Top Ten in 2010

They say the New Year is a good time for reflection, and what better reflection topic than Seattle desserts? Therefore, even as my friends begin their various digestive cleanses, and as America goes on its collective diet, I stand strong and list my favorite Seattle desserts – the best in each of ten categories.

1. Best Ice Cream: I’m gonna have to go with Old School Frozen Custard. Their flavors are far more limited than Molly Moon’s, but the ice cream is superior. This is where I take my dad when he comes to town – and my father really does know best when it comes to ice cream.

2. Best Cupcake: The battle between Trophy and Cupcake Royale rages on, but I for one am glad that we have so many options. For now, I’m a Cupcake Royale girl (I think the cake part is better there) but I plan to keep an open mind (and mouth) in the coming year.

3. Best Cookie: I may disappoint a few folks with this one, but I’m pretty loyal to Specialty’s semi-sweet chocolate chunk cookie. I know, they’re a chain, but they’re GOOD. And you can get them warm. Plus, you know they have a solid franchise when even the wheat-germ cookies are delicious.

4. Best Beverage:  Although I love Diletante’s Chocolate Martini, and Red Mill Burger’s Oreo shake, I’m going to choose Fran’s Hot Chocolate. Maybe I’m biased because it’s winter, but nothing beats Fran’s on a cold day (or even on a warm day…)

5. Best Cake: My favorite place to get cake is still the Kingfish Cafe, although Dilettante’s is a VERY close runner-up. I like the fact that you never know what’s going to be on the dessert menu (but you know it’s going to be good), and I’ve had the only butterscotch cake of my life there.

6. Best Pastry: I’m gonna go out on a limb and choose the Cocktail Bun from Mon Hei Bakery in the International District.  I would make a trip to Chinatown again and again just for one of those, fresh out of the oven. Of course, Besalu makes a darn good pastry too…

7. Best Dessert-for-Breakfast: I haven’t reviewed it on here yet, but I’m obsessed with the Kona Kitchen’s Sweet Bread French Toast.  Portuguese sweet bread is popular in Hawaii, and for good reason, but it’s even better when it’s dipped in egg and fried in butter.  You have to eat it to believe it… (but I wish they would serve it with real maple syrup).

8. Best Chocolates: Theo’s. For the following reasons: you can tour their factory (and get lots of free samples at the store), they have the most creative concoctions, and I love, love, love their dark chocolate. Did I mention all the free samples?

9. Best Doughnut: This was actually the most difficult category for me to choose a winner. I’m obsessed with Top Pot (the old-fashioned style, not the cake style), but I also can’t live without my hot, fresh, Daily Dozen in Pike’s Place Market. Only three “flavors,” and you have to wait in line, but nothing beats the melt-in-your-mouth mini-doughnuts that they serve up. Not even Top Pot.

10. Best Overall Dessert Place: Dilettante’s is the best in my book.  Maybe because I love chocolate so much, maybe because they have such a great selection of delectable desserts, maybe because you can get a chocolate martini WITH your dessert… or all of the above. And a nice atmosphere to boot.

And, one for good luck:

11. Place I’m Most Excited to Try: Honore Artisan Bakery in Ballard. I hear amazing things about their pastries, and based on the number of good dessert places in Ballard I sometimes think I live in the wrong neighborhood…



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