As one of the restaurant capitals of the world, it is well known that London is not short of places to eat. In our fair city, you will find that pretty much every possible kind of cuisine, style and budget is catered for, whether you are looking to chow down on some noodles or tuck into a mighty steak complete with triple-cooked chips and lashings of béarnaise sauce. In the last few years though, a new phenomenon has gripped London’s streets – the rise of dessert bars, dedicatedly entirely to sweet treats.
While we may have just introduced the concept in a rather dramatic fashion, we are actually pretty excited about the prominence of dessert parlours in London. When we go out to eat, we pretty much see our starters and main courses as a mere preamble to the untold glories of dessert. We would go as far as to say that dessert is the ultimate course in any meal, and that anyone who argues differently is simply wrong – yes, this is a hill we are willing to die on.
Dessert bars are not just pleasing to the taste buds though, as many of them feature picture-perfect serves of loaded ice cream sundaes and over-the-top freakshakes, while fun and quirky interiors are just a bonus. If you want to stick to regular restaurants though, there are tons in town that boast fab dessert menus.
If you feel as strongly about desserts as we do, you probably spend a good amount of time scrolling through Instagram and searching online for where to find the best dessert places in London. We have got you covered, with our hand-picked selection of the most incredible desserts places in London. Whether you are on the hunt for a dedicated dessert bar, or simply just a restaurant with a cracking selection of puddings, our pick of the sweetest treats you can find in London should have something that tickles your fancy.
The best dessert bars in London
While restaurants with great dessert menus are all well and good, a menu dedicated entirely to sweet stuff is even better. Below, you’ll find our pick of the best dessert bars in London.
Cedric Grolet at The Berkeley, Knightsbridge
Landing in London fresh from France, Cédric Grolet brings with him a global fanbase who eagerly follow his every invention. His British outpost is found within the luxurious confines of The Berkeley and isn’t just a spot to grab a single dessert, instead guests can dine on a dessert tasting menu of seven courses. The menu changes regularly but expect the most intricate patisserie work and fantastically bright flavours – the wince-inducing lemon isn’t to be missed for both its flavour and its feed-appeal on Instagram. This one’s guaranteed to pull in the likes.
Where: Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL
Book now: Cedric Grolet at The Berkeley
Hans & Gretel, Camden
Why: Instagram-friendly Hans & Gretel takes its inspiration from the famous fairytale and feels like stepping inside a real-life gingerbread house. Fun interiors aside, expect chimney cakes filled with homemade gelato, plus freakshakes topped with tooth-achingly sweet candy.
Where: Unit 91 North Yard, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH
Basement Sate, Soho
Why: Located in a speakeasy-style bar, Basement Sate offers a full menu of drinks and desserts. There's live DJs to listen to while you tuck into desserts such as their reimagination of a black forest cake, artfully prepared as a giant cherry resting atop a pile of chocolate.
Where: 8 Broadwick Street, W1F 8HN
Book now: Basement Sate, Soho
Cake & Bubbles, Mayfair
Why: Perhaps the most high-end dessert bar in London, Albert Adria’s Cake & Bubbles features marble-splashed surfaces and a wall of Champagne. Alongside your fizz, you can enjoy mind-bending desserts such as the chocolate Champagne cork and this gold-embossed egg flan (served in a golden egg cup).
Where: 70 Regent Street, W1B 4DY
Book now: Cake & Bubbles, Mayfair
Why: At this French dessert parlour, you can indulge in mille crêpe cakes, which are made to look impossibly chic thanks to pastel hues and expert layering. Only the best ingredients are used too, including Valrhona chocolate and lemons sourced from Sicily.
Where: 8a Spring Street, W2 3RA
Why: Entirely decked out in pink with the look of a futuristic Barbie playhouse, this millennial-baiting dessert parlour serves up extravagant ice creams, milkshakes and bubble tea. Don’t miss the Biscoff crepe either.
Where: 27 James Street, W1U 1D
The best chocolate desserts in London
How can you possibly make a dessert even better, we hear you ask? Well, you add chocolate to it of course. These desserts have been dipped, drizzled and smothered with the good stuff, allowing London’s chocaholics to get their next fix.
