Where to find the most delectable treats year-round
There’s a lot going on amidst the daily hustle and bustle of the city, which means everyone needs a pick-me-up from time to time. It doesn’t matter if you have a major sweet tooth or you’re looking for something light and low-calorie—there’s something for everyone in the nation’s capital. From ice cream to cake to donuts, here are some of the best desserts across Washington, D.C. Bon appetit!
There are doughnuts…and then there are district doughnuts. Every morning, these unique and gourmet doughnuts are hanD.C.rafted right in District Doughnut’s very own kitchen. These donuts are one-of-a-kind, with a weekly menu of around 10 flavors. They also have a rotating variety of seasonal flavors, with everything from cookies and cream doughnuts to chocolate cake doughnuts with a decadent vanilla bean glaze. It’s the perfect place to drop by in the morning and pick up a dozen for your co-workers or team before a big meeting. Jessie Ruah from Spoon University says “My favorite doughnut is the caramel apple streusel. It consists of freshly-diced, sautéed apples rolled into a cinnamon dough. It’s finished with sweet, creamy caramel and sprinkled with creamy streusel.”
Thomas Sweet is the real deal—the menu board hanging above the register is so big, it stretches across the entire wall. This sweetshop is best known for its blend-ins. This means you can choose one (or more!) of their hand-crafted ice cream or frozen yogurt flavors and one (or more!) toppings and let them blend it all up with their magic touch. Their peanut butter frozen yogurt is phenomenal. Thomas Sweet is a great spot to bring the kids on a weekend afternoon for a sweet treat in-between outings.
This quaint and charming part-gelato, part-coffee shop uses locally sourced milk, cream, fruits, herbs, and nuts to produce their oh-so-good homemade gelato. For those looking for a dessert option that’s a little on the leaner side, Dolcezza’s gelato contains half the fat and half the calories of ice cream. Rather than serve this treat at a colder temperature, which freezes the taste palate in your mouth, their gelato is ingeniously served at a warmer temperature so all of its rich, dense flavors can be tasted and enjoyed. Every flavor is impeccable, but the salted caramel and Thai coconut milk flavors are to die for. If you don’t eat dairy, their sorbet is equally scrumptious, with flavors ranging from strawberry to blueberry to lemon opal basil. Made with fresh fruit, it’s a great option for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant. You can also grab coffee or Argentinian baked treats while you’re there. Plus, the warm, welcoming decor and cozy atmosphere make for an adorable date night. Dolcezza feels (and tastes!) like it’s straight out of Italy.
The line may be one or two hours long depending on what time of day you drop by, but Georgetown Cupcakes is well worth the wait! The shop was featured on TLC a few years back and business has been booming ever since. Their red velvet and chocolate ganache cupcakes are *chef’s kiss* amazing. Their designer cupcakes are delightful, but more than anything, stopping by this shop is a great experience.
This late-night spot is famous for its finger-licking good fried chicken, but it may be even more famous for its homemade ice cream tacos. Roy Boys offers seven types of ice cream tacos, including chocolate brownie sundae, mixed berry cheesecake, mango piña colada, cookie jar, snickerdoodle crackerjack, strawberry shortcake, and birthday cake—which has fruity pebbles and yellow cake on it. Each kind of taco is uniquely-crafted and has ingredients that one would never even think of, all stuffed into a waffle shell with ice cream. The cherry on top? They’re photo-worthy, too.
Baked and Wired
Head down to Georgetown to experience everything Baked and Wired. Yes, they have amazing coffee and savory quiches, but what they really excel at is their enormous cupcakes (or “cakecups,” as they memorably call them). This fun and artsy family-owned bakery, like many of the other establishments on this list, have a number of unique and wild flavors. They call themselves an “authentic hole-in-the-wall” shop, and the love they put into each individually-wrapped and smoothly-iced cupcake shows. The unicorns and rainbow cupcake is a moist vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting, while the Texas sheet cake is a chocolate cupcake with a hint of cinnamon. There’s also the almond orangesicle, dirty chai, vegan cake cup, and many other innovative combinations. All of Baked and Wired’s baked goods are made in small batches with the finest ingredients; it’s a perfect way to celebrate a Monday morning to get you going for the week. You can even get the baker’s choice assortment, where the baker chooses their favorite assortment of cupcakes especially for you.
Milk Bar is a dessert aficionado's heaven on earth. The options are endless, from cookies to cakes to pies—founding chef Christina Tosi was even featured on Netflix’s Chef’s Table for her culinary creations at this award-winning bakery. She is known for putting a playful and cheeky spin on your favorite home-style desserts, where some of the more legendary creations include the iconic Cereal Milk™ soft serve (made with milk, brown sugar, and a little bit of cornflakes which—yes—tastes just like childhood, a.k.a. the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cereal), naked layer cakes (you can actually see all of the moist and spongy layers through the transparent container), cake truffles, assorted cookies, and more! If you’re celebrating a special occasion, order a chocolate caramel pretzel cake or their famous birthday cake for the road. If you’re stopping in-house to enjoy their sugary delights, try the chocolate malt cake truffles. Gluten-free and dairy-free patrons can enjoy the Perfect 10 cookie, which is made with gluten-free oats, almonds, chocolate chips, and agave (plus, each of these cookies provides 10 school lunches to hungry children around the world!).
Crepeaway is wonderful for two reasons. One, it has some of the best sweet crêpes in town. Two, you get to watch the crêpes being made right in front of you! Crepeaway prides itself on providing a modern twist to this French classic, and it doesn’t disappoint. Take, for example, the Angel—it’s made with Nutella, strawberries, and bananas for just $7. Whatever option you choose, Crepeaway is definitely generous when it comes to filling their crêpes. The crêpes are also rolled into a cone to make it easier to eat—no knives or forks needed! This bright and quirky fast-casual spot offers both sweet and savory crêpes, so you can take your pick or have both. This late-night spot is open until midnight on the weekends, so you can get your fix any time of the day.
Captain Cookie and the Milkman
We have just four words: made-to-order ice cream sandwiches. Captain Cookie and the Milkman is truly a gift to Earth—you start by choosing two cookies, then you select the ice cream you’d like to serve as the filling for your sandwich. The cookie options are fun and eclectic, like funfetti, ginger molasses, peanut butter, vegan chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle. They also serve local milk and ice cream. It’s another late-night spot, so your late-night cravings are sure to be satisfied. They also have a well-known food truck, so be on the lookout if you’re out and about for the day!
Boqueria is not just for tapas; it’s the place to go for the best churros around. Pop on over for dinner, but be sure to save enough room for dessert! They offer churros in any and every form you can think of—filled with Nutella, sprinkled with cinnamon, transformed into an ice cream sandwich, toasted like a s'more…the list goes on. For another restaurant that does more than just entrées, check out the Ted Tarts (or pop tarts) at Ted's Bulletin. Your sweet tooth will thank you.
Want More Sweets?
If you are looking for a Washington, D.C. real estate agent to help you make the move to the area so you are always in close proximity to these sweet establishments, contact us today. We would love to assist you in finding Washington, D.C. luxury estates. To explore more fun activities and interesting things to do in the capital, take a look at our blog.