FroGreekYo at Souvla (photo credit Kassie Borreson)


Foie gras ice cream at Californios (photo credit Ty Lettau)

San Francisco’s best under-the-radar desserts

You can’t throw a James Beard award in San Francisco without hitting a restaurant that could serve you up an amazing meal at the drop of a hat. But let’s not forget what comes at the end of every meal: Dessert. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best under-the-radar sweets and treats in the City by the Bay.

Classic Frozen Greek Yogurt at Souvla
You’ve tried this Hayes Valley hotspot’s chicken souvlaki, but have you stayed for dessert? Order a cup of the house-made frozen Greek yogurt—thick, creamy, and with just the right amount of tang. Keep it simple and order it with Greek olive oil and flaky sea salt. Want something sweeter? Go for baklava crumbles and syrup.

Too decadent to put on the menu: Salted caramel foie gras ice cream at Californios
In the mood for something a touch, say, controversial? Try a scoop of the salted caramel foie gras ice cream at Californios. Served with a goat’s milk cajeta and sea salt, the flavor is rich, indulgent, and bordering on savory. Don’t see it on the menu? That’s because the Californios team felt like they were serving so much of it that they took it off. These days, ask about the secret stash and they’ll serve you an extra-large scoop.

Out-of-this-world rice pudding at Outerlands
There’s rice pudding, and then there’s rice pudding at Outerlands. Brunch here might be packed every weekend, but come for dinner and the place will be calm and homey—perfect for enjoying your toasted coconut, apricot and chocolate mint rice pudding in peace. It’s the ideal comfort food for a chilly Outer Sunset evening.

Save room for Lumberjack Cake at Frances
Frances is known for its homey take on French-Californian cuisine, and the dessert menu is no exception. Yes, it’s hard not to eat all the applewood-smoked bacon beignets, but be sure to save room for the lumberjack cake—a hearty slice filled with apricot, coconut, and Medjool date, then topped with a perfect scoop of Muscovado ice cream.

Step off the sweetened path with the salted chocolate rye cookie at Tartine Bakery
You can’t go wrong with the usual suspects at Tartine Bakery—think banana cream tarts, warm bread pudding, and all the morning buns you could ever ask for. But if you’re hankering for something a little bit unusual, go for the salted chocolate rye cookie. This bite-sized dessert packs a serious punch, along with a trace of sea salt. It’s the perfect end to any meal, any time of day.

Green juice and avocado mousse at Rich Table
Green juice? For dessert? If we trust anyone to do it right, it’s the folks at Rich Table. The juice itself is made from kale, sorrel, and apples. It’s then served with an avocado mousse, a scoop of brown butter ice cream, avocado honey, and dried nectarines. The flavors are fresh, bright, and acidic; the avocado and brown butter add some richness; and the texture of the nectarines keep you coming back for another bite.

No chocolate necessary: The cacao fruit smoothie at Dandelion Chocolate
We all know and love chocolate. What you might not know and love so well? The fruit pulp from the cacao pod. Thankfully, the folks at Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission are here to help you with that. Their cacao fruit smoothie tastes like lychee—a mild, tropical flavor. It’s the perfect middle-of-the-afternoon, just-because dessert.

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