Chocolate Bomb at The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Chelsea
Why: It’s more than a little likely that you’ve seen this decadent dessert from The Ivy on your Instagram feed. The melting chocolate treat (a vanilla ice cream and honeycomb centre in a chocolate shell which is melted away by hot salted caramel sauce) is available at most outposts of The Ivy Collection, but the Chelsea site is among the prettiest in the portfolio.
Where: 197 King's Road, SW3 5ED
Book now: The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Chelsea
The Triple Chocolate Sundae at Fortnum and Mason's The Parlour, St. James's
Why: Fortnum and Mason is home to some award-winning chocolatiers, and they also boast the credential of introducing the UK to the Knickerbocker Glory, so it's clear that a marriage between their chocolate and their ice cream is absolutely delectable. Featuring Bickfield Farm milk and double chocolate ice creams, their chocolate fudge cake, Chantilly cream, chocolate crunch, and chocolate sauce, this dish is the perfect homage to your childhood chocolate obsession.
Where: 1st Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1J 9LE
Book now: The Parlour at Fortnum and Mason, St. James's
Chocolate Bubbles at Brasserie of Light, Marylebone
Why: While the most eye-catching thing about Brasserie of Light is undoubtedly the giant diamond encrusted Pegasus sculpture that looms over diners, its desserts are also pretty as a picture. Only suited to true chocaholics, the Chocolate Bubbles dessert is an exceedingly rich mix of Valrhona Guanaja chocolate, chocolate mousse, choc brownie and chocolate ‘pearls’.
Where: 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Book now: Brasserie of Light, Marylebone
Fondant au chocolat noir at Coq d'Argent, City
What: If you’re of the view that there’s such a thing as ‘too much’ chocolate, this is not the dessert for you. Coq d'Argent's warm dark chocolate fondant, aka chocolate lava cake, is rich and delightful and is freshened nicely by their pistachio ice cream. It’s the ultimate indulgence for chocolate lovers, and we’re head over heels.
Where: 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ
Book now: Coq d'Argent, City
The best sharing desserts in London
To some people, sharing your dessert is an unthinkable crime, but to others it’s romantic and sweet. If you fall into the latter camp, these made-to-share desserts should be right up your street.
Ice Cream Sundae at The Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont, Mayfair
Why: The Colony Grill Room is a sophisticated and grown-up affair, but this dessert will take you right back to childhood. Diners can build their own sharing sundae using a tick list of toppings and sauces that is presented to them at the table – some people have been known to tick off all 12 options available, and to be honest, we don’t really blame them.
Where: The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, W1K 6TF
Book now: The Colony Grill Room at the Beaumont, Mayfair
The Flaming Iceberg at Park Row, Soho
Why: After stepping through a hidden door located in a bookcase, it's hard to believe Park Row can keep surprising you. But the DC comic-themed dining experience has a delicious passion fruit parfait with a flambe meringue that gets lit right in front of you, so be glad the dish is designed to be shared - you won't believe your own eyes, so it's nice to go with someone to back you up.
Where: 77 Brewer Street, W1F 9ZN
Book now: Park Row, Soho
S'More at Flesh & Buns, Covent Garden
Why: Though Flesh & Buns specializes in Japanese Izakaya-style fare, one of their most popular dishes is their take on the classic American dessert - the s'more. Elevated by their use of strawberry marshmallows and almond chocolate with graham crackers, this dish will have you begging for s'more!
Where: 32 Berners Street, W1T 3LR
Book now: Flesh & Buns, Covent Garden
Baked Alaska at Berners Tavern, Fitzrovia
Why: Berners Tavern is unashamedly luxurious – just check out the double-height ceiling and the walls lined with artwork. This taste for luxury continues with dessert via the likes of their Baked Alaska, which is flamed at the table, then covered with their seasonal toppings - it's also the perfect size for two.
Where: 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
Book now: Berners Tavern, Fitzrovia
The best classic desserts in London
They say that you can’t beat the classics, and we think this is especially true when it comes to desserts. Eschew the out-there desserts that London has to offer and instead seek comfort in these tried-and-tested recipes that taste oh so good.
Sticky Toffee Pudding at Roast, Borough
What: Perennially popular Roast revels in British tradition, so it’s no surprise that the restaurant’s pudding selection is delightfully nostalgic. Our top pick is the sticky toffee pudding, which is drizzled with warm toffee sauce, and served with a dollop of Devonshire clotted cream.
