A Local’s Guide to London’s Top 15 Dessert Spots
London is a melting pot of cultures, and there’s no denying it. As a born & bred Londoner, one of my favorite things about the city is the depth of diverse cuisine. If, like me, you’ve got a sweet tooth with a mind of its own, you’ll want to keep reading. The following desserts will help fuel your London explorations.
1. Mamason’s Dirty Ice Cream
Address: 32 Newport Ct, London WC2H 7PQ
First, I’d like to introduce you to London’s original Filipino ice cream parlor, where they serve the best Halo-Halo in town. Mamasons pride themselves on capturing “the simple goodness. We don’t want to serve ice cream; we want to create a cultural experience.” And that they do excellently.
When visiting, we chose the Bilog, an award-winning toasted ice cream sandwich with the classic Ube flavor. It cost $9.60 for one, which is a tad pricey. But the taste and novelty of the experience make it worth it.
2. Humble Crumble
Address: Old Spitalfields Market, 105C Commercial St, London E1 6BG
There is nothing humble about this dessert offering. The show-stopping crumbles are full of personality. Hailed as “Britain’s most nostalgic dessert,” you can customize your creation.
We chose an apple & cinnamon crumble with a classic shortbread base, topped with perfectly hot custard. The first bite instantly transported me back to my primary school days and dinner lady Theresa’s iconic apple crumble.
Address: 20 Newport Ct, London WC2H 7JS
This Chinatown-based parlor introduces “popular Japanese street food (to the) West.” Be sure to sample their taiyaki, which you can order as savory or sweet. It costs $7.70 for this well-loved pastry for two.
Our fillings were classic red bean and black sesame matcha, two sweet flavors. Yep. It’s a very different experience, but that’s precisely why you must try it yourself.
4. Boolay Crepes
Address: 24/25 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LD
Feast your eyes on this creme brulee-crepe-cone creation. Then, let your taste buds take it from there. Seductively tucked within Seven Dials Market, each quirky cone is made fresh to order, with the vendor’s signature caramel flavor paired on top.
5. Little Moons Mochi
Address: Selfridges Food Hall, London W1A 1AB
Mochi is another Japanese treat worth trying. Forget everything you thought you knew about this unique ice cream. The little balls have a soft, chewy outer layer made with soft mochi dough and a creamy gelato base in the middle.
“They’re unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before,” boasts the company. But they’re not lying. Options range from classics like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry to more exotic flavors such as Himalayan salted caramel, honey-roasted pistachio, and (my personal favorite) passionfruit & mango.
6. Darlish Ice Cream
Address: 4 Brushfield St, London E1 6AN
Next up, we have Darlish Ice Cream, “home of the baklava ice cream sandwich.” Award-winning and indulgent in all the right ways, their offerings are inspired by the magic of the Middle East, with ice cream spooned in all sorts of unique flavors, such as tahini, carrot milk, and saffron rose.
7. Badiani 1932
Address: St. Mark’s Church, N Audley St, London W1K 6ZA
Hands down the best Italian gelato in London. You can find Badiani stores spreading joy all over the capital, but I recommend visiting the one in Mayfair. It awaits you within Mercato Mayfair, a food market tucked inside an old stained-glass church.
8. Chin Chin Ice Cream
Address: 49-50 Camden Lock Pl, London NW1 8AF
Full disclosure, I’ve yet to try this one. But how cool does the concept of nitro ice cream sound? All desserts are handmade by chefs in a lab-like parlor.
Watch as your scoop gets frozen before you with clouds of liquid nitrogen. Exclusive flavors include burnt butter caramel, bee pollen honeycomb, and marshmallow fluff, but you have endless combinations in store.
9. Cafe de Nata
Address: 25 Old Compton St, London W1D 5JN
Pastel de Nata is a Portuguese dessert, and Cafe de Nata serves the best of this egg custard tart in London. We got a box of six for $14.40 to share with the family, with a mix of toppings that included coconut, cinnamon, and various berries. All were dreamy.
10. Ben’s Cookies
Address: 139 Oxford St, London W1D 2JA
Nothing beats warm cookies and a glass of milk. There is just something about it. It tastes like childhood. Founded by British cookbook author Helge Rubinstein, Ben’s Cookies has been supplying this warm feeling to happy customers since 1984.
11. Bubblewrap Waffle
Address: Old Spitalfields Market, Anchor 3, London E1 6EW
“If you’re not munching on a bubblewrap, then what the waffle are you doing?” It’s a good question. Indeed, the thought of gelato melting in a warm waffle alongside custom toppings sounds too good to miss.
12. Maitre Choux
Address: 60 Dean St, London W1D 6AW
As “the world’s first choux pastry specialist,” Maitre Choux knows a thing or two about delicate desserts. They have the magic of a three Michelin star chef in their corner and serve London’s finest eclairs, choux, and chouquettes.
13. Shibuya Soho
Address: 110 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5EH
This home-style Japanese cafe serves several must-tries. The first is their croffle – part-waffle, part-croissant creation that comes with various toppings. Then there is the bingsu, an iconic milk-based Korean dessert formed with shaved ice. And if you need more than that, their Dalgona coffee and matcha basque ensures you’re spoilt for choice.
14. Doughnut Time
Address: 78 Long Acre, London WC2E 9NG
You doughnut want to miss this spot on your London dessert tour, I guarantee it. Not only are these round treats aesthetically pleasing, but you can now order home kits too. The DIY sets have everything you need to design your doughnut creations.
15. Rinkoff Bakery
Address: 79 Vallance Rd, London E1 5BS
What’s better than a croissant or a doughnut? A hybrid pastry that fuses the two, that’s what! Rinkoff’s crodoughs are fried like a doughnut and then filled with different flavors such as custard, salted caramel, and chocolate fudge. It’s imaginative, delicious, and the perfect treat to end your London explorations.
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.