The Sweet Stuff
Most Unique Desserts
Legend has it that, many years ago, Flying Star landed in a spacecraft made of buttercream icing and egg custard on a mission to bring chocolate-covered peace, love and understanding to humanity. Flying Star comes in peace, and their unique cakes come in pieces. All the desserts are out of this world.
1. Flying Star Café (landslide)
Best Chocolate Confections
Chocolate is like a big, warm hug in its ability to make people feel better. A hug that makes you fatter, yes, but one that won't get you sick or covered in sweat. When you need a cocoa-covered pick-me-up, you head to The Candy Lady in Old Town and the Chocolate Café and Bakery in Nob Hill.
1. The Candy Lady, Chocolate Café and Bakery (tied)
2. Flying Star Café
Runner-up: Theobroma Chocolatier
It’s hard to make a good cupcake from scratch, but it’s understandable why so many of us try. Few desserts are as adorable, satisfying and guiltless as a cupcake (because, after all, it’s not a whole piece of cake). When done right, the cake is moist, springy and pleasantly sweet, with frosting that complements, not overpowers, its delicate constitution. When done sloppily, a cupcake can be nothing more than a dry muffin with a saccharine load on top. Finding a good cupcake is serious business, which is why it’s lucky that it also happens to be the business of Cake Fetish, which won this category by a sugary landslide.
1. Cake Fetish
2. The Grove Café and Market
Runners-up: ABC Cake Shop, Slate Street Café
Best Ice Cream
Cold Stone Creamery is a chain, but they do make their frozen confections right there in the store, which scored enough points with our readers to place them in first. For the best local options in town, peak ahead to the third-place runners-up.
1. Cold Stone Creamery
2. Baskin-Robbins, Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop (tied)
Runners-up: Ecco Espresso and Gelato, I Scream Ice Cream
Best French Pastries
Le Chantilly Pastry Shop is the devil. When our food intern, Maren, was pregnant, her doctor once looked at her weight on the evil thing that is the scale. The doc asked if Maren was aware that a fine variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is available to the general public. Maren tried in vain to explain to her that Le Chantilly makes these beautiful tarts and exquisitely flaky palmiers—she had no choice but to devour them like the fat little hog she was. Doc didn’t understand, but the Alibi’s readers know what Maren's talking about.
1. Le Chantilly Pastry Shop
2. La Quiche Parisienne Bistro
Runner-up: French Riviera Bakery