This is my second year of writing about Austin's Best Desserts and I'm excited to say that my jeans still fit after a year of great food. Although next year I may need to write about Austin's best running trails. Last years write-up had some really delicious and creative desserts on the list. Almost all of those make my top desserts list this year, and I've added on a few.
We started the journey this year with Launderette. And let me say, pastry chef Laura Sawicki doesn't disappoint. Their menu is always changing and there are different dessert menus for lunch and dinner. I had the flourless chocolate cake, which is on the dinner dessert menu. It's flourless chocolate cake with caramelized white chocolate mousse, sea salt, and mint cocoa nib crunch ice cream. Which by the way, that mint cocoa nib ice cream is a home run! Delish! The flourless chocolate cake is almost like a fudge, decadent and delicious. And if chocolate cake isn't your thing, the list of seasonal ice creams and sorbets is well worth the trip.
Launderette is located at: 2115 Holly Street, Austin TX
Hours: Weekday lunch 11 am - 2:30.
Dinner nightly: Sunday - Thursday 5pm - 10pm, Friday & Saturday 5pm - 11pm
After Launderette I headed over to Cafe No Se. It's fairly new to Austin and getting some great reviews. First of all, I'm going to say try the winter quinoa bowl. It has nothing to do with desserts, but good grief is it good! After I finished the quinoa bowl, I then had the Rockmans Basque Cake. If you know anything about Basque cakes, you know it's a dense cake with buttery goodness. Baked to perfection, it is surrounded by speculoos, charred dates and citrus making a great flavor combination.
Cafe No Se is located at: 1603 South Congress in the South Congress Hotel, Austin TX
Hours: Sunday - Wednesday 7am - 10 pm, Thursday - Saturday 7am - 12 am
Next on my list is Sway. This is one of my all time favorites. This is an older image, and the plating has changed a bit, but the flavor still kicks butt. Anything on the dessert menu pretty much rocks. But this is my all time favorite. The miso - white chocolate semifreddo. This has been there almost since day one, and continues to remain on the menu. Coconut sticky rice, mango calamansi sorbet and crispy rice. Good grief I could eat this daily!
Hours: Sunday - Wednesday 11am - 10 pm, Thursday - Saturday 11am - 11pm
And if the wait at Sway is too long for you, right across the street is Elizabeth Street Cafe. I hadn't eaten at Elizabeth Street Cafe very much until I did the Austin Burger Challenge last year. They had an off menu burger that was pretty darn tasty for the challenge which made me want to come back and try other things. I'd say the burger challenge was a success just for that. You can read more about the burger challenge here.
This place is known for their noodles and banh mi. But when bread pudding enters the mix, I'm all over it. It's a coconut curry, chocolate custard ice cream with white chocolate anglaise. There is just a tiny bit of spice mixed with that chocolate custard ice cream. A great spicy/sweet combo.
Elizabeth Street Cafe is located at: 1501 South First Street, Austin TX 78704
Hours: Seven days a week: 8 am - late.
And now just an update from a few places last year.
Clarks Oyster Bar. I know what you are thinking... But yes, try the desserts! The Basque cake is still on the menu and by far one of my favorite things. The chocolate bread pudding is no longer on the menu, but I'm hoping it makes a comeback soon!
Clarks is located at: 1200 W 6th Street, Austin TX.
Hours: Lunch Menu M-F 11am
Dinner: Sunday – Wednesday until 10:30pm, Thursday – Saturday until 11:00pm
Perla's is one of my favorites. They have one of my favorite desserts that has been on the menu for a while, but I order it every single time. The Salted Butterscotch Pot de Creme with coconut lace cookies and whipped crème fraiche. Good grief that salted butterscotch flavor is soooooo delicious! Perla’s has a wonderful outdoor dining area in addition to the dining room. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend an hour. Sitting on that patio enjoying a cold beverage under the many shade trees eating dessert with friends. Doesn’t get much better than that no matter who you are.
Perlas is located at: 1400 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX
Hours are: Lunch M-F 11:30am – 3pm
Dinner: Daily 5:30 – close
I hope the list provides you with helpful places to enjoy the best meal of the day! If you have a favorite that isn't listed let me know in the comments, and I'll give it a try.