Where: Floral Hall, Stoney Street, SE1 1TL
Book now: Roast, Borough
Golden Syrup Sponge Cake at Rules, Covent Garden
What: If we're talking classic desserts, we'd be remiss not to include Rules - the restaurant is the oldest in London (established in 1798!) and is famous for its British cuisine. Check out their golden syrup sponge cake served with ice cream, which is a Rules staple.
Where: 35 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LB
Book now: Rules, Covent Garden
Knickerbocker Glory at The Ivy, Covent Garden
What: The Ivy has been serving up classic British food since 1917, so of course they've mastered the Knickerbocker Glory. Try out their take on the classic treat, which features caramelized pineapple, coconut sorbet, and vanilla Chantilly.
Where: 1-5 West Street, WC2H 9NQ
Book now: The Ivy, Covent Garden
Cinnamon and Apple Strudel at Fischer's, Marylebone
What: There's hardly a better comfort dessert than a warm slice of apple strudel, and in London, easily one of the best choices is at Fischer's. The classic slice is served with a side of fresh whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar, a perfect dish for those who want to get in their daily fruit intake and satisfy their sweet tooth at the same time.
Where: 50 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HN
Book now: Fischer's, Marylebone
The most Instagrammable desserts in London
If you live for the ‘gram, you probably enjoy ordering desserts that appeal to the eyes as much as they do to the taste buds. Our pick of desserts that are tailor-made for Instagram are sure to rake in the likes, as well as taste pretty darn good too.
Harry's Toadstool at Harry's Bar, Marylebone
What: An offshoot of the famous member’s club of the same name, this all-welcome version of Harry’s serves a menu that’s heavy on comfort food, all in impossibly chic surrounds. Desserts are designed with the ‘gram in mind, with Harry’s Toadstool actually concealing a combination of white chocolate, raspberries, mascarpone mousse and iced vanilla parfait.
Where: 30-34 James Street, W1U 1ER
Book now: Harry's Bar in Marylebone
Yorkshire Rhubarb at Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Chelsea
What: Claude Bosi at Bibendum is one of the best restaurants in London, and thus it's no surprise that their desserts are both tasty and beautiful to look at. This Yorkshire rhubarb with black cardamom and green pistachios is a gorgeous reimagination of the simple stalk.
Where: Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD
Book now: Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Chelsea
The Ambassador at Hawksmoor Guildhall, City
What: You know those chocolates that everyone enjoys at Christmas, which come in gold wrapping and have the fancy name? Yeah, well this Hawksmoor dessert is definitely not inspired by those (especially if any lawyers are reading this). 'The Ambassador’ does feature similar ingredients though, pairing chocolate and hazelnut in a giant choc-tastic serving.
Where: 10 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5BQ
Book now: Hawksmoor Guildhall, City
Seika Moriawase at Roka Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
What: Look at the image above. If this isn't enough to convince you that Roka has prepared a Japanese feast-for-your-eyes, we're not sure what would! This dessert platter features Roka's selection of seasonal and exotic fruits, and is masterfully assembled to show off the beauty of each one.
Where: 37 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RR
Book now: Roka Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
The best vegan dessert options in London
To all our vegan friends (or perhaps those just looking for healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth), have no fear! We have delicious dessert options for you as well.
Chocolate Torte at Deliciously Ella Deli, Mayfair
What: Brought to you by plant-based food blogger Ella Mills, Deliciously Ella Deli boasts of an entirely plant-based menu. There's something for everyone, but our eyes were drawn immediately to the chocolate torte with creme fraiche, roasted hazelnuts, and raspberries.
Where: 18 Weighhouse Street, W1K 5LU
Book now: Deliciously Ella Deli, Mayfair
Tandoori Pineapple & Coconut at Trishna, Marylebone
What: Trishna is one of the only Michelin-star restaurants in London, so you know you're getting something good as soon as you walk in the door. This Tandoori Pineapple & Coconut, with smoked pineapple, tender coconut, and jaggery sorbet, is off the vegan tasting menu, and is one of several delectable vegan options that the restaurant offers.
Where: 15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG
Book now: Trishna, Marylebone
If you love all things sweet and sugary, check out our pick of the best afternoon teas in London.