I’ll get right to the point: You’re the best, and you deserve to eat the best desserts. End of story. Life is just too short to pass over pannacotta or skip a spoonful of spumoni. Sure, the majority of the food we eat should fuel our bodies, but a really good piece of cake is fuel for our souls. In fact, it’s so important that I firmly believe it’s worth traveling for. After all, wouldn’t road trips be so much better if you knew the perfect pan dulce was waiting for you at the end?
To that end, I have tracked down the most delicious desserts in the U.S. Feel free to send me virtual kisses, actual love notes, or a lifetime supply of chocolate. (Or, you can hit me up with your own list, because I’m also willing to travel for tiramisu.
Cinnaholic — Various Locations
This store is solely dedicated to all of your wildest cinnamon roll desires. Do you want caramel frosting with brownie bits and fresh strawberries on top? Done! Or how about blueberry frosting with fresh blueberries and graham crackers? Done! Seriously, it’s like Willy Wonka with more cinnamon rolls and fewer horrors for children.
Wowfulls Waffles — New York City, New York
It’s a sweet, sweet waffle filled with anything your little heart desires, and it’s BEYOND.
Leonard’s Bakery — Honolulu, Hawaii
Try the malasada, a Portuguese donut filled with all sorts of bonkers delicious cream flavors. Plus, to eat it, you have to go to Hawaii, so that’s good, too.
The Pie Spot — Portland, Oregon
If it’s pie you’re after, then you need to book a flight to the Pacific Northwest ASAP, as there are several flight-worthy pie places to check out. (We’re also fans of Petunia’s Pies and Pastries, which has a mind-blowing assortment of vegan and gluten-free pastries.) Famous for their s’mores, apple brandy, and lemon vanilla pies, The Pie Spot’s confections are truly out of this world.
CottonHi — Los Angeles, California
It’s cotton candy on top of soft serve. Case closed, and I’m booking my ticket right now. (JK, I live in LA and can have this any time!)
RPM Italian — Chicago, Illinois
Love poems are written about the famous Italian eatery’s even more famous desserts. Try the chocolate budino — a decadent cross between cake and pudding — and swoon. You need it.
Canoe — Atlanta, Georgia
The beloved riverfront restaurant stuns all around, but nothing is quite as impressive as the popcorn sundae, which is made with popcorn-flavored ice cream, caramel, and house-made Cracker Jacks. It sounds nuts, but it absolutely works!
Donut Friend — Los Angeles, California
You can get donuts of every shape, size, and filling. Seriously. We’re talking maple glaze and house-made coconut bacon; peanut butter, honey, and banana; and even donut ice cream sandwiches. Homer Simpson would be proud.
Loveless Cafe — Nashville, Tennessee
Come for their biscuits, stay for their out-of-this-world banana pudding. There is pretty much nothing more amazing than banana pudding in the South, and this is the holy grail.
20th Century Cafe — San Francisco, California
From a teeny tiny cafe in the city by the bay comes the delectable Russian honey cake. Up to twelve layers of cake are stacked into a honey cream tower of gravity-defying deliciousness. (And if you can’t make it to the city by the bay anytime soon, the New York Times has the recipe!)
Mike’s Pastry Inc. — Boston, Massachusetts
The Renowned Italian bakery offers cannolis in a wide variety of flavors, and each and every single one is a perfect and beautiful creation. In fact, ranking the deliciousness of the cannolis is practically a part-time job in Boston. I guess you have to try all their desserts!