way they name the order. Instead of following the traditional route and asking your name, Maple Street asks you a question. Every month is different, but this month it was "What trend would you bring back from the 90s?" So, like any person would, I replied with Beanie Babies.

Fulfilling the promise of their name, the restaurant serves all their menu items with either a biscuit or maple syrup. I ordered the Bam!, a vanilla waffle infused with pecan-wood smoked bacon and of course, a perfectly gooey maple syrup. I finished the entire thing. Some other menu items include the Bam!, Yo Yo, and the Hashups, which are perfect solutions to that craving for sweet breakfast items.

Café del Hidalgo

cookie, cake, chocolate
Holly Tishfield

A short walk into the heart of the city and you're bombarded by the loud music of street performers and sweet smell of bakeries on every corner. At the intersection of the two busiest streets you'll find Café del Hidalgo. At first you may pass by, but once you get a peek inside the giant window of gelato flavors, you'll stop dead in your tracks. Beginning in the 19th century in Italy, Café del Hidalgo was founded by a man named Herman Ernest Hausbrandt, who many say is the father of espresso coffee. Hints of that old style of coffee making are still prevalent in the way baristas blend and serve the drinks.

The café is an Italian-French style eatery, with hints of its origin in both the name and the food. The fresh gelato contains 30-40% less fat than regular ice cream, so it's much easier to get a full grasp on all the tastes. The fine flavors come from the fresh fruits and nuts used inside the gelato which are delivered directly to the eatery. There are flavors such as coffee, rum coffee, pumpkin pie, strawberry, vanilla, and much more. Not only is there the extensive array of gelato but there is also tiramisu, biscotti, and apple pie ala mode. A definite drop by.

The Bunnery

Holly Tishfield

On a street partially hidden by magic shops and family-crest stores, you'll discover a sweet little place called The Bunnery. The Bunnery is a family owned restaurant that prides itself on hardworking and friendly employees, it serves up quite the selection of desserts. Staying true to the title, The Bunnery has all sorts of buns like: cinnamon buns, sticky buns, and even hamburger buns. Other than buns, the restaurant has freshly baked cookies, brownies, tarts, muffins, and cakes.

I ordered a raspberry tart which didn't fail to blow me away. Perhaps what impressed me the most was how big the items were. The cookies were the size of my hand and the tart was much bigger than any I could find at a generic bakery shop. The Bunnery is one of those bakeries that certainly gives you the most for your money.

The Hyppo: Gourmet Ice Pops

fish, salmon
Holly Tishfield

After wandering around the streets for a while, participating in an impromptu dance number, and exploring the fort, I was in the mood for something light and refreshing. That's when I found The Hyppo. Inside the little shop that makes you enter through a garden filled with patches of colorful flowers, you'll find The Hyppo. The walls are covered in decorative portraits of ice pops and fruit trees, and there's picnic tables in the back beneath the shade of an old tree. Talk about the perfect place to take a break from the busy street life of St. Augustine.  

And no, I didn't forget about the ice pops. How could I when there's over 30 different kinds to chose from? You can find every kind of combination from blueberry cinnamon to champagne mango, and pineapple cilantro to mango habanero. The Hyppo is chalk full of out-of-the-box kinds of ice pops. Plus, all their pops are handmade and only contain the freshest ingredients with a pinch of cane sugar. Become a fan of The Hyppo yourself by checking out their website, or by heading into the shop in St. Augustine.

Whetstone Chocolates

cake, chocolate
Holly Tishfield

Continuing on my epic search through downtown St. Augustine for great dessert places, I stumbled across Whetstone Chocolates. As soon as I opened the door I knew I was in for quite a treat. The rich smell of chocolate bombarded me the moment I stepped inside, and looking at the counter gave me the answer. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Key Lime Pie shells, chocolate covered marshmallows, chocolate covered bananas, fudge, hot chocolate... I could go on for days. Whetstone is a chocolate lovers ~paradise~.

Want to hear something even better? The store does chocolate tasting tours. Tickets for the tour are only $8 for adults and children 5-17 are only $5. Tour goers get a once in a life time experience where they sample Whetstone's four-tiers of chocolate: dark, milk, white and cocoa nibs. Talk about worth it.

Holly Tishfield

The Black Parrot Candy Shoppe

Finishing off my day with a take home of sweets, I stopped by The Black Parrot Candy Shoppe. This is a candy shop unlike any you've ever seen. Yes, it has your typical favorites such as Swedish Fish and Gummy Sharks, but you can also buy odd-ball sorts of packaged candies as well. I saw a handful of the Harry Potter themed jelly beans, a very similar variation of a Kinder Egg, and (one that had me literally jumping for joy)...

Holly Tishfield

..... WONDER BALLS! I don't even remember the last time I saw one of these babies, so of course I went home with about seven of them. Point is, if you're looking for a traditional candy shop with untraditional assortments of candy, make sure you pop into The Black Parrot Candy Shoppe to fulfill all of your childhood obsessions.

My explorations in St. Augustine led me to some very interesting places. I may not be as credible a explorer as Ponce de León, but I think the shops I found are some of the best in the city. Although, there's always more to uncover so my adventures won't end here. I certainly had to pace myself otherwise I wouldn't have had room for all the amazing desserts, but the extra calories were totally worth my while. If you're thinking of taking a trip to the historic city be sure to come with an empty belly and a load of friends, because there are so many great desserts to try that you won't want to experience it alone.