Sugar Shock: The Haute 5 Desserts in Philadelphia

As a child, I was convinced there was always room for dessert (especially if that dessert were ice cream, since it could melt and just fill in the cracks). I’ve grown older and wiser, but my mind hasn’t changed on this one. No meal is truly complete without a sweet send-off, and with so many confectionery concoctions to choose from, why not? Whether you enjoy the restaurant’s options or head out to a spot specializing in sugar, you’ll find a delicious dessert at one of these Philadelphia haute spots.

Max Brenner

Known across the globe for being the place for chocolate, believe it or not this place has a real (and good!) dinner menu, too. Come by for drinks, or dinner, but certainly dessert. Max Brenner’s Sweets menu will have you drooling before a plate is placed before you. Rich fondue, chocolate pizza and banana split sugar waffles, oh my. Can’t decide? Opt for the Sharing plate for two and get a little bit of everything.

Max Brenner is located at 1500 Walnut Street, 215.344.8150,

Creperie Beau Monde

Quaint Queen’s Village’s darling creperie is the perfect spot for a slightly nontraditional dessert selection. Sure, their savory buckwheat crepes make a decadent dinner, but the sweet dessert crepes are simply divine. Go simple with strawberries and Chantilly cream, or add some tartness with a smooth lemon curd. My personal favorite: the banana and Nutella crepe topped with melting hazelnut ice cream.

Creperie Beau Monde is located at Sixth and Bainbridge streets, 215.592.0652,

Photo by Tony Oppenheim

Naked Chocolate Cafe

Everyone loves apple pie and lemon tarts, but when a serious dessert is in order, the word of the day is chocolate. At the Philly outpost of Naked Chocolate Cafe, you can find hundreds of ways to to scream that word from the rooftops. Fresh double chocolate cupcakes, gourmet chocolate candies, personal fondue pots, nudos (a kind of crazy-good brownie — try it with the lemon olive oil) and their signature frozen hot chocolate. It’s a true chocoholic’s dream.

Naked Chocolate Cafe is located at 1317 Walnut St., 215.735.7310,

Darling’s Cafe & Famous Cheesecake

The name here says it all. Darling’s mixes, bakes and serves the perfect Philadelphia-style cheesecake: light and fluffy, rich and flavorful. Varieties include the classic, key lime, pumpkin and their specialty, the award-winning bananas foster cheesecake. Grab a table at one of their cozy spots, a steaming mug of cafe au lait and the largest wedge they’ll cut for you. Heaven.

Darling’s Cafe & Famous Cheesecake is located at 404 South 20th St., 215.545.5745, 2100 Spring St., 215.496.9611,

Le Bec-Fin

Le Bec-Fin has won notoriety over its 40 year history for a number of things, but when you ask foodies what part of the fine French dining experience stuck with them, you are sure to hear the words “Dessert cart!” followed by a squeal. The famed mobile masterpiece is piled high with every confection possible, from tarts and pies to mousse and cake. The house specialty is the GâteauLe Bec-Fin, a rum-soaked chocolate cake and mousse affair that deserves a taste.

Le Bec-Fin is located at 1523 Walnut St., 215.567.1000,