18 Best Desserts in London You Have to Try
By Franki Hanke
When you visit London, you might be comparing museums and plotting your course to Buckingham Palace, but when I travel, I care about one thing about all else: where are the best treats? Well, the best desserts in London is a long list, so no matter which neighborhoods you visit, there’s a sweet nearby you have to try.
Camden (and North London)
The northmost borough of London on one side of Regent’s Park (opposite Westminster on the other), Camden is known for an eclectic mix of cuisines and music, so it’s no surprise you’ll find inventive desserts here.
Chin Chin Labs
WEBSITE | ICE CREAM
The first of its kind in London, Chin Chin freezes their ice cream with liquid nitrogen for a super-smooth texture. Their flavor menu mixes classics like Valrhona Chocolate with inventions like Strawberry Shiso. Further, customize your pick with a variety of sauce toppings to make your own sundaes.
If you’d rather warm up, opt for their ultra-rich hot chocolate instead.
Chin Chin has a Soho location too.
Encompassing Soho, Mayfair, Covent Garden, Chinatown, Theatreland, Bloomsburg, Marylebone, and Westminster, the West End of London is a hotspot for London’s iconic destinations and several dessert places. With so many nearby destinations, adding these dessert shops as snacks during the day is easy.
WEBSITE | SOFT SERVE WAFFLES
Adorable name aside, Bubblewra is one of those totally Instagrammable spots that are actually good. Starting from the traditional Hong Kong egg waffles, they combined them with creamy ice cream and variable toppings for a customizable experience. Flavors range from matcha with red bean to salted caramel and banana.
WEBSITE | CHEESECAKE
Co-founder Alice Churchill brought 18 years of experience in Michelin kitchens and her own creativity together in Whipped. The shop focused on their fan-favorite dessert: whipped cheesecake.
WEBSITE | COOKIES
Founded in 1983 by Helge Rubinstein, Ben’s Cookies is named for her son. Their cookies are made with chunks, never chips, which they feel strongly about! Their cookies are soft with a range of classic flavours from White Chocolate Macadamia to Dark Chocolate Ginger.
WEBSITE | CAFE MENU
While L’Eto is a global brand now, its Soho cafe is both visually enticing (and oh-so Instagrammable) and deliciously satisfying. They serve a full menu but order one of their thinly layered cake slices or a flaky Danish pastry!
WEBSITE | ITALIAN GELATO & SORBET
Since 2010, Gelupo has been serving silky gelato fresh-made every day. Richer than ice cream, their gelato comes in a few constant flavors and a range of seasonal specials. Good luck choosing between their unique flavors. This June sees Strawberry Pink Peppercorn and Pimms & Lemonade flavors, for example.
Buns From Home
WEBSITE | BUNS
Hand-rolled croissant buns are customized with fillings and toppings for a tantalizing menu of buns. With locations around London, find the one closest to your other plans, but don’t miss out on their tender, flakey pastries. Check their Instagram for weekend specials, too.
WEBSITE | STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
If you’re on the hunt for sticky toffee pudding, you’ll have to sit in for a meal. It’s hard to find this classic British dessert for a take-away. Before you try this sweet combination of vanilla, coffee, and toffee sauce, try Mother Mash’s fresh-made mash.
WEBSITE | CHOUX PASTRY
If you want stunning choux patisserie from Eclairs to creme puffs, don’t miss Maitre Choux. Everything in their case at a given moment is a work of art with glossy chocolate sauce or vibrant pistachio mousseline. Their pastry chefs come from Michelin-level backgrounds, and it shows.
WEBSITE | SOUFFLE PANCAKES
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With Japanese origins, these souffle pancakes are now popular sweet treats in London. With a wobbly, light texture, these “pancakes” are almost more like a mousse. Choose your preferred topping from hazelnut Nutella to crumbled Oreos. Pancakes aren’t the only sweet treats available! Try any of their adorably molded pastries or bubble tea.
WEBSITE | COOKIES
If you’re feeling homesick while abroad, get a little taste of America with these New York-inspired cookies. They’re big, they’re soft, and they’re available crumbled on top of soft serve like deconstructed ice cream sandwiches (so much easier to eat).
Chelsea, Kensington, Hyde Park
Beyond Westminster, Chelsea, Kensington (including Notting Hill), and Hyde Park make up the western side of London before Fulham.
WEBSITE | CHOCOLATE
If you were dreaming of a thick, European hot chocolate but then felt the heat and instantly re-thought that plan, you’re in luck. Knoops serves their 20 different percentages of chocolate in an iced style, just like an iced coffee, but instead of coffee, they’re chilling down a lush-drinking chocolate.
Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley
WEBSITE | PATISSERIE
In his first pâtisserie outside of Paris, chef Cédric Grolet serves an elevated take on afternoon tea in a multi-course experience drawing on the French tradition of sweet snacking. The menu changes often, but it’s always worth a reservation for this unique tasting experience.
WEBSITE | CAKES & BROWNIES
While much of their business is cake orders, Flavourtown’s Bakery case is always stocked with a wide range of treats from cupcakes to “Human Catnip” brownies. These award-winning brownies are made with rich Valrhona chocolate and finished with scratch-made salted caramel. They claim their London’s best brownie!
Bears Ice Cream
WEBSITE | SOFT SERVE
In the western side of London, Bears is serving Icelandic soft serve ice cream made with Jersey milk. Their flavor combos are inventive and unique like Basil, White Chocolate, and Passionfruit or Lemon Curd, Marshmallow, and Biscoff.
South Bank & Beyond
Across the River Thames, South Bank covers the remaining from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge.
Humble Crumble in Borough Market
WEBSITE | CRUMBLE
Serving up a classic, British dessert, Humble Crumble is the spot for crumble. It’s comparable to an American crisp with a base layer of fruit topped with a crumbled, sweet topping and custard. At Humble Crumble, choose from a variety of fruit combinations including hot and cold variations.
If you’re trying to fit more of the best desserts in London into a busy day, grab easy-access sweets from brands with many locations throughout London.
WEBSITE | DOUGHNUTS
With locations all around London, it should be easy to fit Bread Ahead into your breakfast plans at least once. Their donuts are thick and abundantly filled. Check for limited-flavor donuts on their Instagram or show up and be surprised.
WEBSITE | DOUGHNUTS
One donut shop to visit on your trip to London is not enough, especially not when you’re at risk of missing out on Crosstown Doughnuts. Uniquely raised with sourdough, Crosstown donuts are lushly topped in a variety of unique flavors from Plum & Cinnamon to Peanut Butter & Blackcurrant.
See more of the best desserts in London as our social media coordinator Emma shares her travels in London on Instagram. If you’re still prepping for your own London trip, get excited with television and movies filmed there.
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