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 population's infatuation with weird and wonderful desserts - and there's no denying that best desserts in London are a thing of beauty.
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 the city. 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 a fab pudding menu, as well as some impressive vegan desserts in London.
If you feel as strongly about the sweet stuff as we do, you probably spend a good amount of time scrolling through Instagram and searching online for the best desserts London has to offer. We have got you covered, with our hand-picked selection of the most incredible pudding spots. 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
What: 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
Kova Patisserie, Various Locations
What: At this Japanese dessert parlour, you can indulge in mille crêpe cakes, which are made to look impossibly chic thanks to pastel hues and expert layering. Kova is famous in the London dessert scene, sandwiching thin pancakes between layers of light pastry cream, and offering them in matcha, vanilla, chocolate and Oreo flavours. Other goodies include Japanese cheesecake, brownie cheesecake and matcha tart, perfect alongside a glass of bubble tea.
Where: 16 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3DL
Book now: Kova
Cakes & Bubbles, Soho
What: Cakes & Bubbles does exactly what it says on the tin, serving up an impressive selection of desserts and fizz. Sat on the ground level of Hotel Cafe Royal, this is a spot for when you’re looking to impress, with gold interiors and views over Regent Street. It’s all pretty impressive, but we’d recommend The “Cheese Cake” made with Baron Bigod cheese, hazelnut and white chocolate for a real showstopper.
Where: 70 Regent Street, W1B 4DY
Book now: Cakes & Bubbles
Humble Crumble, Borough Market and Spitalfields
What: Humble Crumble is the quintessentially British dessert bar you didn’t know you needed. Bringing gourmet crumble to the capital, expect favourites like apple and cinnamon crumble with hot custard, or a cool crumble with ice cream. No matter how you like it, it's got something for you here.
Where: Borough Market Kitchens, Winchester Walk, SE1 9AG
Book now: Humble Crumble
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
Book now: Hans & Gretel
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 in the good stuff, allowing London’s chocaholics to get their next fix.
Chocolate Nemesis at The River Cafe, Hammersmith
What: If you were to ask most foodies what their favourite chocolate cake in London is, there’s a good chance they’d tell you it’s the Chocolate Nemesis at River Cafe. Known for being super chocolatey and light, this mousse cake is the perfect end to your waterside meal.
Where: Rainville Road, W6 9HA
Book now: The River Cafe
Tiramisu at Brutto, Farringdon
What: The tiramisu at Brutto is so good, it’ll have you going back for a second bowl before you’ve finished the first (seriously, we’ve been there). Deliciously decadent yet impossibly light, this boozy pud is a classic for a reason. It might not be super chocolatey, but it is finished with a thick layer of cocoa, so we think it counts.
Where: 35-37 Greenhill Rents, EC1M 6BN
Book now: Brutto
BBR Signature Chocolate Glory at Bob Bob Ricard, Soho and City
What: Bob Bob Ricard is known for its Instagram appeal, from the famous ‘Press for Champagne’ button to its opulent interiors. This is also the case for the Chocolate Glory, which may well be one of the most filmed desserts in London. Brought to the table as a chocolate sphere, it’s doused in hot chocolate sauce to melt the sphere and reveal the rest of the dessert beneath.
Where: 1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF; 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB
Book now: Bob Bob Ricard Soho, Bob Bob Ricard City
White Chocolate Cheesecake at Blacklock, Various Locations
What: Blacklock is known for its unpretentious style and top quality food. While there’s no denying the various grills are pretty epic, it’s the cheesecake that has our tongues wagging. Simple yet effective, this is a white chocolate cheesecake that’s generously spooned into your bowl at the table. The best part is, if you’re too full from dinner, then you can take leftovers home in a doggy bag.
