Seven Iconic Chocolate Desserts in San Francisco

Seven Iconic Chocolate Desserts in San Francisco


After giving a presentation at last week’s Chocolate Salon on the city’s best chocolate desserts, here’s a short list of seven of SF’s most iconic chocolate desserts. Yup, one for every night of the week.


A16: Chocolate Budino 

A16 was one of the first local restaurants to offer a dessert with salt and olive oil, and it continues to be irresistible, whether you’ve had it only once or too many times to count. The chocolate custard has a dark chocolate mousse at the base, and comes topped with sea salt and a drizzle of spicy extra virgin olive oil. It's the perfect chocolate dessert for those who like their sweets with a touch a savory.

Absinthe: Pot de Crème

This classic dessert fits perfectly with Absinthe’s brasserie vibe, and is made with Valrhona Nyangbo chocolate and comes with crème Chantilly. A tip: Try it with the recommended Scotch pairings to really bring out the nuances of the chocolate.

Bar Jules: River Café Chocolate Nemesis Cake 

There’s something to be said for the perfect flourless chocolate cake, and this is definitely one of them. This is a legendary cake that is a constant on the ever-changing menu at Bar Jules, a recipe that has made the journey from The River Café in London (The Gateau Victoire at nearby Zuni Café is another classic and fabulous flourless cake, on the menu since 1982).

Bix: Warm Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding 

Some people like their chocolate desserts to be sweet and gooey and warm. Well, here’s your mark. This dessert is like a love child of a brownie and a soufflé—it’s rich, incredibly indulgent, and topped with crème Chantilly and even more chocolate. Get your spoon.

Gary Danko: Chocolate Soufflé

Besides the soufflés at Café Jacqueline (which is all they make), this is perhaps one of the city’s most famous soufflés–and certainly one of the best. It has been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 1999, and comes with two sauces poured tableside: Dark chocolate Belgian and crème anglaise. Boom.

Tartine Bakery: Double Pain Au Chocolat

Okay, so it's not a restaurant. But mmmm, dessert for breakfast. It would make sense that one of the best croissant-makers in the city would also make one of the best versions in chocolate. But why stop at just one dose of chocolate when you can double down? Get ready for a very messy treat, with flakes of the exquisite pastry all over your table, and chocolate on your lips.

Town Hall: Butterscotch and Chocolate Pot De Crème 

Some folks adore their butterscotch pudding, while others can’t resist a chocolate pot de crème. Why choose? This beautiful hybrid dessert features slices of buttercrunch toffee that are dunked into the layered bowl of puddings. It’s huge, so you really should share. Or don't, it's up to you.

Marcia Gagliardi is the editor of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and read more at Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.

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