21 November, 2019, 23:39

Guide to 20 indulgent desserts whipped up in Tucson

There'll be no judgement for a sweet indulgence.

Dearest reader,

If you are on a carb-restricted or low-sugar diet, look-away!

Disclaimer: The following guide lists sit-down restaurant desserts. Bakeries, donut shops, and ice cream shops are not included. If you’re looking for a sweet ending to your meal, you can find it in this guide.

If you simply can’t fit in dessert after a meal and aren’t gifted with that second dessert stomach, we’d recommend ordering some delicious appetizers and jump straight into the sugar fest listed below.

Here are 20 restaurants offering some of our favorite, best desserts in Tucson, at the moment. This list is subject to change.

5 Points Market

756 S. Stone Ave.
Torte at 5 Points Market & Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Torte at 5 Points Market & Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)

All the desserts at 5 Points Market are beautifully baked, fresh, and have a simple-but-detailed presentation. The daily offerings rotate and we’ve never had one hit a bad flavor note. They have selections for a wide range of dietary needs as well (vegan and gluten-free included).

The Almond Orange Florentine cookie (almost always there as a gluten-free selection) is a standout, as is the delightful meringue-buttercream frosting on many of their cakes.

For more information, visit 5pointstucson.com.

August Rhodes Market 

3073 N. Campbell Ave.
Desserts from August Rhodes Market

Desserts from August Rhodes Market (Credit: Jenn Teufel)

If you haven’t checked out this local newcomer, you must!

Go for the New Jersey Joe sandwich on Japanese milk bread and stay for the Sourdough Bread Pudding. Drizzled with espresso chocolate sauce and accompanied by fresh whipped cream, this is comfort food at its finest and rightly designated as one of the best desserts in Tucson.

Keep up with August Rhodes Market on Instagram.

Charro Vida

7109 N. Oracle Rd.

Churro Dreams at Charro Vida (Credit: Jackie Tran)

If you haven’t had a churro in years because you are gluten-free, run to Charro Vida and order their Churro Dreams ($6.50).

Executive chef Gary Hickey and the Flores Family team have perfected this gluten-free churro recipe. The deep-fried cinnamon confection is delicious, whether you have dietary restrictions or not.

Other notable dessert mentions:

  • Milkfree & Cookie Trio ($7)
  • Fruit Fiesta ($6)
  • Ali’s Chocolate Fix ($7)
  • Hola Hemp CBD Flan ($8)

For more information, visit charrovida.com.

DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails

135 S. Sixth Ave.
Dark Chocolate Jalapeño Ice Cream Sundae at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails

Dark Chocolate Jalapeño Ice Cream Sundae at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Tim Fuller)

The Dark Chocolate Jalapeno Ice Cream Sundae is everything we’ve come to expect from Janos Wilder — thoughtful cuisine, perfectly executed. This menu staple features chocolate ganache, candied pecans, and is served with whipped cream. The creamy, dense chocolate is pierced by the heat of the jalapeno, yet it’s not overly spicy, just warm enough to wake up your mouth.

Pro tip: ask for extra whipped cream.

Seasonal menu varieties:

  • Lemon Mascarpone Ice Cream + Strawberry Compote — lemon bars, toasted meringue
  • Individual mango, graham cracker crust pie — with mint syrup, coconut milk + lime espuma
  • Ice Cream Sandwich Nubios — almond cookies with coffee ice cream; corn cookies with coconut milk-roasted caramelized banana ice cream, rum hard sauce + chocolate, cocoa nibs, and mango

For more information, visit downtownkitchen.com.

Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar

220 N. Fourth Ave.
Monsoon Flourless Chocolate Torte at Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar

Monsoon Flourless Chocolate Torte at Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar (Photo courtesy of Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar)

The Erman Brothers give a big shout out to two of our favorite local sweet artisans: Monsoon Chocolate and Desert Dream Ice Creamery.

