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Ellē chocolate
A salted chocolate tart from Ellē
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

16 D.C. Restaurants That Crush Dessert

Find the best sweet treats to end your meal

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A salted chocolate tart from Ellē
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Nailing dessert can be tricky, but restaurants that do it leave diners with lasting impressions. D.C. diners with a sweet tooth can look to these 14 restaurants for reliable finishers that complete a perfect night out with everything from colorful ube bread pudding to classic Paris Brest, tres leches cake, and mango habanero “peppers.”

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ellē

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3221 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 652-0040
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This all-day cafe in the old Heller’s Bakery building attracts folks from all over D.C. to Mount Pleasant. A display case up front is filled with desserts from co-owner Lizzy Evelyn that can be ordered all day, like goat cheese cheesecake or a white chocolate passion fruit mousse. At night, Ellē is experimenting with composed desserts, too, — Gabe Hiatt

White chocolate passion fruit mousse from Ellē
White chocolate passion fruit mousse from Ellē
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

2. Purple Patch

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3155 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 299-0022
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Purple Patch, a neighborhood Filipino restaurant in Mount Pleasant, offers colorful desserts like ube (purple yam) bread pudding or cupcakes served with ube ice cream, a yuca and coconut milk cake, and frozen mango floats.

3. Brothers And Sisters

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1770 Euclid St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-0525
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The cakes from Pichet Ong justify a visit to this Asian-American restaurant all on their own. The Earl Gray crepe cake is a popular pick, as is the coconut coffee banana Brooklyn. There’s usually something seasonal rotating in, too.

4. Tico

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1926 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 319-1400
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Pastry chef Alex Levin oversees desserts at all of Michael Schlow’s restaurants — that also includes Alta Strada, Casolare, the Riggsby, and Nama sushi. At this Latin kitchen, his tres leches cake is a must-try.

5. Brasserie Liberté

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3251 Prospect St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 878-8404
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This recently opened French brasserie does standards well. The Paris Brest is spectacular: a pillowy choux pastry sandwiches sweet hazelnut cream and is topped with a light sprinkling of sea salt. The seasonal profiteroles come in a couple of flavor varieties as well and are a nice portion that you could share but probably won’t want to.

6. Unconventional Diner

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1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 847-0122

Ana Deshaies, the local restaurant association’s Pastry Chef of the Year for 2019, complements David Deshaies’s fancy diner fare with deceptive sweets like a plate of “bacon and eggs,” with coconut and mango making up the white and the yolk, or a giant chocolate, hazelnut, and cherry truffle. —G.H.

Introducing The Cloud. . .a pillowy cheesecake with raspberry. Join us for dinner and then dessert, rain or shine! * * * #eatunconventional #unconventionaldiner #cheesecake #raspberry #thecloud

Posted by Unconventional Diner on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

7. Blue Duck Tavern

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1201 24th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 419-6755
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The OG farm-to-table establishment in the West Endis famous for its apple pie, but there are plenty of other desserts worthy of attention, such as sweet potato flan. Don’t miss specialty ice creams accompanied by gooey butterscotch sauce or molten chocolate syrup.

The famous apple pie from Blue Duck Tavern
The famous apple pie from Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern [official]

8. Kinship/Metier

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1015 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 737-7700
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This Michelin-starred duo, an a la carte restaurant adjoined to a pricey tasting menu place, from chef Eric Ziebold impresses from start to finish. A St. Honore dessert at Metier, for example, arrives on a metal Parisian street sign placed atop a rolled out map of Paris that acts as a tablecloth.

9. Poca Madre

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777 I Street NW, Techworld Plaza
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 838-5300
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Victor Albisu’s high-end Mexican restaurant brings flavors like cajeta, oaxacan chocolate, corn, and passion fruit into sweets. The tres leches cake with cajeta ice cream and brown butter is one of the stars of the dessert menu.

