Taste the City's Donuts
1.PVDonuts created a huge sensation last year when they started selling their gourmet, brioche-style doughnuts out of Sin Desserts. Now, their Ives Street location has lines out the door every weekend, and their buzzworthy dessert innovations – like the Thanksgiving Day, that had Bucktown fried chicken, stuffing and cranberry on top – is making national news at places like Thrillist and Refinery 29. 79 Ives Street.
2. The Cafe at Easy Entertaining only makes doughnuts on Fridays, but they’re worth the wait. Connoisseurs of confections place their orders early in the week for flavors like Bourbon Caramel, or the Brown Butter Coconut, Cinnamon Sugar and Vanilla Glazed pictured here. 166 Valley Street. 437-6090.
3. Knead Doughnuts is the newest game in town, but with some history. The doughnut shop is on the first floor of the recently renovated 32 Custom House development. They offer perfectly decorated treats in flavors like Brown Butter Toffee, PB & J and Pumpkin Cake, that will make it impossible for you to leave with just one. Good thing they offer doughnut subscriptions for pickup, or downtown delivery. 32 Custom House Street. 865-6622.
4. Dave’s Coffee serves up a variety of gluten-free doughnuts every day, in gourmet flavors like Lavender Honey, Turtle, Raspberry Matcha and Horchata, pictured here. Before you dismiss these treats as wheat-free imitators, give them a taste – they’re so delicious that you would never know they’re GF. 341 South Main Street. 521-1973.
5. DeLuise Bakery has been baking doughnuts the old fashioned way for over 70 years. The flavors are classics – plain, jelly, chocolate frosted – but the classics have stood the test of time for a reason. A bite of these is pure nostalgia, but the kind of nostalgia that’s baked fresh every day. 1251 Chalkstone Avenue. 351-5826
6. White Electric’s focus is on their perfectly brewed coffee, and they sell breakfast pastries that let the beans do the talking. They carry a reliably delicious but no frills selection of doughnuts every day, like old fashioned and chocolate, with or without sprinkles. 711 Westminster Street. 453-3007.
Different but Delicious Treats
7. This chocolate charcuterie plate for two has a deconstructed lemon tart on anise cornmeal crust, pate choux filled with apple compote and caramelized sugar glaze, white chocolate chai truffles, coffee milk caramels, glazed cardamom almonds, Nutella cheesecake on hazelnut shortbread, and a trio of chocolate mousse with cacao nib-infused whipped cream. It's avaliable at Sin Desserts, opening in March. 1413 Westminster Street.
8. Baklava, made of phyllo, honey and nuts, is so beloved in Middle Eastern cultures that East Side Pockets gives customers a little, complimentary piece with their order. 278 Thayer Street. 435-1100.
9. The umami flavor in North Bakery’s Miso Brown Butter Cookies comes from the Japanese seasoning. The bakery is known for their unusual flavor combinations, and draws a lot of inspiration from Asian food, like with their DenDen hand pie. 70 Battey Street. 421-4062
10. Japan isn’t known for their sweets, but red bean cakes are a reliably delicious, not-too-sugary choice for after your sushi. Haruki Express carries several imported varieties, like these Daifuku Mochi Sweet Red Bean Cakes. 112 Waterman Street. 421-0754
11. A French Bouchon is a tiny, rich chocolate cake bite; a Cannelé is a sweet dense bread that’s chewy on the outisde and soft on the inside. Ellie’s Bakery serves both confections every day, along with other French treats like macarons. 61 Washington Street. 228-8118
12. There’s more to Indian dessert than just that that little bowl of sweet seeds (called mukwahs) your waiter leaves on the table after dinner. Try the Jalebi, which is deep fried dough dipped in sweet syrup, at Not Just Snacks. 833 Hope Street. 831-1150
13. A Portuguese celebration isn’t complete without Pasteis De Nata, a traditional sweet custard tart, on the dessert table. They’re hard to find in the city, but the pasteis from Silver Star Bakery doesn’t disappoint. 150 Ives Street. 421-8013
14. We say chocolate cake, and you say… Gregg’s Death by Chocolate, right? The indulgent six-layer cake (pictured above) is so iconic in Rhode Island that when President Obama visited, Governor Raimondo brought him through the restaurant’s attached bakery to have a slice. 1303 North Main Street (and other locations throughout the state). 831-5700
15. The first last name in Italian desserts is Scialo. Scialo Brothers Bakery has been baking up confections in their brick oven on Atwells for 101 years, so they must be doing something right. Their classic Italian pastries, like cannoli and sfogliatelle, are the bakery’s must tastes (though they make a killer cheesecake, and, well, everything else) too. 257 Atwells Avenue. 421-0986
16. If you’re only having zeppole on St. Joseph’s Day, you’re doing it wrong. LaSalle Bakery makes them by the hundreds from February 1 through Easter, in three flavors: traditional Italian, chocolate mousse and Bailey’s Irish Cream. This is one instance where you don’t need to be a purist – all three are equally as delicious. Locations on Smith and Admiral.
17. A brownie is not always just a brownie, especially from Seven Stars Bakery. Their version is bigger than your palm, and is the perfect blend of cakey on the outside and fudgey on the inside, so it’s your best bet, no matter your brownie preference. Locations on Hope and Broadway (and in Rumford).
18. When The Duck & Bunny opened seven years ago, cupcakes were a huge craze in PVD (much like doughnuts are right now). But unlike other cupcake bakeries around the city, The Duck has stood the test of time. They make inventive seasonal flavors – including some that are so good you won’t know they’re vegan – but their originals have become modern classics, like the Chocolate Peanut Butter and Red Velvet. 312 Wickenden Street. 270-3300
19. Scones don’t often get a fair shake. When they’re bad, they’re the dense, unloved afterthoughts that are all that’s left at the bakery counter at 2pm. But when they’re good, they’re from Olga’s Cup and Saucer. The bread wizards over there bake up a rotating selection of sweet and savory scones every day, and they’re almost always a sell-out. 103 Point Street. 831-6666.
20. Pastiche Fine Desserts on Federal Hill is a reliably delicious source of a sugar rush, and a great choice for dessert on date night. Everything at the cafe is delicious, but their Fruit Tart is a bite of summer in any season. 92 Spruce Street. 861-5190.
21. When Maximillian’s Ice Cream Parlor closed, its devoted fans feared that some of the city’s best ice cream would be lost to history – then came Three Sisters, which picked up where Maximillian’s left off. They’ve made the ice cream tradition their own, adding inventive flavors like Kulfi (cardamom, cinnamon and pistachios) and Dirty Garden Mint (fresh mint ice cream with chopped chocolate chips). 1074 Hope Street. 273-7230.