Don’t leave your visit to Fourth Avenue without the intense chocolate experience of the Monsoon Flourless Chocolate Torte ($8) at Ermanos. This rich little slice of heaven, made for chocolate cake lovers, features stout-whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, fresh berries, and a dusting of cocoa.

You will likely order an extra piece to take with you.

Other delectable options:

  • Apple Crisp À La Mode ($8) — Baked Granny Smith apples, streusel, and Desert Dream vanilla ice cream
  • Desert Dream Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae ($8) — Desert Dream vanilla ice cream, fresh berries, chocolate drizzle, and stout whipped cream

For more information, visit  ermanosbrew.com.

HUB Restaurant & Creamery

266 Congress St.

Delicious and wickedly imaginative flavors are on the diverse ice cream menu at HUB. They are always inventing new flavor combinations — so visit often and try ’em all.

For more information, visit hubdowntown.com.

Maru Japanese Noodle Shop

1370 N. Silverbell Rd. Ste. 180
Pudding at Maru Japanese Noodle Shop

Pudding at Maru Japanese Noodle Shop (Credit: Jackie Tran)

What a lovely surprise it was finding these Japanese sweets available at one of our favorite noodle joints. None of the desserts are made in house but they are all enjoyable, light, and less sweet than their American or European counterparts. What a lovely way to end a terrific meal!

  • Daifuku ($3)
  • Cheese Mushi Pan ($3)
  • Pudding ($2)

For more information, visit marunoodle.com.

The Parish

6453 N. Oracle Rd.
House-made Bread Pudding at The Parish (Photo courtesy of the Parish)

House-made Bread Pudding at The Parish (Photo courtesy of the Parish)

Saving room for dessert at The Parish is a challenge; you might have to order this one at the start of your meal. The house-made Bread Pudding is rich and decadent, topped with butter rum caramel and a fresh, light whipped cream. It’s a delightful juxtaposition of texture.

If you’re looking for something unusual, opt for the dessert of the week (they’re ever-changing). Highly recommended of the best dessert in Tucson list.

For more information, visit theparishtucson.com.

Penca Restaurante

50 E. Broadway Blvd.
Arroz con Leche at Penca (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Arroz con Leche at Penca (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Penca’s Arroz Con Leche ($8) is a surprise. The simplicity of its rice base is uniquely comforting. The cinnamon in the ice cream imparts warmth while the soy cracker adds that lovely crunch. And the white chocolate brûlée is a unique, caramelized bite.

Other bites worth savoring:

  • Churros ($8) — fried pastry coated in cinnamon and sugar, served with chocolate ganache and vanilla Chantilly cream
  • Palanquetas De Cacahuate Con Chocolate ($9) — Piloncillo Mexican peanut brittle served with chocolate ganache

For more information, visit pencarestaurante.com

Persian Room

9290 N. Thornydale Rd.
Persian Ice Cream at Persian Room

Persian Ice Cream at Persian Room (Credit: Jackie Tran)

As our Instammer and content creator Melissa Stihl confidently put it:

“I don’t know how to begin explaining the dinner that I had in celebration of Persian New Year with some friends. I literally couldn’t pronounce a single dish that was ordered and was so grateful to have a culinary guide who knew what to order. Every bite I sampled was delicious, but the memorable moment came at the end of the meal — Persian Ice Cream [$8.50] was ordered for the table and I watched in awe as a bowl of bright yellow ice cream was placed down in front of us and lit up our table. This ice cream was neon and sparkly. Persian Ice Cream is made with a combination of flavors including rosewater, saffron, and pistachio. Nothing overpowers the flavor of the dish and it’s subtly perfumed— no one wants to taste Chanel No. 5.”

Other dessert offerings:

  • Zoolbia & Bamieh ($5.50)
  • Baklava ($5.50)
  • Persian Pastry (Roulette) ($6.95)
  • Cheesecake ($8.95)
  • Tiramisu ($8.95)

For more information, visit persianroom.com.

