Close up of a box of traditional French macarons from Ladurée, with locations worldwide.

10 Best Sweet Treats in Washington, D.C.

10 Best Sweet Treats in Washington, D.C.

By Lola Méndez

Love is in the air and nothing says “be mine” like a decadent dessert–whether shared with the one you love most (yourself!), a special someone, family, or your closest pals. You’ve earned a sweet treat after joining the Washington, D.C. Day Bike Tour with Fat Tire and working up a sweat.

Whether you’re lucky in love or treating yourself to some much-deserved self-love, there’s no time like the Valentine’s Day holiday season to enjoy a delicious confection. Washington, D.C. is a seriously sugary hub for those with a sweet tooth making it easy to avoid cheesy heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and indulge in something memorable that will make life a little bit sweeter. From Instagram-worthy cupcakes to rice crispy treats, these are the 10 very best desserts in Washington, D.C.

1. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie at Captain Cookie & The Milk Man

Captain Cookie & the Milk Man has grown from a single food truck in 2012 to two bakeries and four cookie trucks roaming D.C.! They have eight signature flavors of cookies which are made from scratch daily and are best consumed as customizable ice cream sandwiches. Even your vegan loved ones can find something here as they make a divine vegan chocolate chip cookie. They also have edible cookie dough that can be eaten raw right out of the container.

Location: 2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW

 

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2. Trio of Crème Brûlée at Dirty Habit

One of the most decadent desserts is a crème brûlée which always hits the spot with its creamy interior and crunchy exterior. At Dirty Habit, you don’t have to choose between flavors–they serve a trio of three renditions. Each order comes with a vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry crème brûlée in generous portions. To make this dessert even more drool-worthy, each custard is topped off with a Nutella beignet.

Location: 555 8th St NW

3. Plain Jane Brownie at Baked & Wired

Baked & Wired is a one-stop shop for all things sweet and delicious. While all of their baked goods are to-die-for, the Plain Jane brownie is a cult favorite. The small-batched brownies are gooey and just fudgy enough. They’re also available in a gluten-free version, the Big Daddy brownie. Do you need any other excuse to get baked?

Location: 1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW

4. Red Velvet Cupcake at Georgetown Cupcake

Georgetown has fierce competition for the best cupcake in town, but the aptly named Georgetown Cupcake takes the cake. They have an abundance of flavors and toppings to select from including seasonal and holiday offerings. You’re sure to find the right frosting for you or your love. If all else fails, order the red velvet which is Georgetown Cupcake’s signature treat. It’s lovely for Valentine’s Day as it’s topped with a dainty red fondant heart.

Location: 3301 M St NW

 

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5. Rice Crispy Treat at Firefly

If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic pop into Firefly for an after-dinner treat that’s sure to take you back to your childhood–rice crispy treats! This ain’t your mama’s afterschool rice crispy treat. Executive Chef Rich Falbo dresses up the classic cereal-turned-dessert concoction with drizzled white chocolate and a side of Nutella for dipping. As an added bonus? The rice crispy treat at Firefly is completely gluten-free.

Location: 1310 New Hampshire Ave NW

6. B’Day Cake Truffles at Milk Bar

East Coasters love Milk Bar–and for good reason. The female-owned award-winning bakery single-handedly made vanilla birthday cake with rainbow funfetti sprinkles an acceptable treat 365 days a year. Christina Tosi is the mastermind behind the delightful treats. If your lover isn’t so big on Valentine’s Day maybe you can make them chuckle by celebrating an entirely different holiday-day – even if it’s not either

Location: 1090 I St NW

7. The Exotic Chocolate Bar at Plume

They say that dark chocolate is an aphrodisiac, so if you’re feeling romantic take your date to the Michelin-starred restaurant, Plume, to taste the exotic chocolate bar made with banana bread, tonka crémeux, and coconut milk sorbet. It goes without saying that this should be paired with some bubbly.

Location: 1200 16th St NW

8. Bacio Gelato at Pitango Gelato

Go for a scoop of Italian artisanal gelato at Pitango Gelato. Bacio is the obvious choice for Valentine’s Day as it means “kiss” in Italian. The gelato is made with imported chocolate from Italy and is not to be missed.

What sets these scoops apart from the many other ice creameries in the city is that the Italian founder, Noah Dan, is so dedicated to the best quality ingredients that he opened his own dairy at a local organic farm that grass-feeds cows. The gelatos are blended on the farm with the fresh milk, free-range eggs, and seasonal fruit from local orchards. This dedication to quality and natural production can be tasted with every lick. If your love really loves gelato surprise them with a gift they’ll never forget–a gelato-making class.

Location: 660 Pennsylvania Ave SE

 

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9. Dulce de Leche Pastry Cream at District Doughnut

If there was ever a day to have dessert for breakfast it must be Valentine’s Day. The gourmet filled doughnuts at District Doughnut are second to none. A cult favorite is the dulce de leche pastry cream but other filled renditions include strawberry jam and chocolate chip ricotta. The fillings are crafted in-house and absolutely delicious.

Location: 5 Market Square SW

10. Macarons from Maison Ladurée

If your love is a little bit on the fancy side, you’re sure to impress them with a truly Instagrammable box of Parisian macarons from Maison Ladurée. Be sure to order at least four flavors as the coffee, rose petal, salted caramel or lemon macaron. The only thing better would be actually takin them to France!

Location: 3060 M St NW