The 9 Best Places for Dessert in California!

California might be stereotyped as the land of health food, but that doesn’t mean that locals don’t know how to enjoy a good cheat day! From internationally-renowned haute cuisine with a sweet focus to mashups of decadent delights to good old-fashioned goodies, you can find all kinds of places for desserts in California. Check out just a few of the very best.  

1. Betty’s Pie Whole, Encinitas, CA

Betty’s Pie Whole has a whole lot of pies—including breakfast and savory versions. Skip them and go straight for the sweet stuff, like the super-rich Mississippi Mud Pie that is completely homemade and nothing like the versions found at chain restaurants.

2. Juniper & Ivy, San Diego, CA

Yodels. And we aren’t talking about the kind you’ll find in the supermarket. The magic happens when chocolate is poured over the log and the richness hits your tongue. Plus, it makes for a great culinary experience and fun photos that last beyond chocolate melting in your mouth.

3. The Baked Bear, Multiple locations

If you can’t choose between cookies or ice cream, then head to the Baked Bear. Originated from San Diego, the Baked Bear has since expanded to offer its unique cookie or doughnut or pastry ice cream sandwich combos to much of California and beyond.

Cutest food stack ever 💖🍦💖 . . #Repost @the_hungrybeast ・・・ “OHHHH GAWDDDD, DON’T LET IT DROP,” on the DL tho, I’d still pick it up before 5 secs 🤣. Because 1 ice cream sando is never enough, and 3 is just right. . 🥇 Funfetti cake cookie with strawberry cheesecake icecream 🥈 Chocolate chip cookie with Bear Batter icecream 🥉 Red velvet cookie with cookies & cream icecream . --------------------------------------- 💯FOLLOW @the_hungrybeast . . . . . . . . . . . . . #cookies #cookiesncream #icecreamdate #cookiesofinstagram #cookiesandmilk #icecream #icecreamlover #icecreamparty #icecreamday #icecreamface #redvelvet #funfetti #chocolatechip #sugarcookies #christmascookies #girlscoutcookies #cookiesandmilk #cookiestagram #cookiesfordays #cookie #desserts #dessertporn #dessertoftheday #dessertgram #dessertstory #healthydesserts #tabledessert #yummydessert

A post shared by Icecreamadventurer (@icecreamadventurer) on

4. The Dirty Cookie, Tustin, CA

The Dirty Cookie eliminates the need for dunking by making cup out of cookie. Fill your cookie shot with your choice of milk or coffee or opt for a more traditional version of a cookie paired with a separate beverage of your choosing.

Treat yo' self and your friends! 'Tis the season, after all 🙌🏼

A post shared by The Dirty Cookie® (@thedirtycookieoc) on

5. Afters Ice Cream, Multiple locations

After Ice Cream pairs Asian milk pastries with creamy ice cream for an East meets West dessert hybrid. The Pasadena location is based out a historic gas station, making it a fun place to cool off on a warm California day. 

6. Van’s Bakery, Multiple locations

Van’s Bakery is a mom and pop-style bakery that goes above and beyond the average corner bakery. Locals love stopping in for macaron ice cream sandwiches (try the s’mores) on weekends or the occasional green pandan waffles, a Vietnamese snack. There are also cream puffs and cakes, and more treats.

7. Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco, CA

The small-batch specialty chocolate factory has a café featuring chocolatey pastries, frozen and hot chocolate beverages and other sweets in a cozy location. Choose from the daily specials and watch as beans become bars. 

[Travel eats - San Francisco] If you are a serious chocolate lover, no trip to SF should be without a stop at @dandelionchocolate ! This small bean-to-bar chocolate factory makes gourmet chocolates in SF's Mission District! . They have a cafe section where you can enjoy their creations. I opted for the chef's chocolate tasting flight, which uses a single origin chocolate for each item! (Swipe to see more) . Hands down my favourite items were the S'more - the marshmallow had amazing texture and paired well with the chocolate; and the Panna Cotta. Absolutely fantastic 😋! . #chocolatetasting #eatersf #chocolatetime #sffoodies #chocolateheaven #sffoodie #sffood #sfeats #dandelionchocolate _____________________________________________ #traveleats #travelfood #travelfoodie #travellingfoodie #travelingfoodie #traveltoeat #foodtrip #foodtrippin #foodtripping #eatwelltraveloften #foodaroundtheworld #foodtravel #foodietravel #travelandeat #foodandtravel #torontofoodie #torontofoodies #yyzfoodie #yyzfoodies #canadianfoodie #internationalfoodie

A post shared by Toronto Food & Drinks | Foodie (@instantonium) on

8. Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, CA

Michelin starred chef Dominique Crenn used to offer a full tasting menu focusing on dessert. These days you can still find a lot of desserts on the menu, you just have to eat your way through savory courses first. Totally worth the high price to see desserts that are as beautiful to behold as they are to taste.

Turning food into gold @atelier.crenn

A post shared by Dominique Crenn (@dominiquecrenn) on

9. Milk, Los Angeles, CA

Milk is kind of like a modern imaging of an old-fashioned soda fountain. You’ll find lots of ice cream in various forms ranging from scoops to sandwiches to floats and shakes. You’ll also find, cookies, macarons, brownies and cakes. Including a giant ice cream sandwich cake.

Share your favorites!
California Search
Find Dessert Spots Near You
Select a California town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Los Angeles County
San Francisco County