PY Steakhouse

5655 W. Valencia Rd.
Sweet Corn Creme Brulee at PY Steakhouse

Sweet Corn Creme Brulee at PY Steakhouse (Photo Courtesy of PY Steakhouse)

Each dessert at PY Steakhouse, inside Casino Del Sol, is an offering of culinary art. The extensive dessert menu varies seasonally, so keep a lookout for new bites.

The Sweet Corn Creme Brûlée ($10), featuring Pima 60-day native corn cookie crumble and freeze-dried honey, is a creamy addition to the summer menu. Fresh flavor combinations and an added crunch spark nostalgia.

Other standouts:

  • Dark Chocolate Soufflé ($12) — traditional, Del Bac whiskey creme anglaise, pecan-cacao nib streusel carajillo, espresso, and licor
  • Goat Cheese Cheesecake ($10) —goat cheese cheesecake mousse, orange-scented mirror glaze, almond florentine, candied orange peel, and honey-sea foam candy
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Praline Torte ($10) — Valrhona dulcey chocolate mousse, hazelnut cake, Valrhona carmelia, hazelnut praline, gianduja, and roasted banana sorbet
  • PY Valrhona Chocolate Dome ($12) — Valrhona strawberry chocolate, mascarpone mousse, yuzu lemon curd, rhubarb almond cake, strawberry crumb, and an aronia berry vinegar reduction
  • Summer Sorbet Trio ($9) — pistachio, roasted banana, and strawberry kombucha sorbet

For more information, visitcasinodelsol.com/dining/py-steakhouse.

Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

101 E. Pennington St.
Dessert options at Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

Dessert options at Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink (Credit: Melissa Stihl)

Reilly shines with their well-curated dessert menu, hitting all the sweet notes. Their three desserts are all delicious (and yes, they were all consumed in one sitting).

The Cannoli ($6) stands out with its crisp house-made shell and the zesty lemon-ricotta filling. Dipped in mini chocolate chips on one end and celebratory multi-colored sprinkles on the other, it’s a party in your mouth.

Other desserts featured on the menu:

  • Tres leches tiramisu in a jar ($8)
  • Chocolate budino ($9) — salted caramel, toffee, and whipped cream

For more information, visit reillypizza.com.

Senae Thai

63 E. Congress St.

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Pre-birthday desert.

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Senae Thai’s food is fresh and beautiful. The Glouy Tod ($8) is a flavor explosion featuring bananas fried in beer batter, served with vanilla ice cream. Crispy, hot, sweet, and creamy…yes, please!

Looking for a different tropical treat? Try these:

  • Kao-neow Mamuang ($9) — Fresh mango with semi-sweet coconut-creamed sticky rice
  • Ice Cream Trio (when available) ($7.50) — Tropical flavors of ice cream, topped with maraschino cherries

For more information, visit senaethai.com.

Tito & Pep

4122 E. Speedway Blvd.
Desserts at Tito & Pep

Desserts at Tito & Pep (Credit: Melissa Stihl)

Choosing just one dessert off of the menu is tough — bring a group of friends along to try all three of the treats.

If picking a highlight, the Buttermilk Panna Cotta ($8) — with piloncillo roasted pineapple, passion fruit, raspberries, and mint — is it. The pudding is creamy and sweet without being cloying. By introducing buttermilk, they’ve captured a special tang. The passion fruit sauce complements the creamy dish perfectly.

Other desserts featured:

  • Dark chocolate ganache ($8)— served with dulce de leche, candied orange, toasted almonds, whipped cream, and sea salt
  • Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Orange ($8) — served with toasted pistachios, whipped cream, and Maraschino cherries

For more information, visit titoandpep.com.

Tavolino Ristorante

2890 E. Skyline Dr.
Affogato dessert at Tavolino Restaurante

Affogato dessert at Tavolino Ristorante (Photo courtesy of Tavolino Ristorante)

After a leisurely Italian meal, you’ll need something to wake you up for the drive home. Tavolino’s Affogato al Caffe ($9), with fresh espresso over vanilla gelato, and whipped cream, will do the trick. If you want something light and bright during the warm weather, opt for a house-made sorbet.