Where:13 Philpot Lane, EC3M 8AA
Book now: Blacklock City, Blacklock Soho, Blacklock Shoreditch, Blacklock Canary Wharf, Blacklock Covent Garden
White Snickers at The Grill by Tom Booton, Mayfair
What: We love a good twist on a classic, and this white Snickers with salted milk ice cream really hits the brief. Without a doubt the fanciest chocolate bar you’ll ever eat, it offers both nostalgia and serious wow-factor in spades. Is there a better way to end a meal?
Where: 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA
Book now: The Grill by Tom Booton
The best sharing desserts in London
To some people, sharing a 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. Some people have even been known to tick all 12 options, and to be honest, we don’t blame them.
Where: The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, W1K 6TF
Book now: The Colony Grill Room at the Beaumont
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 its baked Alaska, which is flamed at the table, then covered with seasonal toppings. It's also the perfect size for two.
Where: 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
Book now: Berners Tavern
The best classic desserts in London
They say you can’t beat a classic, and we think this is especially true when it comes to dessert. 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 Hawksmoor, Various Locations
What: Sticky toffee pudding has got to be one of the most loved British desserts of all time. It’s incredibly indulgent with a light sponge and sweet, sticky sauce, and is best enjoyed with a cream based accompaniment. Hawksmoor serves a fine example of the classic, alongside a big dollop of clotted cream.
Where: 16 Winchester Walk, SE1 9AQ
Book now: Hawksmoor Borough, Hawksmoor Air Street, Hawksmoor Guildhall, Hawksmoor Knightsbridge, Hawksmoor Seven Dials, Hawksmoor Spitalfields, Hawksmoor Wood Wharf
Eccles Cake and Lancashire cheese at St John, Various Locations
What: St John is a dining institution, and has long been adored for its unfussy approach to food. Combining classic British flavours with a nose-to-tail ethic, it’s known for putting offal on the city's food map. But the dessert menu has also caught plenty of attention too, with the Eccles cake taking top spot. Perfectly golden brown and paired with an enormous slab of Lancashire cheese, it's a duo you need to try.
Where: 26 St John Street, EC1M 4AY
Book now: St. John
Trifle at The Cadogan Arms, Chelsea
What: The Cadogan Arms is a traditional pub in the heart of Chelsea and offers up an impressive selection of booze and seasonal British dishes - and what could be more British than a trifle? This is the signature dessert here, and for good reason. The flavour changes with the seasons, but it's always a treat for the eyes and tastebuds and comes piled high with a number of toppings.
Where: 298 King's Road, SW3 5UG
Book now: The Cadogan Arms
Deep-Fried Bread and Butter Pudding at Cafe Cecilia, Hackney
What: How to make bread and butter pudding even more indulgent? Deep-fry it, of course. Then sit it in a pool of cold custard, and you’ve got yourself one of London’s greatest desserts. It’s incredibly decadent, and may spoil every other dessert for you going forward.
Where: 32 Andrews Road, E8 4FX
Book now: Café Cecilia
Creme Caramel at Bouchon Racine, Farringdon
What: Bouchon Racine does classic French cooking, and it does it very well. The desserts are no exception, with the créme caramel causing a bit of a stir throughout the city. Perfectly creamy, with a mesmerising wobble, it’s a fine example of how incredible this pudding can be.
Where: 66 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6BP
Book now: Bouchon Racine
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 the taste buds. Our pick of Instagrammable desserts in London are sure to rake in the likes - and they 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
The Incomparable Lemon Pie at Gloria, Shoreditch
What: Even if you’ve never eaten it before, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Gloria's lemon meringue pie on Instagram. Boasting a thin shortcrust base, lemon curd and a layer of meringue that towers so high it gives a The Shard a run for its money, it’s caught the eye of snap happy customers since the first day it landed on the menu. More than just looks, it tastes delicious too.
Where: 54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
Book now: Gloria
Seika Moriawase at Roka Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
What: Roka has prepared a Japanese feast-for-the-eyes with its signature Seika Moriawase dessert platter. This impressive creation 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
The best vegan dessert options in London
To all our vegan friends (or perhaps those just looking for healthier ways to satisfy their sweet tooth), have no fear! We have delicious dessert options for you as well.
