As a student, I don’t have access to funds, so I go to relatively inexpensive places for dinner and expensive places for dessert and come out full and my wallet semi-empty (and ready for another trip out the following weekend!). Fortunately, the restaurants described here were nice enough to set me up with a full table, (or a seat at their extravagant lounge), a nice server and were more than happy to serve me dessert! Therefore, my expertise is in desserts. In this guide, I will tell you all about my favorite desserts at Philadelphia’s best restaurants.
My first disclaimer is that I have not visited all philadelphia restaurants. These are simply my favorite places out of a handful that I have been to. I would love to visit more!
My all time favorite restaurant is Morimoto’s. Located at 7th and Chestnut, Morimoto’s puts a Japanese twist on desserts. They use yuzu as a source of citrus in their Yuzu meringue tart-a variant on the lemon meringue done extremely well (I would give it a 10/10). This is my favorite dessert in all of Philadelphia. The rest of their desserts (that I have tried) are also delectable:
Black sesame moussecake-This is a chocolate cake done such that the chocolate is not sweet, but it is truly a unique flavor. It is definitely worth the try (7/10).
Chocolate pot de crème-This is a chocolate pudding which is enjoyable. It is the classic chocolate. If you love chocolate, this is right for you (6/10).
My second favorite dessert of all time is served at Barclay Prime, located on Rittenhouse Square. The Warm chocolate s’mores is the best chocolate cake in all of Philadelphia (10/10). It is a hot soft chocolate cake with a marshmallow, toasted meringue interior with graham cracker ice cream on the side. It reminded me of a lava cake with a marshmallowy interior. This is not your traditional messy s’mores but provides the satisfaction of a lava cake with a spin of s’mores.
#2 Milk chocolate bavarois-This dessert combines chocolate and bananas. This dish has a milk chocolate bavarois, as advertised, but adds a crunchy banana ganache center, banana ice cream and banana caramel sauce to it. This is more of a banana covered bavarois of chocolate, a reverse fondue. (7/10)
#3 Peanut butter praline ganache-This tasted just like Reese’s peanut butter cups all grown up. It was a creamy version of Reese’s peanut butter cups with a crunch. It was good. (7/10)
#4 Crème brûlée cake-Believe it or not, this is a devil’s food cake topped with a layer of crème brûlée. It surprised me. (6/10+brownie points because I love crème brûlée!)
The Dandelion (off 18th and Sansom) had my third favorite dessert: Semolina custard roll with lemon lavender syrup (10/10). It was a unique dish that they used to serve. I would request them to bring it back! I enjoyed it so much that I went there on three occasions because it was such a unique and good dish that I had to show my friends.
Capogiro (multiple locations) is the dessert staple of Philadelphia. Here I rank it under the three above. Capogiro is a specialist in gelato and sorbetto. It was ranked by National Geographic as the world’s best ice cream (http://goo.gl/UL8ds). It gets arguably the best ingredients from all around the world. Having tested most flavors in some capacity, I will attempt to suggest my top 5 must tries:
- Sea Salt- it compliments anything and gets an unexpected set of tastebuds
- Burnt Sugar
- Vanilla (they have a different name for it, but I can’t find it). It was excellent
In general, you must try their coffee flavors, their tamarind is a must try (not a favorite, but a must taste because it tastes so much like tamarind), cucumber, sweet amish milk, fruity flavors are all amazing.
Other dessert places I like:
Rx out on 44th and Spruce makes a mean crème brûlée.