New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published July 4th 2016
Decadence & delight into the night
Dessert cafes are an enjoyable way to finish off a meal after a night out with friends, to sit and chat over a decadent cheesecake or creation dripping in chocolate. For some, skipping the dinner altogether and heading straight for dessert is also another popular option. So which of Canberra's dessert cafes are open in the evening to enjoy after dinner, a movie or just to meet up with friends? Thankfully there are plenty to choose from in the city - just follow the crowds to chocolate heaven.
Ice Cream Spectacular at Koko Black. Souurce: Koko Black Facebook
This chocolatier is situated on Canberra's busy Bunda Street in the middle of the city. It is a handy location to walk to after dinner out in the city, with popular restaurants located on the same block including Jamie's Italian, Cream Café and Bar, Sammy's Kitchen and Wood and Coal. With Koko Black's late closing times, this dessert restaurant is a popular venue for after dinner decadence and the ideal location to stop off at after movie at Dendy Cinemas upstairs.
There is an upmarket quality about this dessert restaurant, with luxury displayed in the fine quality chocolate and in the dark panelled interior. Why not try a speciality hot chocolate which has been brewed for over two hours, or take your pick from their extensive menu. There are sharing plates to choose from as well as a long list of desserts, tortes, gateaus and assortment of decadent drinks. See website here for more details.
Belgium Spoil Sharing Plate $17. Source: Koko Black Facebook
Just one minutes walk from Koko Black is Via Dolce, an Italian Pasticceria (Pastry Shop). The name Via Dolce translates to "Sweet Street" in Italian, making it another ideal place to stop for dessert after a night out with friends or to meet there for the night. As you walk into Via Dolce the long display window of desserts is a welcoming sight, with pastries, biscottis, panacottas, slices, cakes and colourful creations to choose from.
On a Summers evening, sit outside with dessert and enjoy the lighter evenings while waiting for the lights of the city to come on. During Winter, sit inside and dine under the impressive chandelier and enjoy a sweet cannelloni by the heat of the wood fire pizza oven. With classical music, fine china plates and friendly service, Via Dolce has old school charm to enjoy - open until 10pm nightly. See the Via Dolce menu for the types of cakes on offer, ranging between $6 - $9 a slice, with cream. See website here for more details.
Fruggi Dessert Laboratory is located in the popular Lonsdale Street in Braddon, just a 10 minute walk from the two options above. Fruggi is a well known name around Canberra for their unique ice creams, created by icecream alchemist John Fruggi - who is often behind the counter in the store. As well as creating icecreams in flavours such as truffle, butter chicken, laksa, liquorice and hot cross buns, he also creates an array of beautiful desserts to choose between. There are always at least several on display, many with syringes of intense flavours to boost into your dessert for an extra kick.
Although small inside, Fruggi has a community feeling about the casual and stylish venue, as the other diners all want to see what everyone else is trying. Yes, it's that good. Fruggi is open until 11pm between Wednesday and Sunday. See website here for more details.
This dessert café is located in the Australian National University (ANU) precinct, a ten minute walk from the centre of the city. Popular with students, this casual dessert café closes between 9:30pm - 10pm nightly - except for Sundays when it is closed all day. Although Dessert Castle doesn't have the same ambience or sense of occasion as the first few options, it is a handy option if you are living, working or staying nearby.
As you walk into the small but long café, your eye is attracted to the colourful dessert displays at the far back of the café. Choose between macarons, slices, brownies, cakes and puddings to make your mouth water. The Dessert Menu also includes Belgium Waffles, French Crepes and Chocolate Fondue to share. If you after a healthier alternative, there is also an impressive frozen yoghurt area with a good range of flavours to choose from. See website here for more details.
Selection at Dessert Castle. Source: Dessert Castle Facebook
Other evening dessert options in the city include Max Brenner in the New Acton precinct and Kingston Foreshore (south of the city) and Oliver Brown in the city centre. If you are in the south of Canberra in Woden, ensure you check out San Churro Chocolateria for a colourful chocolate experience after watching a movie or dining nearby.
If you enjoy desserts and wish to eat them in the day too (who doesn't?), then why not meet up with friends for a coffee and dessert at any of these above, as well as standouts Dobinson's on Bunda Street, Ricardo's Cafe and Patisserie (Belconnen) and Space Kitchen (Woden) - the last two owned by the one patisserie.
With so much choice in the city and surrounding suburbs, why not meet up with friends at different ones and experience them all? Who needs a pub crawl when you can go for a dessert crawl - any day of the week.