Lydia’s cookies at Great Lake Lydia is Lydia Esparza, one half of the couple who own this exemplary pizza restaurant in Andersonville. While her partner, Nick, handles the pies, Lydia is in control of these tiny, crumbly, flavor-forward cookies, which come in varieties such as rosemary and chocolate chip–sea salt. And all this time we thought there was only one genius in the kitchen.
Rugelach at HotChocolate Mindy Segal rethought the way she does desserts this year, and part of her revamp included a vintage cart full of cookies. We kid you not when we say the cart is the best dessert option on the menu, and that the rugelach—cream-cheese tang, sweet-tart filling (such as hot fudge and raspberry), crisp-soft dough—is the best thing on the cart.
Krapfen at Julius Meinl Patisserie If Doughnut Vault’s glazed treats are the prom queens, these under-the-radar, puffy, yeasted doughnuts (with seasonal fillings like raspberry jam and apple butter) are the awkward indie girls in the corner who no one pays attention to. Guys, notice her, she is so beautiful when she takes off her glasses! (You get what we’re trying to say.)
Photo: Sarah Lawhead405.rb.ft.100best.main.JuliusMeinlxSS.jpg158913416
Crazy Cake Concrete at Lickity Split We resent the implication that ordering this is somehow “crazy.” It’s custard blended with an entire cupcake! (Our preference: chocolate cupcake, vanilla custard.) If you don’t order that, you’re the crazy cakes.
Photo: Andrew Nawrocki405.rb.ft.100best.main.LickitySplitxSS.jpg158913467
Mango nieve at Maxwell Market Before you shudder at the sight of marketgoers squeezing what appears to be ketchup onto ice cream in Styrofoam cups, know that this sweet treat from a nameless stand is actually nieve, snow-like sorbet produced in tropical flavors, and that the squeeze bottle contains a sweet and spicy tamarind-chili sauce.
Red-bean pound cake at Telegraph A few days before Christmas last year, Telegraph brought on pastry chef Katie Wyer and, well, the girl’s a little wild. Her desserts (often playing with savory ingredients) don’t always sound enticing on paper, but most are like this dense, toffee-strewn cake: surprising. Happily. And the cake is even better with its suggested pairing of bourbon-spiked coffee.
Photo: Jason Little405.rb.ft.100best.main.telegraphxSS.jpg158913569
Copy Kat at Urban Union They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But pastry chef Mitsu Nozaki’s homage to the Kit Kat candy bar—in the form of a hazelnut mousse cake layered with crispy-crunchy feuilletine—is more like a polite way of saying, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”
Photo: Sarah Lawhead405.rb.ft.100best.main.UrbanUnionxSS.jpg1589136610
Tres leches gelato at Whole Foods Market The Kingsbury Street store makes killer gelato, including this smooth, milky flavor mixed with chunks of spongy cake.