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Dessert before dinner? Brisbane's sweetest industry has spread throughout the city with freshly baked cakes, muffins, biscuits, slices, tarts, pies, puddings, pastries, candy, doughnuts and ice cream. If the choice seems overwhelming, begin with this top 10 list of dessert stops, savouring every bite.
Flour and Chocolate Patisserie – At 621 Wynnum Rd, Morningside, you'll find the best French croissants in Brisbane. The secret is out though, as items in this bakery sell out quickly to satisfy the long queue of savvy sweet-lovers. Highlights include the salted caramel 'gonut', a donut with croissant pastry, pistachio eclair, and the chocolate and raspberry roulade. Check the website for the special days each week when your favourite treat is baked.
Bacchus – Inspired by the Greek god Dionysus, the cult of unrestrained pleasure has its epicentre on Grey St, South Bank. The multi-award winning restaurant in Rydges provides dinner but the 5 course dessert degustation will satisfy any hunger. Each course celebrates a particular ingredient with 3-4 dishes each. Beginning with strawberry, you'll progress to chocolate, pineapple, banana and caramel with items including strawberry cannelloni, chocolate ganache, Iranian dates and hazelnut praline soufflé. Enjoy the evening on Tuesday – Thursday from $79, booking at the website.
Le Bon Choix – At 379 Queen St and 104 Edward St in the city, Racecourse Rd in Ascot, Given Terrace in Paddington and the Garden City and Carindale Westfield, the marble tables and tall glass cabinets create the atmosphere of a French cafe. Of the rich, elaborately decorated creations, the chocolate cheesecake with passionfruit glaze is a highlight. For a simple treat with coffee, try a mini fruit or apple tart. For a birthday, order the Bahati cake, a beautifully decorated creation with coconut, lime and crème de cassis – blackcurrant liqueur.
Nitrogene – In the Stanley Street Plaza on South Bank, sci-fi fans will love the bubbling mists of liquid nitrogen, used for the noblest aims of chemistry – to create the best ice cream in Brisbane. As a light show dazzles in the background, watch as your lemon meringue pie-flavoured ice cream takes shape, creating nostalgic memories of your first childhood taste of ice cream. Choose the cup instead of a cone to avoid a rapidly melting moment. There are almost 90 other flavours, ranging from the traditional favourites of peppermint choc-chip and caramel fudge to international treats, including British Banoffee Pie, New York Cheesecake, Black Forest Frosty and Italiano Tiramisu.
Bahati Cake (by Le Bon Choix)
Max Brenner Chocolate Bar – At Stanley Street Plaza on South Bank, the simple pleasures of chocolate are served without distraction, as the classics, including milkshakes, brownies, fondant, waffles, crepes and ice-cream are served with tea or coffee.
La Macelleria – Although the Italian name of this dessert stop suggests it's a butchery, vegetarians can safely enter 29 Florence St to try the best gelato in Brisbane. The misleading name refers to their historical roots in Bologna, where the owners built a gelato shop on the site of an old butchery. Classic Italian flavours are still the best for gelato, with stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate shavings), pistachio, chocolate and bacio (chocolate and chopped hazelnuts) on offer beside fruity sorbet. For a hands-on experience, discover gelato's delicious secrets as you create your own in a workshop.
Chester Street Bar and Bakery – On 32A Chester Street, Newstead, a baker's simple ingredients are truly transformed into masterpieces capable of making Michelangelo's mouth water. Of the cakes, almost too beautiful to eat, the rainbow unicorn doughnut cake, death by chocolate cake and red velvet truffle canapés are highlights. You can also grab passionfruit or Tim Tam cheesecakes, Nutella and Ferrero Mousse Tarts and raspberry and white chocolate slice.
Kwan Brothers – At 43 Alfred Street, Fortitude Valley, enjoy recipes perfected in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Bangkok for dinner. For dessert, tuck into ice-cream sandwiches with toasted sesame, palm sugar and ginger ice-cream. If you're especially hungry, order the Bombe Alaska with sea salt ice-cream, caramel, devil's food cake and chocolate meringue. Visit the website to book or order a delivery.
Fritzenberger – A great burger with fries and a beer is reason enough to visit 52 Petrie Terrace but if dessert = dinner, order the ice-cream burger, replacing the sesame-seed bun, beef, tomato sauce and mustard with a sweet bun, chocolate ice-cream patty, strawberries, raspberry and custard. Fries optional.
Snow Globes (by The Rogue Bar)
Cowch - Magnums are the stick ice-creams for adults, providing a rich treat from your freezer. Invent your own at 179 Grey St, South Bank, choosing either chocolate, pomegranate or peppermint ice-cream with salted caramel, topped smarties, sprinkles or jelly beans. You can also order Belgian waffles, a churro platter, strawberry blonde pizza or sticky date pudding.
As desserts are so important, it's hard to stop at 10 choices. These dishes also deserve special mention:
The Rogue Bar at 14 Austin St, Newstead for the magical edible snow globe with marshmallow, shortbread, cheesecake, sherbet and raspberry ice-cream.
Greek on Cav 377 Cavendish Rd, Coorparoo for Loukoumades – Greek honey puffs with cinnamon and walnuts.
World Famous Funnel Cakes at Macarthur Avenue, Hamilton for Puttin' on the Ritz – a funnel cake with vanilla ice-cream, strawberry coulis and chocolate fudge, strawberries and dark choc-chips.
Sonder Dessert Cafe and Japanese tea house at 7c Farne St, Sunnybank Hills for the green tea parfait.