Other decadent options:

Tiramisu ($9) — ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa
Creme Caramel ($9) — vanilla cream custard, and caramel sauce
Bonet ($9) — rich chocolate custard, amaretti, whipped cream, and caramel sauce
Gelati Misti ($9) —A selection of three house-made Italian gelati
Sorbetto ($9) — A selection of house-made Italian sorbet in three flavors

For more information, visit tavolinoristorante.com.

Time Market

444 E. University Blvd.

If you’re not in the mood for the iconic salted chocolate chip cookie ($2.49) at Time Market, their brownie ($5.25)  is the lesser-known (equally satisfying) sweet treat to try. The consistency hits somewhere between a chewy brownie and dense chocolate cake.

Dip into the pastry window to find:

  • Assorted pastries
  • Scones (maple walnut or the daily flavor)
  • Croissants (pain or chocolate)
  • Daily muffins
  • Magic bars (with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips)
  • Hand pies (house-made pastry dough filled with seasonal fruit)
  • Sticky buns (brioche dough, pecans, cardamom, and orange zest)
  • Assorted cookies (oatmeal raisin, double chocolate, flourless chocolate, ginger molasses, chocolate chip with walnuts, and Mexican wedding cookies)

For more information, visit timemarket.xyz.

Wildflower

7037 N. ORACLE RD.
Dessert spread at Wildflower

Dessert spread at Wildflower (credit: Jenn Teufel)

Wildflower delivers delicious food consistently (and they have an extensive dessert menu to cater to anyone’s sweet tooth craving). Everything sounded appealing, so we rounded up our friend group and tried it all.

The standouts are the Bars of Sin ($9) with praline chocolate cookie, cappuccino mousse, and vanilla bean gelato (for our chocoholics out there) and the warm Cinnamon Doughnuts ($8) with delicious vanilla custard and berry marmalade for dipping.

Other delightful bites on offer:

  • Lemon meringue tart ($7) — toasted meringue, graham cracker crust, and blackberry compote
  • Strawberry Shortcake ($8) — Castella cake, lemon crema, and strawberry sorbet
  • Butterscotch Pudding ($7) — with salted caramel

For more information, visit foxrc.com.

Zinburger

1865 E. River Rd, Suite 101 • 6390 E. Grant Rd.
Banana Cream Pie at Zinburger

Banana Cream Pie at Zinburger (Credit: Jenn Teufel)

Let’s talk cream pie.

If you’re a fan of cream pies, then share your burger with a friend and get help conquering their staggering Banana Cream Pie ($6) drizzled with caramel sauce. The shakes (especially the vanilla malted flavor) and Chocolate Pie ($6) are delicious, too.

  • Shakes ($5.75) — various flavors including Salted Caramel, Banana Royale, Double Chocolate, Butterfinger, Cookies & Cream, and Root Beer Float
  • Pie ($6) — Chocolate; Banana Cream

For more information, visit zinburgeraz.com.

And we couldn’t leave these off the list:

Oreganos

4900 E. Speedway Blvd. • 100 W. Orange Grove Rd. • 4884 S. Landing Way

More than half a pound of chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate or white chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough is slightly baked in a six-inch pizza pan and topped with three scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. That is THE ORiGiNAL PiZZA COOKiE® and it most definitely serves two to four people.

For more information, visit oreganos.com.

Top Golf

4050 W. Costco Pl.

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Enjoy #nationaldessertday in moderation.

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24 hot, fresh cinnamon-sugar dusted donut holes injected with different fresh sauces. That’s all you need to know.

For more information, visit topgolf.com.

Do you have a recommended addition to the best desserts in Tucson guide? Let us know below.

Jenn, who grew up with too many brothers, talks with her mouth full during the movie.

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