10. Centrolina

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974 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 898-2426
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Executive pastry chef Caitlin Dysart oversees a memorable Italian dessert menu that includes semolina pudding cake, dark chocolate semifreddo, biscotti, and various flavors of gelati and sorbetti.

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#tarttuesday | chocolate hazelnut | lemon almond

A post shared by Caitlin Dysart (@caitlindysart) on

11. Dbgb Kitchen and Bar

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931 H St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 695-7660
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The Baked Alaska (for two) is a classic spectacle that should never go out of style. DBGB’s is a multi-day labor of love, filled with raspberry sorbet, pistachio and vanilla ice cream, almond dacquoise, and swiss meringue. Vanilla vodka is used as a tableside accelerant.

DBGB DC dessert
Baked Alaska at DBGB
Rey Lopez for Eater DC

12. The Ella Grace

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1421 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 630-2398
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This new all-day cafe and cocktail bar has a short but sweet menu from chef Jacob Heyn, who most recently made pastries at Del Mar. A black sesame chiffon cake is built with cherry compote and black sesame praline ($12). — Tierney Plumb

Black sesame chiffon cake with a raspberry finish from Ella Grace Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

13. Modena

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1100 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 216-9550
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The dessert menu at Modena (nee Bibiana) is inventive, uncomplicated, and exceptional. Lemon and pear tarts are both recommended. Bombolini and Gianduja mousse are worth saving room for, too.

14. Punjab Grill

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427 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 813-3004
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The luxurious feeling of dining at opulently appointed Punjab Grill extends to dessert. A decadent shahi tukra — the Indian version of bread pudding — comes with fig kulfi. Chocolate lovers will be happy with the chocolate chaat, a medley of chocolate with other flavors like pistachio and raspberry.

15. China Chilcano

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418 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 783-0941
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The suspiro limena, an iconic Peruvian dessert with meringue and passion fruit, is a must-order. Visitors should also indulge in the Ponderaciones de Kiwicha, a crispy fried spiral cookie with chocolate cream, banana, and ice cream flavored like algarrobina, an eggy pisco cocktail .

16. Kith/Kin

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801 Wharf St SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 878-8566
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At Kith and Kin, executive pastry chef Paola Velez brings Caribbean flavors to the dessert selection. Look for spiced plantain buns with frosting and Amarula liqueur salted caramel. A fun twist on “habanero peppers” is a deceptive dessert that combines mango habanero mousse with white chocolate, tres leches cake, and elderflower “snow.”

1. Ellē

3221 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010
White chocolate passion fruit mousse from Ellē
White chocolate passion fruit mousse from Ellē
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This all-day cafe in the old Heller’s Bakery building attracts folks from all over D.C. to Mount Pleasant. A display case up front is filled with desserts from co-owner Lizzy Evelyn that can be ordered all day, like goat cheese cheesecake or a white chocolate passion fruit mousse. At night, Ellē is experimenting with composed desserts, too, — Gabe Hiatt

3221 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010

2. Purple Patch

3155 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Purple Patch, a neighborhood Filipino restaurant in Mount Pleasant, offers colorful desserts like ube (purple yam) bread pudding or cupcakes served with ube ice cream, a yuca and coconut milk cake, and frozen mango floats.

3155 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010

3. Brothers And Sisters

1770 Euclid St NW, Washington, DC 20009

The cakes from Pichet Ong justify a visit to this Asian-American restaurant all on their own. The Earl Gray crepe cake is a popular pick, as is the coconut coffee banana Brooklyn. There’s usually something seasonal rotating in, too.

1770 Euclid St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Tico

1926 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Pastry chef Alex Levin oversees desserts at all of Michael Schlow’s restaurants — that also includes Alta Strada, Casolare, the Riggsby, and Nama sushi. At this Latin kitchen, his tres leches cake is a must-try.

1926 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

5. Brasserie Liberté

3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007

This recently opened French brasserie does standards well. The Paris Brest is spectacular: a pillowy choux pastry sandwiches sweet hazelnut cream and is topped with a light sprinkling of sea salt. The seasonal profiteroles come in a couple of flavor varieties as well and are a nice portion that you could share but probably won’t want to.