Club Mexicana, Various Locations
What: This entirely vegan Mexican restaurant could have any meat-eater fooled with its colourful tacos and loaded nachos. If you’re after something sweet, then don’t miss out on the churros with cinnamon sugar and dark chocolate.
Where: 46-48 Commercial Street, E1 6LT
Book now: Club Mexicana
Chocolate Torte at Deliciously Ella Deli, Mayfair
What: Brought to you by plant-based food blogger Ella Mills, Deliciously Ella Deli boasts an entirely plant-based menu. There's something for everyone, but our favourite has got to be the chocolate torte with creme fraiche, pistachio crumb, mango and passionfruit.
Where: 18 Weighhouse Street, W1K 5LU
Book now: Deliciously Ella Deli
Tandoori Pineapple and Coconut at Trishna, Marylebone
What: Trishna is one of the only Indian Michelin-star restaurants in London, so you know you're getting something good as soon as you walk in the door. This tandoori pineapple and coconut pudding, 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
The best of the rest in London
Some desserts just can't be pigeon-holed, but that doesn't make them any less important. Here's our pick of the best of what the rest of the city has to offer.
Fried Horlicks Ice Cream Bao at BAO, Various Locations
What: BAO has built up a cult following in London for its delicious Taiwanese buns and small plates. There's only one option on the dessert menu, and that's its Horlicks ice cream bun sandwiched between two halves of deep-fried bao. It’s one of the most unique and addictive things on this list.
Where: 13 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
Book now: BAO Borough, Bao Soho, Bao King's Cross, Bao Mary, Bao Noodle Shop
Feta and Honey Cheesecake at Honey & Co, Bloomsbury
What: Honey & Co. is one of our go-to options for Middle Eastern food, and it’s no wonder given the list of impressive dishes that come out the kitchen. If you’re after something sweet, we implore you to try the feta and honey cheesecake. This comes with a crispy kadaif pastry base, and is topped with Greek thyme honey, almonds and blueberries.
Where: 54 Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1N 3LW
Book now: Honey & Co.
Pain Perdu at The Ninth, Fitzrovia
What: The pain perdu at The Ninth is the restaurant’s signature dessert, and one of the most delicious things you will ever eat. Brioche is soaked in a rich creme anglaise, baked in the oven and then blow torched with sugar to finish. Although often enjoyed for breakfast, here it has been given an extra indulgent twist for dessert, and is served simply alongside some vanilla ice cream.
Where: 22 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NB
Book now: The Ninth
Kaya at Roti King, Battersea and King's Cross
What: To be honest, we love any dessert that will set you back less than a fiver, but particularly if it’s as good as the sweet roti with coconut jam at Roti King. Their beauty lies in their simplicity, and the fact that that they're served warm so the filling goes all gooey. A word to the wise - this one's too good to share.
Where: 40 Doric Way, NW1 1LH; Battersea Power Station, SW11 8AH
Book now: Roti King King's Cross, Roti King Battersea
Darlish Baklava Ice Cream Sandwich at Berenjak, Soho
What: Berenjak has combined two much loved desserts to create this delicious take on an ice cream sandwich. Thick wedges of baklava are sandwiched with smooth vanilla ice cream, and the chopped pistachios on top make for a colourful finish.
Where: 27 Romilly Street, W1D 5AL
Book now: Berenjak Soho
Custard Bun at A. Wong, Victoria
What: The steamed duck yolk custard bun at A. Wong is a thing of beauty. With its pillowy soft exterior and vibrant yellow rich filling, it’d be easy to work your way through a lot of them. Thankfully for our waistlines, these petite buns come in at £8 a pop, so it's not too difficult to practice self control.
Where: 70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE
Book now: A. Wong
If you love all things sweet and sugary, check out our pick of the best afternoon teas in London.