3251 Prospect St NW
Washington, DC 20007

6. Unconventional Diner

1207 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Ana Deshaies, the local restaurant association’s Pastry Chef of the Year for 2019, complements David Deshaies’s fancy diner fare with deceptive sweets like a plate of “bacon and eggs,” with coconut and mango making up the white and the yolk, or a giant chocolate, hazelnut, and cherry truffle. —G.H.

1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20037
The famous apple pie from Blue Duck Tavern
The famous apple pie from Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern [official]

The OG farm-to-table establishment in the West Endis famous for its apple pie, but there are plenty of other desserts worthy of attention, such as sweet potato flan. Don’t miss specialty ice creams accompanied by gooey butterscotch sauce or molten chocolate syrup.

1201 24th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

8. Kinship/Metier

1015 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

This Michelin-starred duo, an a la carte restaurant adjoined to a pricey tasting menu place, from chef Eric Ziebold impresses from start to finish. A St. Honore dessert at Metier, for example, arrives on a metal Parisian street sign placed atop a rolled out map of Paris that acts as a tablecloth.

1015 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Poca Madre

777 I Street NW, Techworld Plaza, Washington, DC 20001

Victor Albisu’s high-end Mexican restaurant brings flavors like cajeta, oaxacan chocolate, corn, and passion fruit into sweets. The tres leches cake with cajeta ice cream and brown butter is one of the stars of the dessert menu.

777 I Street NW, Techworld Plaza
Washington, DC 20001

10. Centrolina

974 Palmer Alley NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Executive pastry chef Caitlin Dysart oversees a memorable Italian dessert menu that includes semolina pudding cake, dark chocolate semifreddo, biscotti, and various flavors of gelati and sorbetti.

974 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

11. Dbgb Kitchen and Bar

931 H St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
DBGB DC dessert
Baked Alaska at DBGB
Rey Lopez for Eater DC

The Baked Alaska (for two) is a classic spectacle that should never go out of style. DBGB’s is a multi-day labor of love, filled with raspberry sorbet, pistachio and vanilla ice cream, almond dacquoise, and swiss meringue. Vanilla vodka is used as a tableside accelerant.

931 H St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. The Ella Grace

1421 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Black sesame chiffon cake with a raspberry finish from Ella Grace Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

This new all-day cafe and cocktail bar has a short but sweet menu from chef Jacob Heyn, who most recently made pastries at Del Mar. A black sesame chiffon cake is built with cherry compote and black sesame praline ($12). — Tierney Plumb

1421 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

13. Modena

1100 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

The dessert menu at Modena (nee Bibiana) is inventive, uncomplicated, and exceptional. Lemon and pear tarts are both recommended. Bombolini and Gianduja mousse are worth saving room for, too.

1100 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

14. Punjab Grill

427 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

The luxurious feeling of dining at opulently appointed Punjab Grill extends to dessert. A decadent shahi tukra — the Indian version of bread pudding — comes with fig kulfi. Chocolate lovers will be happy with the chocolate chaat, a medley of chocolate with other flavors like pistachio and raspberry.

427 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

15. China Chilcano

418 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

The suspiro limena, an iconic Peruvian dessert with meringue and passion fruit, is a must-order. Visitors should also indulge in the Ponderaciones de Kiwicha, a crispy fried spiral cookie with chocolate cream, banana, and ice cream flavored like algarrobina, an eggy pisco cocktail .

418 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

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16. Kith/Kin

801 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024

At Kith and Kin, executive pastry chef Paola Velez brings Caribbean flavors to the dessert selection. Look for spiced plantain buns with frosting and Amarula liqueur salted caramel. A fun twist on “habanero peppers” is a deceptive dessert that combines mango habanero mousse with white chocolate, tres leches cake, and elderflower “snow.”

801 Wharf St SW
Washington, DC 20024

Related Maps